Journey Through The Scriptures

The Life of Esther

Lesson 5: The King’s New Decree

(Scripture to Read: Esther 8:1–17)

Haman was now out of the way, but his death did not solve all the Jews’ problems. The king’s decree to destroy them could not be revoked. But as Esther pleaded with Ahasuerus to save her people, he gave Mordecai the authority to write another decree giving the Jews in the Persian kingdom the right to defend themselves on the day set for their annihilation. This decree went out by the same courier system, giving the Jews about nine months to prepare themselves to defend their families and property.

Notice how completely God had reversed the circumstances. Mordecai now had the king’s signet ring and position of power that Haman once possessed, and Haman’s scheme to confiscate the Jews’ property (3:13) resulted in his own property being confiscated and given to the Jewish queen, Esther. God’s hand was so evident in these things that many Persians became Jewish proselytes, or followers of the God of Israel!

Study Questions

  1. King Ahasuerus learned that he had a second reason to show favor to Mordecai, in addition to the loyalty Mordecai had shown earlier. What was this second reason?
  2. Esther approached the king again, pleading with him to save her people. How does this scene contrast with her earlier attitude toward appearing before Ahasuerus (see 4:11)?
  3. Explain in your own words how the success of Mordecai and Esther illustrates the biblical principle, "Those who honor me I will honor" (1 Samuel 2:30).
  4. What had the people of Persia who became followers of the God of Israel learned about His power and character?

Something to Think About

When we have the courage to act on our faith, God honors us and other people notice. This is one of the best witnesses we can have to the reality of God and the authenticity of faith.

With this in mind, take a few minutes today to think about your life and how you can honor the Lord in every area.