“The king agreed, confirming his decision by removing his signet ring from his finger and giving it to Haman, son of Hammedatha the Agagite the enemy of the Jews.” Esther 3:10
Over the last several weeks I have been training to be a manager at Dollar General. It started simply enough, I was allowed to watch the other managers perform the managerial tasks. I got to peek into their world and see what it was that they were doing. Next they started punching their numbers into the computer and then stepping aside to let me do the returns and exchanges while they stood directly behind me to guide me through the process. Then they started handing me their numbers written on slips of paper so that I could put their numbers into the computer myself and begin performing the tasks on my own. But then came the day when the store manager came to me and handed me his register key. I placed it on the top of the register, not feeling quite worthy to actually put his key into my pocket. He had just handed me his numbers and his key, as far as the system knew every time I used those things in the computers I was him. It was a big day.
In today’s reading the king has handed Haman his signet ring. Much like my Store Manager handing me his numbers and key, the king was handing Haman the power to sign onto the computer as the king. Anything Haman did, said, or wrote down and then sealed with that signet ring was backed by the full power of the king – as if the king had done it himself. Today I want to gaze at the inscription on that ring a little more. I want to dig a little deeper into the meaning of the ring itself and what that means to us as Children of God.
There is another instance in the Old Testament of a signet ring being passed on to someone; we can find it in Genesis chapter forty-one. Joseph has been through a very long and difficult journey, from his childhood home, to slavery in an Egyptian officials home to being a prisoner in Pharaoh’s jail. Then one day Pharaoh has a troublesome dream and Joseph is the only one in the kingdom who is able to interpret it. Pharaoh is so grateful to him for his wisdom and assistance that he “said to Joseph, ‘Since God has revealed the meaning of the dreams to you, clearly no one else is as intelligent or wise as you are. You will be in charge of my court, and all my people will take orders from you. Only I, sitting on my throne will have a rank higher than yours.’ Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I hereby put you in charge of the entire land of Egypt.’ Then Pharaoh removed his signet ring from his hand and placed it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in fine linen clothing and hung a gold chain around his neck. Then he had Joseph ride in the chariot reserved for his second-in-command. And wherever Joseph went, the command was shouted, ‘Kneel down!’ So Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of all Egypt. And Pharaoh said to him, ‘I am Pharaoh, but no one will lift a hand or foot in the entire land of Egypt without your approval.'” (Genesis 41:37-44)
There is another story of a king bestowing absolute power upon a man of great worth,
“The the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him – but some of them doubted! Jesus came and told his disciples. ‘I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.'” (Matthew 28:16-20
Acts 7:55 says that “Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily into heaven and saw the glory of God, and he saw Jesus standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand.”
Luke in chapter four of his book, tells us about a small portion of the power of Jesus’ authority:
“Once when He was in the synagogue, a man possessed by a demon – an evil spirit – began shouting at Jesus. “Go away! Why are you interfering with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One sent from God!’
Jesus cut him short, ‘Be quiet! Come out of the man,’ He ordered. At that, the demon threw the man to the floor as the crowd watched; then it came out of him without hurting him further. Amazed, the people exclaimed, ‘What authority and power this man’s words possess! Even evil spirits obey Him, and they flee at His command!'” (verses 31-36)
The King’s authority is powerful indeed! In Luke chapter ten, Jesus chose seventy-two of His disciples and sent them ahead of Him in pairs to all the towns and places He planned to visit. He told them,
“‘Anyone who accepts your message is also accepting Me and anyone who rejects you is rejecting Me. And anyone who rejects me is rejecting God, who sent Me.’ When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to Him, ‘Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!’
‘Yes,’ He told them, ‘I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning! Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them .Nothing will injure you. But don’t rejoice because evil spirit obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.'”
There is another story of a signet ring in the New Testament, it can be found in Luke chapter fifteen. It’s the story of a son who completely humiliated his father by basically telling him that he wished his father was dead so that he could have his inheritance now rather than later. So this loving father divided his estate between his two sons and then watched his youngest son walk away from his home and his entire family. It broke the father’s heart. After much time had passed the son ran out of money and found himself starving, working on a pig farm, contemplating eating the pig’s food. He decided that even the servants in his father’s house were taken better care of than this! So he decided to humble himself before his father and return home in the hopes that perhaps his father would accept him back into his home as a servant. He had no hope of becoming his son again, he had rejected that right the day he asked for his inheritance early. As the son trudged down the road, head hung in utter shame, he heard the sound of rapidly approaching feet and looked up to see his father hurtling himself through the space between them. His SON had come home!!! As the son began his rehearsed speech asking for his father’s blessing to work in his home as a servant, the father cut him short, “Quick!” he said to the servants, “Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’
In that time, servants didn’t wear robes, they wore rags. They didn’t wear the finest sandals money could buy, they went bare footed about their chores. And they certainly didn’t wear a ring with the family symbol on it! My friend, each and every one of us is that son! We’ve all walked away from our Father at least once in our lives, if not over and over and over again. And yet each and every time we humble ourselves enough to pray, He hurtles Himself through space and time to embrace us with a longing that only He could possess for us. Through the blood of Jesus, YOU have been given all authority over the powers of darkness, YOU! You wear that signet ring of power on your finger because you are a member of the family, you’re a Child of the One True King!!!!! In Jesus’ name! Hallelujah!
* I apologize; I have not had time to edit this! Please forgive my typos or grammar mistakes if there are any!!!!!