Esther 8:15 And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and purple: and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad.
16 The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour.
17 And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king’s commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.
Words always have associative properties with other words; the word joy is no exception. When considering a definition of joy, many people would assume it is being happy or happiness in general. However, the Bible does not associate joy primarily with being happy. God provided another word to enable the Bible student to define the word joy. In each of the three verses in our passage, the scripture makes reference to joy, either indirectly: rejoiced (Esther 8:15) or directly (Esther 8:16, 17). A careful consideration will identify that joy is associated with the words glad (Esther 8:15) and gladness (Esther 8:16, 17). This connection is consistent throughout the Bible (Psalm 51:8; Psalm 105:43; Isaiah 16:10) and is specifically connected to gladness of heart (Deuteronomy 28:47; 1 Kings 8:66; Esther 5:9).
· (For children): Name some things that make you glad. We feel gladness in our hearts when we do something good for others, and when we obey the rules set down by those in authority. How do you feel when you disobey?
· (For everyone): What kind of terms could be used to describe you: sorrowful or joyful? Do others find joy in spending time with you or do they become increasingly sorrowful as time continues?
· Would you say that you have gladness of heart? If not, why? What are the things or situations that hinder you from knowing the joy of the Lord?
· Ask God to show you the condition of your heart.
· Ask the Lord to help you experience lasting joy.
Song: The Windows of Heaven