Esther 8: 13 “A copy of the text of the edict was to be issued as law in every provence and made known to the people of every nationality so the Jews would be ready on that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.”
This is the most crucial part; getting the word out beyond the walls of the Palace. Everybody on the inside knew what the king had done. Everybody in church had heard the Gospel; the good news. But that didn’t help anyone on the outside. If they didn’t get the word out beyond the palace walls, countless numbers of people were still going to die. “Make it known to the people of every nationality so they will be ready on that day.”
Tell them the good news. Tell them that by grace they are saved through faith and it’s not because of anything they’ve done or failed to do. It’s a gift from God. Let them know so they’ll be ready. Let them know so they can repent, be saved, and have life more abundantly.
Esther 8:14 “The couriers, riding the royal horses, raced out, spurred on by the king’s command. And the edict was issued in the citadel of Sousa.”
They “raced out.” When the king gave the command, the couriers (messengers) were expected to do it immediately. They were not given the option to ignore it or postpone it.
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:15-16)
Our king has given us a command to spur us on and we’re also expected to do it immediately. We don’t have the option to ignore it or postpone it either. Take the message outside the church. Tell them the good news about what Jesus has done. We have a responsibility to let them know about Jesus so they will be ready.
Esther 8:15a “Mordecai left the king’s presence wearing royal garments of blue and white, a large crown of gold and a purple robe of fine linen.”
Mordecai finally got his new clothes. He’s not wearing sackcloth anymore. He’s wearing his royal garments. The prophet Isaiah says that our righteousness, our own attempts to make ourselves right and acceptable, look like filthy rags to a pure and holy God. (Isaiah 64:6)
Like Mordecai, when we accept the grace of God offered to us through the sacrifice paid for sin by Jesus on the cross and His resurrection from the dead, we receive a completely new wardrobe.
“For He has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of (HIS) righteousness as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with jewels.” (Isaiah 61:10)
Esther 8: 15b-16 “And the city of Susa held a joyous celebration. For the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honor.”
“It was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honor.” Why? Because they had heard the Gospel, the good news. They’ve been given a free gift by the king’s grace. They’ve been given new life; a second chance; a fresh start; a new beginning. They’ve become “more than conquerors through Him who loved them” and they’re enjoying a joyful celebration
Esther 8:17a “In every provence and in every city, wherever the edict of the king went, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating.”
There was “joy and gladness…with feasting and celebrating.” Most of us who have been a part of the church for many years have got the “feasting” part of the Christian life pretty well nailed. We know how to feast with joy and gladness. But when we sit in the pew every Sunday morning, it’s just as obvious that we have a real struggle when it comes to celebrating. I’m not sure if we even believe in it. We sing about it. We just don’t know how to do it.
Many Christians in this country today are afraid to show any emotion at all. They have an extremely difficult time releasing and expressing their joy. Celebration is really uncontrolled joy; joy gone out of control and we just don’t like to have anything go out of our control. We don’t feel comfortable giving up control of ourselves even, or maybe especially, to the Holy Spirit.
There seems to be a place deep inside us that the Lord is still not allowed to touch; a place deep inside us the Lord is still not allowed to have; not allowed to go. We don’t realize the affect our fears, our thick emotional, protective walls, our rigid doctrines, our inability to freely, spontaneously, and genuinely celebrate, has on others around us.
Esther 8:17b “And many people of other nationalities became Jews because fear if the Jews had seized them.”
They were so joyful and free it made everyone else around them nervous and a little envious. As a result of the joy they expressed over their salvation and deliverance, “many people of other nationalities” came to believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
People will know we’re disciples of Jesus when they see us loving one another. But they’ll become disciples of Jesus when they see us celebrating with joy and gladness. Christianity becomes contagious; others begin to catch it when they see us celebrating with joy and gladness.
The churches who are reaching the most people today, especially reaching the most young people today, are the churches that are able to celebrate with joy and gladness. People who are spiritually alive when they worship; people who magnify the Lord and who bless the Lord with all that is within them, will draw other people to Christ. When we become alive in worship, we’ll see others come alive in Christ.
We may get their attention when we witness with our words, but Jesus will get their hearts when they see our happiness and joy; our gladness and honor; our confidence in and our appreciation for, all that Christ has done for us; when they see it expressed in our celebrations that occur every time we come together in His name. It will cause many people of all nations to come to Christ.
Thanks again. Let’s meet back here next Tuesday, Lord willing, and continue in God’s Word with Pastor Buj. Why not make it a regular habit?