Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: We must understand that Christ paid the ultimate price for our freedom from sin and the clutches of Satan. The price of our freedom from sin was paid in blood. How do we respond to that sacrifice will ultimately determine our eternity too!

Opening illustration: When I talked to some young men shortly before D-day during Gulf War II, I observed that they were scared. None of them wanted to die. However, the vast majority expressed their conviction that the cause for which they were fighting was right and worthy of the risk.

Queen Esther had similar feelings. She didn’t want to die. She called for a 3-day fast to acknowledge her need for God’s special help. According to Persian custom, if she went uninvited to the king and he was displeased, he could order her execution even though she was his wife. Yet Esther loved her people enough to take that risk.

Today in the United States, we honor the men and women who died in the service of their country. Their sense of patriotism compelled them to put their lives on the line. Whether they had volunteered or had been drafted, they joined in the defense of their homeland. Sometimes they traveled to faraway places to support other countries in a fight for freedom. They risked their all and died.

Just as we are indebted to those who died to make freedom possible, so we ought to thank God for His Son who died to set us free from the bondage of sin. On this day we have much to be thankful for.

This morning we are going to look at Esther 4 from God’s Word and glean from it what God wants to teach all of us about the price that is paid for our freedom.

Introduction: In this book, what is not said is vitally important. Sadly, many who read and study Esther (including Bible scholars who write commentaries on the book) “fill in the blanks,” rather than leaving them blank and learning from the silence of the author. As we begin our study of chapter 4, I want to ask you to make a commitment: commit yourself to accept the text just as it is. When the author specifically mentions certain things, take note of them. And when the author omits certain crucial elements, do not think he really meant us to assume them; rather, the author expects us to note their absence. In so doing, you will read the text as it is and learn from what is not said as well as from what is.

“Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4: 14

WHAT grand faith was here! Mordecai was in God’s secrets, and was assured that deliverance and enlargement would come to his people from some quarter - if not from Esther, then from some other; but he was extremely anxious that she should not miss the honor of being her people’s emancipator. Therefore he suggested that she had come to her high position for this very purpose.

Well none of us know, at the first, God’s reasons for bringing us into positions of honor and trust. Why was that young girl suddenly made mistress over that household? Why is that youth taken from the ranks of the working - people, and placed over that great City church? Why is that man put forward in his business, so that he is the head of the firm in which he served as an office‑boy? All these are parts of the Divine plan. God has brought them to the Kingdom that He may work out through them some great purpose of salvation. They have the option, however, to serve it or not. They may use their position for themselves, for their own emolument and enjoyment, that they may surround themselves with strong fortifications against misfortune; but in that case they court destruction. Their position and wealth may vanish as suddenly as it came; or ill‑health and disaster may incapacitate them.

If, on the other hand, all is used for God, though at the risk of perishing - for it seemed to Esther as though the action to which Mordecai urged her meant that - the issue is blessed. Those that love their lives lose them; those that are prepared to forfeit them keep them. The wheat grain which is buried in the soil bears much fruit.

What is the price of freedom?

1. Putting your life on the line for others & Christ (vs. 10 – 12)

The Persian kings surrounded themselves with an almost impassable circle of forms. The law alluded to was first enacted by Deioces, king of Media, and afterwards, when the empires were united, adopted by the Persians, that all business should be transacted and petitions transmitted to the king through his ministers. Although the restriction was not intended, of course, to apply to the queen, yet from the strict and inflexible character of the Persian laws and the extreme desire to exalt the majesty of the sovereign, even his favorite wife had not the privilege of entree, except by special favor and indulgence. Esther was suffering from the severity of this law; and as, from not being admitted for a whole month to the king’s presence, she had reason to fear that the royal affections had become alienated from her; she had little hope of serving her country’s cause in this awful emergency.

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