Sermons

Wed, Oct 17, 2018

Esther

Don’t you just love the story of Esther? A study of the providence of God. Tapestry Providence is God's overarching intervention in the affairs of man. It’s His means of accomplishing His purposes with or without man's cooperation. The word “providence” is the combination of two words: “pro” means “before”, “video” means “to see”. God sees the end from the beginning, and He orchestrates circumstances to produced the outcome He desires. Providence means that the hand of God is in the glove of human events. The prevailing of His will in all situations is what we call providence. God controls the human drama. The definition of the word "History" is found in its spelling "His Story."
Series:Esther
Duration:1 hr 31 mins 36 secs

Esther 4-6

 

Don’t you just love the story of Esther? A study of the providence of God.

 

Tapestry

 

Providence is God's overarching intervention in the affairs of man. It’s His means of accomplishing His purposes with or without man's cooperation.

 

The word “providence” is the combination of two words: “pro” means “before”, “video” means “to see”. God sees the end from the beginning, and He orchestrates circumstances to produced the outcome He desires. Providence means that the hand of God is in the glove of human events. The prevailing of His will in all situations is what we call providence. God controls the human drama. The definition of the word "History" is found in its spelling "His Story."

 

God is the director of human history, He sets the stage and gives the cues. He is the director on the set. And when all is done, He alone deserves the curtain calls, and all the applause and admiration of all creation.

 

God is not only the creator of the universe, He is its supervisor too. God didn't set the world in motion, like a spinning top, then walk away to wait until it runs down. God is not an ambivalent Creator, but active in His world.

 

Jesus said in John 5:17, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.” All three members of the Godhead are overseeing affairs on earth to insure that the outcome will be in harmony with God’s plan.

 

Gods plan has always included Israel. Though disciplined because of their disobedience, after their 70 years in exile King Cyrus decreed the Jews were free to return to their homeland. Out of an estimated 2 million only about 60,000 Jews returned to Jerusalem.

 

Why didn’t the Jews return to the land of promise? Had they become too comfortable where they were? Were they lethargic in their faith? Maybe it was a combination of both. The good news remains!

 

Even so, God didn’t forsake them. Isaiah 49:15-16  15 "Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you. 16  See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me.” You may think I have forgotten about you,” the Lord says, “but that’s impossible. Can a nursing mother forget she has a baby? And even if that were possible, I will never forget you because your names are engraved on My own hands.”

 

One of the overarching themes, one of the real reasons for the Book of Esther is to let you know that if you’re His child, God will never forget you. Your name is written in the palm of His hand.



Esther 4:1-17 (NKJV)

1  When Mordecai learned all that had happened, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city. He cried out with a loud and bitter cry.

2  He went as far as the front of the king's gate, for no one might enter the king's gate clothed with sackcloth.

3  And in every province where the king's command and decree arrived, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes.

 

Mordecai knew that he was the main object of Haman's hatred. The fate awaiting his nation had been unwittingly prompted by him.

 

I appreciate what Jon Courson writes, “Understandably there is mourning and weeping, wailing and fasting concerning the decree to annihilate the Jews. But there’s no mention of any praying. This is what happens when we’re not where we should be, when we’re in a backslidden condition. The price of not praying when I’m able to pray is not being able to pray when I need to pray. It’s not that the Lord turns His back on me. It’s just that I’m out of shape spiritually.”



4  So Esther's maids and eunuchs came and told her, and the queen was deeply distressed. Then she sent garments to clothe Mordecai and take his sackcloth away from him, but he would not accept them.

 

Esther was fearful for her cousin because to wear sackcloth in the kings presence could cost you your life.

 

Mordecai was not interested in a cover-up. He needed a cure.



5  Then Esther called Hathach, one of the king's eunuchs whom he had appointed to attend her, and she gave him a command concerning Mordecai, to learn what and why this was.

6  So Hathach went out to Mordecai in the city square that was in front of the king's gate.

7  And Mordecai told him all that had happened to him, and the sum of money that Haman had promised to pay into the king's treasuries to destroy the Jews.

8  He also gave him a copy of the written decree for their destruction, which was given at Shushan, that he might show it to Esther and explain it to her, and that he might command her to go in to the king to make supplication to him and plead before him for her people.

9  So Hathach returned and told Esther the words of Mordecai.

10  Then Esther spoke to Hathach, and gave him a command for Mordecai:

11  "All the king's servants and the people of the king's provinces know that any man or woman who goes into the inner court to the king, who has not been called, he has but one law: put all to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter, that he may live. Yet I myself have not been called to go in to the king these thirty days."

 

Looking back Queen Vashti lost her crown in seeking to save her honor. Esther, in seeking to save her people, she risked losing her life because the law of the land stated that whoever approached the king without an invitation risked being put to death.

 

Aren’t you glad that our King welcomes us into His court at any time. “Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy-laden,” Jesus says to us in (Matthew 11:28). Therefore, we can “come boldly unto His throne of grace” anytime we have a need (Hebrews 4:16). Thank you Jesus!



12  So they told Mordecai Esther's words.

13  And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: "Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king's palace any more than all the other Jews.

 

Mordecai replied to Esther, “If the Jews are destroyed, you will be, too,” What was true for the Jews is also true for me and you. As the body of Christ, we are all linked together. Sadly, we often times only associate with those who are doing well. In reality, we ought to care equally about the person who is not doing well because even the weakest among us affects the rest of us

 

1 Corinthians 12:22-25 teaches us, 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.”



 

14  For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"

 

In other words, providence has a point! God positions us for a purpose.

 

Like Esther, God has placed you where you’re at “for such a time as this...” Someone needs to be loved - a stand needs to be taken - an example needs to be set - and God has providentially positioned you to be the answer to the need. God has set you up to shine His light, His love, His truth. How do you need to fulfill the point of providence?

 

Nothing is accidental in the life of the child of God. Even if your present situation seems difficult and almost too much to bear, the Lord has you right where He wants you to be. Know this, God has you right where you are “for such a time as this,” for the sake of the kingdom. Sometimes we forget that our lives exist for the kingdom of God.



15  Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai:

16  "Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!"

 

Fasting:

 

Jesus said in Matthew 16:24, “Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”

 

In 1 Corinthians 15:31 the apostle Paul said, “I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.”

 

Matthew 10:39 “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.”



17  So Mordecai went his way and did according to all that Esther commanded him.

 

There was an incident the other night in the dodger playoff game where the dodgers lost and one of the players on the team made a comment that the fans had no energy that night which he felt contributed to the teams loss. Many people objected but he made a great point. Teams win and lose as a team. The fans for all purposes are part of the team and have a role in the success of the team and as well must take responsibility when the team loses.



 

 

Esther 5:1-14 (NKJV)

1  Now it happened on the third day that Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king's palace, across from the king's house, while the king sat on his royal throne in the royal house, facing the entrance of the house.

2  So it was, when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, that she found favor in his sight, and the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther went near and touched the top of the scepter.

3  And the king said to her, "What do you wish, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given to you--up to half the kingdom!"

 

Proverbs 21:1, “The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.”

 

Gods providence at work once again behind the scenes!

 

Jesus holds out His scepter of grace to any unbeliever who comes to Him in repentance and faith. John 6:37, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.”

 

For the believer the golden scepter is always extended, Hebrews 10:22, “let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”



4  So Esther answered, "If it pleases the king, let the king and Haman come today to the banquet that I have prepared for him."

5  Then the king said, "Bring Haman quickly, that he may do as Esther has said." So the king and Haman went to the banquet that Esther had prepared.

6  At the banquet of wine the king said to Esther, "What is your petition? It shall be granted you. What is your request, up to half the kingdom? It shall be done!"

7  Then Esther answered and said, "My petition and request is this:

8  If I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, then let the king and Haman come to the banquet which I will prepare for them, and tomorrow I will do as the king has said."

 

God’s timing is perfect. Love is patient. Especially when you are excited about what you hope to take place… “buying a new used car”… Jim Rogers… “I never buy anything on the spur of the moment. I always wait to give myself time to think about it.”

 

In Acts 3 we read the story of the lame man begging for alms. When Peter and John saw the man that had been lame since birth, they no doubt had walked past him dozens if not hundreds of times previously. But that day something was different. God lead them to stop… They had received the power of the Spirit, and also must have sensed it was the time to say, “In the name of Jesus Christ, rise up and walk”



9  So Haman went out that day joyful and with a glad heart; but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king's gate, and that he did not stand or tremble before him, he was filled with indignation against Mordecai.

 

You would think Haman would be happy just coming from the presence of both the King and queen and yet he’s bugged by not being recognized by Mordecai.

 

10  Nevertheless Haman restrained himself and went home, and he sent and called for his friends and his wife Zeresh.

11  Then Haman told them of his great riches, the multitude of his children, everything in which the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the officials and servants of the king.

12  Moreover Haman said, "Besides, Queen Esther invited no one but me to come in with the king to the banquet that she prepared; and tomorrow I am again invited by her, along with the king.

13  Yet all this avails me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate."

 

Haman can’t enjoy life because one person won’t bow down to him. So sad…

 

Romans 12:3

3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.



14  Then his wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, "Let a gallows be made, fifty cubits high, and in the morning suggest to the king that Mordecai be hanged on it; then go merrily with the king to the banquet." And the thing pleased Haman; so he had the gallows made.

 

“Build a gallows tall enough so all the world can see it and to make a public spectacle of Mordecai,” Haman’s wife and friends exhorted him. And Haman foolishly listenes, to his own demise.

 

Galatians 6:7-8  

“7  Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.

8  For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”

 

Esther 6:1-14 (NKJV)

 

1  That night the king could not sleep. So one was commanded to bring the book of the records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king.

 

Nothing like reading the minutes of a city council meeting to help a guy get to sleep.

 

2  And it was found written that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's eunuchs, the doorkeepers who had sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus.

 

As Xerxes reads that Mordecai actually saved his life, it becomes clear to us why Esther didn’t sense permission to make her request before this.

 

Remember back to chapter 2 when Mordecai learned of the plot against the king and he reported it immediately to Esther who informed the king in Mordecai’s name. And when an inquiry was made into the matter, it was confirmed, and both were hanged on a gallows. And you recall, “And it was written in the book of the Chronicles in the presence of the king.” The Persians kept records of absolutely everything. That’s why we know so much about their history. And the king’s chroniclers recorded what had happened—the plot—that it had been overheard by Mordecai, that Mordecai had informed Esther, and Esther had informed the king, and the king’s life had been spared, and the two conspirators were hanged. Mordecai’s actions were then written down in the royal record.

 

The question most ask is why did they do that? Because those kinds of things needed to be rewarded and kings knew that. Loyalty needed to be rewarded as much as disloyalty needed to be punished. And at a future day, there would come a time when this man would be rewarded for saving the life of the king. Like all ancient monarchs, Ahasuerus was careful to honor and reward those who demonstrated loyalty to him. That’s how he secured that kind of loyalty. And in order to be able to do that and do it well, they kept a record of acts of valor and special service rendered to the monarch.

 

This is a great reminder again of the providential care of God in our lives. God remembers our labors of love and He rewards us at the best time for us and His glory! Galatians 6:9, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

 

3  Then the king said, "What honor or dignity has been bestowed on Mordecai for this?" And the king's servants who attended him said, "Nothing has been done for him."

4  So the king said, "Who is in the court?" Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the king's palace to suggest that the king hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him.

5  The king's servants said to him, "Haman is there, standing in the court." And the king said, "Let him come in."

 

Before Haman could bring his request to hang Mordecai to the king, the king had something he wanted to talk to him about.

 

6  So Haman came in, and the king asked him, "What shall be done for the man whom the king delights to honor?" Now Haman thought in his heart, "Whom would the king delight to honor more than me?"

 

Haman is a very proud man… May we not forget that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.

 

Remember what we read in Romans 12:3, “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.”



7  And Haman answered the king, "For the man whom the king delights to honor,

8  let a royal robe be brought which the king has worn, and a horse on which the king has ridden, which has a royal crest placed on its head.

9  Then let this robe and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king's most noble princes, that he may array the man whom the king delights to honor. Then parade him on horseback through the city square, and proclaim before him: 'Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!' "

 

Haman must be thinking, “This is awesome!” “Tomorrow, I’ll be riding the king’s horse, wearing the king’s crown and his royal robes, and all the people will know how wonderful I am!”

 

10  Then the king said to Haman, "Hurry, take the robe and the horse, as you have suggested, and do so for Mordecai the Jew who sits within the king's gate! Leave nothing undone of all that you have spoken."

 

I’d pay $100 to see the video replay of this in heaven. Can you imagine the expression on Haman’s face.

 

11  So Haman took the robe and the horse, arrayed Mordecai and led him on horseback through the city square, and proclaimed before him, "Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!"

12  Afterward Mordecai went back to the king's gate. But Haman hurried to his house, mourning and with his head covered.

 

It’s at this moment that Haman knows the end is near.

 

13  When Haman told his wife Zeresh and all his friends everything that had happened to him, his wise men and his wife Zeresh said to him, "If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of Jewish descent, you will not prevail against him but will surely fall before him."

14  While they were still talking with him, the king's eunuchs came, and hastened to bring Haman to the banquet which Esther had prepared.

 

You recall how earlier Haman’s wife and friends encouraged him to build the gallows really big? Now they realize its he who is going to meet his fate there… which is why we should always keep this in mind.

 

Never take advice from someone who doesn’t have to live with the consequences.

 

Powered by: Preachitsuite