Welcome to our fourth and final week of Esther. Now that the climax of Esther has passed, we focus on the resolution and the final lessons we can learn from this book.
Read: Esther 8:1-10:3
Focus on: Esther 8:16-17, 9:19-20
“The Jews had light and gladness and joy and honor. And in every province and in every city, wherever the king’s command and his edict reached, there was gladness and joy among the Jews, a feast and a holiday.”
“Therefore the Jews of the villages, who live in the rural towns, hold the fourteenth day of the month of Adar as a day for gladness and feasting, as a holiday, and as a day on which they send gifts of food to one another. And Mordecai recorded these things and sent letters to all the Jews who were in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, both near and far.”
Mordecai records the victory and celebrations and sends them as far as he can. This serves one purpose — to tell his brothers and sisters in faith to celebrate the victory of the Jewish people on the same day that they do in Susa — but it also serves another.
God sent a major trial to Mordecai when he had to convince his adoptive daughter to step in as the result of a choice he made. God sent a major trial to Esther, who risked her life for that of her people. And God sent a major trial to the Jewish people of Persia, who lived in fear and had to fight their oppressors to ensure their safety. And yet, in each case, they were redeemed.
And the people rejoiced.
When Mordecai sends out his letter telling of these events, he is also telling of God’s timing and God’s faithfulness. In our own world, we don’t always get to take a step back and see the bigger picture like we can when reading Esther. We may not always see God’s timing or God’s faithfulness when we’re in the thick of it all, dealing with enormous hardships like depression, death, illness, infidelity, or abuse. In those times, we are often left without answers; without a bigger picture; without an understanding of reason.
These trials make it all the more important to celebrate the moments where we catch a glimpse of Light. The laugh of a child; the return of a friend to health; the blossoming of a promise and a future that we had never seen for ourselves. While these moments do not solve or answer the hardships we face, they do give us a glimpse of a bigger picture. They remind us of the goodness — the God-ness — in this world. They remind us that there is a redeeming Force in this world, and that It redeems us.
And so, the people rejoice.
In your journal today, rejoice at the goodness and God-ness you see around you. You may choose to show someone — yourself, maybe! — dancing, singing, hooting and hollering and jumping for joy. Or you can paint the things that make you feel that way; the parts of your life that remind you of redemption. If words and lettering are more your style, try doing as Mordecai did, by sharing words that remind you of God’s timing and faithfulness. If you’re comfortable, share your work in the Facebook group when you’re done!