Summary: Lessons of Faith from the faithful


Suffering from Selfishness, or Favors from Faithfulness

Esther 5-10

God, quite often, makes any experience a learning experience.

The Book of Esther is full of such lessons.

God's name is not used, yet it is full of God.

In the original Hebrew, the author encoded the name for God in the style of writing.

He would insert phrases where the 1st letter of each word spelled out the name of God in all of His sovereignty.

It was clear to the believer but hidden to the infidel.

This was not unusual in cultures with state mandated religions.

As we will see, God is, and always will be, the central theme of Esther.

Here we have an orphaned Jewish girl rising to become a queen.

Next we have that queen and all other Jews in Persia slated for annihilation.

This queen must appeal to the king, but the law prohibited anyone, including the queen, from approaching the king unless invited.

Queen Esther said, as Samuel had said before: "Here am I send me!" Or, in her words, "If I perish, I perish!"

Cousin Mordecai had explained it; and warned her:

4:14 …If you keep quiet at this time, liberation and protection for the Jews will appear from another source, while you and your father’s household perish.

No one can thwart the will of God, but, Mordecai explained:

It may very well be that you have achieved royal status for such a time as this!”

With this in mind, let's move on into Chapter 5:

5:1 It so happened that on the third day Esther put on her royal attire and stood in the inner court of the palace, opposite the king’s quarters. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the palace, opposite the entrance.

2 When the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, she met with his approval. The king extended to Esther the gold scepter that was in his hand, and Esther approached and touched the end of the scepter.

God had prepared the way. Esther was welcomed into the throne room. She had the King's ear.

3 The king said to her, “What is on your mind, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even as much as half the kingdom will be given to you!”

It was not wealth that Esther wanted, but now she was free to make her requests known.

Lesson: Set the stage for maximum impact!

Why go straight to the point, when a scenic route reveals a much greater lesson.

She simply invited the King and Haman, his right-hand-man, to a luncheon.

Both were quick to accept.

At the luncheon, the King asked: "What is your request?"

Lesson: Mystery moves people!

Her request? She simply invited them both to a dinner… At that time I will do as the king wishes, she said.

By this time, Haman's inflated ego was about to explode.

He and the King shared a private lunch with the Queen.

Now, they were going to a dinner party too.

Haman gathered friends and family to share his importance with them, but Haman was filled with rage toward Mordecai…because Mordecai would not bow and honor him.

Lesson: When you focus only on yourself, life is always out of focus!

Haman was so thrilled with himself, he was on cloud nine!

All he could see was his own perceived importance.

13 Yet all of this fails to satisfy me so long as I have to see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate.”

Haman’s wife, Zeresh, and all of his fair-weather friends, suggested:

14…“Have a gallows seventy-five feet high built, and in the morning tell the king that Mordecai should be hanged on it. Then go with the king to the banquet contented.”

So Haman had the gallows built.

Meanwhile, back in the king's chambers, the king couldn't sleep.

There's nothing quite like reading the minutes of a business meeting to put you to sleep, so the king tried it.

6:2 …it was found written that Mordecai had disclosed that Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs who guarded the entrance, had plotted to assassinate King Ahasuerus.

The king asked how Mordecai had been honored for this?

He was surprised to find that nothing had been done.

4 …“Who is that in the courtyard?,” the king asked.

Wouldn't you know: It was Haman with gallows on his mind.

The king asks Haman,

6… “What should be done for the man whom the king wishes to honor?”

Thinking it was for himself, Haman eagerly suggested:

8 let them bring royal attire which the king himself has worn and a horse on which the king himself has ridden – one bearing the royal insignia! 9 Then let this clothing and this horse be given to one of the king’s noble officials. Let him then clothe the man whom the king wishes to honor, and let him lead him about through the plaza of the city on the horse, calling before him, ‘So shall it be done to the man whom the king wishes to honor!’”

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