Then the king Ahasuerus said to Esther the queen and to Mordecai the Jew, Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman…
1. There is something in all human action unrepealable. But the only way of making quite sure that we shall obviate or nullify the consequences of an evil action or an evil course of conduct (if one may express the thing in a strong solecism) is — not to do the action; not to follow the course of conduct. Few things are more melancholy and affecting than the deep concern and trouble of aroused consciences in view of things deeply regretted, but seen to be beyond recall, and, in a large degree, intractable to modification and management. It is easy to touch a spring in a piece of complex machinery where there is force of water or steam pent up and ready to play; but if you don't know all the consequences, you had better not touch the spring. We must not take a morbid view, and afflict ourselves with imaginary fears, and think of this great machine we call providence as if it were full of lurking mischiefs ready to break out at the slightest touch. We are responsible chiefly, almost exclusively, for this — the action in itself, the course of conduct in itself. We cannot control the consequences, and we shall not be accountable for them except in so fax as they are the direct and proper fruit of the action. If we do what is right, and wise, and for good reasons, we have nothing to fear. If we do wilfully or carelessly what we know to be wrong, we have every reason to look for the evil consequences, and every reason to judge that we are responsible for them as far as personal responsibility goes in such a case.
2. This narrative may teach us farther that in the darkest and most unpromising circumstances there is nearly always some way of relief and improvement. How seldom are things so in human life that literally nothing can be done! There is something unrepealable in all important human action. But there is also much that may be practically repealed. I think we may say that never, at any one time, in the history of a nation, never in the life of an individual, are things so dark and bad that nothing can be done to amend and lighten them. If this were not so, the world would soon be full of the most pitiable spectacles that could be conceived; communities and individuals sitting hopelessly amid the gloom of their own failures. But who knows not, also, that calamities and misfortunes are retrieved, that injuries are redressed, that mistakes are rectified? As Esther set her single will against the deadly edict, and drew from it, as far as her people were concerned, its deadliness, so a single will is often set against a whole system of evil, and by vigorous and persevering assaults it is brought to an end.
(A. Raleigh, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Then the king Ahasuerus said unto Esther the queen and to Mordecai the Jew, Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and him they have hanged upon the gallows, because he laid his hand upon the Jews.