Summary: 1. God’s enemies will be utterly routed (vs. 1-16). 2. God’s people will be given rest (vs. 16-23). 3. God wants His people to remember (vs. 23-32).
For Such a Time as This
Part 9: The Victory Completed
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - July 22, 2012
*Tonight we finish God’s great story of Esther, the orphan girl, who grew up to be chosen as queen of the Persian Empire. Esther was also the secret Jew who rose to the occasion and risked her life when the Jews were threatened with slaughter.
*We have seen how the victory began. Last week we covered chapter 10, when we talked about Mordecai’s promotion. Now in chapter 9, we will see how the victory was completed. We can also see some spiritual lessons for God’s people today.
1. First, notice how God’s enemies are routed.
*The Bible begins to tell us about their defeat in vs. 1-5:
1. Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month of Adar, on the thirteenth day, the time came for the king's command and his decree to be executed. On the day that the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, the opposite occurred, in that the Jews themselves overpowered those who hated them.
2. The Jews gathered together in their cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus to lay hands on those who sought their harm. And no one could withstand them, because fear of them fell upon all people.
3. And all the officials of the provinces, the satraps, the governors, and all those doing the king's work, helped the Jews, because the fear of Mordecai fell upon them.
4. For Mordecai was great in the king's palace, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces; for this man Mordecai became increasingly prominent.
5. Thus the Jews defeated all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, with slaughter and destruction, and did what they pleased with those who hated them.
*Verses 6-16 go on to give us more details about the great victory for God’s people. And three times, God’s Word stresses that they did not take their enemies’ plunder when they won the victory. Verse 16 sums the situation up by saying: “The remainder of the Jews in the king's provinces gathered together and protected their lives, had rest from their enemies, and killed seventy-five thousand of their enemies; but they did not lay a hand on the plunder.
*The Jews won a great victory. But the bottom line is that the invisible Hand of God destroyed His enemies. God wins in the end! God gets the final victory! Eventually, all of God’s enemies will be routed.
*The Jews see some echoes of the Esther story in 20th Century events. For example, Esther 9:13 tells us that Haman’s ten sons were hanged. And in 1946, after the Nuremberg trials for war crime, ten of Hitler's top associates were put to death by hanging.
*Another echo of Purim was seen in the Soviet Union a few years later. In early 1953, Stalin was planning to deport most of the Jews in the Soviet Union to Siberia. But just before his plans were carried out, Stalin suffered a stroke and died a few days later. He suffered that stroke on the night of March 1, 1953, the night after the Purim holiday. (1)
*God gets the final victory! His enemies will all be utterly destroyed.
*We look around the world today, and we see all kinds of evil on the rise. If we are paying attention, it grieves our souls and wears us out. That’s not a sin. In 2 Peter 2:7, the Bible tells us that God “delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked.”
*So of course we should be grieved by the evil we see in the world. But at the same time, in Luke 21:28, Jesus said, “When these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
*We should lift up our heads, because the victory is sure! God is going to win. We see God’s final victory over Satan in Rev 20:7-10:
7. Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison
8. and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.
9. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.
10. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
*We all love what the Apostle Paul said about the Lord’s victory in Phil 2:8-11. It’s on the front of our Grayson Baptist T-shirts: