Tuesday 22nd May 2018 - Daily Reading:
Esther 8 - Complete Turnaround by Becky White

The complete reversal of fortunes we have already seen with Haman in previous chapters now extends to all the main characters in this tale, and to the Jewish people as a whole.

On a personal level, we see that Esther is given all of Hamanís estate and wealth, and that Mordecai is given the signet ring that had previously been Hamanís. This ring signified that Mordecai would now take Hamanís place as second in authority in the kingdom.

More widely, there is a massive turnaround for the Jewish people as well. The death of Haman is not the climax of the book Ė the rescue of Godís people is. King Xerxes cannot revoke an order that has been sealed with his signet ring, but instead he authorises a decree allowing the Jews to assemble and defend themselves, their wives and their children, against any who would come to attack them. They now had months to prepare themselves against any attacks as a result of the previous decree.

At the end of the chapter, we read a remarkable thing: many Gentiles became Jews. This is the only time in the Old Testament where this is recorded as happening.

The parallels between this and the spread of the Gospel are compelling. The wages of sin are death Ė this cannot be revoked. But the Gospel brings the good news of salvation and victory over death. Like Xerxes messengers, we are to take this message to all peoples in all languages, and many will hear and be saved.

Our God is a God of complete turnaround. Hope instead of despair; love instead of fear; salvation instead of death!

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