Today’s passage: Esther 8
- Esther risked her life again and went before the king, Haman’s terrible law was still in place. Something would have to be done to save the Jewish people.
- The acquisition of Haman’s house and Mordecai’s promotion would have meant nothing if Haman’s plan had been fulfilled.
- Mordecai is given the same honor Haman had abused, to right a law in the name of the king.
- Because Haman’s law could not be revoked, Mordecai gave the Jews the right to defend themselves.
- With this law, the day that Haman called for could have been entirely peaceful as long as no one attacked the Jews. We will see if that happens in the passage ahead.
- This string of events and the rise of Mordecai in the empire resulted in people either converting to Judaism or just pretending/professing to be Jewish. Potentially for fear of the Jewish people or simply because they saw how favored and powerful they had become in the empire.
Questions to consider:
- What has God just done? What positions are Jewish people now in in the Persian Empire? What position had they been in not long before? How would man’s perspective throughout this entire narrative have been different than God’s?
- Why would Mordecai have needed to use wisdom and discretion when he wrote this new law? Had he used it recklessly, how long would he have held his place of authority in the empire?
- Why might we question the sincerity of all these “conversions” after Esther’s and Mordecai’s rise? Can a government coerce people to believe with all sincerity? What is true of human nature that would have made the label of Judaism more attractive to the people in that day?