9 The king’s scribes were summoned at that time, in the third month, which is the month of Sivan, on the twenty-third day. And an edict was written, according to all that Mordecai commanded concerning the Jews, to the satraps and the governors and the officials of the provinces from India to Ethiopia, 127 provinces, to each province in its own script and to each people in its own language, and also to the Jews in their script and their language. 10 And he wrote in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed it with the king’s signet ring. Then he sent the letters by mounted couriers riding on swift horses that were used in the king’s service, bred from the royal stud, 11 saying that the king allowed the Jews who were in every city to gather and defend their lives, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate any armed force of any people or province that might attack them, children and women included, and to plunder their goods, 12 on one day throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar. 13 A copy of what was written was to be issued as a decree in every province, being publicly displayed to all peoples, and the Jews were to be ready on that day to take vengeance on their enemies. 14 So the couriers, mounted on their swift horses that were used in the king’s service, rode out hurriedly, urged by the king’s command. And the decree was issued in Susa the citadel.
Esther 8:9-14 ESV
First of all, here are some facts about the two decrees concerning the Jews:
- The first edict, commanding to destroy, kill, and annihilate all Jews, was written on the 13th day of the First month (Esther 3:12).
- The second edict, not to revoke the first one, but to allow the Jews to defend themselves from any enemies, was written on the 23rd day of the Third month. (Esther 8:9)
- Both decrees examined the same event happening on the 13th day of the Twelfth month. But one announces the news of death (Esther 3:13), and the other delivers a message of hope (Esther 8:11-12).
Think about the Jews who received the news in the First month. They mourned and lived in fear for three months without hope. They could not do anything but only wait for the arrival of their destruction. But, then, the day when they saw the king’s swift horses dashed by and brought the good news concerning them, hope entered their life again! Instead of waiting for death to come, they were permitted to stand up and fight! Finally, they could defend their families and their people! And most importantly, God was standing behind them! Such good news turned weeping into dancing, sorrow into joy, helplessness into strength, and despair into hope.
Concerning our eternity, there are also two decrees.
One also demands death – “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) and “For the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23a).
And the other offers eternal life – “but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23b) Sinners “are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24)
Praise the Lord for His timely delivery of the good news! We no longer need to live in darkness and fear but have hope and eternal life in Him!
So the couriers, mounted on their swift horses that were used in the king’s service, rode out hurriedly, urged by the king’s command. And the decree was issued in Susa the citadel.Esther 8:14
Throughout today’s passage, there was a sense of urgency to deliver the message to every province in Kingdom Persia about this important decree of the king. Every effort was made to have the decree delivered before the 13th day of the Twelfth month! How should we respond to the good news we received from Jesus? Do we have the same urgency in our hearts to share it with others? We do not know when the day of judgment will come, but we know like the Jews who only received the first decree, many are still living in fear and hopelessness, and they are waiting to receive the good news from Jesus Christ. May the Lord give us the courage and strength to go for Him and share the good news with others. Hear Him say –
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…”Matthew 28:18-19
Lord, thank you for the good news you have given us! It’s a great news that brought us joy, peace, and hope. Help us not only to hold on to the great blessing we received but to share the good news with others! Open our eyes and see the souls who are hungry and thirsty for your love and gospel! Give us the strength to love and share the good news!
P.S. I’m moved by Jesus and His cross very much this week through the book of Esther. His love is so great and amazing, and He truly deserves our soul, our life, and all. ❤️