Summary: Esther may not have been the great woman of God we have thought: This book is about the Grace of God, not the obedience of Mordecai and Esther.
ESTHER – A STUDY IN DISOBEDIENCE
For more than thirty years I read this book much the same as many others. Esther, the young Jewess, obedient to her kind hearted guardian, Mordecai, saves the Hebrew people when she bravely confronts the King and overturns the plans of the hated enemy, Haman. I have preached on it, and explained how Mordecai challenged his young ward with the words, “Who knows that you have come into the Kingdom for such a time as this?” All seemed well until one day I saw a simple question: “Why had Mordecai not returned to Jerusalem?” Suddenly it dawned on me.
With that one question came a whole series of other questions. The book of Esther needed to be looked at it the light of his disobedience. The man had not obeyed God in the first place so maybe there are other actions which needed to be looked at again. I trust that as you read, you will see that the book of Esther is not about the greatness and faith of Esther and Mordecai, but solely about the goodness, kindness and mercy of God.
When we look at the Book of Esther we think of how wonderful she must have been and what a great man of faith Mordecai was.
However, when it comes to the writer to the Hebrews we find no record of Mordecai’s greatness when it records stories of great men of faith in chapter 11. There is nothing about the Queen and her part in bringing deliverance to the Jews and the establishing of the Feast of Purim. We have to ask ourselves a question. Why?
Why is Daniel regarded as a hero who by his obedience became the Prime Minister whereas Mordecai is noted only by silence in the New Testament? Why is Solomon mentioned “in all his glory,” and yet the beauty of Esther never appears? The name of the Lord is never mentioned in the Book of Esther and the names of neither Mordecai nor Esther are found in the New Testament.
Now, the Name of the Lord may not be mentioned in this book, but the author was very clever. He wrote the book using an acrostic as his base. Hidden away from the ignorant but plain to see for all those who could read Hebrew was the Name of Yahweh. The author intended to say that whatever was going on in history there was the One, behind the scenes pulling some strings.
And so it is with us. Whatever we may face, the Lord will face it with us. Whatever we may be looking at in the physical we should open our spiritual eyes and see that the Lord is also working for us. The devil may have some plans for us, but the Lord has a greater plan. And even the wrath of man will praise Him. He will turn our captivity. The end will be so much better than the beginning.
Perhaps some of us have been guilty of misreading this book and thinking things are there when, in fact, they are not. It is amazing how this book which never mentions the Name of God, also has no mention of prayer, no reference to the covenants which God had made with His people and no references to anything overtly spiritual. We make assumptions about it because it is easy to do so. But are our assumptions anywhere close to the truth? My answer is: Probably NOT!
With just another short question we can say what the great difficulty with Esther and Mordecai is. Why were they still in Persia?
The Lord had recently given an instruction to His chosen people to return to the Land He had given to them. However, these thousands of Jews remained in Persia enjoying the life of a foreigner rather than helping with the reconstruction of Jerusalem and dwelling in the Promised Land. These two are the leaders of the rebellious, compromising Jews who could have been wiped out, but for the grace of God shining through. The Lord used these two people, Mordecai and Esther to manifest His astonishing grace to a wayward and disobedient people.
Esther should have returned to Israel and married some nice and honourable Jewish boy. Instead she is married to a pig of a man who has no qualms in treating his former wife like a common stripper. The man she has married is also a thug who will employ other thugs to do his monstrous business. He has no problem with signing the death warrants of thousands of people without a thought concerning their plight, let alone what such an action might do to the economy of his empire. He was a precursor to the Nazis and would have fitted in very ably with the likes of Hitler and Himmler.