Summary: Though God is never mentioned in this book, his fingerprints are all over the story of the heroic Esther and Mordecai. Study along as we discuss the ins and outs of living for God in a godless culture.
LIVING FOR GOD IN A GODLESS CULTURE
SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION - ESTHER 5:1-14
Preached tag team style with Layperson Larry
INTRODUCTION (ERIK: 5 minutes)
-There is a new television show called “Preachers of L.A.” on Oxygen network
-Show depicts 6 Los Angeles Pastors at Mega Churches
-And it is everything I never wanted pastor’s reality show to be.
-These guys are wearing expensive suits, sporting lots of gold.
-They are driving Porsches, Ferraris, Bentleys
-They live in big hilltop mansions, with diva wives and entourages and fat bank accounts.
-One critic of the show said “if you watched this show on mute you’d think it was about rap stars not pastors.
-I watched one episode and there was something that really jumped out at me.
-These celebrity pastors want people to look at them, notice them, celebrate them.
-As Christian leaders their job is to promote Christ, but they’ve got caught up in the promotion of self.
-Using a TV show that could really bring attention to Jesus, but really seems to bring attention to them.
-Now a new lesser known show on cable access “Preachers of McMinnville”
-Have Larry Sanders with me this morning...custodian at our church.
-At Adventure we are committed to making disciples
-And we’re going to see that play out today as we continue our series in Esther
• Mordecai had offended Haman
• Mordecai wouldn’t show respect by bowing when Haman passed by
• Haman issued a death sentence for all Jews in Persia
• Overreacted big time!
-Last week we some major character development in our main characters.
-Esther and Mordecai and all the Jewish people have been fasting because she is going to approach the king...which means your putting your life on the line.
-If you approached the king with an invitation you could be put to death.
-Our story picks up with Esther about to make her risky entrance, and make her big request for all the Jewish people.
• Esther is preparing to ask the King for mercy.
VERSES 5:1-5 (Larry about 7 minutes)
5:1 On the third day of the fast, Esther put on her royal robes and entered the inner court of the palace, just across from the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne, facing the entrance
-It would be really easy to miss the significance here.
-Esther couldn’t do what some of you ladies like to do and march into the living room, where HUBBIE’S kicked back on the RECLINER ….. plant yourself between him and the T.V. and just wait until he says…WHAT???
-We need to remember a couple things:
-Esther hadn’t talked to her husband for over a month, AND
-Her husband considered himself, KING OF THE UNIVERSE and had a reputation as a REALLY BAD DUDE !!
SO HOW DID ESTHER DEAL WITH THIS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS AND OVERWHELMING SITUATION ??
-She fasted and prayed for three days and sought GOD...AND, she even encouraged other people to be doing the same things.
-Then it says she put on her ROYAL ROBES…... so she made herself presentable
-THEN she entered the inner court to wait for the king
-It’s important to note what she DIDN’T DO:
-She didn’t spend her time leading up to this simply wallowing in her own anxiety and depression
-She didn’t enter the courts looking all strung out and exhausted from 3 days of fasting
-And she didn’t break any of the normal palace protocol by bursting in and demanding an audience with the king, EVEN THOUGH, he was her own husband
-Esther didn’t attempt to draw undo attention to herself
-ESTHER FOLLOWED THE NORMAL RULES OF RESPECT AND DECORUM FOR HER DAY.
VS 2 When he saw Queen Esther standing there in the inner court, he welcomed her and held out the gold scepter to her. So Esther approached and touched the end of the scepter.
-Would love to see some of you guys try one of these XERXES MOVES, next time you wife is demanding your attention
-Just assume your best REGAL POSE, and slowly extend that universal remote out to your wife like a scepter
-Come back and let me know how that works out for ya
-ASSUMING THAT YOU CAN STILL TALK
-Seriously, it’s important to understand the significance of holding out the scepter
-Presenting yourself before the king without being summoned was risking the king’s wrath for irritating him
-And Xerxes had a reputation for EXECUTING people who irritated him.
-So when Xerxes held out the scepter to Esther, not only was he saying,”COME HERE HONEY, LET’S TALK ABOUT WHAT’S BOTHERING YOU.”
-But it was also a code to the palace guard
-Telling them that didn’t need to take you out and impale you on a stake
-So, when Esther finally saw Xerxes extend that scepter, you can only imagine what a relief it must have been