Summary: God Statically placed Mordecia and Esther into positions of power for His People. How and where has God placed you to work for HIM---not yourself.
Esther For Such a Time as This
Esther 3-5 Nov 1 2020
Hello, I'm Pastor Greg of Calvary Reformed Church. We've been doing a whole series on the Book of Esther. Before we start let's have a word of prayer.
Father God, as we come to You, we give You thanks for this day. We give You thanks for the weather and for Your grace. We give you thanks for healing for all who are struggling, for those who have lost loved ones Lord, we ask a blessing on their lives. Those who are sick Lord, bless their lives. For the businesses who have been lost, the income lost…Lord we ask for a blessing on those people’s lives. Lord, the Book of Esther old teaches us
that You are ultimately in control and that we're called to walk in Your providence within our lives. We give You thanks for that oh Lord. In your name we pray, amen.
This is our third week studying the book of Esther. The book of Esther is an interesting one. It's from the Old Testament times and it involves the land of Persia and King Xerxes. Around 480’s BC to the 460’s BC King Xerxes throws a huge party - a half a year party. He wants his wife, Queen Vashti, to parade in front of all the people. She refuses and he gets rid of her. King Xerxes then goes and fights against the Greeks. He is soundly defeated. He comes home to Persia, a defeated king, but has no queen.
So, they have this Persian beauty contest or the King Xerxes bachelor contest. Esther ends up winning that contest and she becomes Queen of Persia. Amongst all of this, there is a story of God’s providence over it all. God is working.
Esther’s parents had died, and she was being raised by Mordecai, her cousin. Esther and Mordecai’s family had been deposed by Nebuchadnezzar from Jerusalem about a 110-120 years prior. Esther's life was not an easy one having lost her mom and dad and being raised by her cousin in a foreign land. Yet we're going to see the providence of God working in her life, working in Mordecai's life, working within the Jewish people's lives, and working in our lives.
We talked a little bit last week about Haman. Haman was one of the leaders who was raised up by King Xerxes in the land of Persia. It's interesting because Haman’s ancestry was of the Amalekite’s ancestry. The Amalekites and the Jews had been at odds ever since Esau and Jacob. They were the twins…Abraham had Isaac and Isaac had Esau and Jacob.
Esau had a son who became the founder of the Amalekite nation. Years later when the Jewish people were moving, the Hebrew people are going from the land of Egypt to the land of Israel. The Amalekites attack the Jewish people, and they kill the elderly and the young…the two sides of society we really need to protect. Because of that, God said they need to be gone. God told King Saul, who was the son of Kish, to get rid of the Amalekite people.
King Saul did not do it. That was around 100 BC.
Mordecai is a descendant of Kish. Haman is a descendant of the Amalekites and Haman hates the Jewish people. We pick up that story here and we're going to hear the story that Esther is really known for. If you have your Bibles, turn to Esther, Chapter 3: 6-9 as we read about racism, false accusations, and the best interest to the king. As we read through Esther 3 we learn that Haman wants to destroy Mordecai’s people, the Jews. In the 12th year of the king they cast the lot and Haman chose the time that they would get rid of the Jewish people.
He went to the king and said there's a certain people who do not follow your customs. They don't obey your laws and it's in the best interest not to tolerate them. If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them and I will give 10,000 talents of silver into your royal treasury. Today, that would be about 326 billion dollars – roughly two-thirds of the yearly budget for the Persian empire. So, in other words Haman was bribing the king with two-thirds of the Persian budget to get rid of the Jewish people.
If you've been following this story at all you know that King Xerxes is not a very strong king. He tends to follow the wisdom of his leaders. The problem is if we follow the people who say they are wise, but they don't use scripture as their foundation, their wisdom is empty and void. All the wisdom that Xerxes was given by his advisors, by Haman, all led to death and destruction. Racism, false accusations, best interest of the king. Best interest of just a certain few people, bribery…Does that happen today within our lives? Does that happen today within our society?