January 23, 2017

The King’s Wisdom

Esther 8

No document written in the king’s name and sealed with his ring can be revoked.

—  Esther 8:8

Haman was dead, and now Mordecai wore the king’s signet ring and managed Haman’s estate. But Mordecai, Esther, and the Jewish people still faced the destruction Haman had planned, for all the provinces had received the decree to annihilate the Jews. And a royal decree could not be revoked. What were they to do?

Xerxes now exercised his ­power shrewdly: although the order to destroy the Jews had to remain, the Jews would now have the right to defend themselves. Mordecai, bearer of the king’s signet ring, signed the decree.

Now the people of the empire had to decide. Many became Jews, “because fear of the Jews had seized them.” Which would be better, to be a living member of the Jewish people or a dead Gentile?

God had told Adam in the Garden: “You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die” (Genesis 2:17). That decree could not be revoked either. All who have sinned will die. But God provided a way out: “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

That is our choice: fear God and believe in his Son, Jesus Christ, or oppose him and lose our life. Which do you choose?

Heavenly King, thank you for your eternal wisdom to grant life to all who believe in Jesus Christ. Help me to follow you and to choose life today. Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

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