“The Jews had light and gladness and joy and honor.” (Esther 8:16).
Haman was a terror to God’s people, for he was the inventor of nightmares. Having hated Mordecai for his refusal to bow, Haman decided he could not rest until Mordecai’s people were dead. He contrived his plot and — soon — the people of Jewish descent would all die. It had been governmentally sanctioned.
Of course, the carnage never arrived, for God intervened. He had strategically placed Esther in the king’s palace, and the king was Haman’s sovereign. God had given Esther favor. She used it. Everyone’s fortunes were reversed. God delivered Esther and Mordecai and all the Jewish people. Hamaan and all who plotted death for God’s people were sentenced to death.
After the reversal, we come to our little diamond of a statement — “The Jews had light and gladness and joy and honor.” Their existence up to that point had been pain, fear, and hardship. But now, after God had, in a moment as quick as a twinkling of an eye, reversed their fortunes, they had light and gladness and joy and honor.
Is this not a salve for the weary soul? Life is hard for everyone, but it can be especially brutal for some. The weight and darkness can be unbearable. The mood is often somber. The heart is hurt. Oppression and pain are theirs. Respect is not. But, in Christ, a day comes when all of that hurt gives way to a reversal of fortunes. Light and gladness and joy and honor will flood their lives. If ever heaven were described in the Old Testament, this sounds like the place.
O, weary soul! O, heavy heart! The day of the reversed fortunes will come for you. Hold on!