On that day did the king Ahasuerus give the house of Haman the Jews' enemy to Esther the queen. And Mordecai came before the king…
I. THE CHANGES IN HUMAN LIFE ARE OFTEN WONDERFUL. They startle us -
1. By their suddenness. An empire, a city, a house, a reputation, or a power which it has taken long to build up may fall in a day.
2. By their completeness. What may have seemed durable as time itself passes away and leaves no memorial. "Like the baseless fabric of a vision," magnificent empires have perished, and left "not a wrack behind" (Psalm 9:6).
3. By the rapid succession of events which lead up to them. Our narrative includes in the history of one day the king's sleeplessness, the reading of the chronicle, the adoption of Haman's device, the honouring of Mordecai, the humiliation of Haman, Esther's banquet, the accusation, conviction, and death of Haman, the bestowal of Haman's wealth on the queen, the promotion of Mordecai to Haman's place, and the successful intercession on behalf of the Jews. God may bear long and patiently with the wicked, but when his time arrives, "then sudden destruction cometh upon them" (1 Thessalonians 5:3).
II. IT IS PLEASANT TO BESTOW AND RECEIVE JUST REWARDS. When the king gave to Esther "the house," or rather the possessions, of Haman, he expressed thereby his sense of the danger and anxiety to which his folly had exposed her; his sense too of the faithful and wise manner in which she had delivered himself from the toils of a guileful and presumptuous man. There was an evident stroke of justice in the awarding to Esther the wealth of the man who had promised to the king the wealth of the Jews as the price of their blood. Justice never sleeps.
III. GRATITUDE IS THE SIGN OF A TRUE HEART. Some easily forget benefits received. A change of position or a lapse of time will often cause the remembrance of past favours to fade. But Esther never forgot what she owed to Mordecai, and now she told the king "what he was to her;" how much he had been and still was to her! The very simplicity of these words gives them a peculiar depth and tenderness of meaning. The queen's gratitude to Mordecai was shown -
1. In explaining her own indebtedness to him.
2. In describing him as the real instrument of securing the exposure of Haman and the present felicity.
3. In winning for him favour and promotion.
4. In setting him, as her manager, over the house of Haman. She could not do too much for the man who had done so much for her. The gratitude which lives unfadingly in the heart, and is ever prompt to show itself in action, is a beautiful feature of character. What gratitude is due to God l How should we remember and esteem him who "loved us and gave himself for us!" "What shall we render unto the Lord for all his benefits?"(Psalm 116:12-14).
IV. HOW SWEET THE FREEDOM WHICH PERMITS A TRUE HEART TO POUR ITS CONFIDENCES INTO THE EAR OF AFFECTION! Till now Esther feared the king, and dared not give him her confidence. She bad secrets in her breast which oppressed her, but which she could not divulge. But the removal of Haman, the enemy and obstacle, brought her near to the king, and she felt free to tell him all that was in her heart. The benefit and happiness of the marriage tie are sadly marred by the possession of secrets on either side, or by the want of a free, full, and loving confidence. The charm of friendship too is in proportion to the freedom it gives to the opening of the heart. There is no enemy on the part of our God and King to shut his heart against us. All enemies have been destroyed in Jesus Christ. It is because we will not, if we have not the freedom of intercourse with God which belong to children - "the glorious liberty of the sons of God."
V. THE PROMOTION OF THE WISE AND GOOD TO POWER IS A BLESSING TO THE WORLD. The king gave the seal which he had taken from Haman to Mordecai. Henceforth the sagacious and capable Jew was to occupy the place of grand vizier, or chief friend and counsellor. Here again justice notched a conspicuous mark. The humble and heroic man for whom Haman had erected a gallows was put in the wicked favourite's place - made second to the king. From that time the monarch and his empire had some real ground of prosperity and peace. Mordecai's influence grew and extended until it became a paramount power and blessing in all the hundred and twenty and seven provinces. Happy the monarch and nation that are under the guidance of a wisdom that is simple-hearted, clear-sighted, experienced, and godly. How many examples have we in the history of the world of the benefit conferred on nations by the promotion of the wise and good to offices of power, and of the misery and ruin effected by the promotion of the wicked!
VI. THE BENEFITS RECEIVED BY A TRUE HEART WILL ENLARGE ITS SYMPATHIES FOR OTHERS WHO ARE IN SUFFERING AND NEED. There is a joy over obtained good which is utterly selfish. It is self-absorbed, and has no consideration for the effect it may have on others. It may be natural enough, yet nothing is more hateful. The true godly soul will long to share its own joys with those whom it loves. Beyond that, its own sense of joy will quicken its sympathy with all the distressed, and its desire to bring the light of its joy into the regions of darkness and death. Hence Esther was not content with her own happiness. She could not feel happy until she had emancipated her people from the doom that threatened them. Her own deliverance from the enemy stimulated her to work out that of Israel. So long as the edict against the Jews was in force, the purpose for which she had ventured all was unaccomplished, It is only when our Lord shall have redeemed all his people and brought them to everlasting honour that he shall "see the travail of his soul and be satisfied (Isaiah 53:11). - D.
Parallel VersesKJV: On that day did the king Ahasuerus give the house of Haman the Jews' enemy unto Esther the queen. And Mordecai came before the king; for Esther had told what he was unto her.