“When Mordecai learned all that had been done, [he] tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and he cried out with a loud and bitter cry. He went up to the entrance of the king’s gate, for no one was allowed to enter the king’s gate clothed in sackcloth. And in every province, wherever the king’s command and his decree reached, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting and weeping and lamenting, and many of them lay in sackcloth and ashes…” “Then Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal robes of blue and white, with a great golden crown and a robe of fine linen and purple, and the city of Susa shouted and rejoiced. The Jews had light and gladness and joy and honor. And in every province and in every city, wherever the king’s command and his edict reached, there was gladness and joy among the Jews, a feast and a holiday.” Esther 4:1-3; 8:15-17
“Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:5
How quickly can be a divine turn of events! Mordecai and his people were doomed to destruction due to the crafty plot of wicked, jealous Haman. The death knell hung heavy and spread quickly to devastate the Jews throughout Persia and Media. He wept, he challenged his adopted niece Queen Esther to entreat the king, he sought his Lord. He knew his God could change what was then inevitable, but it would take His merciful favor worked out in a drastic, supernatural way. And God, ever the mighty change agent, came through. Within days, sackcloth was exchanged for royal robes, impending death turned to exalted life and honor. The edict that would spare no Jews was overruled by a new proclamation they could defend themselves against any enemy, and Mordecai, the one despised by pompous Haman, was promoted even as Haman was executed. God, without being named, divinely turned all inside out and upside down to accomplish His purpose of salvation.
And He still does so today. We are born under the curse of death, apart from Him, marked by sin for destruction. But Jesus intervenes, applying His atoning death on our behalf, writing the edict that rescues us from the enemy and changes our fate forever. By faith we receive His gift, in Him our helplessness turns to rejoicing and gladness. How glorious is His grace! And once we know Him, how magnificent His changing of our course of life, of heart, of habit, of season! He daily gives a way out in temptation, strength in weakness, sight for blindness, light in darkness, hope in despair, fresh mercies. (1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10; Luke 7:22; Psalm 112:4; Isaiah 9:2; Psalm 42:5,11; Lamentations 3:22-23)
What brokenness, stubborn obstacles, fears, inhibitions, impossibilities, will I bring to my Lord today to transform? Will I, unwavering in faith, be bold to hope against hope, convinced that God is able to do all He promises and intends? (Romans 4:19-21)
O God, You Who put to death and raise to life, know all that needs to be inverted in me. Have Your way in every part, that I be changed, and You be exalted in light and gladness and joy and honor.