A “reversal of fortune” happens in a story when a character’s circumstance changes so dramatically it becomes the exact opposite of what it had been. The book of Esther is full of these examples, and today we find a few more.
At the end of Esther 7, Haman was killed through his own reversal of fortune. But in chapter 8, his evil edict to destroy the Jewish people was still in place. Oddly enough, the king seemed indifferent. He moved ahead with the redistribution of Haman’s estate, giving it to Esther in the first of several remarkable reversals.
When Esther reminded the king about Mordecai, the king summoned Mordecai to the palace and gave him his signet ring, vesting him with all of the authority held therein. In a second about-face, Esther further multiplied Mordecai’s good fortune by setting him in charge of Haman’s wealth. Mordecai had received Haman’s position, his power, and his property.
Esther was not satisfied with her and Mordecai’s personal deliverance however. She wanted more for her people. In verse 3, she went again to the king. Notice the strong verbs here (pleaded, falling, weeping, begged) which communicate the intense emotion behind her request. But Esther was also diplomatic in her delivery. She appealed to the king’s favor and to his moral compass (vv. 5–6). She also did not mention the king’s role in the original law, but rather placed the blame squarely on Haman.
The king was receptive to Esther’s request but unable to change his original decree. It was considered irrevocable. Instead, he gave Esther and Mordecai the authority to craft another edict that could counteract the first with equal force (v. 8).
>> Have you experienced a “reversal of fortune” in your own life? In the lives of others? No matter how “dramatic” your salvation experience was, the most significant “reversal of fortune” was when you went from being God’s enemy (Rom. 5:10) to His heir (Rom. 8:17).