In my afternoon meditation I was thinking on the Book of Esther. You remember the story: A Jewish girl is chosen to be the Queen of Persia, An enemy of the Hebrew people cons the King of Persia into signing an extermination order for the entire Jewish race. Esther, the Jewish Queen, is convinced to come to the aid of her people at the risk of her own life. Esther gains an audience with the King. Esther throws a dinner for said king and for Haman, the mastermind of the plot against the Jews. Through a series of events Esther wins the day, Haman is killed and the Jews do not die. The end…well sort of.
Here is the section that I ruminated on this afternoon.
Esther said, “If it please the king, and if I have found favor with him, and if he thinks it is right, and if I am pleasing to him, let there be a decree that reverses the orders of Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, who ordered that Jews throughout all the king’s provinces should be destroyed. 6 For how can I endure to see my people and my family slaughtered and destroyed?”
7 Then King Xerxes said to Queen Esther and Mordecai the Jew, “I have given Esther the property of Haman, and he has been impaled on a pole because he tried to destroy the Jews. 8 Now go ahead and send a message to the Jews in the king’s name, telling them whatever you want, and seal it with the king’s signet ring. But remember that whatever has already been written in the king’s name and sealed with his signet ring can never be revoked.”
9 So on June 25[a] the king’s secretaries were summoned, and a decree was written exactly as Mordecai dictated. It was sent to the Jews and to the highest officers, the governors, and the nobles of all the 127 provinces stretching from India to Ethiopia.[b] The decree was written in the scripts and languages of all the peoples of the empire, including that of the Jews. 10 The decree was written in the name of King Xerxes and sealed with the king’s signet ring. Mordecai sent the dispatches by swift messengers, who rode fast horses especially bred for the king’s service.
11 The king’s decree gave the Jews in every city authority to unite to defend their lives. They were allowed to kill, slaughter, and annihilate anyone of any nationality or province who might attack them or their children and wives, and to take the property of their enemies. Esther 8: 3-11
The nature of the Persian legal system made any law sealed by the king irrevocable. So the nature of the King’s help could not come in the form of “reversing the curse” so to speak. The first law of extermination could not be undone or declared illegal. The Jews were henceforth condemned to death…BUT while the old law of death could not be undone a new law allowing the Jews to unite and fight could be and was made and that second law effectively cancelled out the effect of the first law
We live under an old law too. It’s called the law of sin and death. It was instituted in Genesis chapter 3 at the fall of man and has been in effect ever since. This law is the reason our race is prone towards evil. It is this law that subjects us to every illness and plague throughout the world and it is this law that insures that one out one will die. This law, like the laws of the Persian Kings cannot be unmade, at least not while keeping the universe intact. Yet God has chosen to deal with this problematic law in the same way Esther dealt with her problematic law. He has simply made a new law. The law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus.
In Romans 8:1,2 Paul writes, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set youb free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. ”
The law of sin and death is still active in the world. It hasn’t been rescinded. Satan still has the power to utilize it against us. We still sometimes stumble into evil, We still experience sickness. One out of one still die. But while that law is still active a new law has also been activated and this new law, gives us the power to combat sinful habits and win; It allows us to pray for and receive healing and this new law grants us eternal life in new bodies that will be glorified to the extent that the old law can never affect them again!
There is a role for us to play though. In Esther’s day the new law would have had no effect if the Jewish people had not risen up to fight and in our day the law of the spirit of life will have no effect if we choose not to apply it. We can defeat sin but we must be willing to flee temptation. We can be healed but we must be willing to pray until… And we will live forever but we must first choose to make Jesus Lord and Savior. We must embrace the supercession of the second law over the first BY FAITH.
So dear reader, will you choose to believe?
This is a good word, Pastor J!