Esther 8:11 saying that the king allowed the Jews who were in every city to gather and defend their lives, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate any armed force of any people or province that might attack them, children and women included, and to plunder their goods,
The thirteenth day of the twelfth month (3:13) was basically a day with no involvement from the government. Now, the consequences would be severe depending upon who decided to fight on this day but, because of the two edicts, there would be no legal ramifications. This was going to be a very frightening day. After all, the removal of the authorities who keep the peace is never the right answer.
Up until this point, the Jews would have been legally held responsible for any attempt to defend either themselves or their families. Thus, it was a lose-lose situation for them because regardless of how they would respond, it would have cost them their lives. This is why Haman’s edict caused the Jews in every province to mourn, weep, fast, and lament (4:3).
However, now they had a fighting chance because Mordecai’s edict stated that they could do everything that would have been done to them, but only in defense. And the reason they were called to gather together was because people are always stronger in numbers. Mordecai knew that if they remained isolated in their own homes, then they would surely fall. So, yes, God rescued His people, but they still needed to act (cf. 2:12-13).
The world was on offense and the Jews were on defense. Thus, the application for us today is the reminder that we do not fight against other people. Nations make war with other nations, but Heaven makes war with Hell (Phil. 3:20; Eph. 6:12). So, when hard times come, when must remember who the real enemy is that is working behind the scenes.