Summary: This is the 9th sermon in the series "God Is Here". God shows His children favor.
Series: God Is Here [#9]
WHEN THE TABLES ARE TURNED
There is a word that my generation and younger generations like to use- Karma. Now, I don’t use it because it is a word used in Hinduism and Buddhism, and refers to reincarnation; but its intended meaning for my generation is appropriate for today. My generation’s definition is simply, “You reap what you sow”.
Things have turned around for the Jewish people in the last couple of chapters in Esther. As we near the end of this story, verse 1 of our text is a perfect description of what has happened.
Esther 9:1 (NIV)
“On the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, the edict commanded by the king was to be carried out. On this day the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, but now the tables were turned and the Jews got the upper hand over those who hated them.”
I love that statement: “The tables were turned”. Just when things were hopeless, God changed everything in the Jews’ favor. God has done the same for us as Christians.
Esther 9:1-19 (MSG)
“On the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, the king's order came into effect. This was the very day that the enemies of the Jews had planned to overpower them, but the tables were now turned: the Jews overpowered those who hated them! The Jews had gathered in the cities throughout King Xerxes' provinces to lay hands on those who were seeking their ruin. Not one man was able to stand up against them--fear made cowards of them all. What's more, all the government officials, satraps, governors--everyone who worked for the king--actually helped the Jews because of Mordecai; they were afraid of him. Mordecai by now was a power in the palace. As Mordecai became more and more powerful, his reputation had grown in all the provinces. So the Jews finished off all their enemies with the sword, slaughtering them right and left, and did as they pleased to those who hated them. In the palace complex of Susa the Jews massacred five hundred men. They also killed the ten sons of Haman son of Hammedatha, the archenemy of the Jews: Parshandatha Dalphon Aspatha Poratha Adalia Aridatha Parmashta Arisai Aridai Vaizatha But they took no plunder. That day, when it was all over, the number of those killed in the palace complex was given to the king. The king told Queen Esther, "In the palace complex alone here in Susa the Jews have killed five hundred men, plus Haman's ten sons. Think of the killing that must have been done in the rest of the provinces! What else do you want? Name it and it's yours. Your wish is my command." "If it please the king," Queen Esther responded, "give the Jews of Susa permission to extend the terms of the order another day. And have the bodies of Haman's ten sons hanged in public display on the gallows." The king commanded it: The order was extended; the bodies of Haman's ten sons were publicly hanged. The Jews in Susa went at it again. On the fourteenth day of Adar they killed another three hundred men in Susa. But again they took no plunder. Meanwhile in the rest of the king's provinces, the Jews had organized and defended themselves, freeing themselves from oppression. On the thirteenth day of the month of Adar, they killed 75,000 of those who hated them but did not take any plunder. The next day, the fourteenth, they took it easy and celebrated with much food and laughter. But in Susa, since the Jews had banded together on both the thirteenth and fourteenth days, they made the fifteenth their holiday for laughing and feasting. (This accounts for why Jews living out in the country in the rural villages remember the fourteenth day of Adar for celebration, their day for parties and the exchange of gifts.)”
1. Victory to victims.
The Jewish people were to be killed on that day; but instead, the Jewish people had permission to destroy their enemy. One of the greatest problems with Christians in this day and age is we are always the victim. Christians, we have victory through Jesus Christ. We have the upper hand over our enemy.
2. Assurance to the afraid.
The Jewish people had been living in fear. They had no idea what would happen to them or when it would happen. Life was very uncertain. Now, everything was the opposite. The very people that had cause them to be afraid were now afraid of them. You may find this hard to believe; but through the power of Jesus Christ, the enemy is afraid of us.
James 4:7-10 (NIV)