Summary: God has called YOU to the Kingdom of God for such a time as this. Why are YOU here? What is YOUR purpose?
THE STORY OF THE JOURNEY HOME #3: ESTHER – FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS
INTRO TO TOPIC:
As we continue through the story of the journey home, we come to the story of Esther!
THE SETTING: The Background to the Story
“Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus (this was the Ahasuerus who reigned over one hundred and twenty-seven provinces, from India to Ethiopia), in those days when King Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the citadel.” (Esther 1:1-2).
• The Persian King Ahasuerus is also known as Xerxes.
• In chapter one, we see this drunken king throwing a six-month long party (v.3-9).
• In the last week, he called for his wife Vashti to parade in front of the guests (v.10-11).
• Queen Vashti said no, and so the King divorced her (12-22).
• In chapter two, the King throws a “Miss Persia” beauty pageant to find a new wife (1-4).
“In Shushan the citadel there was a certain Jew whose name was Mordecai the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite. Kish had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captives who had been captured with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away. And Mordecai had brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle's daughter, for she had neither father nor mother. The young woman was lovely and beautiful. When her father and mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter.” (Esther 2:5-7).
• Mordecai was one of the Jews who were in exile in Persia.
• Esther was his cousin, an orphan he took care of, chosen to come before the king (8).
• Important note – Esther never let anyone know that she was a Jew (10).
A UNIQUE CHARACTERISTIC OF THE BOOK OF ESTHER: Does anyone know it?
• God isn’t mentioned anywhere in this entire book of the Bible.
• But even though God isn’t mentioned by name, His providence is seen throughout:
“The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.” (Esther 2:17).
• God gave Esther favour, and brought her into this royal position.
• There are a lot of sub-plots in Esther that we won’t get into. Read the book yourself!
1. ESTHER: THE HERO
• Esther is a picture of the believer in Christ:
• We are loved by the King (Jesus), and we have obtained grace and favour in His sight.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has BLESSED us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He CHOSE us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to ADOPTION as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us ACCEPTED in the Beloved.” (Eph. 1:3-6).
2. HAMAN: THE ENEMY:
• Every good story needs a crisis or challenge that needs to be overcome.
“After these things King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him and set his seat above all the princes who were with him. And all the king's servants who were within the king's gate bowed and paid homage to Haman, for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai would not bow or pay homage.” (Esther 3:1-2).
• Because of Mordecai’s faith in God, he wouldn’t bow down to Haman.
• Haman knew Mordecai was a Jew, and so he went to the king to get him to issue a decree to destroy all the Jews in Persia.
• If the king did this, both Mordecai and Esther and all the Jews would be wiped out.
• Haman is a picture of the devil in this story.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8).
• The devil wants to steal, kill and destroy in our lives.
• Throughout history the devil has wanted to wipe out the Jews and Christians.
• In the time of Moses, he moved Pharaoh to kill all of the male Jewish children.
• In the time of Jesus, he moved Herod to kill all of the male Jewish children.
• After the time of Jesus, he has moved many political leaders to kill Christians.
• Today, he has moved many political leaders to kill unborn children through abortion.