In the last edition of the Book of Esther Series, we learned about the dangers of being prideful. In this final edition, we will learn about how there are always consequences.
As we pick up the story, Haman has been killed for his actions. Esther is then given the House of Haman and she set Mordecai over it. The king now knew that she was a Jew and he still showed her favor. Mordecai was now a wealthy man and you would think that all was right with the world.
The Consequences are Revealed
After the king took care of the small matter of what to do with Haman’s possessions, Esther then begged the king to revoke the order to kill the Jews.
In Esther Chapter 8:3-8, The consequences of the king allowing Haman to have influence over him were revealed. Because the order to kill the Jews was written in the king’s name and sealed with the king’s ring, it could not be revoked. The Jews were still set to be destroyed in spite of Haman’s demise.
Then Esther spoke again to the king. She fell at his feet and wept and pleaded with him to avert the evil plan of Haman the Agagite and the plot that he had devised against the Jews. When the king held out the golden scepter to Esther, Esther rose and stood before the king. And she said, “If it please the king, and if I have found favor in his sight, and if the thing seems right before the king, and I am pleasing in his eyes, let an order be written to revoke the letters devised by Haman the Agagite, the son of Hammedatha, which he wrote to destroy the Jews who are in all the provinces of the king.”Esther 8:3-5
An Edict is Written
The king made a choice to write another edict that would allow the Jews to defend themselves against the people trying to destroy them. Oddly enough, the king had just ordered a civil war in his own country.
One has to wonder if there would have been a better way to counter that edict. What if he had ordered everyone to stay in their homes on the day set to for destruction of the Jews? Maybe an edict that no one was to be armed on that day?
If there is one thing that we have learned in this series on the Book of Esther, that is that God is always there. God used these consequences to destroy the enemies of His people. So, even though there might have been a less bloody way to save the Jews, God knew that this was the best way.
Day of Destruction
The day of destruction is recorded in Esther Chapter 9:1-16. The Jews retaliated as decreed to do so by the king. Thousands of the Jew’s enemies were destroyed on this day. Haman’s sons were all killed by decree of the king. The killing of Haman’s sons were indeed a part of the consequences because of Haman’s pride and greed for power.
Purim: A Day of Feasting
Mordecai recorded these events and established that the Feast of Purim be established for the Jewish people. This is a feast that is still celebrated today on the 14th day of Adar (March in the Gregorian calendar). This feast is a celebration of the day that Haman’s plot against the Jews was defeated. It is a happy celebration of the destruction of their enemies. To find out more about the modern day feast of Purim, here is a great article.
Consequences and Triumph?
As we can see in these last chapters of the Book of Esther, there were still consequences to be felt because of Haman’s plot. In the end, it did all seem to work out but at the cost of thousands of lives.
There is definitely a lesson in this part of the story for us. Not all consequences can be undone because we realize we were wrong. Saying you are sorry or changing your ways does not always stop the train that is already in motion. For example, a person who has commited murder may be truly repentant for his actions but the punishment for those actions will still come.
In spite of the fact that Haman had been put to death, the consequences of the edict the king ordered at Haman’s insistence were already there. This could not be simply stopped because Haman was dead.
What consequences will the actions you take today cause for tomorrow? Will a poor decision at work lead to the loss of your job? Will your gossiping be discovered and destroy the trust others have in you? Could your adulterous thoughts of months ago lead to the ultimate destruction of your marriage?
End of the Series
This is the last of the five part series on the Book of Esther. I hope that this series has made you think about this story in a different way and that you have learned something. It is my hope that finding ways to apply the Bible to your life will lead to a great relationship with God.