We all love a story about a beautiful, young lady chosen to be a queen, such as that found in the book of Esther, where the Jewish girl, Hadassah—an orphan who was raised by her cousin, Mordecai—becomes the queen of Persia. It almost sounds like a fairy tale—that is until we get to the part where an evil man named Haman plots to wipe out all of Esther's relatives.
Haman's threat was very real and much more serious than we often realize. The gravity of the situation is found in the size of the Persian Empire. The opening verse of Esther explains that the Persian Empire stretched all the way from India in the east to Ethiopia in the west. Almost all the Jews at the time lived within its boundaries.
If Haman had succeeded in killing all the Jews of Persia, there would have been no Jews left—and subsequently, there would not have been a Jewish handmaiden named Miriam (Mary) some 500 years later to give birth to the Jewish Messiah, Jesus.
God had chosen this people to work through to bring about His redemptive plan for the world. He had invested in them and prepared them for centuries. He had connected His name to them—the God of Israel—and guaranteed their survival. Therefore, when their existence was threatened, He raised up Esther to gain the king's favor and expose the evil threat.
A royal decree cannot be rescinded. The only hope of survival was if the Jewish people were allowed to fight back and defend themselves, so a second decree was issued granting them the right of self-defense. The survival of the Jewish people was now left up to them and they demonstrated the courage and strength necessary to survive.
While this was happening, some Jewish exiles were back in Jerusalem, attempting to rebuild the destroyed city. They arrived with such hope but when faced with the daunting task, they had grown discouraged. So God raised up the prophet Zechariah to tell them a day was coming when Jerusalem would not just be rebuilt but would be the city to which the Lord would come—and from where He would rule and reign. This had been His plan all along and, despite their small beginnings, He would fulfill it.
When God saved the Jewish people from annihilation, He was also saving His plan to bless all the families of the world through them, as He had promised Abraham and as Zechariah had envisioned. His plans had not changed and His promises will all be fulfilled.
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