Summary: Like the Great book with the well known phrase, the Tale of Two cities, here is a tale of Two men...leading us to ask---what type of man or woman are we?
Esther Tale of Two Men Esther 2 and 3 Oct 25th 2020
Hello, I'm Pastor Greg of Calvary Reformed Church and we are our continuing our series on the book of Esther.
This is the third teaching on the book of Esther. If you've watched the first two teachings, wonderful! You know where we are. If you haven't, I encourage you to go back and watch them. They're not very long.
Before we begin, I'd like to have a word of prayer. Lord God as we come to You, we give You thanks and praise for Your word. Lord I seek wisdom from You, to glorify You, and to engage and educate the people that are watching this video. Lord I ask this in Your name, Amen.
The Book of Esther is an Old Testament story written
about 24-2500 years ago. It's about the land of Persia, ruled by King Xerxes during 480-460’s. In chapter one we read that King Xerxes is planning to invade Greece. It takes 180 days to plan this invasion with his nobles, princesses, and military leaders. Then he has another seven-day festival, requiring his queen to parade around in front of everyone. She refuses.
King Xerxes’ wise men suggest that he depose the queen and he listens to them. He deposes the queen and then goes off to fight the wars. We know that he was defeated soundly by the Greeks and then he came home. The time span between chapter one and chapter two is about four years. After King Xerxes comes home, he is hurt and devastated from his loss and needs the comfort of his queen. He has all the comfort of the women in the harem, but he needs his queen. She is not there.
So, it is decided that there will be beauty pageant of sorts. We talked about this last week…the Persian Beauty Contest – or we can call it, ‘The Bachelor: Persia Edition’. If you remember, Esther, a young Jew was chosen by the king to become the new queen. This is where the story picks up in chapter two.
Today will be a short teaching on the ‘Tale of Two Men’. There are two men here with two very different characteristics. The question will be which one of these two men resembles your life?
If you have your Bibles, I invite you to open them up to Esther 2, Verse 19: ‘When the virgins were assembled a second time, Mordecai was sitting at the king's gate.’ It’s thought this is about three to four years after Queen Esther had become queen. She's been queen for some time and things have settled down in the country.
Her cousin, Mordecai, who raised her (because Esther's parents were dead). Esther did not have a very easy life.
She was raised by her cousin and is concerned about
her. When the virgins were assembled a second time about four years after Esther became queen, Mordecai was sitting in the king's gate.
Verse 20, chapter 2: ‘But Esther had kept secret her family background just as Mordecai had told her to do.’ If you read earlier in chapter 2, Mordecai suggests to his young cousin not to say she's a Jew because of the
Racism she would endure.
Verse 21, ‘During the time Mordecai was sitting at the king's gate, Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway became angry and conspired to assassinate King Xerxes. But in verse 22 we see Mordecai found out about this plot. He told Queen Esther, who in turn reported it to the king, giving credit to Mordecai.
At this point in time I don't know if you would say the king and queen were still in the honeymoon stage of marriage? They have been married for about four
years. Esther is not afraid to go in to talk to the king. She tells him what her cousin Mordecai told her about the two men and when the report is investigated and found to be true the two bodyguards are hanged at the gallows. All of this was recorded in the book of the annals in the presence of the king.
The tale of two men. Mordecai, as we learned earlier, is of the descendants of the line of Kish. Kish was the father
of King Saul. Mordecai, is in the line of the tribe of Benjamin (the tribe of Benjamin is typically seen in the Old Testament as the tribe that is the most ‘spiritually astute’. The tribe that tended to stay closer to Yahweh God). Mordecai can trace his lineage back to the father
of King Saul.
Mordecai has some characteristics which are valid
for you and me today. I will do these in alphabetical order, there's a lot of them so just go with me…