Read Esther 8
Focus on verse 4
With Haman dead and Mordecai in his place one would think all would be well for the Jews in the kingdom, however, the edict that Haman had sent out across the empire instructing the non-Jewish population to annihilate the Jews and plunder them was still in effect. The perpetrator of the hatred had been dealt with, but the residue of evil remained. The king was apparently powerless to retract the edict so he empowers Esther and Mordecai to write a new edict to counter the first.
In the new edict the king authorizes the Jews to use whatever means they choose to defend themselves and their families and even to destroy those who attempt to fulfill the first edict. As we will discover in the next chapter, the Jews apparently were very successful in defending themselves as a great fear of them fell upon the rest of the people… so much so that in some places there were non-Jewish citizens who claimed to be Jewish.
Once again we see the hand of God working to protect His people, not just in raising Esther to the position of Queen, but also in placing a fear of the Jews in the hearts and minds of those who hated them. There is something about the Jewish people and their position in the world and their relationship with God that is unique. No other people group can claim this. This does not make Jews better than, or more important than anyone else to God. That is not the difference. God loves all of us equally, specially and perfectly… even those who reject Him. He loved us enough to incarnate Himself in the person of Jesus (a Jew), to live for a while among us and then to die a gruesome death on a cross in our place, and finally to rise from the tomb to verify and seal the deal that all humanity’s sin had been atoned.
In what Jesus did, He provided a way for us to remove the remaining residue of evil from our hearts and minds. Perhaps you’ve heard the old hymn “I’ve been washed in the blood of the Lamb”. As gruesome as that may sound in the literal sense, it is describing this beautiful thing that Jesus did for us in the spiritual sense.
By the shedding of His blood on the cross, the black stain of sin (the residue of evil) can be removed from my heart and soul. All we have to do is believe, and accept that He did it for us. No strings attached, no fine print.