On that day King Ahasuerus gave the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews, to Queen Esther; and Mordecai came before the king, for Esther had disclosed what he was to her. 2 The king took off his signet ring which he had taken away from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman, (8:1-2).
Haman had been executed.
So King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, “Behold, I have given the house of Haman to Esther, and him they have hanged on the gallows because he had stretched out his hands against the Jews, (8:7).
Yes, Haman had indeed been sentenced to the very gallows he intended for Mordecai and his possessions given to Esther, but deliverance for the Jews still seemed an unattainable end. After all, at the urging of Haman, the enemy of the Jews, the edict against them had been written as law, in the name of the king, and sealed with his signet ring.
“If it is pleasing to the king, let it be decreed that they be destroyed…” 10 Then the king took his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews… and it was written just as Haman commanded…being written in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed with the king’s signet ring. 13 Letters were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces to destroy, to kill and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to seize their possessions as plunder, (Esther 3:9-10, 12-13).
And an edict, sealed in the name of the king, with the king’s signet ring, allowed no room for escape; it was irrevocable.
“… for a decree which is written in the name of the king and sealed with the king’s signet ring may not be revoked,” (8:8).
And it is into this pandemonium of terror that God Almighty would unfold His Edict for the Escape of Esther’s people.
He wrote in the name of King Ahasuerus, and sealed it with the king’s signet ring, and sent letters by couriers on horses, riding on steeds sired by the royal stud. 11 In them the king granted the Jews who were in each and every city the right to assemble and to defend their lives, to destroy, to kill and to annihilate the entire army of any people or province which might attack them, including children and women, and to plunder their spoil, (8:10-11).
Long before, the King of all kings had written by His own hand, His irrevocable Law, sealed by the authority of Him “who cannot lie” (Titus 1:2); His Edict written for the instruction of His people.
Now the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and remain there, and I will give you the stone tablets with the law and the commandment which I have written for their instruction.” (Exodus 24:12).
His Edict, written as Law, is altogether perfect and holy, righteous and just.
The Rock! His work is perfect,
For all His ways are just;
A God of faithfulness and without injustice,
Righteous and upright is He, (Deuteronomy 32:4).
The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul…
9 …The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether, (Psalm 19:7, 9)
Righteous are You, O Lord,
And upright are Your judgments.
138 You have commanded Your testimonies in righteousness
And exceeding faithfulness, (Psalm 119:137-138).
But the Lord of hosts will be exalted in judgment,
And the holy God will show Himself holy in righteousness, (Isaiah 5:16).
So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good, (Romans 7:12).
And because His Edict, written as Law, is perfect, it must be carefully obeyed.
Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your God and walk in all His ways and keep His commandments and hold fast to Him and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, (Joshua 5:22).
But… big But… (Buts often are very big in Scripture) …
“But it shall come about, if you do not obey the Lord your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you…” (Deuteronomy 28:15).
But… what comes about, resulting from disobedience and sin, is the ultimate curse, death. And under His Edict, written as Law, we like the people of Esther have been warned of our imminent demise.
Letters were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces to destroy, to kill and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, women and children… (Esther 3:13).
For the wages of in is death… (Romans 6:23).
And disobedience doesn’t even have to be intentional.
Now if a person sins and does any of the things which the Lord has commanded not to be done, though he was unaware, still he is guilty and shall bear his punishment, (Leviticus 5:17).
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all, (James 2:10).
And while the natural man may cry it is unfair to be held to such a rigid, unyielding standard, God is perfectly just. And because He is perfect in holiness and righteousness, His justice cannot merely overlook our sin. But… in His compassion, He gave us the Law that we would become conscious of His righteousness, and our sin.
Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin, (Romans 3:20 NIV).
And praise be to God; His Edict, written as Law, is in fact irrevocable… But… He provided His Edict for Escape.
Consider His Edict for Escape
- His Edict for Escape invites us to turn to Him in faith, and trust His righteousness and strength for our salvation
- “I am the Lord, and there is none else.
19 “I have not spoken in secret,
In some dark land;
I did not say to the offspring of Jacob,
‘Seek Me in a waste place’;
I, the Lord, speak righteousness,
Declaring things that are upright…
22 “Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth;
For I am God, and there is no other.
23 “I have sworn by Myself,
The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness
And will not turn back,
That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.
24 “They will say of Me, ‘Only in the Lord are righteousness and strength,’” (Isaiah 45:18-19, 22-24).
- “I am the Lord, and there is none else.
- His Edict for Escape is provided through faith in His Son as our sin offering.
- For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit, (Romans 8:3-4).
- His Edict, written as Law in the Old Testament, would not be revoked but would be fulfilled in Jesus Christ, His Edict for Escape.
- “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished,” (Matthew 5:17-18).
How do we respond to His Edict for Escape?
Every one of us will one day stand before Him, either under the Edict of the Law or under His Edict for Escape.
And in His love and compassion, let us consider His heart and warning for us, that we would discern our eternal future.
“Would that they were wise, that they understood this,
That they would discern their future!” (Deuteronomy 32:29).
And His heart cries out to us… that if we would but turn to Him in repentance, He will grant us His Edict for Escape.
For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord God. “Therefore, repent and live.” (Ezekiel 18:32).
We must not ever listen to the lies of the enemy so as to think we can somehow outmaneuver Almighty God and provide our own escape from judgment. Jesus warned us clearly.
He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed, (John 3:18-20).
His Edict is for our Escape, if we will but believe Christ for our salvation. Oh, may we depend on His Edict for Escape in Jesus Christ, Who enables us to Escape the darkness. And as we come to the Light, we will reap His life and liberty to Escape eternal condemnation.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death, (Romans 8:1-2).