The Jews were filled with joy and gladness and were honored everywhere. In every province and city, wherever the king’s decree arrived, the Jews rejoiced and had a great celebration and declared a public festival and holiday. And many of the people of the land became Jews themselves, for they feared what the Jews might do to them. (Esther 8:16–17)
It was like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s all rolled into one. It was like Berlin on the ninth of November 1989! It was like nothing they had ever seen before. They would sing all night and all the next day because the gloom was lifted! The darkness wasn’t impenetrable after all. It had just seemed so.
Do you live in a place of gloom and darkness, where laughter doesn’t echo off the walls? Has your life become grim or even borderline tragic? While others go home to the love and warmth of a family, do you go home alone to the awful memory of broken relationships, remorse, and guilt?
Perhaps your last sounds of the day are the clanging of a cell door and some guard yelling, “Lights out!” Do you look with longing at a scene like this one in Esther?
Esther’s story is no irrelevant slice of history tucked away in the folds of an ancient scroll. These principles are still at work today. This is life, as relevant today as when it was first recorded. This is written to people who face intimidating, stubborn souls. Perhaps they live with them, are married to them, or have grown children like that. This is written to people whose lives have been scarred by documents and lawsuits, bad reports, or rumors. This is written to people whose lives are lived within the thick, stone walls of depression and doom. And this chapter announces in bold letters: There is hope!
Walls fall every day. But we cannot predict when yours will fall. God is in the business of breaking down walls. Take hope! Take heart! This will pass. The truth will become known. Every day walls of depression and gloom are penetrated by the wonderful presence of the living God.
Weeping may last for the night,
But a shout of joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)