The Book of Esther
Specials Within the Book of Esther
Jim Meyers, a missionary from the Ukraine
4th of July Special
Introduction to the Book of Esther
11/9/2003 Berachah Church Lesson #1
Bobby has studied WW1 and has concluded that it is one of the worst wars in history.
The book of Esther represents the first world wide movement of hatred against the Jews. The Jews are still God’s people, even though they are no longer a client nation to God. The Jews no longer lived in the Land of Promise, this 26 centuries before. This book has a lot to say about the grace which is extended toward us and toward the Jews. We should find this book to be poignant, relevant.
Took place 465 b.c. in Perian, the ancient name for what is today Iran (Persia would have been a part of Iran). The Middle East links Europe, Asian and Africa. Israel sits smack dab in the middle of this. Xeres is the king who Esther married.
At the time of Persian’s zenith, it was the largest empire to that time. It included portions of Greece, etc. There were no boundaries and it was not until the end of the Turkish empire in 1919 (the Ottoman empire) which ended this empire and it was carved up like you see them today. Iran has only been that name since 1935. Comes from Aryan, which originally meant noble. Hitler infected this word with racist notions. Hitler’s use of the term ruined it. It originally referred to a language. The Aryan nation is no more Aryan than the Germans.
Modern-day Iranians are not racially Arabs, they don’t speak Arabic, even though they use an Arabic script. Phasian or Aryan is the actual language. It is not related to Arabic at all. It is closer to Greek, Latin or English.
A later form of Aramaic is what our Lord spoke in his incarnation (probably). Esther was written in Aramaic and it is very close to ancient Hebrew. This indicates the influence that the Jews had on surrounding nations.
Cyrus was the first king. Artexerxes Logimones was the last one.
Chaldean (or Babylonian empire) preceded the Persian empire. Daniel resided in the the Chaldean empire. Nabolpollasar was the first leader of Chaldea. Nebuchadnezzar was his son. Nebuchadnezzar pursued the Egyptians, but he passed by the beautiful city of Jerusalem. Nabo. died, so Neb decided that he liked this city. He took various groups of people back to Chaldea. Zedekiah was an apostate king and the Jews revolted, and in 586 b.c., he leveled Jerusalem and took back all the jews who were not killed. He put Zedekiah’s eyes out after seeing all of his sons killed.
In Dan. 5 we have the fall of the Chaldean empire in 539 b.c. God used Chaldea to discipline Israel, but you cannot persecute the Jews without problems from God.
Cyrus, one year after he began his reign, he decreed that the Jews could return to Israel and rebuild the Temple. Zerubbabel took 50,000 Jews back to the land. It was Cyrus influenced by Daniel who decreed that it could happen. Ezra 1:1–2 is a perfect example of Jesus Christ controlling history. God’s sovereignty does not abrogate man’s free will. both co-exist in human history. Cyrus sent a portion of the Jews to the land.
Kambises was not friendly to the Jews. He was not related to Cyrus and he was the next Persian king. He did not want the Jews to rebel against him. Same anti-semitism.
Darius the Great, in the line of Cyrus, 522 b.c., he became the great king. He reconfirmed that decree of Cyrus. Ezra 5–6, and 516 b.c. marks the end of the Jews being outside the land.
Xerxes is the next king and he was Esther’s husband. Everyone in this book of Esther, at one time or another, looks bad.
Esther #2 Introduction Continued November 16, 2003
Esther is a narrative of God in his care of the Jews during the dispensation of Israel. Anti-Semitism and terrorism against Jews is represented here. This sort of movement has ben faced by Israel since their inception. Abraham was promised a land, a people or a nation; and a protection covenant: “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.” If Satan can destroy the Jew, then he has proven God wrong.
Christ controls history for His own victory in the angelic conflict. Esther is a much a part of history as David, Daniel, etc.
Geography of the Persian empire. He Persian empire, which was at its zenith, was the largest empire of its kind up until that time. It extended to Africa (actually, Egypt), parts of Europe, and much of the Arab region. Susa is the city in which our story takes place.
Kingly chronology is available in the library. Persian empire intimately related to Greece at this time; they were enemies. Heroditus. History of Chaldean empire began by Nabopolaser and was followed by his son Nebuchadnezzar. Genius as a solider, a leader, as an architect. Nebu. saw a city on the hilll and decided to take it (Jerusalem). In 586 b.c. he leveled the city. This began the Babylonia captivity. Esther was a descendant of those who were marched to Babylon in 586 b.c. Persia had been an empire which was consolidated by Cyrus, who destroyed the Chaldean empire in 539 b.c. (Daniel 5).
538 b.c., Cyrus decreed that the Jews could return to Jerusalem, 50 years after its fall and destruction (Ezra 1–3). Zerubabel was a leader of Israel. Cyrus was a pragmatist. He had a large empire with a great army, but was not certain as to how he could hold onto this empire. He put some groups of people out and set them up to act as buffer states so that he would not have to continually defend his boarders.
Cyrus also didn’t mind getting the favor of the Jewish God in all of this (he was not necessarily a believer, but recognized that maybe such a god had power). 50,000 Jews sent ack to the land, which was a fairly small percentage.
530 Cyrus died and Cambises took over (and he was not friendly to the Jews and he was not as intelligent as Cyrus). Cambises was fed lies about these Jews that they were building walls instead of the Temple.
Darius I in 522 b.c. (After 8 years of disaster of Cambies). Darius reviewed the decrees of Cyrus, recognized their validity and even subsidized the Jewish building of the temple.
Hersu Iros, in the line of Cyrus, who is the king during the time of Esther. Xerxes (is this the same person?). Decided to go to Greece and invade. He defeated them. While his navy in 479 b.c. were crusing off shore, that they were decisively deeated. Over 100,000 Persians killed or wounded and this one of the decisive battles of history. The entire destiny of the world was affect and changed. Greek culture became dominant.
1400 a.d. was a time of great apostasy for the church; 2 popes, one in France and one in Rome, and they were constantly at war. All of this led to the Reformation. Christianity refocused on the Bible. 1588 a.d. the Spanish Armada decided to destroy the English. The English destroyed the Armada, and this was because England was to be a client nation to God.
In following these events, it is clear that God had a purpose.
This defeat of Xerxes by the Greeks had a great impact on Esther’s story. After his defeat, Xerxes “attended to his harem.” He decided no more wars of conquest and decided that he would enjoy the high life, which is where we will find him at the beginning of the book of Esther.
Artexerxes is the son of two main characters of the book of Esther; of the queen and of Xerxes. Persia prospered.
445 b.c. Nehemiah returned to the land. He was a warrior and he oversaw the building of the walls.
From 586 b.c. for another 70 years, the Jews were under discipline. However, God never forgot His promises to Israel, and God would keep His promises to His people. Many remained in Persian, as they had been born their, and they grew up there and they prospered there. This is Esther and Mordeca. God fulfills His protection clause in this book.
Esther became queen just in time to foil Haman’s plot. Mordecai’s attention was called to a previous plot, just in time for the king to honor him, which he failed to do.
Later, the kind experienced insomnia, and he had the court records read to him to help him to fall asleep. He discovers that he never rewarded Mordicai. Xerxes was self-centered and did not recall some of his promises. However, he comes across this just in time to foil the plot of ὴαμan.
Jews instituted the Feast of Purim, which is a large part of the later part of the book of Esther.
The plan of God will be accomplished for us despite all seeming opposition.
Esther is not an easy book; it is thought to be just a myth, because it comes out so perfectly. So don’t even want it in the Bible. It is the only book which never mentions the name of God or any designation of Him.
Esther #3 Introduction to the Book of Esther November 23, 2003
Berachah is known for the application of doctrine.
The gaps in the narrative. It is written elliptically. The history of Esther is accurate, based upon the divine inspiration. There are times when the Bible is in opposition to secular history. Their view is that the Bible is not the Word of God. Therefore, secular scholars challenge the book of Esther. Many see this as mythological or as an allegory. We interpret the Word of God in a literal sense. God is not hiding a deeper meaning behind the text; nor is this a novel. There are many historical accuracies which have been proven and no facts ofEsther are proven wrong.
7th year of reign was the same year that Esther was taken as his queen (Esther 2:16). This was the time that he called it quits as a ruler?
In the center of this empire was Exatana (the summer palace). Susa is the winter palace city, which is where the book of Esther took place. The king took Esther as his queen. The narrative of Esther has been traced to the most minute detail. Much about Xerxes in exra-Biblical accounts. We have an historical account which is close to this time frame.
There is evidence that this book was written inthe heart of Persia and it appears as though the author was closely associated with the people of this narrative. Most scholars believe that it was written by Mordecai, although we do not know that for certain.
Critics are concerned that Esther is not mentioned by Xerxes; the wife he mentions is a cruel woman and does not fit with Esther’s character. Malechah (הָחל-מ). MLKH would be how this was written in the original Hebrew. The Hebrews could look at their words in context and they would be able to figure out what they are. Malechah means queen, but it had a different connotation than ours of a queen. This would refer to a principal wife in a harem.
Scholars disputed the existence of Belshazzar. Heroditus omitted Belshazzar’s name from any of his accounts, which is an argument from silence. Later discoveries show that Belshazzar was a real king.
Mordecai’s existence was questioned. However, a Marduk aia was discovered, and this is the Persian spelling of Mordecai. Esther never mentions that she is a Jewess and throughout uses her Persian name, instead of Hadassah, her Hebrew name.
There are many more problems and many more solutions. Esther is a part of the Word of God and is therefore reliable.
Cannonicity has been questioned. The name of God never occurs in this book. This is the only book which lacks the name of God. The providence of God is attested to over and over again. God’s name remained hidden just as His actions are often hidden from the affairs of man.
There are things which Mordecai and Esther do which are not commendable. Another reason for God’s silence. God continues to preserve the Jews despite their unfaithfulness and despite all kinds of persecution against them.
The cannonicity of this book is challenged on moral grounds. Esther and Mordecai act immorally. Esther hid her faith, had sex outside of marriage, she married a Gentile, and she and Mordecai ordered the slaughter of many of their enemies. The actions of believers in Scripture are not always in keeping with God’s will. Many examples are given. Rahab, David, Samson, etc.
Esther and Mordecai were used by God in a very special way. They are often interpreted as marvelous and nice people who never got out of line. However, this is not accurate. God used them despite their failures.
Critics cite the lack of religious devoutness; there is a very secular setting for this book. However, this book has a different purpose than other books of the same era (Ezra, Nehemiah).
The Jews valued the book of Esther for its unabashed support of the Jews in captivity. This book was a reminder of God’s continued care. A book read for the celebration of freedom.
No mention of prayer in this book. Esther does mention fasting, which was related to prayer. It represented mourning, sorrow or petition to God. Her fasting implies prayer.
The critics are straining to find problems with this book. This book was read during the Feast of Purim.
This book is divided in half. Chapters 1–5 danger of the Jews extermination. 6–12 deliverance. Esther 1: dethroning of Queen Vashti. Esther 2: choosing of Esther as queen. Esther 3–5 plot of Haman. Esther 6:Mordecai. Esther 7: public hanging of Haman. Esther 8–9: Esther 10:
We study this book because it has direct bearing upon us. Throughout all of our problems and successes, God always is taking care of us.
Esther 1:1 Esther #4 November 30, 2003
He asks, “How will you get the most out of this book?” This is not a treatise on doctrine. It is a narrative. Bobby’s golfing buddies suggest for him to give golfing tips if he runs out of things to talk about. In studying Esther, we will need to focus on certain things. God’s unlimited power, His sovereignty, His grace, and His provision for His people. The God of Israel is also our God.
1. The Lord’s care of the Jews and his faithfulness to them.
2. The promise of the Abrahamic covenant; specifically the anti-Semitism clause. I will curse those who curst you and bless those who bless you.
3. Jesus Christ controls history. We will in fact see His power, sovereignty and grace.
4. We must be able to apply from Esther’s time to our own time with respect to your own life, time and circumstances.
Bobby does not know what we are like, and therefore, we will have to make some of this application himself. Apparently, the audio behind the glass fell out here. You know you are teaching right when everything goes wrong.
We need to see the big picture before getting into the narrative. Est 1:1 And it cometh to pass, in the days of Ahasuerus--he is Ahasuerus who is reigning from Hodu even unto Cush, seven and twenty and a hundred provinces--
The Indus River borders Pakistan in the east. This area had been conquered and consolidated by Darius the Great. On the West, we have Ethiopia (or Cush) is the upper Nile Region. Xerxes = Ahasuerus. He decided to conquer Greece, so as to follow in the footsteps of previous Persians. He was soundly defeated. This entire area of the Persian empire contained 127 Provinces. Heroditus speaks of the organization of the empire into 20 satripies (which are like states). These numbers don’t match. 127 provinces and 20 satripies. The Hebrew word for provinces is Medina (ה-נ̣ד∵מ) [pronounced meh-dee-nah], or .מדינה (med-ee-naw'î) From H1777; properly a judgeship, that is, jurisdiction; by implication a district (as ruled by a judge); generally a region: - ( X every) province. Strong’s #4082.
We have an election coming up, and we might become discouraged with the bombastic egos and lies. We do not need to fear the evil of men in high places. God vindicates those leaders who follow divine establishment principles. God’s plan took into account all that would happen; He knew all of our politcal things. Our focus should be upon Jesus Christ, Who controls history. We do not need to worry about politics.
Est 1:2 in those days, at the sitting of the king Ahasuerus on the throne of his kingdom, that is in Shushan the palace,
He sat is the Hebrew word H3427 ישÑב yaˆ?shab yaw-shab'
A primitive root; properly to sit down (specifically as judge, in ambush, in quiet); by implication to dwell, to remain; causatively to settle, to marry: - (make to) abide (-ing), continue, (cause to, make to) dwell (-ing), ease self, endure, establish, X fail, habitation, haunt, (make to) inhabit (-ant), make to keep [house], lurking, X marry (-ing), (bring again to) place, remain, return, seat, set (-tle), (down-) sit (-down, still, -ting down, -ting [place] -uate), take, tarry. This means to simply occupy the throne as king in this context.
Ancient warfar often starved people out. The king was in Shushan, the northern (?) Palace. Daniel was here for his visions.
Est 1:3 in the third year of his reign, he hath made a banquet to all his heads and his servants; of the force of Persia and Media, the chiefs and heads of the provinces are before him,
A lavish 6 month party with 1000's of his closest friends in attendance with him. Kings often showed their prowress by the size of their parties. 483 b.c. was the time that he was making plans for his conquests.
You may wonder, who is running the empire. Probably the leaders were rotating in and out.
Est 1:4 in his shewing the wealth of the honour of his kingdom, and the glory of the beauty of his greatness, many days--eighty and a hundred days.
A 6 month party.
Est 1:5 And at the fulness of these days hath the king made to all the people who are found in Shushan the palace, from great even unto small, a banquet, seven days, in the court of the garden of the house of the king--
He parties for 6 months and then has another 7 day party. The Septuagint is helpful in heping us to know the meaning of the Hebrew. This second party was a drinking party (from whence we get the word potted—so Bobby jokes). This was a party for nobles and commoners and there were only men—no women. It was held in the court, the garden of the king’s citadel. This is where the people would come during times of seige.
Est 1:6 white linen, white cotton, and blue, fastened with cords of fine linen and purple on rings of silver, and pillars of marble, couches of gold, and of silver, on a pavement of smaragdus, and white marble, and mother-of-pearl, and black marble--
Blue was the royal color of the Persian kingdom, which might be the word rendered blue.
Est 1:7 and the giving of drink in vessels of gold, and the vessels are divers vessels, and the royal wine is abundant, as a memorial of the king.
Drinks were served in a variety of different containers. Biblical account and the archeological accounts of these kinds of materials match.
A feasting couch was the sort of couch where people reclined duirng a party.
Est 1:8 And the drinking is according to law, none is pressing, for so hath the king appointed for every chief one of his house, to do according to the pleasure of man and man.
Saqah is the word for drinking (the Hiphil infinitive); to cause to drink. Heavy drinking was normal activity during this sort of party. This gives us background for v. 9. Dat is the word for law and we only find this word used during the Persian period. The proclamation was that no one had to drink. However, you could drink as much or as little as you preferred. There were no limits. “You could consume mass quantities” if you so desired. There were no limits on the maximum or the minimum. It was an open bar.
Xerxes decides that this party could stand having some women. It was not a very holy thought. This one thought put into motion the circumstances that would save the Jews.
Est 1:9 Also Vashti the queen hath made a banquet for women, in the royal house that the king Ahasuerus hath.
Esther 1:9 Esther #5 December 7, 2003
Review of previous 4 points.
Est 1:9 Queen Vashti also held a banquet for the women at the royal palace of King Xerxes.
6 month party, banquet; but it was also for planning to take over Greece. This was followed by a 7 day banquet. He needed to woo his army and supporters to support him in this plan.
Vashti is a Hebrew word. Vahista is the Persian counterpart. It means the best, the one who is desired. She was a very beautiful woman and one who was desired. Vashti is throwing a quieter party for all of the women. There would have been commoners present as well as VIP’s. This means that the king did not deny to his women what were allowed to men. This separation of sexes was not required, although it probably was a matter of decorum.
Est 1:10 On the seventh day when the king was drunk on wine, he ordered Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven eunuchs who served under King Xerxes,
Bobby’s take—these are thugs from Bulgaria. They had been castrated for the purpose of serving in the harem of the king. This kept them from tampering with the king’s girls. Also, there would be no thoughts of taking the king’s crown and beginning their own dynasty. However, they were still up to intrigue.
Est 1:11 to bring Queen Vashti in front of the king, wearing her royal crown. He wanted to show the people, especially the officials, her beauty, because she was very attractive.
He thinks, why not bring in the women? God’s plan for the deliverance of the Jews began with a small thought in the head of this king. Bring on the wimmen. It is this bawdy thought which will result in God’s plan being fulfilled. The last thing on his mind was fulfilling the plan of God.
Some sorces think that Vashti was to appear with her crown and nothing else on. There is no evidence of that. She is still asked to show up and look beautiful for all of the drunks in town so that Xerxes could show off his wife. Maybe, had he been sober, he might not have done this. It is bad enough to be a fool, but it is worse to expose this to everyone in your kingdom. He may have used the age-old excuse, “I was drunk and I didn’t know what I was doing.” He is responsible to his kingdom and to those to be sober and to know what is going on. The responsibility of leadership is to remain sober. The judgment of the leader is impaired and he makes some very poor decisions. Isa. 32:6 says: Godless fools speak foolishness, and their minds plan evil in order to do ungodly things. They speak falsely about the LORD. They let people go hungry and withhold water from thirsty people.
God is control of history. His plan will be fulfilled regardless of our volition and the volition of anyone else. God’s plan moves forward despite of the volition of every person.
Est 1:12 But Queen Vashti refused the king's command that the eunuchs delivered to her. As a result, the king became very angry, and his rage burned inside him.
The king was fully gapped; however, he was pretty pissed that Vashti didn’t show up. Some pastors launch into marital problems based upon this verse. Can’t wait to point out that she didn’t do her duty to her husband. Eph. 5:22 is quoted to indicate that she should have shown up. Eph. 5:22 has a context. Vashti is a pagan queen who is not subject to the Lord. The husbands also have responsibilities. A wife needs something to respond to. She must have personal and impersonal love. Or the wife will become a reactor—possibly a nuclear reactor. Women are responders. The highest form of love is respect. The husband provides leadership, and this does not necessarily come naturally to the husband. It is growth in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. When the husband fails in leadership, the wife fails in her response.
A growing woman learns patience. Marriage is a two-way street. The man is not to be a bully and the woman is not to be a sarcastic bitch. The woman is to show humility and respect as to the Lord. The husband is to be a leader in their relationship.
If the husband is threatening or violent, then there is no obligation to stay. Allowing yourself to be beat is not being subject to a husband. The term abuse is often abused. Improperly applying this in order to get your way is not just.
There are grey areas in marriage and it takes spiritual growth to deal with them.
In this context, Ahasuerus is making an unreasonable request of his wife. She did not belong there in that all-male party. Nor was it her responsibility to show up to this drunken party. Once he gives the order, he cannot allow himself to be refused. He put himself in a lose-lose situation. He sends out his queen and he announces that his gorgeous wife is going to make an appearance. She flat out refuses. Thousands of male guests will wonder, what kind of a king is this that he cannot rule his own wife? Even in his drunkenness, the king recognizes that he is in a bad situation. When people see this kind of weakness, they begin to think that we need a new king.
1. Vashti is a pagan queen who made a tough decision without any divine viewpoint. This decision was based upon her own standards (which was a good decision).
3. We can make the right decisions with doctrine and we can allow God to handle the consequences.
4. The Lord never lets us down, under any circumstances. This is greater than any human viewpoint solution. What would I do and how would I do it?
5. Vashti had no such comfort as we have through the faith-rest drill. She made a good decision; however, her motivation was “I don’t want to do that.” We have the ability to make these decisions and God can handle the fallout. She didn’t have that to depend upon.
Esther 1:13 Esther #6 December 14, 2003
The capture of Sadam Hussein tells us that Jesus Christ controls history. Obviously, the opposition party will find something wrong with what happened.
Vashti made her husband appear to be a fool. So what is the big deal for Vashti to come into this banquet and show herself off as the king’s wife. This saves the king’s face and Vashti does not put herself at risk. She knows that she is putting he king in an impossible situation.
Today, their would be a march; some bombastic rhetoric, and a call to be able to play in the tournament on the king’s golf course.
So, what’s wrong with Vashti that she would make this sort of decision. We don’t know what her motivation was. We have the actions, but nothing else. Bobby will speculate, even though we do not know her actual motivation. There is probably something else going on behind the scenes for this standoff. Maybe Vashti had her own conspiracy going on to topple the king, and it didn’t work out. She probably was right in not coming. She could have simply gone out and compromised. However, she will pay a very steep price for her choice. She had great status before the incident and now she will have none.
Ahasuerus is making a mistake in this regard.
1. No matter what decisions are made by our leaders, this should not cause us mental or spiritual difficulties.
2. God will always fulfill His purpose for our lives. Even though this king’s inebriated decisions, God will fulfill His purpose.
Est 1:12b As a result, the king became very angry, and his rage burned inside him.
Xerxes was a man of extremes; he could be quite magnanimous and he could be a complete jerk. When anger took over, he would be difficult to be around.
1. Anger spawns resentment, vindictiveness,
2. Anger perpetrates Psalm 55:3
3. If anger continues and becomes bitterness or vindictiveness, it will act out in some form or retaliation.
4. Anger is always related to being a fool. Ahasuerus is a fool. Do not be eager in your heart to be angry for anger resides in the bosom of fools.
5. Anger turns any person into a fool. Many stupid and embarrassing things are done in anger. You need to isolate that sin of anger and confess it and forget it.
6. Anger will always destroy the function of impersonal love. Anger will destroy relationships. The other person needs a superabundance of impersonal love. An angry person is a lonely person.
7. Anger always overflows to the bystanders. Prov. 29:22. An angry man always stirs up stirfe and a hot-tempered man...
8. The angry nation is destroyed. Xerxes is the angry leader of a nation about to go down. Amos 1:11
9. Anger is associated with grieving the Holy Spirit. Eph. 4:30–31 There are many other mental attitude sins will reside with anger.
10. Anger always hinders effective prayer. I Tim. 2:8 You’re out of fellowship and your prayer won’t be heard. Furthermore, you won’t want to pray for the person that you are angry with.
11. Anger results in self-induced misery.
12. When anger is perpetuated, it is the motivation for many other sins. Don’t let the sun set on your anger.
Ahasuerus commands Vashti a very foolish command and now he can’t be objective in his anger.
Est 1:13 Now, the king usually asked for advice from all the experts in royal decrees and decisions,
Est 1:14 from those closest to him—Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan. These seven officials of the Persians and Medes had access to the king and held the highest rank in the kingdom. The king asked these wise men who knew the times,
The king was about to invade Greece and he could not have his authority questioned. His leadership will be suspect if he doesn’t do something in a hurry. He lost the Greek campaign. His leadership lacked something, which is obvious because of this incident. When it was clear that Vashti was not going to show, there was certainly a reaction in that place. There needed to be some royal damage control. King’s of Persia wanted to be seen as superior, distant and godlike, commanding everything around them in their own good way. Only on special occasions did the king or queen show themselves.
This would have ruined the king’s image and ego. This may have been why Vashti didn’t go out; Vashti also was a part of this godlike image and was not going to show under those circumstances. It was not in keeping with her personal status as queen over the kingdom.
Xerxes consults his 7 wise men, who are listed above. Chakam = astrologers, magicians, wise men; men who read the stars. All the ancient courts in the ancient world had men who read the stars. Sometimes these astrologers were demon-possessed—especially those who could accurately predict the future. Sneaky men and political men. Much of their advice simply pandered to the king.
These men were also experts in the laws of the Persians. Xerxes needed to take some king of action against his queen. Calling for the advisors indicate that he at least had a thought. These counselors were often his only connection with the outside world. He greatly depended upon them. Whatever they told him, he pretty much believed. Probably tremendous infighting amongst these men.
Est 1:15 "According to the royal decrees, what must we do with Queen Vashti since she did not obey King Xerxes' command, which the eunuchs delivered?"
Est 1:16 Then Memucan spoke up in the presence of the king and the officials, "Queen Vashti has done wrong, not only against the king but also against all the officials and all the people in every province of King Xerxes.
Memucan suggests that all women will begin to act in this way. Avah = wrong, crime, Memucan was using this incident to finesse the king into doing what he wants. He suggests that the marital relations of the entire empire are in danger. He is probably henpecked. His advice will end up giving advice that will cause more problems than what we would have had. It makes you wonder how they could have handled an empire.
Est 1:17 The news of what the queen has done will spread to all women, and they will despise their husbands. They will say, 'King Xerxes ordered Queen Vashti to be brought to him, but she would not come.'
Est 1:18 Today the wives of the officials in Persia and Media who have heard what the queen did will talk back to all the king's officials. There will be contempt and short tempers.
Est 1:19 If it pleases you, Your Majesty, issue a royal decree. It should be recorded in the decrees of the Persians and Medes, never to be repealed, that Vashti may never again appear in front of King Xerxes. Furthermore, Your Majesty, you should give her royal position to another woman who is more worthy than she.
Est 1:20 When you issue your decree, your whole kingdom, great as it is, will hear it. Then all the wives will honor their husbands, regardless of their status."
Est 1:21 The king and his officials approved of this, and so the king did as Memucan suggested.
Esther 1:13 Esther #7 December 21, 2003
This is a Sunday; Dec. 21? It is also Esther #7.
Memucan will totally captivate the completely confused Ahasuerus. This is a study of two fools: Memucan and Ahasuerus.
As a part of a husband’s leadership, he is never to get angry with his wife, no matter how wacky she gets.
We are going to go from Esther 1:16 through 2:4: If these problems continue, this will spell destruction for the entire kingdom, so thinks Memucan. He is worried about the behavior of the king’s wife will cause all the other women to flip out.
Esther 1:16 Then Memucan spoke up in the presence of the king and the officials, "Queen Vashti has done wrong, not only against the king but also against all the officials and all the people in every province of King Xerxes.
Esther 1:17 The news of what the queen has done will spread to all women, and they will despise their husbands. They will say, 'King Xerxes ordered Queen Vashti to be brought to him, but she would not come.'
Esther 1:18 Today the wives of the officials in Persia and Media who have heard what the queen did will talk back to all the king's officials. There will be contempt and short tempers.
Esther 1:19 If it pleases you, Your Majesty, issue a royal decree. It should be recorded in the decrees of the Persians and Medes, never to be repealed, that Vashti may never again appear in front of King Xerxes. Furthermore, Your Majesty, you should give her royal position to another woman who is more worthy than she.
Esther 1:20 When you issue your decree, your whole kingdom, great as it is, will hear it. Then all the wives will honor their husbands, regardless of their status."
This guy is suffering from pure fantasy. Women are a mystery to him. This edict will have exactly the opposite affect that he wants. He you demand respect and honor, then you are not going to get it.
No respect and no honor would be involved here. True love require free will on both of their parts. The leadership of the husband should never be tyrannical. The husband must have the woman’s best interests in mind. These men are not leaders, and their behavior has gone far beyond their authority.
You have problem solving devices for marriage no marriage is going to be conflict-free. Vasti is gone; she is probably scrubbing floors in the harem. She returns, as history tells us, along with her son Artexerxes. This decree was moronic. This decree did further damage to his reputation. This decree probably had very little influence beyond the palace walls. But this action cleared the way for Esther and Mordecai to step into history.
Esther 1:21 The king and his officials approved of this, and so the king did as Memucan suggested.
Esther 1:22 He sent official documents to all the king's provinces, to each province in its own script and to the people in each province in their own language: "Let every husband be the ruler in his own house and speak with authority."
The king is happy, as are the guys are. The men probably got an earful after this decree. The Persian empire had an excellent postal system. Note, that there is no provision for enforcing this. A good marriage does not require any outside influence, apart from the Word of God.
Esther 2:1 Later, when King Xerxes got over his raging anger, he remembered Vashti, what she had done, and what had been decided against her.
The king suddenly realizes that he is lost without a wife, so he decides to send out to get a wife. As the king, he can basically do whatever it is that he wants. However, such a man should not be idolized. He is vulnerable to incredible arrogance. A perfect description of Ahasuerus—he cannot reverse his decree. To a fool belongs his folly.
He is saturated with arrogance and he cannot back down; anyone who is led by arrogance. David became arrogant; he rebounded and returned to an attitude of grace. Hoshea and Zedekiah could both have used David’s lesson.
Shakak means has subsided and is used of a flood receding under Noah. It comes in with a roar and slowly recedes, and leaves devastation in its wake. The Hebrew language is very dynamic, very pictural, and very expressive. Even Hebrew names often make word pictures. Then we have zakar, which means to remember, to remember specific past experiences. The king expresses some regret here, and would probably like to have Vasti back. However, because he is the king, he can’t retract his position. Psalm 37:8: Cease from anger and forsake wrath. Do not fret and do not stew; it leads only to evil.
When you listen to doctrine, it becomes wisdom in your soul; and you can deal with problems and complexities. Ahasuerus can blame Vasti, his advisors, his drunkenness; but the fault must be laid at his feet. He made he decision to call for Vasti.
Points of Application, but there is not enough time. Next Sunday.
Esther 2:1 Esther #8 December 28, 2003
We have seen Memucan the moronic and the drunken feast of Xerxes.
What About Chapter 1? We first learn about Ahasuerus. He is hot tempered. He is easily swayed. He is unstable and unpredictable. Under pressure, he will make the wrong decision. This is a problem for Esther, Mordecai and the Jews as a whole. All of this isa working out of God’s plan. This bring us to chapter 2.
Esther 2:1 Later, when King Xerxes got over his raging anger, he remembered Vashti, what she had done, and what had been decided against her.
This is sometime after the drunken party and Vasti refusing to obey the king. Shakak = has subsided. The same verb used in Gen. 8:1. A flood devastated the entire area that it inundates. It leaves nothing behind but devastation. This was like Ahasuerus. This describes the effects of anger in general.
Zakar = to remember a specific previous experience. Ahasuerus is no longer enraged; however, even though he recalls the good times with Vasti. If he could have reversed this decision, he would have. There is a hint of regret at this point. He is rash and self-centered. He makes htis decree without thinking much. He must carry it out in order to save face. He realizes that he has made a real mess for himself. He must take responsibility for his own actions. Everything which occurred afterwards is because of him.
Esther 2:2 So the king's personal staff said to him, "Search for attractive young virgins for the king.
Esther 2:3 And appoint scouts in all the provinces of your kingdom to gather all the attractive young virgins and bring them to the fortress of Susa, to the women's quarters. There, in the care of the king's eunuch Hegai, the guardian of the women, they will have their beauty treatment.
Esther 2:4 Then the young woman who pleases you, Your Majesty, will become queen instead of Vashti." The king liked the suggestion, and so he did just that.
This advisors want to make certain that Vasti does not return. They cook up this scheme of a beauty contest. This idea pleases the king. He is about to be the only judge at the Miss Universe contest; he will keep the winner as well as all the runners up.
Ahasuerus is a confused, unhappy man. He is manipulated by those around him. In short, he is pretty much like us. There is a major difference. We have resources from doctrine that he does not have and never will. We can overcome the pitfalls which trapped Ahasuerus. If he made better choices, he would not have had these problems. He had nothing that he could do apart from damage control.
Ahasuerus has none of these things, so he has no way out of the hole that he dug for himself. Many of us do that; escape from one problem and fall into another. For us, confusion about life and problems in life can be steadily reduced by these problem solving devices. Wehn you live at the discretion of divine viewpoint, you do not have to live on the discretions of human viewpoint. Anxiety steadily fades away. It can be continually reduced in our life. This puts us many steps ahead of Ahasuerus. And he is a king and rules an empire; yet we have much more than this man who has everything.
If we focus on the theme of Jesus Christ controlling history and evaluate this book from that perspective, then we can also learn to evaluate the events of our own life from this same perspective. Why are these things happening in my life? Some ask this frequently. Then we need to ask, how do thees circumstances connect with the plan of God. If you can ask yourself these two questions, you can begin to see yourself in the light of the plan of God. This is the first step in realizing that the plan of God is working in spite of our problems. We know all of these events have a purpose. Sooner or later, if we trust in the plan of God and we know His plan is working for us, sooner or later, we will see the big result. You need to get to this point first.
Esther Lesson #10 January 4, 2004
This is a Sunday. This evil of mankind is this doctrine of total depravity, which we will study another time. This is a working out of God’s plan at a particular time for a particular people in a particular place. Jesus Christ controls history, in spite of all we do.
As we examine the book of Esther and her circumstances in the light of the plan and Word of God, we will also make those same evaluations for our own life and circumstances. You may not understand immediately the invidividual events as they occur in our life, but if we continue to apply, we will realize that these events have a purpose, even if these events are grim and horrible. There is a reason for everything that happens in our life. The more you can think in this way, the more you can discern the trends of history and your place in the plan of God. Bobby is not teaching the book of Esther so that we can enjoy a good Bible story or to find out what happens next in the book of Esther—will she be untied from the railroad tracks before the train comes? This does, by the way, describe her life. Week after week, we put divine viewpoint in our soul. You must have practice to play well, in sports. Practice to playing ratio should be 10 hours of practice to one hour of play. You must repeat over and over again. Mechanics, plays, moves must all be done over and over again; so that we can do these things in our sleep. It is the same in our spiritual life. If we practice enough, we will be able to play in the spiritual game. We practice in Bible class to get the doctrine we need, so that it becomes second nature to us. When you face a situation where you need it, application is second nature to us. Sooner or later, with practice, we should be able to recognize what is happening around us. In order to analyze contemporary history, we must recognize how any situation relates to the plan of God; what does it mean. In Esther, we have the answer. Practice your spiritual skills and soon you will be able to apply them in the game of life. When we understand that Jesus Christ controls history, including our own history, 3 things will happen: (1) we can evaluate the trends of history in the light of the plan of God; (2) we will have a perspective unavailable to 99.9% of the world. (3) We have a source of comfort and wisdom beyond the comprehension of those who do not have it. When people observe this in you, people wonder, where do they get that strength and ability to endure?
Esther 2:5 In Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite
Mordecai comes from Marduk, which is an Akkadian name. Mardukai was a high ranking official during the time of Ahasuerus. Marduk is the chief god of the Babylonian pantheon. What did this Jew have a name like this? Idolatrous names came from this time period. They did this to protect themselves. They were given a Hebrew name and a Babylonian name. Anywhere we have Jews, we have Jews who immerse themselves in the culture of their surroundings, in order to blend in. They are less conspicuous; they can’t be found and persecuted as easily. This is why Mordecai had his name; it helped him blend into this culture and society.
Satan’s objective is to wipe out the Jews. No believer in Jesus Christ should ever be involved in any form of anti-Semitism. We should never ever be anti Semitic. If you harbor anti-Semitic feelings, get out of Berachah.
It is God’s promise to these people which protect them. They can run, but they cannot hide from Satan and his unholy minions. They cannot depend upon their own devices. They must depend upon the Lord for their deliverance. This is read during the feast of Purim year after year after year, and they do not see it. God still protects His people, even though most of them have rejected the Messiah. Even though they are faithless, God has a plan for Israel. Jesus Christ will rule over Israel or a literal 1000 years and we will rule with Him. In our era, all believers are a part of the church, not Israel. The Church and Israel are two separate entities. Israel has been temporarily set aside. They are not a client nation today. However, as a people, they are protected forever under the anti-Semitic clause in Genesis.
586–444 b.c. there was no client nation. The return to Jerusalem returned the client nation status to Israel. By allowing this reestablishment of the client nation, the Persian empire were supporting the Jews, and this brought them great prosperity for over 100 years. Ahasuerus was blessed, and all he wanted was a more obedient wife.
Mordecai won’t come across very well in the beginning of this book.
Esther 2:6 who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity which had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried away.
Esther 2:7 And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle's daughter. For she had neither father nor mother, and the young woman was fair and beautiful, whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter.
Esther 2:8 And it happened when the king's command and his order was heard, and when many young women had been gathered to Shushan the palace, into the hand of Hegai, Esther was also brought to the king's house, into the hand of Hegai, keeper of the women.
Esther 2:9 And the young woman pleased him, and she received kindness from him. And he quickly gave to her purifiers and her portion. And seven young women who were fit to be given her, out of the king's house. And he moved her and her servant women to the best place in the house of the women.
Esther Lesson #10 January 4, 2004
I took notes on this twice? Once when it happened and later when I was catching up.
There is a spiritual message which goes along with the book of Esther. Man has no more ability to free himself from his tendency to do evil than he could even save himself from his own sins. In the book of Esther, we see how God takes up the slack for our shortcomings. We will look at man’s complete depravity on another day. Christ controls history, despite everything that man attempts to do to mess it up.
How Christ Controls History
1. Christ controls history directly, through His divine essence; his sovereignty, love, etc. Direct intervention, e.g., the flood in Gen. 6. Sons of God cohabited with the daughters of men, which gave us a race of half fallen angels and half fallen mankind. These half-breeds (Nephalim) are the source of the many strains of mythology. Jesus had to be fully human to pay for our sins on the cross. The fully human line had to be maintained. If Christ had not been born fully human, he could not have gone to the cross to fulfill the promise of Gen. 3:15, which is the proto-evangel. “I will make you and the woman hostile toward each other. I will make your descendants and her descendant hostile toward each other. He will crush your head, and you will bruise his heel.” God is speaking in this passage. God here actually is addressing the serpent. He tells Satan that he will place enmity between Satan and the seed of the woman. This is why Satan chose to intermix the seed. If Satan’s seed and the woman’s seed were intermixed, then this enmity would be difficult to have. Seed here is singular, and it refers to Eve’s ultimate descendant, Who is Jesus Christ. He will crush your head, means that Jesus will defeat Satan in the final conflict. Satan will crush or bruise Christ’s heal, which is a reference to the suffering of Christ on the cross. In order to wipe out these half-breeds, God intervened with the flood and destroyed them all. Gen. 12:1–3 is God’s promise to Abraham. If Satan could ruin this promise, he would be victorious over God. This is why the Jews are persecuted throughout history. This persecution of the Jews is so explained. The survival of the Jews during the time of Esther is critical.
2. Christ controls history indirectly through the laws of divine establishment. Whether or not these laws are followed has a significant bearing on the course of history. When man observes these laws, he restrains his old sin nature. This is a counter-balance to man’s natural inclination to self-destruct.
3. Christ controls history permissively; He allows human volition to function during the course of history. The sovereignty of God and the free will of man co-exist in history. Both believes and unbelievers can make good decisions in the plan of God; however, even bad decisions can be overcome in the course of history. If we evaluate properly how God affects history during the time of Esther, we will also recognize how He controls history during our time. We can make parallel applications to this time period.
This is not simply a nice Bible study for us to have. There will be application and practice in order the function in varying circumstances. Practice to playing should be 10 hours of practice to 1 hour of playing. This plays must be those that can be done in your sleep. Without practice, you will be a loser. In the spiritual life, there is practice as well. In Bible class, we learn the various spiritual skills. When we practice continually, then our actions become second nature. One question must be kept in mind: how does any situation apply to the plan of God. When doing this ourselves, we don’t always have the answer.
Christ controlled history during the time of Esther just as He controls history today. When we recognize this, three things will happen: (1) You can evaluate the trends of history in the light of the Word of God and you can see the plan of God through history and through your own life. (2) You can have a perspective unavailable to 99.9% of the world. (3) You have a source of comfort and wisdom which is beyond the comprehension of others. You can solve your own problems and you will have comfort and wisdom that others do not have. When you have these things, you are a beacon of light to others; you are a witness for Jesus Christ.
Esther is a star, in the sense of a movie star. She is attractive and charismatic. Mordecai is her cousin and he took her as his own daughter.
Est 2:5 In the fortress of Susa there was a Jew from the tribe of Benjamin named Mordecai. He was the son of Jair, the grandson of Shimei, and the great-grandson of Kish.
Marduk is the Jewish equivalent to Mordecai and his name is found on a stone or something from the time of Ahasuerus. What was he doing with this idolater name. It was common practice for a person to be given a Persian and a Jewish name. They are less conspicuous when they adopt names and customs of the country where they are.
All Jewish persecution of history is ultimately the plan of Satan. No believer should every be involved in any form of anti-Semitism. Therefore, no matter how much the Jews try to blend in, Satan knows who they are and he will attack them.
It is God’s promise to Abram which protects the Jews. Their only salvation is the promise that God made to Abraham in Gen. 12:1–10. Even though the book of Esther is read every year at the Feast of Purim, they miss this point year after year. Even though they are faithless, God has a plan to protect them. In the Church Age, all believers are a part of the Church. The Church is not spiritualized Israel. There will never be a time when God’s promises to the Jews are not in effect. No matter what they may try, their true security is in the promise of God. Similarly, our only salvation is what God has promised us.
From 586–444 b.c., there was no client nation Israel, as they had been kicked out of the Land of Promise. The client nation was re-established at a later date. The Persian empire, by allowing this, supported the Jews, and they received blessing for about 100 years.
Mordecai will not come across very well, as he is a loser at this time.
Esther 2:5 Esther Lesson #11 January 6, 2004
Bobby reads off those 3 intro verses.
There is a critical question: who is who below in v. 6? Kish or Mordecai?
Hadassah is Hebrew for Myrtle. V. 5 is the first mention of Mordecai and is one spelling of Marduk, who is like Zeus in the Greek pantheon. Mordecai = Marduk - ay - a. It is important to document these things, as the book of Esther is questioned with regards to its historicity. Customarily, Jews took two names, which began in the Babylonian captivity. They did so for protection and self-preservation. Wherever the Jews were distributed in the world, they were hated and persecuted. It is Satan’s objective to exterminate the Jews, which is because of God’s promise to Abraham. Gen. 12:3: “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.” If these were not God’s people, then Satan would not be so interested in them. The Jews would be God’s people forever. The Messiah would come through Abraham. Satan, of course, did not want Christ to appear. The incarnation means that Satan loses the angelic conflict strategically. If there are no Jews, then Christ could not be born into the Jewish line. Since Christ has come, Satan failed in this first attempt. However, he continues to attempt to exterminate the Jews. The Jews are also promised to be God’s people forever. In order to have this kingdom, you must have Jews for Christ to return to and use to set up the Millennial kingdom.
Today is the time of Satan’s desperation. He becomes more and more desperate to destroy the Jews as time goes on. His desperation will culminate in the tribulation. He will pull out all the stops to kill the Jews. There is no place that the Jews can hide from Satan and there are no ruses that the Jews can do in order to deliver themselves from his horrible persecution. Nothing seems to work against anti-Semitism.
Another problem for the Jews is the fact that so many of them have rejected Christ as Savior. This keeps them under the 5th cycle of discipline. God is waiting for Jews to look to Him and depend upon Him for their security. Many Jews do not even believe in a Messiah anymore. Some feel that is simply a myth which came out of that sort of culture. There are many other Jews who do not even consider theological issues. There are a few who still believe in a future advent of the Messiah; however, they do not realize Who He is. Those still expect to put the crown before the cross. They want the promised kingdom, but they will never have it apart from the cross. The last great inauguration into the kingdom will be at the end of the Great Tribulation.
Even though there is a Jewish nation today, it is not a client nation to God. No matter where the Jews reside, God will never forget the Jew.
Mordecai will not come across very well in the early narrative. First, what is he doing staying in Persia, when he had the option to return to the land where Zerubbabel already was? Why did he remain in Persia? Persian was not the Land of Promise. Only about 50,000 Jews actually returned with Zerubbabel; when Ezra went back, 2000 went with him. Even fewer returned a few years later with Nehemiah when he returned to build the walls. This is a pitiful population. God gave a party and no one showed up. A large number of Jews stayed in Persia. Why didn’t they return? They had made a life for themselves in Persia. They had been in Persia for 100 years and they were prospering and they had assimilated themselves in Persian society. Most of them didn’t know the land. Why uproot from a place where they are successful and pick up and go to another land where they have to start from scratch.
Abraham by faith did what God asked him to do, even though he was very wealthy in Ur of the Chaldeans. The rest decided not to go along. This does not make them unbelievers, but it makes them men of little faith. The Jews who stayed in Persia were not in God’ geographical will. Abraham was prosperous in Ur but he enjoyed even greater prosperity in the Land of Promise. The Jews had taken, as Lot did, what they believed to be the most desirable ground. They felt that they made the right choice. Lot ended up in Sodom and Gomorrah. His own wife was turned into a pillar of salt (which could have been good or bad). Because of the faithlessness of Esther and Mordecai, they will face a Jewish massacre. Pogrom—a collection and massacre of Jews, which is repeated in history. We must always provide a place for the Jews if we expect to continue being blessed as a nation. When they no longer find safe haven in the United States, you can bet that the time of the United States will be over.
Application: If God protects the Jews, he will protect us, believers in Jesus Christ. We still have an option to grow or to not.
Mordecai won’t come off very well in the harem situation either. He tells Esther to keep her identity secret. This was his way of trying to protect her and keep her from being persecuted. However, there was no real threat to the Jews at this time. It is kind of odd that Mordecai would say this to her. By not saying that she is a Jew, this almost guaranteed that Esther would be a part of the harem. She probably would have been overlooked. However, her beauty put her into the harem, which being a Jew may have kept her out of. God will use this situation to deliver these two people. God protects these people despite their own stupid choices and despite the plots of evil men.
Daniel lived about 100 years prior to this. Daniel refused to do what his captors asked; he would not eat meat offered to idols. Daniel was rising in the state department; however, his enemies noticed that he prayed to a different God than did they. That was also a place where he was attacked. Mordecai does not compare well to Daniel. The Mosaic Law states that (Deut. 7:1–4) Jews should not intermarry with unbelievers. Ezra 9:1–4 and Neh. 10 also warn against these mixed marriages. A downfall of Israel is when they intermarry with heathen. Sex and marriage was exactly the reason for the inclusion of Esther in the harem. They were there to have sex with the king. Mordecai sent Esther to the harem for this reason. She was a beautiful woman; however, this was not an excuse. Mordecai does not put up any sort of protEsther He doesn’t suggest to her to tell them that she is Jewish. Mordecai is accused of having an ambition of promotion within the Persian empire by offering his cousin Esther into the harem. They will acquit themselves well as this story progresses. This tells us that there is a chance for us to recover and grow. We can remain in our failures as long as we want; however, it is better to acquit ourselves well, as Esther and Mordecai will.
Esther 2:6 (Kish had been taken captive from Jerusalem together with the others who had gone into exile along with Judah's King Jehoiakin, whom King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had carried away.)
Mordecai couldn’t be the antecedent for who in v. 6. This would make Mordecai about 120 years old and Esther 100 or so. 605 b.c. Neb took Daniel and a number of men to keep the Jews in line. Neb went back and took Jeconiah and put out his eyes and took him back as prison (597 b.c.). Kish is the like antecedent for who because in the Hebrew, the nearest noun would be who whom refers back to.
Mordecai should get some credit for raising an orphaned member of his family. Mordecai is also from the tribe of Benjamin. There is a great link between Saul and Mordecai and this provides the reason why Hamen hates the Jews so much.
Esther 2:7 Esther Lesson #12 January 8, 2004
Mordecai was outside of God’s geographical will. He helped Esther violate the marriage requirements, helping her to get set up in the harem. Asher is the relative pronoun who which begins v. 6 cannot refer back to Mordecai, as he would have been about 120 years old. If the person to whom this refers is Kish, then he is Mordecai’s great grandfather, and the ages all make sense. In Hebrew, the noun closest to the relative pronoun is generally the one to whom the relative pronoun refers to.
Haman means to confirm, to support, to bring up. Mordecai supported and raised Esther after the death of her parents. Mordecai does deserve some credit for taking care of Esther. Mordecai was from the tribe of Benjamin. All of this family was from the tribe of Benjamin. There is a connection between Haman and the tribe of Benjamin. I Sam. 15:3, Saul was supposed to destroy all of the Amalekites—men, women and children. They attacked Israel without provocation in Ex. 17 as they traveled to the Land of Promise.
Saul spared Agag, the king of the Amalekites. Saul began to rationalize, and decided to spare the livestock. When you begin to rationalize the mandates of God, you get into trouble. Saul’s mistake will have a bearing to the time of Esther. It should make you realize how closely you should pay attention to the mandates of Bible doctrine. Doctrine is always connected to the plan of God for our life.
Samuel partially finished Saul’s job and hacked Agag to pieces. Samuel did this before the Lord, which means that he had the approval of God. Skeptics deduce from passages like this that Yahweh was bloodthirsty. Yahweh is a pronunciation of the sacred tetragrammatan. YHWH. It appears without vowel points; and the vowel points from Adonai are added. Chamats and a segol are added: Yahweh is the best guess by scholars as to how the vowel points work. The word is considered so sacred, that it is never pronounced in a synagogue. Instead, they substitute the name Adonai. This is found throughout most of the Old Testament. This tetragrammaton came from the verb hayah, which is the verb to be. The sacred tetragrammaton is constructed from the verb to be. Ex. 3:14 helps us with the explanation. The bush continually burned. Moses turned aside to see this great sight. Moses is told to remove his shoes because he is on holy or sacred ground. Moses asked God, “What is Your name?” “I am that I am.” Absolute existence. Hayah havah, which is combined to make YHWH. This was the first time that we are aware that God make His name known to man. Whenever God appeared, this was Jesus Christ appearing (most of the time). A theophany was always Jesus Christ. God has told Saul to wipe out all of the Amalekites. Skeptics supposedly see Jesus as being in opposition to this Old Testament God. Jesus came as the Prince of Peace, as He came to reconcile God and man. This is a reference to His work on the cross. During the first advent, Jesus was not a conquering king, which is what the jews expected. Jesus was in His 1st advent the suffering servant. Isa. 53:5–6: He was wounded for our rebellious acts. He was crushed for our sins. He was punished so that we could have peace, and we received healing from his wounds. We have all strayed like sheep. Each one of us has turned to go his own way, and the LORD has laid all our sins on him. In the 2nd advent, things will get bloody. He will wipe out several million men. The blood will run as high as the horse’s bridle. Jesus is a God of judgment and a God of love. He is also a God of justice, righteousness and judgment. If the attribute of love is isolated, then the cross is not needed. However, all of those attributes belong to our Lord.
The Amalekites were vicious foes of Israel. So the annihilation order of Saul demonstrates just how serious the consequences are of trying to annihilate Israel. God takes attacks upon the Jews as seriously as a parent takes a threat of one of their children. In World War II, we spilled innocent blood in order to defeat Germany. Any nation which attempts to kill the Jews faces the consequences of God’s wrath, which we in part exercised. This should help to explain why God told Saul to wipe out all of the Amalekites. They had to be destroyed, because God told Saul to do it. God always keeps His promise and this sort of judgment is for the protection of Israel. We are also under the umbrella of God’s protection. This does not mean that all of our enemies will be killed off.
Haman was descended from Agag; or, this could be considered to be Agag’s people. Saul’s failure went on for another 600 years. Haman is an Amalekite. This is an old war which God declared a long time ago. This seems almost like a made up story, as this story is so tight. Everything fits together so well. But there is no reason that we should doubt God’s ability to fit a story together. There are always recurring threads and themes throughout the history of Israel. God graciously gives Israel chance after chance.
Reform or covenant theology no longer sees the racial Jews as the recipients of God’s covenant; we are seen as the recipients of God’s covenant with Abraham. God did not promise to make Abraham a great nation and then revoke it and transfer this promise to someone else. This theology impugns the immutability of God. We, as believers, have been promised eternal life. God did not tell the Jews, “You guys have screwed up so much that you will never have a part in my plan.” The anti-Semitism clause does not only apply to believing Jews. The whole race falls under this clause (only believing Jews will enter into His kingdom). No racial distinction anymore in the church. Today, there are neither Jew nor Greek.
Esther 2:7 Mordecai had raised Hadassah, also known as Esther, his uncle's daughter, because she was an orphan. The young woman had a beautiful figure and was very attractive. When her father and mother died, Mordecai adopted her as his own daughter.
Mordecai adopted Esther and she was a beautiful woman. Beauty can also become a source of vanity in a woman. This is apparent in women whose beauty is the basis of their self-esteem. Since beauty fades, it is sad to see a woman whose entire basis of self-esteem is tied to her beauty. All women can have great inner beauty. The more you know someone with inner beauty, the more important this is. Esther’s beauty was certainly part of God’s plan. It is not a spiritual gift, however.
Josephus tells us that this is about 400 girls. Esther was brought into the harem and she allowed for this to happen.
Esther 2:9 Esther Lesson #13 January 11, 2004
Martin Luther wrote A Mighty Fortress during the reformation, which was an incredible time.
Bobby has us back to Esther 2:5; Mordecai is mentioned for the first time in this verse. Mordecai is still in Persia. Some Jews had already returned to the land. This occurs around 465 b.c. and about 50,000 had returned. Migration to Israel was still occurring. There was still movement back to Israel. This was the place for the Jews to reside after their 70 years of captivity. Nehemiah returned about 444 b.c. and he rebuilt the walls.
Thousands of Jews still remained in Persia. Many had become prosperous in the Persian empire and saw no reason to go back to square one. They did not want to uproot their lives and return to the land—a land where they were not born.
Mordecai first tells Esther, “Don’t tell anyone that you are Jewish.” He may have thought that this would preserve her. Had she said that she was Jewish, she probably not put into the harem. At this time, going into the harem was not a good thing for Esther. She was not to have sex with someone other than her husband and she was not to marry an unbeliever.
The Jews always seemed to get involved in idolatry when they married the pagan unbeliever. This rarely seemed to work in the opposite direction. Esther going into the harem meant that she became a cortesan for the king. Her sole purpose is to provide pleasure for the king. Mordecai simply let her go into this harem. He may have not wanted to reveal his own race, and therefore asked Esther not to reveal her race. God’s plan will still unfold just as God had planned it.
Since the plan of God is going to move along with or without me, why do I need to participate? One reason is that we will be under great discipline if we oppose His plan or do not participate.
Saul was a Benjamite. In I Sam. 15:3, Saul was told to wipe out all of the Amalekites. He spared the Amalekite king and the cattle and livestock as well. He decided that, these animals dd not attack us; therefore, why kill them? His mistake would affect Israel for the next 600 years.
David’s failure with Bathsheba lasted for most of his life. Saul’s failure lasted for 600 years. Samuel took Agag and hacked him up into pieces. He did this before the Lord, which means that God heartily approved of what he did.
Many have asserted that the Old Testament God of Israel was no different than any other pagan god. The Amalekites were implacable foes of Israel, who had no intention of every making their close relationships work. If someone threatens your children, you would certainly defend them and even kill those who make this threat. Those bent on destroying Israel face God’s perfect wrath.
German men, women and children were killed in order to win that war. This was because the German nation was the epitome of evil. They had to be destroyed to destroy that evil of anti-Semitism. God will protect us until it is time for us to leave this life.
Our God is a God of justice and love. At the second advent, this same Jesus Christ will judge all unbelievers.
In Esther 3:10, Haman is a descendant of Agag. Ex. 17:6 Esther 3:1. This is a consequence of Saul’s disobedience to the Lord. Esther 2:7—Mordecai brings up Esther. God would use Esther’s beauty to deliver the Jews.
Esther 2:8 When the king's announcement and decree were heard, many young women were gathered together and brought to the fortress of Susa. They were placed in the care of Hegai. Esther also was taken to the king's palace and placed in the care of Hegai, the guardian of the women.
Laqach is in the Niphal stem, which means to be taken, to be taken by force, to be captured, to be brought to. There is no indication that Esther was brought into the harem against her will.
Mordecai may have been aware of an immediate threat to the Jews; however, this would have been odd. He may have been willing to sacrifice Esther in order to secure some leverage or status in the palace. There are no guarantees that Esther would have any influence on anyone. A 3rd possibility is that Mordecai could have been politically motivated and that this would have furthered his advance. God would use Esther for the deliverance of His people.
Jews in Persia and in Israel could be affected by Haman. Esther was put into the hand of Hegai. She found favor but it is possible that it means to lift up; she was elevated in the eyes of Hegai. Chesed (ד∵∵ח) means unfailing love, grace; in this context it means that Esther was held in high esteem with Hegai. He deals with beautiful women daily. Esther has made a strong impression on Hegai. She is given seven servants and Hegai recognized greatness in her. He begins to treat her as if she is the queen. The only catch is that she eats food from the king’s table; this violates the laws of the Mosaic Law. No such thing as minor disobedience insofar as the Mosaic Law is concerned.
Daniel faced the same thing and he refused to eat. He made up his mind not to violate God’s laws. His putting of his life on the line was honored by God. Daniel enjoyed a meteoric rise in the state department.
In spite of Esther’s failure, God’s plan still progressed. Disobedience to God’s plan will either move ahead with you or without you. Not applying doctrine here made a later decision very difficult to make. When you choose to disobey doctrine, it is difficult to reverse this trend.
Had Esther obeyed God, she would have advanced to maturity more quickly. She possessed humility and she learned from her mistakes. In the harem, so was isolated from everyone of spiritual value and she found the information that she needed in her soul. Failure is not the end of God’s plan.
A conscience choice to do wrong and then to use rebound later is a terrible misapplication of doctrine.
Esther 2:9 The young woman pleased him and won his affection. So he immediately provided her with the beauty treatment, a daily supply of food, and seven suitable female servants from the king's palace. Then he moved her and her servants to the best place in the women's quarters.
The king is struck by Esther’s beauty. He provides her with cosmetics, foot and servants. Esther did not make her background known.
Esther 2:10 lesson #14 January 18, 2004
Dr. Nelson D. Rio was a Philippine pastor, who died. His children are mentioned. He began with the Grace Christian Church in 1976. He taught doctrine since then. Two of his sons taught as well (they were ordained in 1996). The choice is not unlike Berachah choosing a new pastor.
Esther was shanghaied into the harem.
In v. 8, Ahasuerus is choosing a new queen. He will go to his harem and select from there.
Esther 2:10 Esther did not reveal her nationality or her family background, because Mordecai had ordered her not to.
Esther kept her Jewish identity secret. A lot of Jews kept their Jewish identify hidden and are attempting to meld in with the society in which they find themselves. Esther may have been put into the lowest rung of the harem ladder, if she had admitted her nationality. She may not have even been put into his harem in the first place. Expediency is not necessarily the right way to go. Esther is stuck in the harem and Mordecai is not certain that his scheming will result in what he wants.
Est 2:11 Every day Mordecai would walk back and forth in front of the courtyard of the women's quarters to find out how Esther was and what was happening to her.
Mordecai realizes that his plans may be futile and that allowing Esther into the harem and not revealing her nationality may have been for naught. He is either looking to gain something for himself, for Esther and/or for his people, the Jews. As people, we manipulate and scheme to get where we want to go. They have painted themselves into a corner. Our responsibility is not to get ourselves where we want to go.
When we know God’s Word and obey His Word, then there is no way that we can paint ourselves into a corner. You stay in God’s plan and he takes care of the rest of it. These Jews have their own plans. They are going to move up in society via their own schemes and machinations. Esther is somewhat duped in this situation, but Mordecai knew what he was doing. God had taken a back seat to his plan. Mordecai’s advice was not good and Esther following it was a mistake. Esther is now by herself and she has no one there to guide her or to advise her. Esther needed to have evaluated his advice earlier. Esther’s silence in this case was tantamount to a denial of God. What set the Jews apart was their believe in Yehowah, the True God. The Jews were thrown into an area where those around them worshiped false gods. Daniel was the exact opposite of Mordecai and Esther. He never compromised doctrine; he never hid his faith. The Jews, on the other hand, tried to fit into Persian culture; and they lost their witness entirely. They got to Persian in the first place because they had forgotten about God.
Jonah had been given the message to go to the Assyrians in order to save them. He didn’t like them and he found himself in a boat going the opposite direction. Jonah confessed when everyone became concerned for their lives. Whenever a believer is out of fellowship and outside of the plan of God, the believer has rarely anything to say about Jesus Christ.
In v. 11, Mordecai is worried and he is pacing. His scheme has backfired and he is pacing, wondering how Esther was fairing under these circumstances. In v. 11, how Esther is doing is the word shalôwm, which refers to her welfare.
Est 2:12 Each young woman had her turn to go to King Xerxes after she had completed the required 12-month treatment for women. The time of beauty treatment was spent as follows: six months using oil of myrrh and six months using perfumes and other treatments for women.
There are 400 women who were rounded up into the king’s harem and these women prepared for one full year for one night with the king. They had 6 months with the oil of myrrh and 6 months with perfumes. They were going to smell good.
Esther 2:13 Lesson #15 January 20, 2004
Bobby has always loved those 3 verses and has ever since his father strung them together.
In v. 11, Mordecai is in a tizzy, not certain how things are going with Esther. He is concerned about her security, her welfare. All he could do is pace and pace. He is concerned with her safety.
We shift our focus to the harem itself (vv. 12–15). We get the view that he desires. In vv. 12–14 give us a general description. These women were trained for a year to learn how to please the king. Mordecai was probably concerned about this.
Oil of myrrh gives us a very seductive scent and 6 months with spices; the idea is that they are working on their fragrances. There was some sort of cosmetics involved, although probably not as much as the geisha girls.
Est 2:13 After that, the young woman would go to the king. Anything she wanted to take with her from the women's quarters to the king's palace was given to her.
Whatever this woman needed from the king’s palace was given to her. She might take a musical instrument; she might wear specific clothes. They were preparing for a one-night-stand. Esther certainly needs some doctrine in her soul.
The women were allowed to take whatever they wanted with them in order to please the king; whether this was entertaining, erotic, exotic, etc. This was Esther’s goal just as it was the goal of the other women.
Est 2:14 She would go in the evening and come back in the morning to the other quarters for women. There she would be in the care of the king's eunuch Shaashgaz, the guardian of the concubines. She never went to the king again unless the king desired her and requested her by name.
Each was given one night with the king and whatever it was that they needed, they took with them for this one night with the king. We might be wondering, what was Esther thinking in all this, given that she was more or less shanghaied into it. These women had one night with the king in order to determine whether the king would keep her as his queen. As a woman of the harem, if they were rejected, they were comfortable, but they were cut off from all their family and friends. It became a life of laziness, indolence and boredom. This one night was extremely important to them, if they wanted to become queen.
The king kept a list of his favorites and the one he called in. There were about 400 women and given that there were 365 days in the year, he was pretty well occupied with this process for some time. He might call some back for another date. If the king did not call for an encore performance, then the woman would simply remain in this harem for the rest of her life; and there was no direct communication with the outside world. Her friends were the other women who were also rejected. These women became indolent, lazy and bored.
Est 2:15 (Esther was the daughter of Abihail, Mordecai's uncle. Mordecai had adopted her as his own daughter.) When Esther's turn came to go to the king, she asked only for what the king's eunuch Hegai, the guardian of the women, advised. Everyone who saw Esther liked her.
Mordecai acted as Esther’s guardian. Esther requested only what Hegai recommended. Hegai thought the world of Esther and she trusted him. Esther, wanting to do well, listened to Hegai. Her not taking anything else into the room with the king was not a matter of disinterest or disdain for the system. It as a matter of listening to Hegai’s suggestions.
At this point in time, Esther wanted to win this contest. She was motivated to do well. It may have been just being caught up in this contest for 1 year. Legalists have difficulty with this book because they don’t like Esther being involved in pre-marital sex and with a man who is sleeping around. This is one reason why this book is looked on with suspicion with regards to its cannonicity.
Even if Esther was not chosen, she would still be considered to be on a very high rung of Persian society. Esther requested nothing except what the eunuch suggested. This does not mean that she wasn’t into this game. Esther requested only what Hegai recommended. Hegai was very impressed by her and gave her the best of everything. Esther came to trust Hegai; in wanting to please the king, she realized that Hegai had been around for a long time. She decided to take his advice.
At this point, it appears as though Esther is unaware of what God’s plan for her life is. So, even though Esther does not necessarily have a spiritual agenda, God does. The focus should not be on what she did or why she did it. God takes a lot of diverse elements and works out his plan according to His purpose. He will work through a situation that most of us would view as terrible. God does not authorize or sanction sin in any case. God uses believers in spite of their sins and failures. No matter what messes we get ourselves into, God does not abandon us. We discipline out children, but we do not abandon them, no matter how bad their mistakes are.
Esther is representative of all of the Jews who have chosen to remain in the land of Persia. God had given them a land and God wants them to return to that land. Esther has not been forgotten by God, even though she has made mistakes. Those of Israel have not been abandoned by God either.
Esther will recover, and Israel should be recovering as well.
There is this parallel going on between Esther and the other Jews in Persia. They have set goals for themselves which are wrong and an integral part of Persian culture. Esther is doing the same. She has denied her identity as a believer, and those who have remained in Israel have also denied their own Jewishness. Esther will end up representing the Lord before the king, before Israel and in this time of history.
Esther will become the greatest, most visible Jew in the kingdom of Persia. She will have the greatest impact in her generation. Somewhere in her soul is the faith-rest necessary to function on a spiritual plane.
Est 2:16 So Esther was taken to King Xerxes in his royal palace in the month of Tebeth, the tenth month, in the seventh year of his reign.
Tebeth is the month of December-January; this would be 479 b.c. Vashti gone and Xerxes returns. One of them was a failure in battle? This is about 4 years of the deposing of Vashti, the previous queen. This date can be corroborated by extra-Biblical sources.
Est 2:17 Now, the king loved Esther more than all the other women and favored her over all the other virgins. So he put the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.
Esther has pleased the king so much, that he made her queen; the most influential person in the Persian empire, next to the king; and this is of the greatest empire up until that time. God accomplished this. Mordecai had some obscure purpose in mind when it came to Esther. Bobby’s rhyme: “The folly of man; completes His plan.”
Esther wins; the king considers her #1. We are talking about a very jaded man with no rel capacity for love. She completely captivated him. Esther is made queen instead of Vashti. She has married an unbeliever, she has had sex outside of marriage, she has eaten meat from the king’s table; she has committed a handful of serious infractions.
When anti-Semitism strikes this kingdom, Esther will be in the right place to deal with it. She was not placed their by virtue of her beauty but God placed her in this place. The folly of man furthers God’s plan. These few words are the theme of Esther. When we commit the worst folly that we could commit; when we have done the worst thing that we can do; God is still able to use our mistakes.
Est 2:18 Then the king held a great banquet for Esther. He invited all his officials and his advisers. He also declared that day a holiday in the provinces, and he handed out gifts from his royal generosity.
This is a banquet in Esther’s honor. The king selected her as queen and this is celebrated. It becomes a national holiday. Esther is being paid obeisance to. She has great influence in the empire. This day was made a national holiday and everyone was invited. Ahasuerus did not accept gifts; he gave gifts to those in attendance. He is enjoying himself immensely.
Esther is being paid obeisance to; she is honored here, both by Ahasuerus and by the people of Persia. Ahasuerus was looking to gain the favor of the people and of the court. He would not allow for her to be disrespected by anyone. This extravagant celebration is an attempt to celebrate his marriage to Esther.
Because anti-Semitism will break out, Esther is in a precarious position. She is married to a very unstable monarch.
Ahasuerus liked parties. In fact, the previous feast is why he went on the outs with Vashti, his former queen. Ahasuerus gave his subjects a holiday and he gave them gifts. He was attempting to win the good will of his people—especially of his court. There is always the problem with the court. Ahasuerus was not going to be tolerant of disrespect for his queen. On the other hand, he showed great intolerance toward Vashti. He may have even learned from his mistake with Vashti.
The greatest conspiracy of all is about to suddenly burst forth. Haman will fuel this anti-Semitic fire, and won’t realize at first that he is also in opposition tot eh queen who is Jewish.
Bobby continues to stress this point that Christ controls history. No matter what happens, we can always take comfort in the fact that Jesus Christ controls history.
1. Christ’s control over history extends to us as individuals. This is not some removed doctrine.
2. This assurance should be a source of great motivation for us as long as we live.
3. This doctrine is a true source of encouragement for us. It is encouragement of the Word of God.
4. Fellowship with Christians is fleeting if this is the source of our encouragement.
5. This sort of encouragement depends upon the reliability and good will of people. People are notoriously inconsistent and unreliable in their lives. You can just as easily be snubbed and hugged.
6. If you don’t get encouragement from these people, then discouragement settles in. Our encouragement should come from the inside. It should never come from an exterior source (other than God).
7. Only doctrine applied to our circumstances is a constant and consistent encourager in life.
8. Also, the promise that God’s plan will continue throughout history, not just for us, but for the client nation of God, provides a basis for faith-rest. It is an important rationale for the faith-rest drill. Jesus Christ controls history.
1. Esther is not in a will of God according to the mandates of God.
2. All believers do things outside of the divine rule. These have repercussions for us personally.
3. Discipline will result because the Lord loves us and wants the best for us. God loves us and wants to correct us and bring us back into line.
4. God overrules and works out these failures for his glory and the fulfillment of His purpose and plan.
5. There is no way that our failures and mistakes can deter the plan of God in history. It can only deter our own personal, spiritual advance.
Bobby will use the very divisive issue of women in the pulpit.
Esther 2:19 Lesson #16 January 22, 2004
Some of you are going to be pierced with the double-edged sword, so he is going to stop part way through.
Esther is not in the plan or will of God. There is no way that her bad decisions or sins cannot deter the plan of God in history. This illustrates being out of the plan of God, but still the plan of God moves forward.
Bobby is going to clarify an issue and use it to illustrate. The illustration is women as pastor teachers or not.
Clearly women can communicate and often much better than men; and in every area of life. And they could communicate from the pulpit and do every bit as good as a job as Bobby.
A woman is excluded from becoming a pastor-teacher, and the issue is not that of an inability to communicate. The issue is the relationship between men and women. Women are designed to be responders; they respond to their husband, to leadership, and to the leadership and authority of a pastor. Authority is the key issue. A woman cannot be a pastor because she cannot wield authority teaching men in a church. Obviously, this is not considered politically correct. Wherever the Word of God disagrees with feminism or with society, then the Word of God is right and society and feminism. Whatever God reveals to us is, by definition, is what is best for us. The Word of God must be agreed with and complied with and with no exceptions. There are a lot of things in the Bible which steps on our toes. When a believer picks and chooses what he accepts and rejects in Scripture, then that believer has set himself up as the final authority of the spiritual life. If you can reject various portions of Scripture, then you have set yourself up as the spiritual authority; and that is colossal arrogance. Doctrine is your fuel for advance. If you have rejected certain portions of Scripture, then you are in a downward spiral.
Women are not given the gift of pastor teacher and are not ever given the gift of pastor teacher in the Church Age. It is wrong, according to the mandates of Scripture for women to teach from the pulpit of a church.
I Tim. 2:11–12: Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I do not allow a woman to teach, or to exercise authority over a man, but to be in silence. Submissiveness refers to being under authority; not in slavery and not as an inferior. Everyone is under some sort of authority and it is not degrading to be under authority.
1. Submissiveness does not mean that every woman is under the authority of every man. Men take this view if they are intimidated by women; particularly those in authority. R. B. Thieme III was under the authority of a female colonel. It was not a problem that she carried the authority.
2. This is a specific context. The parameters of authority are well-defined. Paul is addressing the local church only. Submissiveness here refers only to women being under the authority of a pastor.
3. V. 11 is the same phraseology that we find in I Peter 3 and Eph. 5 for the husband wife relationship. If you are a leader, you must have authority.
4. There is a parallel authority between husband and wife and pastor and women in the congregation. We carry over what we know about the husband and wife over to the pastor and woman relationship. But I do not allow a woman to teach, or to exercise authority over a man, but to be in silence. (I Tim. 2:12): Be quiet and learn the Word of God under the teaching of a pastor teacher.
5. No woman can advance spiritually until she accepts the authority of her pastor. This is why there are right pastors for different people. You cannot accept the authority of every pastor; it just isn’t possible. You can listen to various pastors, but there is a pastor whose authority you can accept, and that is the key to your advancement. Men and women learn in the same way, but women are not in the chain of command of the local church.
6. What is a pastor’s authority in the local church? The pastor teaches doctrine; and it is the doctrine which carries the real authority. The pastor’s association with God’s Word which gives him his authority.
7. A woman is not to communicate that which is the basis of he pastor’s authority.
8. If the women teaches the Word of God, she is usurping the pastor’s authority as well as in opposition to the Word of God.
9. God ➔ the Word of God ➔ the pastor ➔ the congregation (which included the women).
10. The pastor has inherent authority which comes with his gift. There is such thing as acquired authority. He acquires and establishes his authority in teaching. When a CO has authority, it is by virtue of his office, which is inherent. However, his men watch him carefully to see if he is worth following; that is acquired authority. If he is a poor leader, people will die. The act of teaching in the pulpit solidifies his authority.
11. Since a woman is not given inherent authority by the Bible, she cannot either acquire authority legitimately (although she can acquire authority in practice).
12. Now we will have a woman who attempts to usurp our Lord’s authority. Luke 11:27–28: And it happened as He spoke these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which You have sucked.” But He said, “No; rather, blessed are they who hear the Word of God and keep it.” This woman abruptly and rudely interjected her opinions. The woman was elevating the womb of his mother over what Jesus was teaching. Jesus was teaching and she interrupted this teaching. In Berachah, the outbursts are predominantly made by women. This woman in Luke is way out of line. Jese did not violate her volition. But He did, in no uncertain terms, and with great forcefulness, that there is authority and priority in the teaching of the Word of God. It is of utmost importance. This woman has gone way beyond the chain of command.
13. What about a woman teaching doctrine to other women outside of the local church? Theoretically, this seems acceptable. This can degenerate to a power struggle. Then the Word of God is no longer the issue. The issue becomes, who has the authority. There is really no need for a woman’s Bible class outside the local church. When a church does not teach doctrine from the pulpit and the pastor has no clue as to what is being taught outside his immediate periphery.
14. Having said all of this, here is the point of this illustration: if women are not to be pastors, how do we explain that some women are pastors and some actually have an impact? Christian Broadcasting is filled with women teaching and once and awhile some women teach true doctrine. In spite of the fact that this pastoral authority is not for women, God always honors His Word wherever it is taught. His Word has impact no matter who teaches it A good woman pastor is doing a right thing in a wrong way. God will not honor her efforts, even though her words have impact. She might suffer divine discipline. Doctrine never goes out without it doing good. His Word does not return void. It is doctrine that God honors, and this is the source of impact. There is no compromise with God. God does not wink at wrongdoing, even if His plan is being accomplished by that wrongdoing. Whatever violates God’s Word is verboten; you follow God’s mandates or you don’t.
15. Our heroine Esther is disobedient and outside of the will of God.
1. Even though Esther is temporarily out of the will of God, she will have an impact just as a woman pastor can have an impact.
2. The Word of God has an impact, no matter what.
3. It is not Esther herself or her actions which further God’s plan. The impact will not be because of her.
4. It is God who turns Esther’s failure to His Own purpose and glory.
5. This is simply the omnipotence and the sovereignty of God.
6. The plan of God marches on, even with the wrong person in the pulpit. However, Esther will get back into God’s plan and she will have tremendous impact.
Esther 2:(12–18) 19 Lesson #17 January 25, 2004
The purpose is to see the plan of God in the big picture. We will get nothing from this study unless we’re believers in fellowship.
Esther appears to have no idea as to what her purpose is in life; she is still into this contest and she has broken several mandates of God. The plan of God never ceases; Esther will get back into fellowship and with doctrine; and she will eventually reveal personal greatness.
God does not further His plan through sin. God does not wink at sin. God does not compromise with sin. He uses believers despite their failures. No matter what a mess we get into, God will never abandon us. God never abandons Esther and he never abandons us under any circumstances. Although God cannot be associated with sin; He never turns His back on the sinner.
Esther is representative of all the Jews who have stayed in Persia and are therefore out of God’s geographical will. God still cares for these Jews and will keep them under discipline; however, God will bless them as well. God never leaves or forsakes Esther; and likewise for all the Jews in Persia and likewise for us.
God wants the Jews to stop hiding in Persian culture; to stop amalgamating themselves into Persian life. Esther has hidden her Jewish identify from everyone in the Persian court. This woman’s soul purpose in life was to please the king in his bedroom to become the most visible and most influential person in the Persian empire.
Now, no one know that Esther is Jewish and this will come back to bite her in the ass. This monarch loved Vashti, but he also got rid of her because of her disrespect for him. The spiritual life takes care of all of us in whatever our position is. We have much more by way of resources than Esther does.
V. 19 is a break from the party.
Est 2:19 When the virgins were gathered a second time, Mordecai was sitting at the king's gate.
Everything is happy and everything is great and it suddenly appears as though we are going back to assembling of the virgins. So this is a meanwhile, back at the ranch scene. Esther still does what Mordecai tells her what to do.
Shenit (ט̣נ∵ש) which means a second time. There are many circumstances of the narrative which are left out. Sometimes there is a connection between incidents which are left out. The author does not always give us all of the detail.
V. 20 is a parenthetical statement. Read vv. 19 and 21 together.
Est 2:20 (Esther still had not revealed her family background or nationality, as Mordecai had ordered her. Esther always did whatever Mordecai told her, as she did when she was a child.)
This is like a chorus in a Greek tragedy. It was often sung while the sets were being changed on stage. In spite of her high station, Esther still followed the instructions of Mordecai. She is in effect denying her heritage. For Esther, this advice is bad guidance. Mordecai had no idea how God would have used this information (that she was Jewish).
This would be vey much like us marrying an unbeliever and then not even telling the spouse after the marriage that you are a believer. By withholding this information, they have no idea what makes you click. In Esther’s case, she just didn’t want to rock the boat. She is in the seat of power in the Persian empire. This denial was not a good thing.
Est 2:21 In those days, while Mordecai was sitting at the king's gate, Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king's eunuchs who guarded the entrance, became angry and planned to kill King Xerxes.
We resume the action with v. 21. They’re made that their girls were rejected and they were mad that Mordecai had been promoted. Mordecai discovers their plot and informs Esther. Esther tells the king and credits Mordecai.
This verse seems to come out of nowhere and it makes us ask, why are these guys mad at Ahasuerus? There is a logical answer to this. There is always plotting which goes on in the harem and in the court. In a situation like this when you are bored, there is only one thing you can do; you can plot. Eunuchs were usually noblemen whose life was dedicated to public service. They had aspirations. There were a whole lot of girls there that they could work with as well.
The cupbearer was an official position in the court and it was a very high position. Ths was not someone who simply followed the king around with a cup and when he wanted a glass of wine, this guy would hold out the cup to get a glass.
These gate guards had the favor of certain women and they wanted to unseat Esther and put one of their own girls in there. These were sore losers, who could not influence the king with their girls; they therefore decided to kill the king. A leader should not leave his people idle with nothing to do. Do not leave your subjects with idle hands. Hundreds and hundreds of couriers had nothing to do but to plot ways to gain more power. This is a mess and God has to used this mess to save the Jews.
In the middle of this plot, in the middle of Esther’s banquet, Mordecai is just sitting at a gate. The king may have promoted Mordecai, who is not even a part of he court. The two noblemen were possibly angry when Mordecai was raised to a position of great power. He was a veritable unknown.
The king’s gate is the center of commerce and legal commerce for the country of Persia. This was a very important place. Yashab (ב-שָי) [pronounced yaw-SHABV], which means to sit. First, these two guys have their girls rejected and then Mordecai gets the official post that they had their eye on.
Very likely, Esther talked Ahasuerus into promoting Mordecai. Here are two people who should not be where they are, but they are. These two will be used by God to deliver the Jews.
Esther 2:22 Lesson #18 February 1, 2004
Going to finish today before Superbowl starts. V. 18 has Esther’s party and v. 19 is something else entirely.
Esther 2:16 And Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus into his royal house in the tenth month, which is the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.
Esther 2:17 And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she rose in grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins. And he set the royal crown on her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti.
Esther 2:18 And the king made a great feast to all his princes and his servants, Esther's feast. And he ordered a release for the provinces, and gave gifts, according to the state of the king.
Esther 2:19 And when the virgins were gathered the second time, then Mordecai sat in the king's gate.
Esther 2:20 Esther had not yet revealed her kindred nor her people, as Mordecai had commanded her. For Esther obeyed the command of Mordecai as she did when she was brought up with him.
Esther 2:21 In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king's gate, two of the king's eunuchs, Bigthan and Teresh, of those who kept the door, were angry and tried to lay a hand on King Ahasuerus.
This was a position in the court; not guards like those at Buckingham palace.
Esther 2:22 And the thing was known to Mordecai, who told Esther the queen. And Esther told the king in Mordecai's name.
Esther 2:23 And when the matter was searched into, it was found out, and the two of them were hanged on a tree. And it was written in the Book of the Matters of the Days before the king.
This is the history of the Persian empire as written by the court. The king’s gate is the center of commerce for Susa. The court resided here. The king held audiences here.
Everything of importance happens at the king’s gate (v. 21). Business was transacted; people came and met the king here for an audience. Mordecai was sitting at a seat of power. Yashab means to sit; here, it means to sit as king or as judge. That Mordecai is here indicates that Mordecai holds an official position here as a judge. He has gone from obscurity to a very high position as a judge. Esther obviously had something to do with this and she influenced the king to advance Mordecai. Mordecai controls some commerce, he settles disputes btween wealthy and powerful men. However, he is an outsider. He did not come from the king’s inner circle. Because he carries a lot of clout, this no doubt caused some friction between Mordecai and those who were a part of the king’s inner circule.
Three seemingly disconnected events. Bigfan and Parish were two nobles who wanted to gain more power. Their plot centered on unseating Esther as the king’s favorite. They assembled the virgins to hopefully unseat Esther. Part of the reason was because Mordecai was in a very high position. The king loved Esther and Bigfan and Parish were upset; so they decided to assassinate the king. If they could not influence him through a new queen, they decided to approach this from another way. Mordecai is fully aware of this plot and he relays this information to Esther. He tips he off, she tips off the king, giving Mordecai the credit, and Mordecain is promoted. Mordecai’s promotion will directly impact the fuure of the Jews.
We makes hundreds of decisions a day; and if you take all of the people throughout time, and multiply this time the number of decisions—God is still able to take these decisions into consideration and incorporate them into His plan.
There are many conspiracies going on in the court of the king at one time. Ahasueris was eventually killed in his bed. God is in charge. Jesus Christ controls history. All of these things come together for the purpose of delivering the Jews.
1. People have a strong propensity to try to manipulate and control the people and circumstances around them. There is constant manuevering and jocking for position. There is a constant attempt for those to control those around them.
2. The plans of these people more often than not go awry to their own detriment. You cannot control everything around you. You cannot stuff people into a box where they cannot be stuffed. If they don’t want to be there or to do that, they will react to you.
3. Those things you seek to control often get out of control.
4. There is always an unforseen consequence of our schemes that we did not mean to happen. Good intentions can result in evil. This would be something like Christian activism. This consequence is unforseen, unintended and it is something that we cannot control. If you think about it, you realize that you do this all the time. Parents obviously need to control their children and this is their obligation. This is about those trying to manipulate those who are on equal ground with you.
5. Human manuevering is open ended. Where it goes, nobody knows and where it ends is also unknown.
6. God’s plan is never open-ended. He works things out exactly as He planned them. Bad decisions can have repercussions for us, but His plan marches on regardless.
7. Stop trying to control everything around you. The last time that you tried to control someone, you probably had a fight on your hands. You don’t have to control everyone around you.
Est 2:22 But Mordecai found out about it and informed Queen Esther. Then Esther told the king, on behalf of Mordecai.
Est 2:23 When the report was investigated and found to be true, the dead bodies of Bigthan and Teresh were hung on a pole. The matter was written up in the king's presence in his official record of daily events.
This is not the book of Chronicles, but the Chronicles of the King of Persia.
This was not hanging as we are used to, but it involved skewering the body like a shish ka bob and then planting the stake with the body on it for all to see. It was impaling. Darius V was a famous impaler. He impaled 3000 men at one time. This was carried on through the middle ages.
Vladamire was a Wallacian Prince who impaled. Two warlords trampled through his empire to war. The Ottomon empire (Turkey plus a lot of more territory) and Yanos Hunyady of Hngary. They constantly marched through Wallacian. He made up for his lack of troops with his brutality. Vlad sits at a table while there are a long line of impalations. He had impaled several thousand people. He also impaled those of his cabinet who rose against him. Dracula based upon him.
What is omitted is that the king never rewards Mordecai. This information was put into his chronicles and Mordecain probably brooded over this state of affairs. But it was not yet God’s time for him to be glorified for his service to the king. Mordecai will be promoted later and he will have a better effect at that time. God works on His Own time; His timing is perfect. God controls our time in such a way that His plan goes forward regardless of the decisions that we all make.
Chapter 3 introduces the plot of Haman. Haman is like any other anti-semite that we may find today; any anti-Semitic ruler of any mid eastern nation.
Ugly and venomous, is a book review. From the New Yorker? The Return of Anti-Semitism by Shoenfeld. This taboo is no more. Unprecedented surge of attacks on Jews and Jewish establishment. Thousands of anti-Semitic incidents throughout Israel. Arial Sharon is identified with Adolf Hitler on even US college campuses. Anti-Zionism has been morphed into anti-Semitism, which would not disappear even if Israel disappeared. No other country is judged by the same standards. Growing Communist alliance with Fascists that there is this small group of Jews who should be removed. They legitimize anti-Semitism.
Esther Lesson #19 February 8, 2004
(I missed about 10 minutes of this lesson; so I am filling it in right here)
Chapter 3 begins the study of that heinous villian Haman, who hatches an anti-Semitic plot. This is a micro-history of Israel. What happens here happens again and again in the history of Israel. Satan is well aware of the anti-Semitic clause. If Satan can destroy he Jewish race, then God is unable to keep His promise. We know that this cannot happen.
The monster reawakens: outgoing Malaysian prime minister declared to the 57 nation of the Islamic conference. European’s killed 6 million of 12 million. He says they invented Communism, Socialism, etc. He says that they have control of many nations now. The idea is a small number of Jews control the world. It is ridiculous and it is the age-old justification for persecuting the Jews.
The Clash of Civilizations by Peter Walkman concerning Bernard Lewis, a professor at Princeton university. He was chatting with Arab friends and one said, “We have time and we can wait; we got rid of the crusaders, we got rid of the Turks, and we will get rid of the Jews.” Lewis corrects him, “Excuse me, but you’ve got your history wrong: the Turks got rid of the crusaders, the British got rid of the Turks and the Jews got rid of the British.” An example of the distortion of history to justify persecution of the Jews. This is what Haman will do to persecute the Jews.
History is littered with nations who have destroyed themselves through anti-Semitism.
Some quotes from a book Anti-Semitism. I missed the first 10 minutes or so.
Est 3:1 Later, King Xerxes promoted Haman. (Haman was the son of Hammedatha and was from Agag.) He gave Haman a position higher in authority than all the other officials who were with him.
Haman was descended from the Amalekites, which is what this verse allows for. This rerfers to Saul who did not kill all of the Amalekites although God had instructed him to do so.
Est 3:2 All the king's advisers were at the king's gate, kneeling and bowing to Haman with their faces touching the ground, because the king had commanded it. But Mordecai would not kneel and bow to him.
Mordecai’s reaction to Haman was based upon the ancient conflict between the Jews and the Amalekites. Haman is still seen as an arch-enemy in conservative Judaism. He is the symbol of anti-Semitism in the mind of contemporary Jews.
Every time Haman’s name is read, “May his name be blotted out.” During the chant, a mallet is beat on a rock (the rock is Haman or the mallet is Haman). Haman’s name sums up the suffering and persecution of all anti-Semites. Their wrath is vented toward Haman, and he stands in for all antiSemites, including the most recent (Hitler, Hussien, Arafat). We are all totally depraved, as we have a sin nature which is against all that God is. Because of Adam, we all possess this sin nature, which is from birth. We are all born separated from God from birth. Rom. 5:17–18 I Cor. 15:22. Sin and evil touch every area of the soul. It permeates the mentality of our soul. It affects the exercise of our volition. It fills our self-counsciousness. Rom. 1:24–26. Distorts our conscience Rom. 1:28–32.
Sin and evil is the essence of human existence and experience. This is true of each one of us. Men do good deeds all the time. Do those who do more good deeds than bad, does this mean they have less of an OSN? Absolutely not. We all have a completely depraved osn. Some of us are controlled more than others. We have the same sin nature as Hitler does. This is this homogenius urge in all of us to sin. It is not our osn but our volition which decides to sin. The sin nature tempts us to personal sin; our volition chooses to. Evil is the intensification of our osn. This explains the evil in the world and the evil of Haman. The common practice of all theological liberals and sectarian to deny the doctrine of the depravity of man. They can only see man’s capability for good, but not for evil. They deny the nature of sin as inherent in man. Evil is not seen as a result of human volition but as a result of poverty, child abuse, war, etc. Anything which can have a negative effect on us from our environment is blamed for evil. Evil is institutionalized by them rather than internalized. Evil should not ever be seen as having an outside source. These liberals and utopians see it this way, because if man is permeated with sin, then they have no solutions, as this is inherent to all humanity—some one will always do evil. The laws of divine establishment does hold evil in check. Those who deny the depravity of man must justify evil men. Call them abnormal or insane. Cannot put them on the same level as us. We all possess this osn. These liberals see so much evidence which is contrary to what they believe. We make choices to do evil and to sin all the time. Just because we would not choose to do those things that Hitler and Stalin did, we still possess the osn. People who perpetrate heinous evil are not freaks of nature; they are not insane. People who consistently give in to their osn’s have a snowball effect. It becomes a pattern in their life. This snowball effect has a snowball effect in their life. Any one of us can make a bad choice and perpetrate evil.
God is not the perpetrator of sin or evil. The existence of evil in this world does not mean that there is no God in this world. This world will never be utopian until Christ sits on the throne of the earth. Still, people will have osn’s and their children will have osn’s and these children will still reject the Lord Jesus Christ, and there will be a revolution against Christ. Evil comes from you and me. This revelation is so overwhelming to some, that it makes them depressed. We should be able to look evil straight in the face and understand it. Man has an inherently sinful nature. Christianity also offers the real, permanent solution. Our advance to maturity is hindered by the function of the osn. The osn never disappears from our life. Our advance can make our osn less and less effective in our life.
We are a part of the solution; we can perpetrate evil, but we can also choose not to. Total indulgence of the osn explains the horrendous evil of Haman. Haman was evil because of the choices that he made; not because of the environment that he lives in. It is not evil per se which is the essence of this book; it is that God allows this man to be raised to his position. This way we can see the control of God over history. We will se more and more evil as history progresses. The Lord is on high forever.
Esther 3:3 Lesson #20 February 10, 2004
Haman, an anti-Semite, is promoted to a high place. The Bible does not give us his qualifications. The king owed a debt to Mordecai because he saved his life or something, but Haman is promoted over Mordecai. Injustice is all around us; we’ve all been recipients of injustice. God is the only true vindicator of injustice and we can’t spend all of our time running around fixing every injustice done against us.
The story of Joseph, as an example of injustice. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers and Potipher promoted him over his household. Potipher’s wife took a liking to Joseph, but Joseph refused, so she claimed that he attempted to rape her. Potipher tossed him into jail. Joseph reads a dream and then uses his influence to overcome injustice. The butler, who was to recall him, forgot Joseph and he could not vindicate himself. Jesus Christ vindicated Joseph; Joseph could not do it on his own. Unless the Lord promotes you, you are not promoted. Injustice is a part of our lives. The way we handle our injustice is a part of our service to the Lord.
1. When you are the victim of injustice that you can do nothing about, you apply doctrine, you wait on the Lord and you let Him vindicate you. Then you can relax; that is a part of your service to the Lord. Injustice is a difficult test to pass. It is simply someone putting you down and bringing themselves up on your shoulders.
2. The Lord can do an infintiely better job of correcting injustice than we can.
3. You may not be vindicated in your lifetime, you still trust in Him.
4. God has a reason that will be to his ultimate glory and to His advantage.
5. You always have a part in God’s plan even if you don’t know how or why. You may never know.
6. When you face injustice and remain in the plan of God, you will receive a reward in heaven for something that you didn’t even realize that you did.
7. You must handle injustice in the only way that you can. Stay in fellowship, take in doctrine, use the problem solving devices, and trust in the Lord for a solution. You cannot handle injustice without a spiritual life.
8. You are ready for anything and you can deal with anything if you can handle the injustice test.
9. You will not lose sleep because you can’t figure out what is up with the plan of God for you. You might be suffering for blessing, but there is no reason for you to know why or how.
Est 3:3 Then the king's advisers at the king's gate asked Mordecai, "Why do you ignore the king's command?"
Mordecai is a man of power and he hangs at the king’s gate, as the king does. This is a place of great authority. This power was given over to Haman. Others try to convince Mordecai to bow down. “Just bend down for a moment, and then go on with your life.”
There was probably some jealousy as well and these guys probably didn’t care much for Mordecai, so they went to Haman. They expose Mordecai to the vengeance of Haman.
1. Many supposed friendships are only a breath away from enmity.
2. Phoney friends will show you great kindness as long as they can control you. As long as you do as they say.
3. If you make a decision contrary to their desires and advice, look out, watch for a knife in your back.
4. You will lose a friend that you never really had and they will cut your throat.
5. If you follow their direction, you will receive their praise..
6. If you act in opposition in accordance with your own views, there will be problems.
7. Arrogance will take over. These people are only your friend for as long as they can control you. They are trying to control Mordecai and they cannot. These men then expose Mordecai to the vengeance of Haman.
Est 3:4 Although they asked him day after day, he paid no attention to them. So they informed Haman to see if Mordecai's actions would be tolerated, since Mordecai had told them that he was a Jew.
The king gave up on the running of this empire and it is turned over to Haman. An arrogant, self-serving, anti-Semite. Everyone is to bow down to Haman. Now, the last time that someone refused to do what the king required, she disappeared (Vashti).
Interesting that Mordecai told Esther to hide the face that she is a Jew and now he is telling everyone that he is a Jew. Mordecai and Esther are both outside of the geographical will of God. Under Ezra, many have already gone back. Some would later go back with Nehemiah. Why would successful Jews leave their lives and go to Israel and begin from square one. Despite being outside of God’s geographical will, Mordecai is aware of God and he knows the Mosaic Law. He was trained at some point.
There have been times when Jews bowed down to authority figures (several passages are given). However, there is something else going on here, and we are not told why he does not bow down to Haman. Haman could be anti-Semitic and Mordecai has refused to bow down to him for that reason. There could be some deity assigned to Haman. Bobby is sure that this act of bowing was a worshipful act. The Hebrew word it kara׳ (א-ר-כ) [pronounced kaw-RAH], which is a word for to worship. Haman with the blessing of the king was to be regarded as a religious leader or icon.
Est 3:5 When Haman saw that Mordecai did not kneel and bow to him, Haman was infuriated.
Here, Mordecai does not obey the king’s dictate to bow down to Haman. He does this on the basis of doctrine.
Mordecai refuses to bow down to Haman, and thus puts his life in danger. He knows what happened when Vashti defied the king. You don’t mock the king’s authority without paying a price. Mordecai was finally taking a stand for his faith. Where doctrine and authority orientation clash, doctrine must come first. God’s mandates must come first. When these two cross each other, then you must follow the mandates of God. Mordecai does not start a revolution. We do owe allegiance to civil authority, but there is a point at which we might have to resist. Mordecai picked one heck of a time to stand up to the Persian empire. But it is the right time. He took into account all that could happen to him and he refuses to bow. He probably had no idea the far reaching affects of this disobedience, but this act will deliver the Jews from a holocaust.
You can be way outside of the plan of God, rebound, apply doctrine, and God can use you in a fantastic way. You’re either in or out; you either fold or you play.
Est 3:6 Because the king's advisers had informed him about Mordecai's nationality, he thought it beneath himself to kill only Mordecai. So Haman planned to wipe out Mordecai's people-all the Jews in the entire kingdom of Xerxes.
This guy goes ballistic; he goes postal. This is antisemitism. Hitler’s speeches are filled will rage and hatred. This is a guy who owns the empire and he gets upset because one little Jew will not bow down to him. Haman is given the highest position in the land right under Ahasuerus. He could have and command anything in this vast empire. However, he is obsessed when one Jew does not bow down to him.
Abuse of power comes from arrogant people with authority. This is typical. We will see a lot of people with power and abusing power in the next year. You oh Lord on are high forever. That is the proper perspective. Even when you get mad and angry and frustrated with the politicians, God is still in control on His throne. Petty, arrogant, little men are headed for the trash heap of history. That is our hope and our confidence in life. No matter how bad things get, realize, the Lord is on high forever.
1. Haman thinks so highly of himself that he looks at the world through the medium of his own vast, self-importance.
2. He judges and evaluates everything in life as it relates to himself. He can only see things through his own eyes and through his own arrogance.
3. Good in his eyes is only what gives him pleasure.
4. Bad is only what he doesn’t like.
5. It has nothing to do with a standard of good or bad. There is no objective standard. Things are only good or bad based upon his own self.
6. Haman has only the standard of himself.
7. Haman can never be satisfied by the treatment of himself by others unless they are totally subservient to him. He could not pass over Mordecai’s refusal to bow down.
One of the greatest evils in life is anti-Semitism.
Esther 3:7 Lesson #21 February 12, 2004
Just cooperate and get along is the advice that was given to Mordecai. First, Mordecai’s colleagues tried to talk him out of following his principles. These guys probably didn’t like Mordecai as he was an outsider and he was highly promoted. This was an arrogant bunch because Mordecai would not follow their advice. Some people are your friends if you do whatever they tell you to do. These men are not really Mordecai’s friends. They are in competition with Mordecai.
The reason that Mordecai would not bow down is because he was a Jew (v. 4). The bowing down was an act of worship. The Persian king was regarded by his subjects as divinity. The Romans were about the same. What is unusual is for Haman to receive this same adoration. Haman saw himself as an object or worship and expected others to bow down and worship him. The last time someone did not obey the king, she was removed from the public eye (Vashti).
Recall the Mordecai originally advised Esther to hide the fact that she was Jewish. Here, he has just revealed to everyone who will listen, that he is a Jew. Suddenly, everyone realizes that Mordecai is a Jew. Somewhere in Mordecai’s past, he had become familiar with the Law of God. Mordecai must have rebounded and gotten with it. The spiritual life will take you from compromising in everything to compromising in nothing.
Haman was filled with rage when Mordecai did not bow down to him. He would have loved to have killed Mordecai with his bare hands. This brings great rage into his soul. Here is a man who has everything: wealth and power, and he holds the Persian empire in his hand. Yet he is obsessed with one little Jew who will not bow down to him. Haman is incredibly arrogant. He is the epitome of arrogance in Scripture.
1. Haman judges everything as it related to himself. He is unable to tolerate any views except for his own.
2. Good, in Haman’s view, is just that which gives him pleasure.
3. Bad is only what he does not like. This is true unbridled arrogance.
4. Bobby went to college 1968–1972. I can do anything I want whenever I want. That is freedom run amuck.
5. This has nothing to do with some outside standard of good or bad; and there is certainly no divine standard.
6. Haman has only his self-centered, self-serving subjective standard by which he can evaluate life and circumstances.
7. Haman can never be satisfied with how others treat him unless they do exactly what he wants.
8. Haman has an insatiable thirst for praise and approbation.
9. Because of this approbation lust, he could not pass over Mordecai’s refusal to bow down.
10. He was filled with killer lust and he wants to avenge his pride. This is not just against Mordecai, but this is against all Jews. This is classic anti-Semitism. We must be able to look out for people like this. They are poisonous and cruel. They will trample anyone’s freedom in order to satiate their own lusts. If you react to them, they will bring you down to their level.
11. With an ounce of humility, Haman would have handled this quietly and privately. His arrogance will not allow him to do anything else.
Darius I was the first emperor of the consolidated Persian empire and he was who Daniel served until he died. Darius could be ruthless. He impaled several thousand people at one time. But he could also be wise. Darius was on state business traveling, and he went with his cabinet and he traveled with this robe, which was the most recognizable thing which identified him as king. Some fawning dude asked him for this cape, as a memorabilia. The other courtiers are all jealous of this guy. Anyone else who wore this robe, this was a capital offense. This guy couldn’t help himself. He went to a private place and tried this robe on. Someone observed him and he was reported to Darius I; just like those guys went to Haman and told him about Mordecai. Darius couldn’t let this go. He understood the pettiness involved. This sort of pettiness and infighting also breeds conspiracy. Darius used a little humor instead. “I gave this courtier leave as a woman to wear this robe and as insane, I gave him this robe to wear.” Darius simply defused this situation. He brought the courtier down in the eyes of his rivals, but he did not have to kill this guy.. Haman had no humility. He could have handled this matter privately. Anti-Semitism would not allow him to behave sensibly. After all, he was an Amalekite. Had he handled this correctly, he would have shown himself to be a great leader. This is the same sort of arrogance that we find in Sadam Hussien or Yasar Arrafat or Hitler. There will be more than a desire to kill Mordecai, but a plot to kill all of the Jews in Persia (including those in Palestine, which was still a part of the Persian empire).
God will never allow Israel to be destroyed. Every nation which has tried to destroy the Jew has been relegated to the trash heap. Philistines, Phoenicians, the Assyrians, Spain (during the inquisition), Russia, Germany. No power on earth can destroy the Jew because of the Abrahamic covenant. We must, in the United States, continue to offer a haven for the Jews, and we are to support the Jew wherever he is. God’s client nation provides a haven for the Jews and attempts to protect the Jew overseas. If the Jews are destroyed, God cannot keep His covenant promise, so that is Satan’s objective. The reason is, Satan wants to bring God down to his level. Satan is the greatest lia, so he wants to make God a liar. That the Jews have not been distorted is a testimony to God’s faithfulness. Isa. 54:17: No weapon that has been made to be used against you will succeed. You will have an answer for anyone who accuses you. This is the inheritance of the LORD'S servants. Their victory comes from me," declares the LORD.
When Haman heard that Mordecai was Jewish, he sought to destroy all Jews. Shalach (ח-לָש) [pronounced shaw-LAHKH], which means to send a hand against, to strike out and destroy. Haman knows the story of his ancestors and he wants to take revenge.
Anger as it is related to Haman’s situation
1. Anger breeds irrationality, antagonism and finally hatred.
2. It can with hatred and anti-Semitism to perpetrate vengeance on a major scale.
3. Haman’s anger could not be satiated with Mordecai’s death alone. Even the slaughter of many Jews was not sufficient.
4. The whole race of jews must be destroyed to satisfy Haman.
5. The reason for his hatred is stated in v. 6: They were the people of Mordecai.
6. Haman has a problem with Mordecai which is his problem with all Jews.
7. Hatred of one Jew becomes irrational hated for all Jews.
8. One person stands for the whole race and the whole race is as one person. This is the extent of arrogance and hatred of all Jews. Satan continually tries to invalidate God’s promise to the Jews. Anti-semitism is the cornerstone of Satan’s policy. Haman is Satan’s will dupe.
Est 3:7 In Xerxes' twelfth year as king, Pur (which means the lot) was thrown in front of Haman for every day of every month, from Nisan, the first month, until Adar, the twelfth month.
V. 7 is a little time line, before we get the plot of Haman. This verse seems to be thrown in here. It doesn’t seem to fit with the narrative. Por or Pur is a Babylonia word. Goral is the appositional position. It is a lot or a dice. This is the word from which we get the Feast of Purim. A lot was a pebble or a piece of wood and a decision was made based upon how the lot fell. It’s a game of chance. This was practiced by Israel to determine the will of God (Lev. Joshua I Sam. ). V. 7 gives the dates which Haman cast his lots. This is five years after Esther was made queen. The translation from day to day and month to month. These lots were cast with references to all the days of the year. Haman was casting lots to determine a day and a month to exterminate the Jews. The 12th month was chosen (February), but we don’t know the date here. Esther 8:12 9:1 that this is the 13th day. Haman was very superstitious. He was relying on fate when it came to casting these lots. By casting lots, Haman was appealing for a time from his heathen gods. In his gut, Haman knew what it was that he wanted to do. Very similar to Islamic kismet and fate. If the gods so willed it, then that is it. It relieves them from being responsible for their actions.
This is the irony. It will not be the false gods who determine what will happen; it will be the decision of Jesus Christ. Instead of Israel being destroyed, it will be Haman himself who will be destroyed. God takes care of His people and He curses those who curse Israel and God is in control of history. Haman is throwing the dice at the table and God is deciding whether it is 7 or 11.
February 15–19 was taught by Robert Dean Jr.
Sunday’s Message Lesson #22 February 22, 2004
Esther 3, which introduces Haman, the anti-Semitic villian. The empire has essentially been turned over to him. As a person high up, Haman becomes an object of worship. Haman is one of the most arrogant men in Scripture. He desires approbation and is not satisfied unless others grovel at his feet.
Mordecai believes only in God the living God and he will not bow down to Haman. This refusal to bow means a hideous death by impaling. Mordecai has arrived as the man who needs to be in the plan of God. Haman has worked up a killer lust. He does not want to just kill Mordecai, but he wants to kill every man woman and child in the empire. For Mordecai’s slight, Haman decides the entire population of Jews in Persia must die. In essence, this is a holocaust. This reflects the angelic conflict.
Esther 3:5 And when Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow nor worship him, then Haman was full of wrath.
Esther 3:6 And he scorned to lay hands only on Mordecai, for they had revealed to him the people of Mordecai. And Haman sought to destroy all the Jews throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, the people of Mordecai.
Mordecai is going to attempt to finish the job that his ancestors attempted to begin in the time of Moses. There is no question that Haman is Satan’s man. The Jews were the people of Mordecai.
Baqash = Haman will come up with a plot or strategy to convince Ahasuerus to destroy all of the Jews.
Esther 3:7 In the first month, that is, the month Nisan, in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, they cast Pur, the lot, before Haman from day to day, and from month to month, to the twelfth month, the month Adar.
What they did was cast lots in order to figure out the best time to slaughter the Jews. Pur explained by gorel. They are in apposition, and they are synonymous terms. Pur is the word used for the name of this feast: Purim. They name a feast day after the word for lots, because these lots fell the way that God wanted them to fall.
A lot was a pebble or a piece of wood and the person who throws it determine what the deal is. These lots are done to determine the will of God, as God determines how the lots fall. Lev. 16:8 Joshua 14:2 When Israel cast lots, they were determined by God. This was done for the distribution of land to which tribes.
The lots were cast on the first month of the year. Nissan is March/April. Lots were cast with reference to all days and months. 13th of Adar would be the day that Haman began the extermination of the Jews. There was nearly a full year between Haman casting these lots and Haman being able to begin this killing.
Why didin’t Haman just start right up? He was a very superstitious and he relied upon fate to dictate. Haman was plotting to kill hundreds of thousands of people. He cast lots to appeal for guidance by a divinity. He had to confirm this by appealing to the gods. All of this is terribly ironic; because it is why the Jews celebrate this. The True God of History determines how this will all turn out. God always takes care of His people and He always curses those men who curse His people.
Esther 3:8 And Haman said to King Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people, in all the provinces of your kingdom. And their laws are different from all people, neither do they keep the king's laws. And it is not for the king's gain to allow them to live.
V. 8 is a summary of the big lie of anti-Semitism. Haman says, “Jews are different from all other people.” Further, Haman says they only obey their own laws and customs. This justifies the murder of all of the Jews. There is enough truth in this for the anti-Semite for him to convince others of his hatred. These Jews have been good citizens. They have not ruined the empire of Persia. Isa. 54:17 promises the end of these evil attacks. Isa. 54:17: No weapon that is formed against you shall be blessed; and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment, you shall condemn. This is the inheritance of the servants of Jehovah, and their righteousness is from Me, says Jehovah.
How Haman can propose to destroy all the Jews because of Mordecai is unbelievable. He looks to the eking for authorization for murder and genocide. He confirms that this insidious Jews are everywhere. The Jews have lived in the Babylonian and Persian empire for over 100 years without incident. A wide scattering of these people must be dealt with.
Nûwach = to cause to rest, to leave alone, to provide a haven for them. This verb has with it a negative. Haman does not want Ahasuerus to provide a haven for the Jews. If our nation began such a policy, our country would go down. Haman has asked Ahasuerus to embrace anti-Semitism, he would be the cause of the fall of his empire. Ahasuerus will later come out of his bedroom and want to know what is going on.
Truly the Mosaic law is different from all other laws because it is from God. That does not preclude the Jews from obedience to the king’s law. The Scripture always affirms obedience to the laws of divine establishment. Violating the laws of the land is a crime. We must respect civil government. Without civil government, anarchy and then tyranny results. Is there ever a time when believers should disobey national laws. We should be extremely careful when it comes to disobeying the law of the land. Often, this is just an excuse to circumvent the law. We have the obligation to pay taxes. We need to be reminded that those most faithful to their country are those who are most faithful to God. There are a few times when the laws of a nation must be superceded by a greater law. The believer has the spiritual responsibilities to witness and to grow. Under these circumstances, disobeying the law becomes a necessity. This will take time to develop, so he will do it next time.
Esther 3:9 If it pleases the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed. And I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those who have charge of the business, to bring it into the king's treasuries.
Est 3:8 Now, Haman told King Xerxes, "Your Majesty, there is a certain nationality scattered among-but separate from-the nationalities in all the provinces of your kingdom. Their laws differ from those of all other nationalities. They do not obey your decrees. So it is not in your interest to tolerate them, Your Majesty.
Two charges against the Jews—they differ from all of the other nationalities and they do not obey the decrees of the king.
Esther Lesson #23 February 24, 2004
The question of Sunday is covered: at what point is it legitimate for a believer to disobey the laws of the land? This has been distorted. The conscientious objector generally is afraid for himself, although he distorts “You will not murder” in order to justify himself. Another example is that of a believer who refused to pay taxes because they don’t like where it is going to.
Those who are most faithful to their country are generally those who are most faithful to God. A believer can disobey certain laws with reservations.
Ahasuerus does not check out what Haman suggests. This makes him just as culpable as Haman. There is no excuse here. The king is signing a death warrant for Mordecai, who has saved his life. The king also has signed a death warrant for his wife and the woman he loves. When injustice strikes, the Lord knows and it is within his loving and all-powerful hands. Esther’s inclusion in the death warrant would probably sign the death warrant for Haman. The last thing that Ahasuerus wants is to kill his new bride. However, he will go along with Haman’s suggestion. The first piece of evidence is that the Jews were scattered throughout the kingdom. It is now 474 b.c. and they were placed there in 575 b.c. The king is not interested in researching the facts. “Sire, they are breaking your laws, and these laws were passed on from their fathers.” Ahasuerus should have asked, “Do their practices really conflict with our laws?” He does not ask or investigate. This is what happens when a leader abdicates responsibility for that which he is responsible for. This is like a man who abandons his children to pursue something else.
Had Ahasuerus examined things more carefully, he would have been able to see if the Persian laws were being broken by the Jews. Ahasuerus is about to take Draconian measures in his empire.
The second half of v. 3 where 2/3rds of the national income will be rewarded to those who kill the Jews.
Esther 3:9 Lesson #24 February 26, 2004
The charges against the Jews are: (1) they’re everywhere and (2) their religious customs are different. Haman, this anti-Semitic, has gotten the approval of the king to kill off all the Jews.
Est 3:9 If you approve, have the orders for their destruction be written. For this I will pay 750,000 pounds of silver to your treasurers to be put in your treasury."
The Persian IRS will collect this amount of money. There is no discussion presented.
Haman is willing to pay this huge amount of enemy for the privilege of killing his enemies. The annual income of the Persian empire was 15,000 talents, so this offering is 2/3rds of the national income. 750,000 lbs. or 375 tons of pure silver. Haman would probably have gotten this money from the Jews that he would kill.
Bobby traveled in eastern Europe after the fall of the Russian empire. One of the extermination camps is in southern Poland (Auswitz). 4,000,000 Jews died there. Satan once again was thwarted in his desire to kill the Jews. This is actually a fairly small compound where as the adjacent Berkinow was much larger. Cement foundations are everywhere. There are some barracks still in tact, not unlike WW2 barracks. They’re made of stone (?). 2nd story removed. Plexiglass 2 stories high and divided barracks in 2. In those 4 barracks, we have 4 items to describe what occurred in this camp. One is completely filled with shoes. This was a 2 story pile of shoes. In the second barracks in a large pile with hundreds of suitcases. A name was etched on each suitcase. These items had been kept in storage by the Germans. In the 3rd barracks there were 1000's of eyeglasses. The 4th barracks, and there appears to be this giant dustball which reaches to the ceiling. These are hundreds of tons of human hair. It had also been collected and put into a warehouse. Each display represented an aspect of anti-Semitism. The shoes represent the Jews walking away from everything that they knew. Suitcases, they walked away from every material aspect of their lives. That was taken from them as well. They no longer had any possessions or lives. The glasses removed means that they could see no life outside the camp. The hair represents the removal of their lives. This tells us volumes about the angelic conflict. This is what Haman had planned for the Jews in 476 b.c.
The Jews were prosperous in the Persian empire, which is why Haman knew that he could get this money that he was talking about. Our Lord has some implacable enemies. These are our enemies. Haman was no different than Hitler; he had the same motivation. Anti-Semitism is the same in every generation. Today, Hitler and the Nazi empire is gone; however, the Jews are still here. Satan is bent on our destruction, just as he is bent on destroying the Jews. I Peter 5:8: Keep your mind clear, and be alert. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion as he looks for someone to devour. Haman already got one silly decree through. Ahasuerus doesn’t even ask the identity of this people. However, there is a callousness and a negligence which is stupefying. Ahasuerus is asking for trouble here.
Caligula wished that the Roman people had one neck, so that he could lop it off with one swing. An all-powerful but misguided king who becomes a pawn in the evil of Haman. God will preserve these Jews. Jews die in the angelic conflict, but they will always be preserved. Ahasuerus will bear as much blame as Haman in this scheme. However, Ahasuerus will turn himself around. There are cases where absolute power completely corrupts.
Rom. 13:4: The government is God's servant working for your good. But if you do what is wrong, you should be afraid. The government has the right to carry out the death sentence. It is God's servant, an avenger to execute God's anger on anyone who does what is wrong. Capital punishment is not state-authorized murder. It is authorized by God.
Absolute power vested in just one person. If the master is corrupt, then his underlings will also become corrupt. The corollary of that is, if you function in armed revolution against that person, you often take on the characteristics of that ruler that you oppose. Examples of this in Africa. The dictator is corrupt, and then those around him, and then those who oppose him.
Absolute power corrupts and it takes incredible integrity to oppose it. This can be seen at every level of power. It takes tremendous integrity not to fall prey to that. Even though we have great corruption on every level, we still have incredible freedom in our country. We will watch the Lord overrule this very powerful monarch. Whenever Jesus Christ controls history, which is always, no matter what men do, God will always direct history to result in His victory.
Est 3:10 At that, the king removed his signet ring and gave it to Haman, the enemy of the Jews. (Haman was the son of Hammedatha and was from Agag).
You would think that one statement of his lineage would be enough. Here, it is mentioned one more time. The signet ring conveys the authority of Ahasuerus to Haman, and Haman can essentially pass whatever law that he chooses to. This ring sets up law and it is the law in any kingdom. All Haman has to do is to use this to set the signature on any bill. This is anti-Semitism in control.
The king has given Haman carte blanc in the matter of the Jews.
Est 3:11 The king told Haman, "You can keep your silver and do with the people whatever you like."
The king gives Haman the authority and the money as well. It sounds as though the king is willing to forgo the silver. However, it does mean this. This phrase could be interpreted as “Keep the money.” That is how the Septuagint translators understood it. The king rejects the offer of 10,000 talents; it could also be taken as, “If you want to put that much money into my treasury, then that’s all right with me.” See Esther 4:7. This is a formulaic saying meaning, “I will accept this bribe.” This also tells us why Ahasuerus gave his okay here, without investigating this matter more fully. “If you feel that these people should be exterminated, then that’s fine; I accept the bribe.” That is, “It is your silver and if you want to give it to me, then that’s fine by me.”
Esther 3:12 Esther #25 February 29, 2004
The courriers went out an distributed this memo. Death to all Jews. In signing this warrant, Ahasuerus has in fact singed his own death warrant. No leader or nation can do something like this and flourish. He will rule for only 9 more years after this incident, courtesy of Mordecai and Esther. He will be killed by the captain of his bodyguard, the same one that Mordecai saved him from. When leadership become corrupt or criminal, they bring others along with them in their guilt.
In the military, there was the deal where you could disobey an illegal order. We always have a choice, even in the military. When it is wrong, an order must be disobeyed.
The jews are celebrating this feast of Purim, yet they do not recognize the Lord Who bought them. There was a plot to kill the Jews and steal their wealth.
Est 3:12 On the thirteenth day of the first month the king's scribes were summoned. All Haman's orders were written to the king's satraps, the governors of every province, and the officials of every people. They wrote to each province in its own script and to the people in each province in their own language. The orders were signed in the name of King Xerxes and sealed with the king's ring.
This decree is now in effect.
Est 3:13 Messengers were sent with official documents to all the king's provinces. The people were ordered to wipe out, kill, and destroy all the Jews-young and old, women and children-on a single day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar. Their possessions were also to be seized.
The Feast of Purim is celebrated by the Jews throughout the world during this time (February-March, which is Adar). One of the motivations of the Anti-Semite is to confiscate the possessions of the Jews. The message which was carried was to annihilate and plunder the Jews. We have the words to wipe out, to kill and to destroy, which appears to be overkill.
What is surprising, is that this was to be done in one day. When a number is put in connection with yôm, then we are talking about a 24 hour day. There are at least 50,000 people in Palestine right now who returned; therefore, there are going be at least that many in the Persian empire. This would have to be very organized. The Jews would have to be gathered up. The diaspora is a part of the curse on the Jews. This is the 5th cycle of discipline for the Jew. This also demonstrates the care and preservation of the Jews. If Satan destroys every Jew, then God veracity is called into question. The destruction of the Jews is his last best chance at overturning God’s plan. For Satan to destroy the Jew, he has to gather them from all over, which is a logistical nightmare.
Jer. 31:35–37: The LORD provides the sun to be a light during the day. He orders the moon and stars to be lights during the night. He stirs up the sea so that its waves roar. His name is the LORD of Armies. This is what the LORD says: Only if these laws stop working, declares the LORD, will Israel's descendants stop being a nation in my presence. This is what the LORD says: Only if the heavens could be measured or the foundations of the earth could be searched, would I ever reject all of Israel's descendants because of everything that they have done, declares the LORD. There is no chance that the sun, the noon or the stars will cease; therefore, the Jews will not cease to exist either. The heavens cannot be measured; they are infinite. We cannot quantify the extent of the heavens. If though the Jews are faithless, God is faithful.
Haman’s logistical problem. He needs a place to hold the Jews for this big day of massacre. It is his mission, even though it may not be possible. They’ve had 100 years to disperse themselves throughout the Persian empire. After gathering them, there is the problem of killing all of them as well. These are the exact same problems faced by the Nazis, who had hoped to gather the Jews and kill them in Germany. An eerie parallel here.
This date is almost a year later. March-April is when Haman threw the lots; Haman needed to plan this out; but this was done in such a way as to agree with the way that the Lord wanted the dice to fall. Bobby believes this to be God’s directive will (that is, to have the one year time period). We don’t have to know exactly how God is working at any given time. We only need to know where we fit into the big picture, which God will make clear to us if we are looking into it. God has a plan for each one of us, which we may not grasp in its entirety. Sometimes, we can look back on our lives and see how God has taken us from point A to point B.
A specific day is given for this to occur and their riches are to be held in escrow.
Est 3:14 A copy of the document was made public in a decree to every province. All the people were to be ready for this day.
Haman wanted to make certain that everyone in his empire was ready to participate in his murderous plot. God has a purpose in this edict, a purpose that Haman has no clue about. After all, if we don’t always see God’s plan in our lives, unbelievers will also miss parts of His plan. The entire empire will be able to discover that there is no God but the God of Israel. This edict will be a witness for Jesus Christ. Jonah was reluctant to carry out his mission, just as the Jews are reluctant to return to Israel.
Haman made the error of sending this edict out to everyone. Those who read this edict realized that, “If Haman wants to wipe out all the Jews; will we be next?” God will destroy Haman in the end, and this will be visible to everyone. The entire kingdom will understand that those who are anti-Semitic will be destroyed.
Est 3:15 The messengers hurried out as the king told them. The decree was also issued at the fortress of Susa. So the king and Haman sat down to drink a toast, but the city of Susa was in turmoil.
Haman, in doing this, has signed his own death warrant. Ahasuerus will rule for only 9 more years, because of Esther and Mordecai being a part of his cabinet. This edict of the king was well-thought out by Haman, and he probably had several lawyers look it over.
The satraps were those who ruled over several cites, the governors were below them and the leaders were below them. The entire leadership of this empire are now included in this anti-Semitic bill. One of Bobby’s classes discussed what was a lawful and an unlawful order. An enlisted man could disobey an order if it was unlawful. Those in the service are given the choice not to obey orders, if the orders are unlawful. In theory, this seems simple, but in practice, it is not.
Doctrine is valuable to us for when we face issues that are difficult. We won’t be baffled by grey areas or if we are uncertain of certain decisions.
The Passing of the Baton to Bobby March 28, 2004
[not a part of the Esther series]
It’s been a full month since Bobby was teaching. Speakers are Rick, Rick and Joe.
This is not Bobby. It is Pastor Rick Knapp (maybe Rick Hughes?) giving an introduction. Paul’s course of exertion and his communication of the Word was not finished until he had passed this on.
Bobby’s debut message? I assume that was back in June of last year? This guy knew that Bobby would be the pastor.
Grace to you and peace was Paul’s standard greeting. In all of Paul’s church epistles, the pastoral epistles begin with grace, mercy and peace. With authority invested in the pastor, there is a special something. Those who are making known the Word of God are right in the middle of the angelic conflict. Mercy alleviates us from the effects of failure and other things. There are those out there who seek to discredit pastors. Minister is often faced with terrific loneliness.
Sometimes mercy comes from a loyal core of listeners and deacons and supporters. Bobby is receiving the baton from a true man of God. Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. Watch out for the canine clergy and be a part of the grace clergy. In every generation, there have been grace men, grace clergy to teach the Word of God. Contemporary message of the cross. “God has seized you, Bobby, as it did Saul.”
We receive mercy in our regeneration and we receive mercy in our ministry. Paul is the first spear of the advancing legions to the high ground. I Timothy 1:13–16: I have received mercy...I am the foremost of sinners. For this reason, I found mercy. He welcomes Bobby as a recipient of God’s abundant mercy. II Cor. 4:1–18 (we don’t quit, we don’t lose heart): Therefore since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not faint. But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness, nor adulterating the Word of God, but by the revelation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. But also if our gospel is hidden, it is hidden to those being lost, in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving ones, so that the light of the glorious gospel of Christ (who is the image of God) should not dawn on them. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For it is God who said, "Out of darkness Light shall shine;" who shone in our hearts to give the brightness of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us; in every way having been troubled, but not having been hemmed in; having been perplexed, but not utterly at a loss; having been persecuted, but not having been forsaken; having been thrown down, but not having been destroyed; always bearing about the dying of the Lord Jesus in the body, so that the life of Jesus also might be revealed in our body. For we who live are always being delivered to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus might also be revealed in our body. So then death works in us, but life in you. For we, having the same spirit of faith (according as it is written, "I believed, and therefore I have spoken"); we also believed and therefore speak, knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus shall also raise us up by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sake, so that the superabounding grace might be made to abound through the thanksgiving of the greater number, to the glory of God. For this cause we do not faint; but though our outward man perishes, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For the lightness of our present affliction works out for us a far more excellent eternal weight of glory, we not considering the things which are seen, but the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are not lasting, but the things which are not seen are everlasting. “Welcome, R. B. Thieme III to the Berachah battalion.”
Another guy also a part of this introduction. Philip. 3:16 Psalm 32:6
Philip. Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is indeed not grievous to me, but for you it is safe.
Philip. 3:2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision party.
Philip. 3:3 For we are the circumcision who worship God in the spirit and rejoice in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh;
Philip. 3:4 though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other thinks that he has reason to trust in the flesh, I more.
Philip. 3:5 I was circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews. As regards the Law, I was a Pharisee;
Philip. 3:6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church; regarding the righteousness in the Law, blameless.
Philip. 3:7 But whatever things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
Philip. 3:8 But no, rather, I also count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them to be dung, so that I may win Christ
Philip. 3:9 and be found in Him; not having my own righteousness, which is of the Law, but through the faith of Christ, the righteousness of God by faith,
Philip. 3:10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death;
Philip. 3:11 if by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead.
Philip. 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect, but I am pressing on, if I may lay hold of that for which I also was taken hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philip. 3:13 My brothers, I do not count myself to have taken possession, but one thing I do, forgetting the things behind and reaching forward to the things before,
Philip. 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Philip. 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, be of this mind. And if in anything you are otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this to you.
Philip. 3:16 Yet, as to what we have already attained, let us walk in the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
Philip. 3:17 Brothers, be imitators together of me, and mark those who walk this way, for you have us for a pattern.
Philip. 3:18 (For many are walking, of whom I have told you often and now tell you even weeping, as the enemies of the cross of Christ;
Philip. 3:19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, those who mind earthly things.)
The greatest thing that the believe can do is to live up to his destiny. The problem is one’s volition. We have no one to blame but ourselves. Only mature people in a relative sense are aware of their immaturity.
God gave us a new point man, who is our pastor teacher.
A third person stands up...maybe Joe Griffin? This is a change of command ceremony. An old era is being replaced by a new era at this point. This guy and Rick Hughes went to the University of Alabama together. Rick asked him who should replace Bobby and he answered unhesitatingtly, “Ray Perkins.” No matter how successful you are, you are often measured by your predecessor. R. B. Thieme III had planned on preserving Bob’s teaching during this time. Bobby was asked to become the interim pastor and he slowly discovered that his gift was to be used as pastor teacher. Operation Ray Perkins. 3 men were considered. Being qualified for the job was not the real key, but which man was designed by God to fulfil this position.
Chafer encouraged his students to build upon what he had developed as a base. Bob was the only one who really improved upon the base of Chafer. I Peter 5:2–3: Feed the flock of God among you, taking the oversight, not by compulsion, but willingly; nor for base gain, but readily; nor as lording it over those allotted to you by God, but becoming examples to the flock.
There will be a laying on of hands even by the deacons and pastors who are there.
A prayer by another dude.
Some announcements. Bible classes begin again Tuesday at 8.
Esther 3 review Esther #26 Tuesday March 30, 2004
Rick, Rick and Joe spoke last time. A tape will be available through T&P.
New prep school head . Bringing up the little pivot is extremely important. You parents are the key. Prep school is a supplement, but not the answer. Greg someone. The material is copyrighted and not public domain. Doesn’t want them distributed anymore.
This book is about anti-Semitism and how Jesus Christ controls history. This is the study of the arch-villain Haman in chapter 3. Haman is descended from King Agag of the Amalekites. Haman was promoted to the #2 position in the empire. Mordecai neither bowed down nor paid homage. We don’t know how Haman got promoted over Mordecai, although Mordecai deserved it (he saved the king during the last intrigue). Typical in this life to be passed over for a deserved promotion.
The king’s servants, Mordecai’s colleagues, asked Mordecai why he wasn’t bowing down to Haman. It was part of the Mosaic law, even thought it was life threatening. These men tried to convince Mordecai to stop risking his life. They spoke daily to him and he would not listen to them. Mordecai wouldn’t listen to them, so they went to Haman about it. They wanted approbation from Haman. They were interested in getting Mordecai in trouble. Perhaps they felt that Mordecai did not pay enough attention to their advice. Mordecai told them that he was a Jew. He worshiped only the God of Israel. Mordecai has become a witness for the God of Israel.
When Haman saw that Mordecai wouldn’t bow down or pay homage to him, Haman was filled with rage. Killer lust was in Haman’s soul, particularly because Mordecai was a Jew. There are a lot of people who will put you down and destroy you if you don’t give them proper deference. The fatal flaw of Haman caused him to become upset with the Jew Mordecai. There are a lot of alternatives, but his arrogance required him to make a big deal out of this.
Haman cast lots to determine the day and the month to kill the Jews. This was his way of being certain that he had divine approval. There were nearly 12 months between the time that he threw the lots until the time that he planned to kill the Jews. He had to figure out how to flatter and prick the arrogance of Ahasuerus. “There is a certain people scattered and dispersed throughout the kingdom and who are living in every part of the king’s empire and that they are outsiders.” There is a group here which does not belong. That is the classic approach of anti-Semitism. “Their laws are different from everyone else’s and they do not obey the king’s laws.” Haman warns that these Jews are a serious threat to good order among all the other people of the empire. This is just how Hitler approached it. The Jews don’t belong here and they disturb the function of society. Must now allow the empire to be a haven for Jews. Essentially, Haman is asking Ahasuerus to destroy his own empire.
“If it is pleasing to the king, let it be decreed that they will be destroyed. And I will see to it that 10,000 talents of silver will be paid to the king’s people to put into the king’s treasury.” If Haman kills these Jews, he will steal their wealth. He’s not all that interested in the money himself; he just wants the Jews dead. This is a study of manipulation.
The king gave his signet ring to Haman, so that Haman can enact the laws necessary. The king does not question any of the suggestions of Haman. The Amalekites tried to destroy and rob the Jews as they traveled to the land; Haman is doing this again.
The king says, “The silver is yours.” This is a polite way of saying, “The silver is yours to give to me; you can do with it what you want (which is to give it to me).” The decree will go out as the law of the land. It was written to the various leaders of the empire. Haman’s organizing and marshaling his forces to do this deed. The decree to kill the Jews is now in effect. God will turn this evil plot to the advantage of the Jews.
There was a pony express which was very efficient and spread throughout the empire; to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate the Jews. This was to be young and old, women and children, all in one day. A cardinal number with yom means a literal 24 hour period. They were to also seize their possessions as plunder. A copy of the edict was published as law in the entire province.
Esther 3:14 The copy of the writing, for a command to be given in every province, was published to all people, to be ready for that day. This was the day that the Jews were to be destroyed. Haman wanted this to be done in one day. All the tribes and people of this empire were to be witnesses to God’s power.
Esther 3:15 The posts went out, being hurried by the king's command, and the decree was given in Shushan the palace. And the king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city Shushan was perplexed.
God will foil the plot of the second most powerful man on earth backed by the first most powerful man on earth. The Jews were supposed to bear the gospel to the rest of the world, but they were mostly like Jonah, the classic reluctant missionary. Despite their reluctance, God would carry out His plan. God can use us in the same way, even if we are reluctant to do so. God has a way of projecting His power through us, even when we don’t want to be the vehicle of His power. It is better if we participate. Haman exposed his cruelty and bloodlust and his vulnerability through that. The cruel man breeds enemies through his cruelty. Such a man makes a lot of enemies. His cruelty will backfire on him. This is an all-or-nothing risk; he’s betting everything on black.
These guys will get together to drink and to drink seriously. The king and Haman abandon themselves to heavy drinking. The only good thing to happen to the king was stumbling across Esther. While they are doing this, the city of Shushan was in confusion.
The people of Shushan are horrified by this edict. They find themselves under a death sentence. Nehemiah resides in this city and is about to go back to the land. The other people from other countries also are concerned for themselves. If the king is doing this, then how many other groups will he destroy? The king is boozing it up and there is bedlam in the streets. Haman will be begging for mercy from the people that he intends to exterminate.
Esther 4:1 Esther Lesson #27 April 1, 2004
This is the colonel’s birthday?
New schedule, starting 4/18/2004, Sunday morning am with start at 10:00 am. 15 minute break, followed by a second session concluding around noon. Next week, class with be Wednesday and Thursday night classes and prayer meeting will be Wednesday nights.
Rick Hughes talks to a cook where Bobby is eating and this Christian cook starts talking about the problems with the Jews. This is something we should expect. Anti-Semitism is rampant.
The king and Haman are dabbling in serious drinking at this time. Neither seems to be very concerned about the edict to destroy all the Jews. As unbelievers, this bad decision will be their downfall. They have no solution to the evil they are planning. Their souls are tortured because of what they are doing. God gives them over to a depraved mind. The decisions that we make can result in lifelong repercussions. However, a believer can overcome all bad decisions.
A bad decision about whom you marry can affect your for your entire life. Making a dishonest decision in business. Getting drunk and going out driving. Lose control of yourself in anger and do or say something that you would not say otherwise. Decide to ignore God’s plan, even when you know what God’s plan is. The Jonah syndrom. The repercussions of our decisions can last even our entire lives, but we are never hopelessly lost in them. God’s grace is sufficient for us and we will survive. Growing in God’s grace and doctrine can cause this cursing to be turned to blessing.
Shushan is a city in serious distress over this decree. There is more than confusion or perplexity, they are in an absolute uproar. They are horrified. Shushan is the center of Jewish activity. The king has signed their death warrant, and these people are wondering, what have we done to deserve this? They were good citizens, they paid their taxes, they were hard-working, prosperous people. They were confused and upset over this edict. Jews move into an area, they mind their own business, and out of nowhere, they are persecuted. While Shushan is in an uproar, Haman and the king are drinking heavily.
A preview of Esther 7: Haman will beg for mercy from one of those whose life he had intended to take. History will do a complete turn about on him and his plot. There will be 3 reversals. Haman is forced to bestow the honor on Mordecai that he had wanted for himself. He ends up having to lead Mordecai’s horse in a triumphal parade through the city. Then Haman is executed on the same stake that he had ready for Mordecai. Finally, the murder that Haman planned for all Jews, is turned to the slaughter of those who backed and sympathized with Haman. God turns the course of history around. Jesus Christ controls history.
Before we go on, we need to have a brief character study of Esther. Bobby was hard on Mordecai, but he won’t be on Esther. Him bringing her into the harem was a very dubious honor. She had to develop skills in the harem which were skills of erotica. She should have been a sensual, empty-headed courtesan. The harem is like a palace in the land of the lotus eaters. These are the people who live on lotus plants. They would eat these plants all day long, and they would forget friends, family and home. They became worthless in all functions of life. This is from Homer? The harem was a place for lotus eaters. Bodicia was a Britain queen, 60 a.d., who led a revolt against Roman rule in Britain. Bodicia’s husband died. Her daughters were raped in front of her, and then when she protested, she was flogged. She decided the Romans had to go. She raised an army from the disaffected Celtic tribe of England. Londinium was a Roman colony (later to become London). There is a charred layer in London a half a meter thick even today. She killed 70,000 people. She cut throats, crucified, etc. What she did was unspeakable; ditto for the Roman women. The harem was the polar opposite of Bodicia. Esther was different. She was an extremely strong woman in a group of women who were not. In order to be ready to be used by God, she had to resist all sorts of indulgences in the harem. She had to resist the lotus eaters. The Old Testament is filled with great women: Deborah, Ruth, Jael, Esther, Rahab. All great women, and women who displayed great leadership. Delilah, Athaleia, Jezebel would be on the list of the awful women. Israel had a lot of women who were very powerful and they had a lot of clout. Esther was chief among those dynamic women of Israel. She is not spoiled by her rapid rise to power. She was extremely quick. Esther could have become totally indolent, lethargic, and self-serving. She could have easily rested in luxury and ignored the outside world. She could have succumbed to outside pressure.
Esther 4:1 Esther Lesson #28 April 4, 2004
Chapter 4 marks a change in the book of Esther. At this point, we will begin to examine Esther. We will be looking at her character. We first need a biographical sketch of Esther. We first met Esther as the ward of Mordecai. Through his guidance, she became a part of the harem of the King of Persia. The harem was like a palace in the time of the lotus eaters. When they ate this lotus plant, they forgot friends and family and just wanted to remain in that field and eat the lotus plants all the time. The harem did not breed women of accomplishments, but it bred manipulators, empty-headed, sensuous women. Esther apparently resisted the hedonism of the harem. This chapter will reveal that she is a strong, courageous and unselfish woman. She chooses a very dangerous path for the sake of Israel.
In the surrounding cultures of Israel, the women rarely stood out. However, in the Old Testament, there were women of great distinction. Deborah, Jael, Ruth, Rahab, etc. Esther was not spoiled by her rise to power. She does not become lethargic or self-centered. She owes her position to her personal charm and beauty. She could have rested on her position as queen. A weaker person would have no doubt succumbed to this position. Review of the points above—a Brief Biography of Esther.
Esther 4:1 When Mordecai found out about everything that had been done, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes. He went into the middle of the city and cried loudly and bitterly.
This vociferously demonstrates Mordecai’s concern for the Jewish people. He first tears open his clothes. This gets everyone’s attention. Realize that you just don’t go out and buy clothes to replace your old clothes. Then he put on sackcloth, which felt horrible, and it was the cheapest material for clothing? Then he covered himself with ashes and then he walked through the city wailing and weeping. There is nothing in this chapter about prayer. Prayer was probably included in this process, but it is not mentioned. These Jews in Persia did not go back to the land with Zerrubabel, with Ezra or with Nehemiah. They were prosperous and they were happy right where they were. Mordecai was clearly knocked back by Haman’s decree. “An innocent people condemned to death” is added to this first verse in the Septuagint. Mordecai thought that he had done the right thing. He would not worship Haman. He knew that Haman could kill him right on the spot. He chose not to bow down, knowing the possible consequences to himself. He did not realize that Haman’s revenge would extend beyond killing him alone. All this came about because Mordecai did not bow down; Haman decided that he would kill all the Jews.
Mordecai no doubt thought, “None of this would have happened, had I left Persia as God had required.” This is nothing but hindsight. However, he can pick up with where he is. At this point, Mordecai needs to rebound and move on. He’s not thinking correctly; he just needs to rebound and move on. God will use Mordecai to further His plan.
In addition to Mordecai’s culpability, he understood the huge amount of money which was offered to the king. He knew that Israel was in serious danger. Haman wanted to destroy the Jews because they were so prosperous. This was no game that Haman was playing. Mordecai will not mourn as though there is no hope. He will make a show of his mourning, but this does not mean that he is unfamiliar with anti-Semitism and God’s position. He was certainly concerned with how many would die prior to the end of this. And he knew he was responsible. This is always a problem for the Jews. How many would die before they escape.
Some believed that God deserted the Jews in the holocaust, although the opposite is true. Mordecai is concerned about his own culpability. The Lord is still in charge. The outcome is still in his hands. We don’t know how things will play out in the end. It just looks grim. Jesus Christ controls history and we don’t know what His plan is. However, God’s plan will always take care of us as long as we are in it. God always delivers and He always provides peace and tranquility while you are in that situation. What his mourning reflects is an appeal for deliverance. He makes his grief public so that the Jews can see and that God can deliver them. Mordecai’s mourning is an appeal to God and leadership to his people.
Esther 4:2 He even went right up to the king's gate. (No one could enter it wearing sackcloth.)
No one would go into the king’s presence while in mourning. Sorrow was forbidden within the palace walls. Sansusi means without care (it’s French and it is the name of a castle, I think). No matter how much the king drank, it could not remove the grief from his soul. He was defeated by the Greeks. So he returns to the palace and his harem. Then he is rejected by Vashti, which humiliates him. Then he decrees that all men would be the lords of their home, which was a lame decree. As a believe in Jesus Christ, you a vulnerable to every wind of doctrine which comes along. Even though you laugh and play, if you neglect doctrine, if you forget about what brought you here, then you will be miserable.
Esther 4:3 Esther Lesson #29 April 7, 2004
Bobby reviews Mel Gibson’s movie, “The Passion of Christ.” This movie could be a vehicle for witnessing, which has been suggested, may be true. However, it is the substitutionary death of Christ which saves us; you don’t get saved by watching the movie. The gospel is never given. The movie was very accurate in the historical aspects. There was one thing which the movie did not depict, the 6 hour of darkness when Jesus screamed out. There was nothing about His dying for our sins. When the darkness fell, it was complete and impenetrable darkness. Bobby would have focused on the gospel. The result would have been a black screen, as you could not see Jesus. Rom. 5:8 could have been projected. John 3:16, 18. You will probably never see that. There was some Scripture quoted in the beginning.
The ashes were a sign of Mordecai’s penance and sadness. He understood that his failure to bow down to Haman precipitated this crisis. This was Mordecai’s mourning process. Haman, his historical enemy, used his disobedience to persecute all of the Jews. Mordecai was right not to bow down. Mordecai knew that he could have been killed on the spot. He was willing to becoming a witness or a martyr for Christ. He did not realize that Haman’s revenge would extend to all of Israel. Mordecai didn’t expect this, but he was sorry for what happened and he was mourning his people Israel. He appealed to God for deliverance under these circumstances. Mordecai probably recognizes that there is nothing that he could do now to solve this problem. He could not even recant his testimony. Haman was bent on killing all of the Jews.
Mordecai could not come into the king’s palace, because he was in mourning. Only those who were all about having a good time could come into the presence of the king. The king was unable to conquer the Greeks. He was humiliated by Vashti, his wife. He had a lot of bad advice from his advisors. Memocon had a ridiculous edict, which proclaimed all men the lords of their house. He got to a point where Ahasuerus could care less about his kingdom. He had more entertainment than anyone around him. So, he wanted no part of sorrow and mourning. He carries this sorrow with him. He wanted to party; he did not want to face sadness and grief. The key is your soul. It is all about what occurs in your soul; it is not in your surroundings.
Many fear death; they see death as being total annihilation. Camus is a man who is hopeless in his entire life. And in the end, there is nothing. A sort of fatalism. To these people, you have the greatest message; it is good news. Ahasuerus believes that he can turn this away by not looking at this.
What should our viewpoint be? Let’s look at Eccles. 7:2–4: It is better to go to a funeral than to a banquet because that is where everyone will end up. Everyone who is alive should take this to heart! Sorrow is better than laughter because, in spite of a sad face, the heart can be joyful. The minds of wise people think about funerals, but the minds of fools think about banquets. People must be faced with the reality of death. These books are the greatest wisdom in the world.
Esther 4:3 In every province touched by the king's command and decree, the Jews went into mourning, fasting, weeping, and wailing. Many put on sackcloth and ashes.
The Jews themselves, of course, fell into great mourning, fasting and weeping. Mordecai was not alone in what he was doing. Yâtsa = were spread to. There was a lot of mourning and weeping and wailing which went in the Persian empire.
Let’s go back to thinking about Esther. She has reached the highest station in the empire and she lives in the best house and has the finest wardrobe in history. She lives in a magnificent prison. She was shut off from the rest of the world. She did not have a subscription to the Daily Persian. There was no real security in where she live. Many of us lust after what the beautiful people have. With all their money, approbation and power, and it appears as though they have all that we would like to have. People are not happy because of success, wealth, power or approbation. The more wealth and power the wilder the search for happiness. Bobby is not knocking wealth or power; he is talking about capacity. Ahasuerus has everything and he is unhappy. Paul knew how to live with humble means and how to get by in prosperity. Philip. 4:13 tells us how to do it: I can do all things through Christ Who keeps on pouring power into me. Capacity for life comes from doctrine in the soul.
Ahasuerus spent his life searching for happiness, which usually involved pretty women and drunkenness. That is the life of most people...they spend every single day searching for happiness. Without doctrine and capacity for life, misery never leaves your soul.
Esther’s life in that kingdom is not anchored to a frantic search for happiness. She will be able to accomplish what Jesus Christ has for her in history.
Esther 4:4 Esther Lesson #30 April 8, 2004
Leroy grew up in Berachah with Bobby and called him. He was the terror of vacation Bible school. Former roommates in college. He illustrates the idea of train up a child in the way that he should go, and he will not depart from it.
Esther had the best of everything. Mordecai is going to ask her to do something dangerous and there are many who would not have gone along with this. God put Esther in a very unique position and that entailed responsibility. She will be up the challenge despite the fact that she could lose everything. Esther will have to make these decisions from her own strength. She will be ready to bring all her influence and considerable charms to the table. It is God’s plan for her, and she will respond magnificently.
Once and awhile you will find yourself in a point in God’s plan where you are blindsided and your doctrine will guide you through it. If you do not have any turmoil at this moment, realize that God will bring peace during turmoil. Esther will exemplify that for us.
Esther 4:4 Esther's servants and eunuchs came and informed her about Mordecai. The queen was stunned. She sent clothing for Mordecai to put on in place of his sackcloth, but he refused to accept it.
When she heard about Mordecai and his sackcloth, Esther sends him a change of clothing. Mordecai and Esther will risk their lives for the deliverance of the Jews under these circumstances. This also indicates that they are believers. There is a school of thought there they were not believers, although Bobby doesn’t go with that.
We will find out that Esther had not seen the king for 30 days. She is stunned; she is in intense pain over Mordecai. God is behind the scenes in all of this. If you are impatient, you are probably not in the plan of God.
Esther was pained to think that Mordecai is in sackcloth, but he refuses to accept them. He understands his reason for being in mourning, but she does not. She does not know about the decree. Mordecai is now aware of what Esther must do, even though Esther is not. She is isolated and she has no idea as to what to do.
She, like a typical woman, decides to give Mordecai and make-over.
Esther 4:5 Then Esther called for Hathach, one of the king's eunuchs appointed to serve her. She commanded him to go to Mordecai and find out what was going on and why.
Esther is isolated from Mordecai and he is not allowed to enter into the harem. So Esther must trust this eunuch in order to pass along messages. Esther is able to engender great loyalty. She can do this especially with the king. There is not a great leader who comes out and changes history; it is Esther with her charm that changes things. Esther cannot help him until she knows what the problem is.
Esther 4:6 So Hathach went out to Mordecai in the city square in front of the king's gate.
Here is where Mordecai was hanging out in sackcloth. A doctor may bring you very bad news, but this doctor is also the one who can save you. Mordecai will send along the bad news.
Esther 4:7 Mordecai informed him about everything that had happened to him. He told him the exact amount of silver that Haman had promised to pay into the king's treasury to destroy the Jews.
Mordecai shows the edict to Hathach, which takes Esther by surprise.
Esther 4:8 He also gave him a copy of the decree that was issued in Susa. The decree gave permission to exterminate the Jews. Hathach was supposed to show it to Esther to inform and command her to go to the king, beg him for mercy, and appeal to him for her people.
Kakan in the Hithpael stem (intensive). (ן-כָכ) [pronounced kaw-KAHN].
Esther needs to now align herself with her people. It was necessary for her to hear this message. Better for her to hear this now than when it is too late. It was no idle chance that Esther was in this particular position. Esther will act as a selfless representative of her people. She will do what God wants her to do.
Exalted personages can serve Godin two ways. Moses is one illustration of this. Joseph retains his high position in Egypt; he never gives it up. He saves his family from a death by starvation. Esther is like Joseph; she is going to use her high position to make intercession for her people. Chachan = implore in the Hithpael stem, which is intensive. Esther is to go and beg the king. She is to pull out all the stops. Esther is in fact a Christ figure here. She points to the work of Jesus Christ. These figures are all through the Old Testament. This is just another indicator to Israel to explain who and what the Lord is. This is Christ making intercession for the Jews. Christ is able to save forever those who draw near to Him (Heb. ). This is an analogy and this is Esther’s great point of life. Mordecai knows even the amount of money that Haman has promised the king. He also has a copy of this edict. He has this slave to give this info to Esther, which would reveal Esther as being Jewish. Mordecai wants to force the issue, but he can only give the facts and the correct information. Esther has to make the final decision. Esther can easily see how God has placed her in a pivotal role of Israel. She can affect the king to act for good. She will not escape the massacre herself, as Ahasuerus has set this up so that all Jews are to be killed.
Darius made an irrevocable decree that no one is to call out to any God apart from Darius. So he had to throw Daniel into the lion’s den.
The purpose of a person in the plan of God is to further the plan of God.
Esther needed to know how much money that Haman had offered in order to kill the Jews. 2/3rds of the national income. He also had to send a copy of the edict, which insures Esther’s death and the death of all Jews.
Esther 4:9 So Hathach returned and told Esther what Mordecai had said.
Hathach is Hathach-Bell, the messengers between Esther and Mordecai. Mordecai wanted Esther to be shocked. Esther is also a part of this death sentence. This edict was passed by Haman and agreed to by a man who supposedly loved her. Mordecai used shock treatment on Esther. The permissive will is involved in the choice that Esther will make. Through Esther’s free choice, God will preserve the Jews and altar the course of history. Men make decisions and these decisions affect history. Esther was being led toward a formidable destiny.
Esther 4:10 Esther spoke to Hathach and commanded him to say to Mordecai,
Esther 4:11 "All the king's advisers and the people in the king's provinces know that no one approaches the king in the throne room without being summoned. By law that person must be put to death. Only if the king holds out the golden scepter to him will he live. I, myself, have not been summoned to enter the king's presence for 30 days now."
A person who comes to the king without being summoned, will be killed. Only if the king hands his scepter to her. If the king got an uninvited appearance, there would be immediate death. The king can decide that he wants an audience with this person. This is Esther’s only hope, to be handed this golden scepter. The king has not called for Esther for 30 days. Essentially, she goes back to Mordecai to make certain that he knows that she will be risking her life to do this. Esther does not have to do anything. She could keep from revealing that she was Jewish, and just allow every other Jew die.
People lived or died based upon the whims of a monarch. For those who cross a monarch could end up being impaled.
Esther 4:12 So Esther's servants told Mordecai what Esther said.
She sends Hathach back to convey this information. She wants Mordecai to know that she could die by doing this. After 30 days, she may have lost favor with him, which would give him the excuse to kill her. This was not a good situation and Esther could be walking into a death trap. Nehemiah was afraid to go in and talk to Artexerxes, who was much more agreeable that Ahasuerus. Also, if she says, “I am a Jew” then she is telling him that she is on his kill list. Her just walking in there could risk the wrath of a hard-drinking, highly unstable party boy.
Esther 4 Esther Lesson #31 April 11, 2004
Easter represents either the biggest hope or hoax in the world. Millions have lived with this hope and many have died. There was a small company of men and women who turned the world upside down with their sitings of Jesus. The more kindly of the skeptics say the resurrection is a beautiful story with a great symbolic meaning.
Many pastors and theologians use resurrection in a nonobjective way. Christ was not bodily resurrected, but His spirit continues to reside in the hearts of His followers. Easter commemorates an actual historical event. It was not something just added on at the end of the story about the life of Christ. The gospel is not the gospel without the resurrection. Peter’s sermon at Pentecost emphasized that the one who died on the cross was truly raised from the dead. If Christ never rose, His claims are false. He would not be our Savior and He would not be eternal life unless Christ lives.
Most people who go to church every Easter really are not negative toward the gospel message. They half-believe it. This is a critical question for Christianity. Was this just in the minds of the followers of Jesus, or did this occur? How can we believe in an event which occurred 2000 years ago.
Bobby will examine the historical evidence, which comes from the gospel accounts. He will prove that the resurrection occurred. He will approach this from the viewpoint of the skeptic. We cannot eliminate or play down the evidence of this fact.
One attack came from a skeptic in the 19th century. They went to a great deal of effort to prove that the gospels were written in the second century, making them not written by eyewitnesses. The resurrection would be then just mythological.
However, these gospels were written within just a few years of the events recorded and recorded by eye witnesses.
Paul saw the resurrected Christ on the Damascus road, two years after the crucifixion. 1Cor. 15:3–7 lists the resurrection appearances, and skeptics do not dispute the date of Pauls’ gospel (56 a.d.). Paul is writing a contemporary account of the resurrection.
Mark is thought to be one of the earliest writings and written very close to the time of the resurrection.
Luke’s gospel adds substantially to the events around the empty tomb; furthermore, his book of Acts also has post resurrection appearances. It is conceded that his gospel was written before 60 a.d. So we have several accounts by different eyewitnesses, all who wrote at that time.
Theories of Opponents to expose the resurrection as a hoax.
The whole story is a deliberate invention. Paul, in 56 a.d. says there are still 500 alive who witnessed the Lord’s resurrection. The character of those witnesses was of the highest standard and quality. They gave the highest moral and ethics of that time period. From ignorant disciples to those who were Apostles and martyrs and they wrote the New Testament. It is inconceivable for nitwits and cowards to have been changed so much. Christianity expanded exponentially just a few years after the resurrection. Terrible opposiition and obstacles. They either saw Him or not. If they didn’t see him, why would they change their behavior for one who had lied to them.
Some theorize that these are legends. However, these are too soon after the fact; and the discplelsw would not have carried through. It was too soon. A legend would not have Jesus appearing to Mary, one without status, rather than Peter, John or his mother. The record is too normal and lacking in fantastic approaches.
Rationalistic denials of the empty tomb. Several empty tomb theories. The disciples stole the body and claimed Jesus arose. Ethically and psychologically it would make no sense. Such a deliberate fraud would not have been perpetuated either. Even under torture and matrydom, they did not reveal this as a duping.
Theory that authorities removed the body. Why did they not display the body to shut down the disciples. For 7 months, Jerusalem was in complete turmoil because of this teaching. The Romans thought there could be another revolution. Acts 5:21. If the authorities had taken the body, then could have shut this down.
Another theory: the women went to the wrong tomb. They got lost on the way in this new city. This theory arbitrarily ignores, “He is risen; his is not here.” Proving their point by removing a phrase is forced. When the women fled the tomb, the apostles fled to Galilee. The apostles returned a few weeks later. The disciples then decided Jesus arose, even tho they did not see it. Why, in departing did the disciples leave the women behind? Why did the women stay under dangerous circumstances. Again, all the authorities would have to do is bring forth the body from the actual tomb. This would have shut down the apostles.
18th century theory: Christ just fainted from brutal treatment and exhaustion; and take from the cross in this unconscious condition. In the cool tomb, he revived. Then he shoused himself to be alive. We are asked to believe that Jesus survived 3 days in a cold tomb, he was able to break out of his grave wrappings. Then he would have to move the rock and scared away the guards. Then convince, in his bloody condition, make the disciples think he was arisen.
Only feasible explanation. There was an illusion and psychological resurrection, and the disciples believed that they saw this. Only certain type of people are subject to these kinds of experiences. There are 500 make this claim. Mary Magdelin, ordinary fishermen, and pragmatic tax collecter do not fit the profile. No two people experience the exact same phenomenah. However, all 500 claimed to see the same thing at the same time. The disciples were defeated and hopeless. They did not expect to see a risen Christ. Psychic experiences usually take at suitable ;timews in suitable places. They took place on a mountain, along a lake, in an upper room, etc. Many different locales. Many different groups. No other theory explains the resurrection.
His soul and spirit returned to His body. His body was recognizable, but different. This is the hope and confidence of the believer in Jesus Christ. Since He arose from the grave, so we will arise from the grave. This life, death and subsequent resurrection is a true event and the greatest event of history and the central event of history.
Esther 4:13 Lesson #32 April 14, 2004
He’s going back to Esther 4:6.
Esther will make a choice to where she will make intercession for her people, just as Jesus would sacrifice Himself for us.
Esther is hoping that there is some way that she can avoid going in the talk to Ahasuerus. There is evidence of her faith in this situation, even though she is not found in Heb. 11. She was probably functioning under faith-rest, which was the Old Testament spirituality.
Esther 4:13 Mordecai sent this answer back to Esther, "Do not imagine that just because you are in the king's palace you will be any safer than all the rest of the Jews.
Mordecai tells her, “Don’t think that you will be delivered either. You and your father’s house will perish. Mordecai guarantees deliverance for the Jews. However, if Esther does not act, she will not be delivered.
Esther 4:14 The fact is, even if you remain silent now, someone else will help and rescue the Jews, but you and your relatives will die. And who knows, you may have gained your royal position for a time like this."
Mordecai has all the insight on this situation. It is clear to him what is going on. Mordecai knows that relief will come from a different place. If you can’t stay in the plan of God, then you will get disciplined. So you might as well accomplish what God has for you in life.
And he adds, “Who knows if you weren’t given this position in order to deliver the Jews.”
Esther 4:15 Lesson #33 April 15, 2004
Esther is of course beautiful, but we are going to find out that she has brains as well. With God everything is possible. So take heart, you miserable people. Life can change in a moment. You can head in one direction and the next, you are heading in a different direction. Bible doctrine gets lost in our introspection of our circumstances. We think perhaps we’ve been good, we’ve rebounded every other minute, and now we want what we want. God know what we need, when we need it, and He knows what we don’t need. God has had a plan for us from eternity past. It may not be what we expect or want or hope for, but it will fit us and our capacities and our gifts and our readiness for it. When we don’t get what we want, it means we don’t have the capacity for it or it just isn’t any good for us. It is our job to wait on God for it. Esther had about a 5 year wait on this plan and now it is time for her to spring into action. She will deliver Israel and she will be magnificent in doing it. She was a Jew in a Gentile empire and she delivers a nation of Jews. Life is a lot easier and a lot happier with doctrine, despite the circumstances that we find ourselves in. We all have circumstances in our life which we may or may not like. Esther is ready and the circumstances are set up for her. Darrell Royal, “You have to dance with what brought you.”
Esther 4:15 Esther sent this reply back to Mordecai,
Jer. 14:8: You are Israel's hope, the one who saves it in times of trouble. Why should you be like a stranger in the land, like a traveler who stays only one night? Jesus Christ has promised to deliver the Jews, and He will do it whether Esther helps or not. Mordecai trusts in God, and has doctrinal perspective.
Now Esther tells Mordecai what he must do. Both of these people are authority oriented in this crisis. We are not the star player. God is the star player. He calls the plays and we execute them. She takes the advice of Mordecai. She says, “Mordecai, if I perish, I perish, but here is what you must do.”
Esther 4:16 "Assemble all the Jews in Susa. Fast for me: Do not eat or drink at all for three entire days. My servants and I will also fast. After that, I will go to the king, even if it is against a royal decree. If I die, I die."
Esther’s only command is to fast for 3 days. If this is all she says, then there must be something to it.
The LXX adds a prayer by Mordecai and by Esther. They were only a couple hundred years separated from Esther, so they thought that prayer was involved in this crisis. A common misconception about fasting is that it is a part of the New Testament Christian way of life. However, this concept should not be associated with going without food. The concept is taking time devoted to something which is normal and right, and putting that time toward prayer and the application of doctrine. For a PT, this might be studying and teaching.
Esther 4:17 Mordecai did just as Esther had commanded him.
Esther has made the decision to deliver the Jews.
A preview...she won’t die, but this will put her in lofty company in the Old Testament. She is like Joseph, elevated to a high position of a foreign country. Joseph provided deliverance for his people, as will Esther.
Preview of coming attractions, Esther fixes dinner.
Esther 5:1 Lesson #34 Sunday 1st Session April 18, 2004
Patience is an important concept in the book and chapter and in our spiritual life.
Esther is going to set up Haman and Ahasuerus. Mordecai failed to bow, and now Esther will take up the gauntlet, and move the plan forward. Mordecai and Esther are Benjamites. Esther is a beauty queen and Mordecai is an unsung hero. God will even use Esther’s training as a courtesan in this situation. She is prepared to use every resource from her bag of tricks. When she is patient, she will use her head. She is not an activist who tried to change the world, but she will fall right in step with God’s plan. She will have a plan for maximum impact in the plan of God. She is not emotional; she is not an emotional political animal. She could become a political activist here. She will follow the protocol of the court exactly. An activist tries to change the world, to whitewash the devil’s world. Under their own power. Instead of being trapped by the death edict, Esther sets a trap for Haman. She doesn’t get entangled in more evil. She waits on the plan of God. Ahasuerus is right in the middle; the pawn in all of this. Plots and counterplots and the insidious evil of anti-Semitism. If the plan of God will triumph and you are in the plan of God, then who is the winner?
Ahasuerus completely forgot to reward Mordecai; but he rewards Haman instead. Mordecai waited on God. God sets up the plan and Esther and Mordecai execute this plan. You don’t just sit there and wait for God to do everything. When you execute the spiritual life, everything falls into place...everything.
Esther 5:1 Lesson #35 Sunday 2nd Session April 18, 2004
This chapter reminds us that God will protect us, as He has over the centuries. The study of the book of Esther is an excellent study as to what will be thrown at us in the future. This is what God’s plan for us is all about. You take in doctrine patiently, day after day. God will not let His client nation go down without giving us every opportunity to fulfill our responsibility of the pivot. The nation hinges upon the pivot. Each one of us has a part in this plan. Christian activism is not included in this package. Do not get carried away with the evil which surrounds us. Instead, our job is to counter the evil with the doctrine in our soul, as God gives us the opportunity. We must be trained to function in God’s plan. The activist is cannon fodder. You cannot change people’s sin natures. You can barely affect your own. As you take in doctrine, you change. You can witness, but you cannot stop Satan’s ceaseless efforts to destroy our nation. Christian activism actually helps to destroy your nature. You can be a part of the solution. The sphere of life with the opportunities which present themselves to us. If we are prepared and trained, we will have the opportunity. But it will be His power and timing...not our own. No one will read about us in history; but our impact can be greater than anyone who has a biography written about them. Angelic conflict is raging all around us, even though we cannot see it. We are an infantryman slogging ahead, making progress, one step at a time. Hours and days of boredom punctuated by seconds of incredible adrenalin rushes.
Esther 5:1 On the third day Esther put on her royal robes. She stood in the courtyard of the king's palace, facing the king's throne room. The king was sitting on the royal throne inside the palace, facing the entrance.
Esther first asked her people to fast for 3 days. Now she puts on her royal robes. She does this after the third day. She sets herself up to look charming; she will do what is necessary to deliver the Jews. She has discovered her mission. She realizes why she went through the year of training. She will keep her word even at the risk of her own life. Stick with principles, stick with doctrine; don’t commiserate with them, don’t sympathize with them. First, Esther gets all dolled up; and then she shows up uninvited. She hasn’t seen him for 30 days, so she doesn’t even know if she is still in favor. She could show up there and be impaled. You don’t go stand in front of the king’s palace in front of his private room and hang out. The king did not want to be bothered. Ahasuerus was protected from unwanted guests and intrusions.
Similar today, but not as harsh. You don’t just show up at the White House and expect to see President Bush. You can’t even set up an appointment a few days in advance. If we stormed the White House and attempted to see the president, we would at least be stopped and detained.
Esther 5:2 When the king saw Queen Esther standing in the entrance, she won his favor. So the king held out the golden scepter that was in his hand to Esther. Esther went up to him and touched the top of the scepter.
Through Esther’s charm and beauty, she appeals to the king. The king lets her approach. There is a protocol here. That is touching the scepter. That was the way that you do it. You do not lose your poise and patience when you are that close. The king recognizes that something important.
Esther 5:3 Then the king asked her, "What is troubling you, Queen Esther? What would you like? Even if it is up to half of the kingdom, it will be granted to you."
Ahasuerus knew that Esther was going to have a request, and he makes a promise to her, which is strong. Whatever you want, up until half of the kingdom, is yours. Now she does not ask for him to spare the Jews. She is a bit more subtle than that.
Esther 5:4 So Esther answered, "If it pleases you, Your Majesty, come today with Haman to a dinner I have prepared for you."
Even Ahasuerus should recognize that there is more here than a dinner invite. Most people would start to plead for her people. She demonstrates wisdom and maturity beyond her years. This is a personal thing. She is not going to rush in without an pleasantries. The king himself signed this edict. She cannot just say, “Dude, you are the problem.” She has to be a bit more subtle. This entreaty will require subtlety. She uses her head and her beauty. She is bridging the gap between Haman and her people. She is relying on the faith-rest drill. You recognize that the Lord is in charge. When calm, you stay in control. When in a crisis, you need to think and not react. She is thinking under pressure. Sometimes, patience and not confrontation is the best way for a woman to handle a guy. A man would just dig in and hold his ground. Nagging and bullying is not going to get a woman what she wants. You may get your way, but it’s stored away and remembered (this works both ways).
There is an addition in the LXX. The Septuagint was begun about a hundred years after the close of the canon. The writers of the LXX add things to enhance the meaning. According to the LXX, the king became angry to see Esther in the doorway. When Esther saw that he was mad, Esther fainted. When Ahasuerus sees this, he jumps off his throne and runs to her. The bottom line is, there is no death for her.
Nasa + ken = lift up + grace. “She was lifted up in grace in his eyes.” The king extended his most considerate manner to his queen. This is ironic. The king just signed an edict which calls for her execution; and now he says, “Anything you want, honey.” God has condemned all of us. We have all fallen short of God’s grace. We are all dead spiritually and we have violated God’s law through sin. Esther has violated the king’s law and yet He promises her anything. But we are offered the whole kingdom for all eternity.
Esther knew the king’s weakness for feasts and high living. She knew he would want to attend her intimate little party. This is great in the king’s eyes...the queen, a big drinking and feasting party, and Haman. That was his kind of evening.
Why include Haman? Why not just have a party with just the king.
Esther 5:5 Lesson #36 April 21, 2004
Esther is waiting on the plan of God. That is patience. When we are oriented to God’s grace, we wait on Him for answers and solutions. God will provide solutions in His timing. He may take us in a different direction than we expect. We probably have a good idea as to what God’s plan is, but we may find ourselves going in a 180° direction.
Chapter 5 tells us that God will do anything in order to protect the Jews. Esther is looking as beautiful and as seductive as she can. She stands in front of the king’s inner chamber where the king was. This would bring death to those who are uninvited. The king waits sitting at the throne. When the king saw Esther, she received grace in his sight, and he was pleased. Recall, he tried to show off his previous wife, and to no avail. Now here is his new wife, and she looks great, and everyone checks her out as she enters the palace. It allows him to show off his wife. The king extends to her the golden scepter. The king is not going to execute Esther, and she follows the proper protocol. She doesn’t become informal, and she knows the proper protocol in front of the court. It makes people uncomfortable when you become informal too quickly in a public place. The king is impressed with Esther’s courage to show up, and with her ability to follow the protocol that he has set up, and he offers her up to half the kingdom, and this is an idiomatic statement meaning that he will give her anything. She does not ask for her people to be spared at this point. She says, if it pleases the king, let the king and your homies come to the banquet. She cannot just confront him about the edict in open court. Esther cannot just tell him, “You’re the damn problem here, king-o. You signed an edict which guarantees my death.” She is patient. She knows what the plan of God is. This means that she is patient here and willing to allow time to work to this point.
Esther 5:5 The king replied, "Bring Haman right away, and do whatever Esther asks." So the king and Haman came to the dinner that Esther had prepared.
Esther says, “Dude, bring your favorite drinking buddy and yourself, and the 3 of us will hang and eat.” She makes is clear that Haman has to be there. Her plan and her thinking are here. Back to the Reason and Thinking of Esther.
Esther 5:6 While they were drinking wine, the king asked Esther, "What is your request? It will be granted to you. What would you like? Even if it is up to half of the kingdom, it will be granted."
Haman knows that she wants something, and Ahasuerus wants to know what she desires. She asks them to a banquet. That is not the petition, come to dinner. He just has to sleep through the night, and then she will reveal what it is she wants. No direct answer for the second time.
Esther 5:7 Esther answered, "My request? What would I like?
She asks them back for another banquet. Esther is tantalizing him. It could be dangerous for her to overplay her hand here. God will take over here as well. This extra day will work like a charm.
Esther 5:7 Lesson #37 April 22, 2004
Bobby hears that the attention span at a place like this for 30-40 minutes. To keep us writing, he will keep our attention for a longer period of time.
Esther 5:8 Your Majesty, come with Haman to a dinner I will prepare for you. And tomorrow I will answer you, Your Majesty. If I have found favor with you, Your Majesty, and if it pleases you, Your Majesty, may you then grant my request and do what I would like."
Esther is accentuating the positive of her appeal. Ahasuerus has already promised her half the kingdom. But, what Esther promises, is another meal with her and Haman. For the second time, a direct answer is not given to him. This has got Ahasuerus overcome with curiosity. She risked her life to speak to him. However, she cannot string him along for too long, or she will piss him off. God is steering the circumstances to the point where Ahasuerus must choose between his drinking buddy and his gorgeous wife. Now, Haman will make a tactical error, in his impatience, and he cannot stand prosperity, and that will be his slip up. Ahasuerus is more interested in a beautiful face and figure than he is in his own kingdom. Esther will expose Haman for the evil conspirator that he is. Esther did not deserve her beauty or charm; they were given to her by God.
Esther 5:9 When Haman left that day, he was happy and feeling good. But when Haman saw Mordecai at the king's gate, neither getting up nor trembling in his presence, Haman was furious with Mordecai.
Haman is very happy with what has happened. He’s had a great feast, and he is pleased of heart. This is after the first feast thrown by Esther. Haman’s mood changed considerably when he ran into Mordecai, as Mordecai would not genuflex before Haman. However, Mordecai will still not bow down to him. In one moment, Haman’s arrogant bubble bursts and he goes from happiness to anger. Haman has signed a decree to kill Mordecai and Mordecai is not even afraid of him.
Esther 5:10 However, Haman controlled himself. He went home and sent for his friends and his wife Zeresh.
Haman was extremely angry, but he was able to control himself. He did not kill Mordecai in the spot. Haman controlled an empire, and here was one man that could not be controlled. So he sends for his friends and his wife. This will be one of the unexpected events which is part of Christ’s control of history. Zeresh will be cut out of the same mold as Job’s wife. Job’s wife said, “Curse God and die.” Haman, like all little arrogant controlling people, feared what he could not control, so he feared Mordecai. Mordecai was a constant reminder to Haman that he could not control everyone. In a few moments, Haman will become very irrational. There are all kinds of people who desire to control others and are angry when they cannot.
In v. 9, we leave the palace for the rest of the chapter. Haman has secured the king and queen’s favor for the rest of his life. But what good is that if one little peon can oppose him?
Esther 5:11 Then Haman began to relate in detail to them how very rich he was, the many sons he had, and all about how the king promoted him to a position over the officials and the king's advisers.
In his insecurity, Haman reassures himself that he is the greatest. He has them altogether and he is reciting all of his accomplishments. Haman’s real satisfaction is not these honors which he recounts, but it will be to kill this one man and every other Jew. He has everything and he is upset about this one man. Haman gives a litany of his accomplishments and he needs that approbation from others. It is not his accomplishments but the approbation for those accomplishments.
In Haman’s impatience, he will make a drastic error which will bring him down.
Esther 5:12 Haman went on to say, "What's more, Queen Esther allowed no one except me to come with the king to the dinner she had prepared. And again tomorrow I am her invited guest together with the king.
And he adds, “Tomorrow, I am going to dinner with the king and the queen.” Yet all of this does not satisfy me, every time that he thinks about Mordecai. The next verse is very revealing.
Esther 5:13 Yet, all this is worth nothing to me every time I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate."
This is the second most powerful man on earth and the second richest man on earth. No one else was invited to this banquet except himself. The king has distinguished Haman in many ways. He is the only one going to these banquets. Some of us have everything and we have turmoil in our souls. Even the poorest of us live better than most people in other countries. Does one little problem destroy you?
The details of life should not be the center of your life. You can be poor, childless, and a nobody, and be happy. You can have all these details and be miserably. I Tim. 6:10: The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.
Esther 5:14 Lesson #38 April 25, 2004
There is a lot of review and additions to previous points.
A Jewish newspaper from the Gulf Coast. Haman, something new under the sun by Ted Roberts. Haman was the father/founder of the final solution. Even the Amalekites demonstrated a rational approach, even though they were vicious. Where is the rationale in genocide? Haman was something new. We dodged a bullet that day, because of a small slip of a girl named Esther. Haman’s hate oiled the minds of despots even today. Not slave masters or conquerors, but those who just want to use that long strip of land as a massive burial site. Quarrels of land is nothing new, but genocide. Little public sympathy for Israel, a small democracy in a sea of tyranny.
Esther 5:14 Then his wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, "Have a pole set up, 75 feet high, and in the morning ask the king to have Mordecai's dead body hung on it. Then go with the king to the dinner in good spirits." Haman liked the idea, so he had the pole set up.
Haman’s wife suggests that Haman just go out and hang Mordecai publically. Hang him on a tree, or a post, or on a stake. It is talking about being impaled. As soon as he is dead, then you can go out and have a great time. That is the suggestion of his wife. Haman still has to kill the rest of the Jews. He will never be satisfied. He has his carpenters construct a 75 foot pole. These friends and wife are just as arrogant and deadly.
When you are in reversionism, you will justify anything that you do. Even erecting this 75 foot pole will not go to waste.
Esther 6:1 Lesson #39 Second Session April 25, 2004
This chapter should be entitled “The Tables Are Turned.” This ranks right up there with the irony of Shakespear. The history of Israel will now take a turn for the better. Here is a Gentile king who cannot sleep, even though he is light years away from the Jews. This is the turning point and how Jesus Christ orchestrates the turn of history. How could Satan know that one sleepless night will foil his best laid plans. He cannot see what is going to happen. There is no way that Satan can win. Only arrogance makes him think that he can.
Esther 6:1 That night the king could not sleep. So he told a servant to bring the official daily records, and they were read to the king.
These are the chronicles of the Persian empire. Ahasuerus is having a sleepless night here, which is going to result in the deliverance of the Jews. Sleep fled from Ahasuerus. That is the reading. The Lord removed the sleep from the king, which is what the LXX adds. We have a direct divine intervention into history. When he could not sleep, he found a very boring read. So he read the chronicles of his empire. These are the court records. Business transactions, judicial decision, petitions from people who want something from him.
Esther 6:2 The records showed how Mordecai had informed him that Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king's eunuchs who guarded the entrance, had plotted a rebellion against King Xerxes.
These were two eunuchs who had conspired to overthrow the king. These were not just guys who opened doors, but were high ranking officials. Once this passage is read, the king recalls this plot.
Esther 6:3 The king asked, "How did I reward and promote Mordecai for this?" The king's personal staff replied, "Nothing was done for him."
Ahasuerus asks, “What was done for this man?” But it was Haman who was promoted instead. Sleepless nights result in a morning where you know it is going to be a difficult day. And often, there is something which is important for the next day. Bobby turns to something which is really boring to read. He figures, why not read the chronicles of his kingdom. Uneasy is the head on which sits the crown. He could be worrying about his circumstances. He does not have a conscience free of all problems. He has just condemned an entire race to destruction. We do not know exactly why he was restless. Nâdad (ד-דָנ) [pronounced naw-DAHD], is the Hebrew verb, which means to flee. The LXX tells us that the Lord removed his sleep from him. This is a good interpretation. Certainly, this is a part of God’s plan. He didn’t know it, but there was nothing that would put him to sleep, no matter what he tried. This is the night before the second banquet. Small little things which happen in life move forward God’s plan. Ahasuerus decides a dull thing to read would be the court records. A list of those who have been in and out of his throne room asking for things. Why did the king of pleasure send for some entertainment instead? Why didn’t he call for Esther instead of someone else. He did not even think of Esther. Jesus Christ controls history, and so Ahasuerus did not think of her.
A grammatical construction which forms an hendiadys. Honor and dignity. They are both nouns connected by a wâw conjunction; this means that these refer to the same thing. Ahasuerus was mortified. Persian monarchs were known to have kept accurate records and they were very generous with their rewards. Mordecai needs to be honored.
Esther 6:4 The king asked, "Who is in the courtyard?" At that moment, Haman came through the courtyard to the king's palace to ask the king about hanging Mordecai on the pole he had prepared for him.
Who is here right now. Who can take care of this injustice. He has just sentenced an entire race to death, but he is upset because he did not reward Mordecai.
Esther 6:5 The king's staff answered him, "Haman happens to be standing in the courtyard." "Let him come in," the king said.
Haman is in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is about to ask the king to impale Mordecai and the king wants to honor Mordecai. The king says, “Bring him on in here.” It seems like a coincidence, but it is a part of God’s plan. God can change the course of history with the anger of Haman and the sleeplessness of Ahasuerus. God can change the course of history with just a few events. God can make these kind of corrections in seconds. All we have to do is to take in the Word and sit back and watch it happen. Haman has lost the little patience that he has. He is angry with Mordecai. He can’t even wait for the 13th or 14th of Adar. He is pleased with the progression of his plan, and he thinks that he will kill Mordecai, have a feast with the king and Esther, and then go home and brag about it all to his family.
Esther 6:6 Lesson #40 April 28, 2004
At the airport, Bobby watches people. He notices that people sit in the same places; like assigned seating.
Haman has come to kill Mordecai and the king wants to honor him. Haman and Mordecai are both involved in God’s plan.
Esther 6:6 So Haman came in. The king then asked him, "What should be done for the man whom the king wishes to reward?" Haman thought to himself, "Whom would the king wish to reward more than me?"
The king decides that he needs to talk to his best drinking buddy about this problem. Haman is there to murder Mordecai; he has murder in his soul. Haman has lost all of his patience in this matter. He was happy as a clam and then saw Mordecai, and he was angry again. God is being ironic by sending the very man who initiated the order to kill the Jews. Haman wants to kill Mordecai personally. He was very pleased with the progression of his plan.
Esther 6:7 So Haman told the king, "This is what should be done:
Haman is blind. He assumes that the king is talking about honoring him. He suggests, “Let them bring a royal robe that the king has worn.”
Esther 6:8 The servants should bring a royal robe that the king has worn and a horse that the king has ridden, one that has a royal crest on its head.
The Haman goes into great detail as to what should be done. He thinks that he will get all of this honor.
Esther 6:9 Give the robe and the horse to one of the king's officials, who is a noble. Put the robe on the man whom the king wishes to reward and have him ride on the horse in the city square. The king's servants are also to shout ahead of him, 'This is what is done for the man whom the king wishes to reward.'"
Haman has just named his own poison. He doesn’t realize how much he is going to hate for the king to follow his suggestions. This will make certain that everyone will know who the king’s number 2 guy is. He wants this approbation. Where does greed kick in and where does making a living good enough. You have to keep money from controlling you life.
Haman has come to ask to take Mordecai’s life. There will be a reversal of his fortune. King Ahasuerus finds out, in a night read, that he has never rewarded Mordecai for saving his life. He asks Haman for advice. He asks, what should I do to reward such a man. Haman only figures he is the one who is going to be rewarded. He sets up this fantastic reward for himself. The entire city will observe him. This parade is about to satisfy his approbation lust. He is going to ride a horse through Susa, so that everyone can see what a great honor has been placed upon him. This is great irony. God will not only protect the Jews, but He will mess with Haman.
Esther 6:10 The king told Haman, "Hurry, take the robe and the horse as you said. Do this for Mordecai the Jew who sits at the king's gate. Do not omit anything you have said."
All of a sudden, Haman finds out that he must lead Mordecai through the city honoring him as he expected to be honored. The king doesn’t give this too much thought. Haman comes up with the idea so he sends Haman to take care of this. His number 2 man.
Haman suddenly realizes that this is not going to be done for him but that he will have to do this for Mordecai. Do not fall short in anything that you have said. Haman’s idea really appealed to the king. This king is oblivious. He is honoring this Jew and he has also signed a decree to destroy all the Jews. Mordecai proclaimed that he was a Jew in chapter 3.
Esther 6:11 So Haman took the robe and the horse. He put the robe on Mordecai and had him ride in the city square, shouting ahead of him, "This is what is done for the man whom the king wishes to reward."
Haman had to dress and reward Mordecai and he proclaimed what would be done for the man that the king chooses to honor. This proud Haman walks through the dust of the city, leading the man that he hates, through the city in honor.
Esther 6:12 Lesson #41 April 29, 2004
An article on anti-Semitism. Jewish children are again targets; and some will not walk the streets with the star of David. 5 countries with highest rates of anti-Semitism: Great Britain, Canada, France, Germany and Russia, I believe. Going back to v. 10.
Maybe now you can understand the awesome magnitude of God’s sovereignty and control. God is so far above us, it is unimaginable. When you see things like this, you realize how powerful that God is. He can solve all the problems in this world. God’s sovereignty and our free will work side by side. It should relax you to know that God is in control.
We will understand at some point what we can do and how God can get us to this point. There is no other way to describe it. There is no other explanation for it.
Esther 6:12 After that, Mordecai returned to the king's gate, but Haman hurried home. He was in despair and covered his head.
Mordecai goes back to the king’s gate, but Haman runs home with a bag over his head. Mordecai simply went back to work. Haman is embarrassed and probably pursued by the paparazzi.
Esther 6:13 There, Haman began to relate in detail to his wife Zeresh and to all his friends everything that had happened to him. Then his counselors and his wife Zeresh told him, "You are starting to lose power to Mordecai. If Mordecai is of Jewish descent, you will never win out over him. He will certainly lead to your downfall."
Haman has already given all these details to his family and friends. His family tells him that Mordecai is of Jewish origin and that Haman will fall before him. “If Mordecai is of Jewish descent, you will never win out over him. He will certainly lead you to your downfall.” They all know that Mordecai is of Jewish origin. And they recognize that there is something going on beyond everyone’s control. You won’t overcome him. You will certainly fall before him. There is no change in Mordecai; he shows great humility. He simply returns to his duties at the king’s gate, as if nothing has happened. Approbation lust is one of the word things that you face in life; and if you listen to it, it messes you up. It’s like, what would you do if you won the lottery.
Esther 6:14 Lesson #42 May 2, 2004
Haman expected that the king was going to give him great reward for being just an all around great guy. So Haman says that such a guy should be given the king’s robe and drive around in a chariot. Haman anticipates his ride through Susa as almost a king. Haman in one quick turn of the card has become the lackey of the man he has sworn to kill. The entire city of Susa gets to witness his entire mortification. Those men in the king’s gate, who saw all of this develop, will be watching, and Haman knows that they will be laughing. They all know what has occurred between Haman and Mordecai (except for the king, who is oblivious to it).
Mordecai has passed the adversity test. He has called upon God to deliver him. He is also passing the monetary test. He is a man who is ready to impact history and to glorify God at the same time. You can also have an impact on your client nation because you are advancing spiritually and because you are leading a mature spiritual life.
They had a very fatalistic religious life. If the gods have turned against you, you are going down. It was obvious to everyone that Haman was going down. Superstition should never be a part of your life or thought process. In Persia, the plan of the gods depended entirely upon superstition. Everyone knew that Haman’s luck had gone bad. That was fatal to his position. The gods were turned against him; so he doesn’t have a chance. His wife just reflected the convictions of her time. The superstition is in great contrast to Mordecai and Esther.
These family members and friends are very blunt with Haman. They are supposed to continue to flatter him. He still has the power to impale. And we know he is vengeful. They do not conceal there dismal predictions. They didn’t care if they were Haman’s friends or enemies at this point. When the power was slipping away, the began to distance themselves from Haman. How uneasy is the head under the crown. When it’s gone, they’re gone.
Haman got no comfort from his family. Suddenly the eunuchs arrive to take him to Esther’s meal.
Esther 6:14 Second Session May 2, 2004
Esther 6:14 While they were still speaking with him, the king's eunuchs arrived and quickly took Haman to the dinner Esther had prepared.
Esther’s plot develops. The king is confused; he’s a little dense; he’s wondering what Esther wants. That is probably what kept him awake. Haman is going to the banquet, although his life is total shit right now.
Esther’s request is simple. The king said to Esther on this second day, “What the heck do you want?”
Esther 7:1 And the king and Haman came to the banquet of Esther the queen.
Esther 7:2 And the king said again to Esther on the second day of the banquet of wine, “What is your petition, Queen Esther, that it may be granted you? And what is your request? And it shall be performed, even to the half of the kingdom.”
The king tells her for the 3rd time that he will give her anything that she wants. He reiterates, “Whatever you want, it’s yours.”
Esther 7:3 And Esther the queen answered and said, “If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request.
Now Esther blurts it out, but she does it with great respect. “Do not take my life or the life of my people. For we have been sold, to be destroyed, killed and annihilated.” We are going to be wiped out. This is extremely emphatic. This was certainly a shock to Ahasuerus.
Esther 7:4 For we are sold, my people and I, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to perish. But if we had been sold for men-slaves and women-slaves, I would have held my tongue, although the enemy could not make up for the king's damage.”
If we were only sold into slavery, I would not have bothered you about this. But they are going to kill me and my family and my race. Esther has reached the point of no return at this point. It is possible here the Esther may be exaggerating a little. If you had us set up to be slaves, I wouldn’t bother the king with this minor matter.
For the second time, Esther’s life is on the line.
Bobby gives the example of being in jump school at Fort Benning. This is a very unatural act. The engine noise is deafening and the ground is a long ways away. This training must be done over and over again. You don’t have time to think everything through. If you don’t do it right. And you must know how to land. There is a way to do it. Bobby could do a parachute drop and do it perfectly. You turn against the wind. As you see the ground approach, when you are about to touch, you hit with the balls of your feet, knees bent. Bobby repeated this drill. Because he repeated it so often, he can still do it today. We are prepared. Our mind stops working and your skill developed by repetition kicks in. When you have to utilize the faith-rest drill; when things are tight, you must be prepared. You must train yourself by repetition and doctrine. This is your training time, in the little things. Otherwise you cannot do this when catastrophe strikes. This is why repetition has been pounded into your brain. You can hear it over and over again, but you need to practice it, like a golf swing. It is that way in the spiritual life.
Esther 7:5 May 5, 2004
Realize the Esther’s husband also condemned all of the Jews to death. When she does this, she is risking her life. She hasn’t seen him for a month. Esther does not know how much her husband knows, and how much was intentional on his part and how much he was just roped into this action by not really paying attention.
If you don’t repeat the problem solving devices under minor problems, then you have wasted that time and that exercise. If you simply go with emotional arrogance, then you will not be able to deal with the major problems of life.
It is critical that Esther have her fear and emotions under control at this time. She must present her petition in a right way. The way that she does this is important. It must be a right thing in a right way. She does not want Ahasuerus to get upset with her. She must maintain her poise and protocol must be followed. This is crisis time and it is important that she properly applies doctrine. When divine viewpoint replaces fear, the result is poise. You can think and act under pressure. A sound mind includes poise. By way of application, doctrinal wisdom and faith rest induces poise under all circumstances. Her poise was a critical ingredient for her success. You just don’t walk into a situation and have poise. It is the flip side of the coin, faith rest. One leads to another.
Esther is about to illustrate that she is very poised. She is handling this whole situation well. She is using the doctrine in her soul to accomplish this mission. She is also doing what she needs to do to impress the king. She is able to entertain; she probably was the Jewish Martha Stewart. God uses her charms to further His plan. He uses her talent and charm, which is mixed with poise and tact. She cannot just blurt this out. Poise and tact work wonders in the most difficult of situations.
Esther 7:5 And King Ahasuerus answered and said to Esther the queen, “Who is he, and where is the one who dares presume in his heart to do so?”
The king now says, “Who would do this kind of thing?” Esther has outmaneuvered and outwitted the brilliant Haman. Never underestimate the prowess of a beautiful and intelligent woman. Proverb 31:10: Who can find a woman of virtue? For her value is far above rubies. The heart of her husband trusts safely in her, so that he shall have no need of plunder. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and works willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants' ships; she brings her food from afar. She also rises while it is still night, and gives food to her household, and a share to her young women. She considers a field, and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She binds her loins with strength, and makes her arms strong. She sees that her merchandise is good; her lamp does not go out by night. She lays her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretches out her hand to the poor; yea, she reaches forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household; for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She makes herself coverings; her clothing is silk and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes fine linen and sells it, and delivers girdles to the merchants. Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her sons rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all. Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears Jehovah, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates. This is going to be the Mother’s Day message. She manages her household. She is productive. Her children rise up and bless her. She is of great worth to her family. Fear is respect. She should be honored publically for what she is and what she does. The focus is on the family and the woman who holds this family together. Esther has many of the qualities found in Prov. 31.
Esther 7:6 May 6, 2004
Esther is very poised in her presentation. She is clear, logical, but she presents her case with poise. She gives a 3 word description of what will happen, kill, destroy, annihilate. She reemphasizes her own subordination to him. “You may save me only if you want to.” She didn’t beg. She gave the king his free will. Her emotions were in check, which emphasized her logic and charm. She also showed a little flair for the dramatic...if we were just going to be sold into slavery, I wouldn’t have bothered you about this little matter. The idea is, as slaves, the king would not lose their services. They would retain their great value for the king and the empire. Haman promised 2/3rds of the gross national product if he could kill them. Esther teaches that if you do this, you lose more money.
When leaders are lazy, they sometimes have unsupervised subordinates. Check the people who work for you.
Esther has the king’s attention, and now she needs to focus his attention. In v. 5, he gets mad and asks who it is. He absolves himself of this guilt.
Esther 7:6 And Esther said, “The man who is our adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman.” And Haman was afraid before the king and the queen.
Haman’s life just flashed before his eyes. Recall, as Esther is making preparations, Haman is telling the king what a good wife he has. They probably both raved about what a wonderful woman Esther is and what a good choice it was that Ahasuerus had made. So, Haman set himself up as well. Ahasuerus is also culpable here; however, Esther needs to focus him upon Haman. Esther can’t allow the king to think too much about this. Esther knew that a man filled with blind arrogance could not blame himself. The king’s problem was that he really did not pay much attention to his subordinates. He signed the evil law into action, but really paid little attention as to what was going on.
The parable that Nathan tells David, about the man and he steals a guy’s lamb, his pet and his only lamb. David condemns this man to death. Then Nathan says, “You are that man.”
Haman wilts under pressure. His wife has already told him that he is going down. Now, when this happens, he becomes fatalistic. He is doomed. All of his money and all of his power cannot get him out of this jam. He would have given up everything in order to get out of the palace at that time. This is how Satan will feel at the last judgment.
This gives us pause to think about our own modus operandi of life. There is nothing for Haman. He has no eternity. In the end, his wealth and power make no difference at all. The key is priorities; perspective.
Proverbs 31 Session One—Mother’s Day May 9, 2004
Esther has shown great courage and poise. She is serving dinner to the two men who have ordered her death. She will use impeccable logic and she will out think the arch villain, Haman.
These observations of Prov. 31 apply to all of us. The nearer that we can align our thinking with Biblical thought, the better off we will be. Application of Bible doctrine to our life. The maxims of Proverbs should be regarded as guidelines. It is not a step by step treatise on being a good mother.
Prov. 31:10 Who can find a woman of virtue? For her value is far above rubies.
Prov. 31:11 The heart of her husband trusts safely in her, so that he shall have no need of plunder.
Prov. 31:12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
Prov. 31:13 She seeks wool and flax, and works willingly with her hands.
She looks for clothing and materials for clothing. The idea here is taking the raw materials and making a decorative and comfortable home environment. She enjoys what she does. This is not drudgery to her. She does this to allow her creative side to function. She finds items which are and can be creative and she enjoys doing it.
Prov. 31:14 She is like the merchants' ships; she brings her food from afar.
Most of the lines in Proverbs are two lines, allowing a parallelism of thinking. Western poetry rhymes sounds at the end. Hebrew poetry is a rhyme of thought. One line of poetry and that line is called a colon, and that line logically agrees, contrasts, or builds upon the previous line (there are other things, but that is the main three). Two lines say the same thing; they are synonymous. Antithetical parallelism: the second colon contrasts with the first colon. Synthetic parallel: the second colon picks up where the first colon says and furthers the thought. This helps us to properly interpret the Hebrew poetry. If one thought builds upon the other, this allows us to better understand the meaning. V. 14, for instance.
How is the woman like a merchant ship? This is a simile or a metaphore. It doesn’t mean that she is large or on the ocean a lot. A merchant ship is involved in trading. She is involved in the purchase of things.
The second thought does not mean that she looks at getting away from her home and travels to the farthest grocery store from the house. A merchant ship carries goods from far places. Food is metaphorical for goods from far places. Our girl shops and trades and brings home fascinating and exotic items from her excursions. This is whatever store that she goes to. She has interests in exotic commodities. These items can be educational...antiques. There are ways of teaching children from the study of antiques. Early American, art deco, Louis XIV antiques, Victorian antiques. These are, in fact, educational for her family.
Prov. 31:15 She also rises while it is still night, and gives food to her household, and a share to her young women.
She gets up early in the morning before the sun and she gets a lot done before these people awake. She even takes care of her servants.
Prov. 31:16 She considers a field, and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
She is involved in commerce and real estate. Jewish women had fewer restrictions than elsewhere in the ancient world. This Jewish woman has money to invest, and her husband trusts her in all things. The example here is real estate. Household management. She has a head of business. She reinvests, and buys and sells, and builds their family wealth. She has a family, but she is able to conduct family business as well.
Prov. 31:17 She binds her loins with strength, and makes her arms strong.
This woman is vigorous, she pumps iron, runs, walks, does aerobics. She sets the example. It is part of her job to set an example.
Prov. 31:18 She sees that her merchandise is good; her lamp does not go out by night.
Her business dealings are marked by integrity. When everyone else is in bed, she continues working.
Prov. 31:19 She lays her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
The distaff is an attachment to the spinning wheel. These lines are the same. This is traditionally important to women in the ancient world. The idea is that she is industrious.
Prov. 31:20 She stretches out her hand to the poor; yea, she reaches forth her hands to the needy.
This woman is involved in benevolence; she gives even from her own gain, her own profits. This is charity. This is a guideline, not a step by step guide.
Prov. 31:21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household; for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
Scarlet is the color of the wealthy and the aristocracy. She finds the best quality of clothing for her family. This is, of course, commensurate with her budget. She spares no expense to take care of her family.
Prov. 31:22 She makes herself coverings; her clothing is silk and purple.
Another synthetic parallel. Second line develops the first. She is well-dressed. Not only is there nothing wrong with it, but it is encouraged here. Hope those with taste get money, and hope those with money get taste.
Prov. 31:23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.
This means that this woman’s husband is a man of prominence. This woman compliments her man, who is prominent. She is the proper kind of woman for a man who is a civic leader. Together, they are a prominent couple.
Prov. 31:24 She makes fine linen and sells it, and delivers girdles to the merchants.
This woman has her own clothing industry going. She is financially adept.
Prov. 31:25 Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
Here, we have a metaphor. Have strength and dignity. She smiles at the future. She has complete confidence that she has done everything possible for the future.
Proverbs 31:26 Session Two—Mother’s Day May 9, 2004
Some people have been totally discourage by what they have heard and just bailed.
Prov. 31:26 She opens her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of grace.
Many women open their mouths, but there is no wisdom which comes out. Chesed (ד∵שח) [pronounced KHEH-sed], which means grace, unfailing love, and that is what is found here. She teaches these qualities to her family.
Prov. 31:27 She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.
She manages her home well. She is energetic and productive.
Prov. 31:28 Her sons rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.
Her own family praises her.
Prov. 31:29 Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.
The guy realizes that he has got quite the deal.
Prov. 31:30 Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears Jehovah, she shall be praised.
This can be a situation where charm can be phoney and deceiving. Charm is deceitful and beauty is fading. Beauty fades with time. Over 21, you know that. Under 21, you are bulletproof and nothing can harm you. This is the curse of growing old. Does your vanity rise up and choke you? “Does it bother you when you see the Colonel up here? It bothers me.” A man of great vigor stricken with age. He is in the dying phase of his life. Everything that you know about doctrine is from this pulpit. This woman respects the Lord; her spiritual life is from this strength. There is something even with the colonel which he sees.
Bobby says that what we see in the Colonel is not just the way that he is. What is important is, this woman is at peace with the ravages of time.
Prov. 31:31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
Esther 7:5 Session 2b—Mother’s Day—Back to Esther May 9, 2004
We don’t know if Esther was a mother or not. She is a wise woman and she has tact and protocol. Every aspect of the way that she handles him. She demonstrates bravery by standing up to the #2 man in the kingdom, her husband’s best friend.
Esther 7:5 And King Ahasuerus answered and said to Esther the queen, “Who is he, and where is the one who dares presume in his heart to do so?”
All of a sudden, the tables are turned on Haman.
Esther 7:6 And Esther said, “The man who is our adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman.” And Haman was afraid before the king and the queen.
Haman suddenly realizes that he has come to the end of his life. There must be something that runs through Satan’s mind as he is about to be thrown into the Lake of Fire.
Esther 7:6 May 12, 2004
Haman realizes at this point that he is going to lose his life. He is rather concerned about this at this time. This makes you wonder about Satan and his particular status. He must regret at some point that he thought that he could be like the Most High. The moments before being case into the Lake of Fire must cause him some serious regrets.
Rom 14:10 But why do you judge your brother? Or also why do you despise your brother? For all shall stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
In all churches, legalism was rampant.
Rom 14:11 For it is written, "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God."
Every believer, mature or not, will bow to the judgement of God. We will be evaluated by God. And there are rewards for divine good. We are shooting for the rewards. When we are being judged and maligned, we enjoy impersonal love and later rewards.
Rom 14:12 So then each one of us will give account concerning himself to God.
We don’t get to talk about others at the judgment seat of Christ.
Rom 14:13 Then let us not judge one another any more, but rather judge this, not to put a stumbling-block or an offense toward his brother.
Therefore, let’s not judge others. Don’t put an obstacle or a stumbling block in another’s way. You’ve got the responsibility. You have liberty, but you have responsibility. Divine good is all wrapped up in our use of our leadership as mature believers.
Don’t get yourself in a jam and then expect God to fix it. When you chose to make these mistakes, then God may let you wallow in that problem for awhile. Discipline will bring you back in line with the plan of God.
Esther 7:6 And Esther said, “The man who is our adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman.” And Haman was afraid before the king and the queen.
Esther 7:7 And the king, arising from the banquet of wine in his wrath, went into the palace garden. And Haman stood up to beg for his life from Esther the queen, for he saw that evil was determined against him by the king.
The king is angry and he gets up and he goes to the palace garden. Possibly to contemplate what has happened.
There was no yelling, no screaming, no accusations. Ahasuerus has one other problem. He is enraged while being in this garden. It is his own decree which condemns his wife. It is his own folly which is to blame. There is some embarrassment and self-deprecation. He will now return to the banquet hall, and Haman was panicked. He knew that harm would come to him. There was no question about it...dead man groveling. Harm here is ra׳a = evil, misery, injury.
Esther 7:8 May 16, 2004
The king is angry and he arises from drinking wine. The word is chamah = rage, incredible anger. Instead of handling things right then and there, the king goes out to the garden. There appears to be a reason which will be covered later. Review of previous points.
Esther 7:7 And the king, arising from the banquet of wine in his wrath, went into the palace garden. And Haman stood up to beg for his life from Esther the queen, for he saw that evil was determined against him by the king.
Ahasuerus is just as responsible as Haman is for this, but he storms out of the room without a word. He is embarrassed by what he has done. If he condemns Haman, he also condemns himself. Haman could only imagine what the king had in store for him. Raa = evil, misery, injury. Some catastrophic devastation will come to Haman and he has no doubt about that. His only recourse is to beg Esther for mercy. Then she would have to persuade the king for mercy. It is ironic, as Haman will plead for his life to the woman whose people he has condemned.
Esther 7:8 And the king returned out of the palace garden into the place of the banquet of wine. And Haman had fallen on the bed on which Esther was. And the king said, “Will he also force the queen before me in the house?” As the word went out of the king's mouth, they covered Haman's face.
Haman was groveling, whining, doing whatever. The king observes this, “Will he even assault the queen in my own house?” Haman’s timing is terrible for almost anything. This is one of the great turnarounds in history. As angry as the king is, he will believe anything about Haman. The king will relieve his own guilt by executing Haman, not for what he has done, but for an attempted rape or assault on Esther. This is not what Haman was doing; however, this choice of the kings’s allows for Haman to be executed without condemning himself.
When Haman leaves the banquet hall with the bag over the head, he is done for. He is representative of anti-Semitism. There are probably some in Berachah who are anti-Semites. We are now going through a new wave of anti-Semitism because of 9/11. Nations can be totally destroyed or in pieces. Spain’s economy collapsed when they drove the Jews out.
There were others who witnessed this—servants and guards—who could have given a correct view of this situation. However, the king didn’t want this. He wanted to condemn Haman without condemning himself as well. Perhaps the king even left the room knowing that Haman would beg for his life?
Esther 7:9 And Harbonah, one of the eunuchs, said before the king, “Also look! the wooden gallows fifty cubits high which Haman made for Mordecai, who had spoken good for the king, stands in the house of Haman.” Then the king said, “Hang him on it!”
Harbonah was an advisor from Esther 1. They all wanted power. Harbonah points out that there were gallows constructed. He is ready to desert Haman and get rid of him, as he is the #2 man in Persia. This is an impaler’s pole. It was a 75 ft pole, and obviously Haman wanted to see Mordecai hanging above everything else in the city.
Esther 7:10 And they hanged Haman on the wooden gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. And the king's wrath lay down.
The king’s anger subsided once Haman was executed. This is a satisfying irony. This same pole designed for Mordecai was used on Haman.
Psalm 7:13–17: Yea, He has fitted him for instruments of death; He has made His arrows hotly pursue. Behold, he labors in pain with iniquity, and he has conceived mischief, and has brought forth falsehood. He dug a pit and bored it, and has fallen into the ditch which he made. His mischief shall return on his own head, and his violence shall come on his own crown. I will praise Jehovah according to His righteousness, and will sing praise to the name of Jehovah most high. Haman is an example of the fiery shaft of God used against His enemies. Synonymous parallelism found here. The Lord delivers David from his enemies just as God does for all of His own. Remember this when people do their best to destroy you, to destroy your reputation, to keep you from moving ahead in life. When the wicked spout up and all who do iniquity flourish, it is only so that they might be destroyed forever more. But You oh Lord are high forever. No matter how much evil people store up for you, God will deal with it.
Esther 7:10 Sunday Second Session May 16, 2004
Esther 7:10 And they hanged Haman on the wooden gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. And the king's wrath lay down.
As long as you understand reaping and sowing, you should never be in despair.
The thief Barabas was in prison waiting to be executed and Jesus is executed instead of him. Instead of being led to the cross to die, he is freed, as Christ died in his place. Pilate wanted to let Christ go, because Jesus was innocent. Jesus substituted Himself for Haman for Barrabas. Therefore, we know that Jesus died for us as well. Barrabas is the illustration for all ov us. He represents us.
The Jews all still stood condemned, but Ahasuerus could not change this edict. Once a decree was enacted by the king, it was irrevocable. According to the law of the Medes and the Persians, this was the way. The king could not bring Vashti back to his palace because of his decree. The machinery of the decree is set up and it is ready to go. The king can’t just say, ‘This law is rescinded.” So, he will write another law. He can’t supercede it, but he can counter it. He will allow the Jews to defend themselves. He will give them a fighting chance. Many people in the empire who were willing to kill the Jews will now rethink their position. This is a one-day law, so once this day is over, then the condemnation of the Jews is over.
God has intervened to save His people on various occasions. We have seen God take care of the Jews by Himself. The Jews did nothing to save themselves. God will allow these Jews to fight for their freedom and lives. This is a principle for the Jews throughout history. There is a time for peace and a time for war. You are prepared as you can be and then you let the Lord handle the rest. The Jews will take an active part in their own defense. Realize that this will also take out the anti-Semites. It will remove the weak Jews.
Esther 8:1 May 19, 2004
Haman has been impaled and is no longer a part of our story. The Jews in all 127 provinces of Persia are scheduled to be executed and, since this is a law of the land, so no one could rescind this law—not even the king. Those who have been ordered to, are ready to carry out the death sentence for all of the Jews. The king cannot say that this law is no longer valid. The king certainly does not want to have his wife die, as he loves her; or Mordecai, as the king owes Mordecai a debt of gratitude. The king will write out a new decree, which cannot revoke and amend the previous decree. When it is found that the king is not in favor of killing the Jews, then there are those who will switch sides and support the Jews. There will be freedom through military victory. Military victory and peace will meet at this point.
Review of Military Victory and Peace Meet at this Point. Someone will attempt to destroy the Jews. The Jews in the land today must be strong militarily and they must resolve to fight regardless of the enemy. The Jews have defeated a conventional army, but they will never completely destroying terrorism. They can and we can lose if we allow the fear of terrorism to sway us. We have won the war there, but there will always be terrorism. We must keep our resolve in tact in order to keep terrorism in check. We would have just as many problems with terrorism whether we were in Iraq or not. The guns will never go totally silent. We cannot give into terrorism or we lose. Peace through strength even applies in terrorism.
Esther 8:1 On that day King Ahasuerus gave the house of Haman, the Jews' enemy, to Esther the queen. And Mordecai came before the king, for Esther had told what he was to her.
In the Vulgate, it says that Mordecai was the [adopted] father of Esther. Esther never forgot the teaching and kindness of Mordecai, despite her tremendous power. She showed appreciation, gratitude and humility by revealing Mordecai as her adopted father, and then honoring him with Haman’s estate. Gratitude to benefactors is an essential part of a gracious character.
Haman loses his things to Esther and the ring to Mordecai. Haman was now considered a criminal by the king and the state could confiscate all the property of the criminal. The entire estate was given over to Esther; all of Haman’s financial empire. Esther has now been enriched beyond her wildest expectations. This was immense. She in turn gave this estate to Mordecai. She didn’t need this; she had everything that she needed already. A wonderful look at divine irony. The estate of the man who would destroy all of the Jews goes to the Jew who made him mad enough to want to kill all the Jews. Mordecai will now use this money for the deliverance of the Jews. Mordecai will outfit these Jews and provide them with weapons. The irony is incredible; all of this money that Haman made will now be used to deliver the Jews from the edict of Haman. Your greatest enemy can fall before you in moments. Logistical grace is seen as part of the protection of the anti-Semitism clause. What God has provided is now part of the salvation or deliverance of Israel. Wealth is a tool for the defense of Israel. God’s sense of irony is wonderful to watch.
Had Haman foreseen that all of his wealth would have been given to Esther and then to Mordecai, he would have chosen to be poor instead. He hated the Jews.
Esther 8:2 And the king took off his [signet] ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.
The ring was the authority of Haman.
Esther 8:3 May 20, 2004
Esther 8:3 First Session May 23, 2004
We’ll go back to v. 1. Esther gave Haman’s estate to Mordecai. This was out of gratitude. Since Mordecai was on a horse, it set him apart; this was like driving through in a Cadillac convertible at the center of the parade. Mordecai now holds the signet ring and he can make the law, just as Haman had that power. The ironies of this narrative just keep piling up.
Esther 8:3 And Esther spoke yet again before the king, and fell down at his feet, and begged him with tears to put away the evil of Haman the Agagite, and his plot which he had plotted against the Jews.
The queen now pleads with her husband to remove the edict of Haman. This is the second time that Esther has come to the king without an invite.
Esther 8:4 Then the king held out the golden scepter toward Esther. And Esther arose and stood before the king,
This means that the king will listen to her. Esther appeals again to the king. What many can resist a woman in tears bowing before him?
When Esther enters this next time, her life is at risk. She got an immediate hearing. The golden scepter was extended so that she could rise from her kneeling position; she can present her case. The king was guilty and culpable; Esther could throw her weight around. Ahasuerus could tell that she was passionate about her plea. He sees her integrity very clearly, even though he has little of it. Esther was an irresistible woman at this point. She could have approached this is a much different way. Remember how to make an approach. Her request puts the king in a dilemma. He cannot rescind his own law, no matter how bad the law is. When the king makes a law, it is irrevocable. How could he do this to Esther? Pathetic old Ahasuerus shows a little capacity for love. He recognizes that Esther is extraordinary. Her passion, beauty and virtue have a strong effect on Ahasuerus. We don’t know if she loved him or not. We do know that she loves her people; she has a great capacity for love. God’s purpose and plan is being worked out through the brains and integrity of Esther. Esther has great gratitude for Mordecai. He taught her what integrity is; and she couldn’t do any of this apart from his training. All women know how to use their charm on men from time to time. Esther has made a career out of it.
Esther 8:6 Second Session May 23, 2004
Esther 8:5 and said, “If it please the king, and if I have found favor in his sight, and if the thing is right before the king, and if I am pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to bring back the documents (a sly plan by Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite) which he wrote to destroy the Jews in all the king's provinces.
Abar = to cause to pass over, to cause an edict. Esther is asking for the death edict to be passed over her people. Esther could not relax until this decree was dealt with.
Esther 8:6 For how can I bear to see the evil that shall come on my people? Or how can I endure to see the slaughter of my kindred?”
Esther approaches this via protocol. Her husband is the king of a great empire. He probably has others watching him. There is no mention of the king’s culpability.
Esther has the qualities that a man wants. This makes for a very interesting and captivating woman. Arrogance will get nothing from a husband but stubborn resistence or wimpy capitulation, which you will never respect.
Esther 8:7 And King Ahasuerus said to Esther the queen and to Mordecai the Jew, “Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and have hanged him on the wooden gallows, because he laid his hand on the Jews.
“Dear, I killed Haman; isn’t that good enough?”
Esther 8:8 And you write for the Jews as it pleases you, in the king's name, and seal it with the king's ring. For the writing which is written in the king's name and sealed with the king's ring, no man may turn back.”
The king is going to let Mordecai fix this. You do what you can. The king has no idea as to what to do. The king does a few things...he kills Haman and he gives Esther all of his estate. “Sorry about everything else, but I’ve done what I could.” The king is out of ideas. This tragedy will be turned into a victory for God.
Because we are in this tragedy of life, we are between a rock and a hard place.
Left off here to go to Bangkok
Esther 8:9 Then the king's scribes were called at that time in the third month, the month Sivan, on the twenty-third of it. And it was written according to all that Mordecai commanded to the Jews, and to the lieutenants and the governors and rulers of the provinces from India to Ethiopia, a hundred and twenty-seven provinces, to every province according to the writing of it, and to every people in their writing, and to the Jews according to their writing and according to their language.
Esther 8:10 And he wrote in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed it with the king's ring. And he sent letters by riders on horseback, riders on royal steeds, stallions, even sons of mares.
Esther 8:11 In them the king granted the Jews in every city to gather themselves, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to kill and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province who desired to attack them, little ones and women, and to take what they owned for a prize,
Esther 8:12 on one day in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, on the thirteenth of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar.
Esther 8:13 The copy of the writing for a command to be given in every province was announced to all people, even that the Jews should be ready against that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.
Esther 8:14 The runners, riders on stallions, royal steeds, went out, being hurried and pressed on by the king's command. And the order was given at Shushan the palace.
Esther 8:15 And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal clothing of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and purple. And the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad.
Esther 8:16 The Jews had light and gladness and joy and honor.
Esther 8:17 And in every province, and in every city where the king's command and his order came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews, for the fear of the Jews fell on them.
Esther 9: Back from Thailand June 9, 2004
The Jews assembled in their cities (reviewing v. 2); the Jews lives and the lives of their families were all at risk. Israel continues to be a sovereign nation today because they learn how to defend themselves; they learn how to fight as a unit and they learned all the tactics; they got intelligence information. They knew exactly what they needed to do on the 13th of Adar. The Jews were combat effective. They did what it takes to win.
Bobby mentions that the body count is much smaller from Iraq than Viet Nam. Anti-Semitism will always be a call for Jewish destruction.
We are in the theater of war of the Angelic Conflict. This is a review from the previous session.
The bad guys, the anti-Semites, suddenly realize that the Jews were not going to be pushovers. They had the backing of the king, queen and of the prime minister. However, more importantly, Jesus Christ was on their side.
Psalm 48:3–6: God is in its palaces. He has proved that he is a stronghold. The kings have gathered. They marched together. When they saw Mount Zion, they were astonished. They were terrified and ran away in fear. Trembling seized them like the trembling that a woman experiences during labor. The enemies of the Jews in Persia will be like this. Blessed be the Lord my God who trains my hands for war.
The Jews were loved and protected by their God. The Israelites learned their lessons well. Those who were associated with Mordecai joined the Jews.
What is the difference between David and Ahab? David murdered a man for his wife. David rebounded and continued his spiritual advance. Their attitude was very different.
God wanted to give Mordecai the maximum reward.
Mordecai did not look to gratify himself, but to deliver the Jews he fulfilled the mission of his life with the grace of God.
Esther 9:5 June 10, 2004
Injustice often comes from those who are in authority over you. Authority-orientation, humility.
Just at the right time, Mordecai was promoted.
Esther 9:4 Mordecai was an important man in the king's palace. Moreover, his reputation was spreading to all the provinces, since Mordecai was becoming more and more powerful.
Esther 9:5 Then with their swords, the Jews attacked all their enemies, killing them, destroying them, and doing whatever they pleased to those who hated them.
The Persians feared the Jews, but some went through with this attack anyway. Once people are locked into this hatred, they are incredibly self destructive.
These anti-Semites are cursed by God. The Jews were essentially a cast out people in the Persian empire. Anti-Semitism rears its head as injustice, and their enemies will be destroyed and their status is elevated. God always destroys the anti-Semite. This should also give you some idea of the desperation of Satan; anti-Semitism fails every time. If God be for us, who can be against us?
Spain was anti-Semitic. They expelled Jews from Spain or tortured them with the Spanish inquisition. Second rate nation. France before World War I was anti-Semitic, as exemplified by the Dreyfus situation. Jewish officers could not be promoted. Dreyfus spent ten years on Devil’s Island due to trumped up charged. Most of the western front was in France. The British empire after WWII. Britain was the greatest empire in the world until WWII. The Jews were promised a homeland by the British. It said the Jews could move back into Palestine and it lasted until the end of WWII. The Arabs didn’t like this, so the Brits put up blockades to keep the Jews from going there. Now Britain is a second-rate power. Russia before WWI was incredibly anti-Semitic. For 50 years, Russia suffered the greatest economic destruction. Germany was destroyed in every way after WWII. No anti-Semitic nation has ever prospered and they never will. Nations in the Middle East are miserable nations.
Surrounding nations took stock of what occurred; some were smart. Even some were anti-Semitic, but they changed out of expediency. Anti-Semitism is always below the surface. Those who came out to fight against the Jews were obliterated. The Jews did not limit themselves to mere self-defense. They hunted out and rooted out their enemies. This was not retaliation. They did not touch the plunder. They just destroyed their enemies, and this was given them by law.
Esther 9:6 In the fortress of Susa the Jews killed and wiped out 500 men.
Susa is the capital of Persia.
Esther 9:7 They also killed Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha,
Esther 9:8 Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha,
Esther 9:9 Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vaizatha.
These are the ten sons of Haman. They did this out of defense.
Esther 9:10 These were the ten sons of Haman, who was the son of Hammedatha and the enemy of the Jews. But the Jews did not seize any of their possessions.
500 took up arms and decided they needed to kill the Jews. Their malice took them to great lengths of destruction. Even with the king’s second edict, these men could kill Esther with no penalty to themselves. The first decree was irrevocable. They ignored the king’s expressed wishes and paid the price. These were undoubtedly Haman’s men trained by Haman. Their hatred was surpassed only by Satan himself. Haman’s sons were at the forefront of the hatred line. They hated the Jews with an irrational, self destructive hatred. They were bent for full destruction of the Jews. A centuries old vendetta. Given the blood feuds of the Mideast, even one son surviving could have brought trouble for Israel for centuries. In every generation, there are always new Haman’s in the world. Haman’s hatred certainly affected his sons, and this is why they are mentioned here.
Personal application to us concerning this.
Esther 9:11 Sunday First Session June 13, 2004
Two decrees. The first allowed for a holocaust. The second allowed for the Jews to defend themselves. We have a list of specific men that the Jews killed, who were the ten sons of Haman. However, the Jews did not take their things. At least 500 men attacked the Jews in Susa, even though it was clear that the king was against the holocaust. These 500 paid the price as do all anti-Semites. Their hatred for Jews was only surpassed by Satan’s hatred of God. These are former Amalekites, who were taught to hate the Jews. This was an ancient feud which dated back to the exodus generation and through the order to Saul to destroy them all. Given the blood feuds of the middle east, the survival of one of these sons would have continued the feud. The final generation of this hatred ended here. There are Haman and sons still out there philosophically speaking. However, this particular group was wiped out.
Esther 9:11 Sunday Second Session June 13, 2004
This begins with point #5 above. Just as Haman transferred monumental hatred to his sons, so is the 4 generation curse.
Esther 9:11 On that day the number of those killed in the fortress of Susa was reported to the king.
Esther 9:12 So the king said to Queen Esther, "In the fortress of Susa the Jews have killed and wiped out 500 men and Haman's 10 sons. What must they have done in the rest of the king's provinces! Now, what is your request? It will be granted to you. And what else would you like? It, too, will be granted."
Esther 9:13 Esther said, "If it pleases you, Your Majesty, allow the Jews in Susa to do tomorrow what was decreed for today. Let them hang Haman's ten sons on poles."
Esther 9:14 The king commanded this, issuing a decree in Susa. And so they hung Haman's ten sons on poles.
Esther 9:15 The Jews in Susa also assembled on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar and killed 300 men in Susa, but they did not seize any of their possessions.
This was a just war of self-defense, as a sense of duty to protect their children from further persecution. They demonstrated the integrity of God in the slaughter of God’s enemies. God was protecting his people, but he was not enriching them. By not plundering his enemies, they showed something to the Persians that they had never seen before .
Esther 9:11 June 16, 2004
The Jews did not take advantage of those they destroyed. This showed their integrity. God’s blessing can be other than increased wealth. By not plundering their enemies, the Jews distanced themselves from the pantheon of the gods. It was, of course, the priests of those gods, who were the greedy ones. Their gods demanded vengeance and money.
Esther 9:11 On that day the number of those who were killed in Shushan the palace was brought before the king.
The king got a body count. 500 people killed in the capital. That was the news. They didn’t have the stats from all over as we do now. The king shows some interest. Once the king hears this, he goes to Esther the queen and he informs her.
Esther 9:12 And the king said to Esther the queen, The Jews have killed and destroyed five hundred men in Shushan the palace, and the ten sons of Haman. What have they done in the rest of the king's provinces? And what is your petition, that it may be granted you? Or what further request do you have? And it shall be done.
In v. 12, he gives a rhetorical question. “What then have they done in the rest of the king’s provinces?” How would she know? He was saying, your people must really be conducting a great slaughter.
Psalm 64:7–10 But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly they shall be wounded. So they shall be confounded; their tongue falls on themselves; everyone seeing them shall flee. And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall in wisdom think of His doing. The righteous shall be glad in Jehovah, and shall trust in Him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.
Mary Queen of Scots would throw temper tantrums. But she would be kind and generous after she was angry with them. Like the husband and wife that make up after a huge fight. The outcome for these Jews is freedom.
The fight for the king was difficult, but the end was good. The king loved Esther and he didn’t want her upset. So now he wants to make up for his shortsightedness. He wants things to return to normal relations. In letting the Jews kill their enemies, he makes up for their past mistakes. Sometimes, whatever it takes to get back.
Esther 9:13 Then Esther said, If it pleases the king, let it be granted to the Jews in Shushan to do tomorrow also according to this day's decree, and let Haman's ten sons be hanged on the wooden gallows.
Esther cannot afford to be conciliatory. She is still a point person for God. She first wants the Jews to be able to continue killing. Give the Jews another day to kill enemies. Next request, impale the sons of Haman. These sons are dead already; impale these dead guys. They would be the top ten most wanted. The Jews went right for them. They cut off the heads of the hydra. 5-100 heads on the mythological hydra (usually 9). The Jews killed the ten sons first; the heads of the hydra. The ten sons of Haman were filled with hate. Esther wants two things; for killing to continue and for the impaling of these dead men.
The plan of God may take twists and turns we don’t expect.
Esther 9:13 June 17, 2004
Esther cannot afford to be sweet and conciliatory to her husband.
Esther 9:13 Then Esther said, If it pleases the king, let it be granted to the Jews in Shushan to do tomorrow also according to this day's decree, and let Haman's ten sons be hanged on the wooden gallows.
She asks for a day extension for the Jews to continue killing their enemies; second request is to ask for the impalement of Haman’s dead sons. These are practical acts. These things will be future determents.
Esther asks for this as justice and for self-defense. With so many deadly enemies around, another day was needed to solve the holocaust problem. Esther had the opportunity to stop it right there. Their murderous desires must be eliminated. There is a Scriptural precedent for this. What could Esther have expected had she been squeamish at this point.
Esther 9:14 And the king commanded it to be done. And the order was given at Shushan, and they hanged Haman's ten sons.
The king was delighted to go along with the queen’s request after he was delighted to go along with Haman’s request. How often do men have to go thru penance in order to get back to a state of tranquility. It took the impaling of 10 dead men for Ahasuerus to get back into his wife’s good graces. Forced wisdom. Ahasuerus will be forced to follow some Biblical wisdom. A wise king winnows the wicked and drives the threshing wheel over them. When the wicked are punished with the severity that their crimes demand, all of society benefits.
These men brought this on themselves. Isa. 5:18: Woe to those who drag iniquity with arrogance and vanity, and sin as with cart ropes.
Esther 9:15 For the Jews in Shushan gathered themselves on the fourteenth day also of the month Adar, and killed three hundred men at Shushan. But they did not lay their hands on the spoil.
This means that justice will eventually catch up; and no one gets away from anyone. The supreme court of heaven always dispenses perfect justice.
Esther 9:16 But the rest of the Jews in the king's provinces gathered themselves and stood for their lives, and had rest from their enemies, and killed seventy-five thousand of their foes. But they did not lay their hands on the spoil.
75,000 men hated the Jews and were killed.
Throughout the history of Israel, God was there externally; Isa. 8:9–10 is our promise.
Esther 9:16 The other Jews who were in the king's provinces had also assembled to defend and free themselves from their enemies. They killed 75,000 of those who hated them, but they did not seize any of their possessions.
This is repeated because it is important.
Esther 9:14 June 20, 2004
Esther asked for two things: the impaling of ten sons of Haman and she asked for one more day for the Jews to kill their enemies. The Jews killed 300 more men in Sousa but did not take their money. Why were these ten sons impaled? The Lord had a purpose: a graphic proclamation of God’s favor for His people, Israel. When there are ten men impaled 75 feet high, all can see. It is a terrible thing for men to fall into the hands of the living God for punishment. Also the Lord causes his own wonderful works to be remembered. God does not want us to forget His terrible verdict on the unbeliever. Haman’s sons are primary examples of this. We must be reminded of the horrors of eternal separation from God. Impaling is not pretty, but it had a purpose. It tells us of the horror of eternal separation from God. There is a fine line between the Jews celebrating and the men who are impaled. We don’t want anyone to end up on the impaler’s pole for judgment. It does not have to be.
Some enemies escaped on the 13th of Adar. Therefore, Esther asked for another day. Just like Saul should have killed all of the Amalekites, the Jews of Esther’s time killed all of their enemies. The Jews did not take any of the plunder of these enemies; plunder was a great motivator. They were plunder and rape. The Jews did not do this.
Esther 9:17 This was on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar. On the fourteenth they rested and made it a day of feasting and celebration.
75,800 anti-Semites killed. The Jews of Susa were not able to rest on the same day as the rest. They were still fighting, as their enemies were concentrated in that area. Most important to get all of the enemies in the capital. Therefore, these people in Sousa did not relax.
Esther 9:18 Second Sunday Session June 20, 2004
Eccles. 3:13: And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God. There is satisfaction to be found in work. You may not think of work as being fun or as enjoyable, but it is a gift from God. Satisfaction in all his toil. It is a gift from God. Work and the family are the only things that the unbeliever has a gift from God. Then they die. Eccles. 9:9–10: Look on life with the wife whom you love all the days of the life of your vanity, which He has given you under the sun, all the days of your vanity. For that is your share in this life, and in your labor which you labor under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no work, nor plan, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave where you go. The unbeliever gets a right man or right woman. Fleeting life...this will not last forever. This will last for a very short time. This woman is your reward in life and also in the toil that you have endured under the sun. it is the right woman and your work which are God’s gifts to the unbeliever. There is no activity or planning or wisdom in Sheol, where you are going. Marital difficulties can be a blessing. This is divine perspective for your fleeing life on earth. These may have been points 7 and 8 from the previous thing.
Many feasts: 2 given by Esther, 1 by Vashti, some with the king.
Esther 9:18 But the Jews in Susa had assembled on the thirteenth and fourteenth. They rested on the fifteenth and made it a day of feasting and celebration.
Esther 9:19 That is why the Jews who live in the villages and in the unwalled towns make the fourteenth day of the month of Adar a holiday for feasting and celebration. They also send gifts of food to one another.
Esther 9:20 Now, Mordecai wrote these things down and sent official letters to all the Jews in all the provinces of King Xerxes, near and far.
Esther 9:21 He established the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar as days they must observe every year.
This month became a holiday; it was to be a day of infamy.
It was on these two days that the Jews rid themselves of their enemies. It was resolved to hold a two day feast to celebrate this deliverance. This feast was not established by the Mosaic Law; this is the only one established later by Mordecai and by Esther. Mordecai sent out the first proclamation; Esther confirmed it. Mordecai just decided to pick up a pen and establish this feast.
Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were feasts to celebrate redemption and deliverance from the land of Egypt. Pentecost and the Feast of Weeks; first harvest to God was consecrated. These are authorized by God Himself. Yom Kippur: the Day of Atonement. Sin and sacrifice, where God cleansed Israel for another year. First of First Fruits, Trumpets, Tabernacles. All came directly from God Himself. This was the first time a feast arose without having its origins in the Mosaic Law. David and Joshua enjoyed many victories; as did Moses; and none of these established any feasts of his own authority. Moses did not allow Passover to be celebrated on the wrong day (Num. 9:6–11). Only by Esther and Mordecai. Why did Mordecai choose to sanction this. (1) Maybe God did authorize this feast; His name is not mentioned in this book. (2) Purim was not meant as a holy festival like the others. Instead, it was a civil festival to commemorate an event never to be forgotten. There are other events which should not be forgotten as well, but they are not celebrated with a feast. This would be like a 4th of July for the Jews. It celebrated their independence and deliverance.
Esther 9: June 23, 2004
Bobby is reading something about anti-Semitism. The UN has even passed some resolution about anti-Semitism. Arabs are called the survivors of the holocaust Nazis. Population of Jews: 1882: 7.8 million Jews; 1914 13.5 million; 1939: 16 billion; 1948: 11.5 million; today 13.2 million Jews. The Jews were excluded from all vocations and professions in medieval Europe. They could only change money on park benches in Italy. They began from this the bank.
US has 6 million; Israel with 5 million; France with 600,000; Russia 550,000 Jews. Ukraine 400,000. Canada 460,000; UK; Argentina 250,000; Brazil, S. Africa, etc. Afghanistan less than 100.
16 cities with greatest population: NYC; Miami; LA; Paris; Philadelphia, SF, Chicago, etc. 8 of the top 16 cities are US cities. Keeping that many Jews insures our client nation status.
Esther 9:22 They were to observe them just like the days when the Jews freed themselves from their enemies. In that month their grief turned to joy and their mourning into a holiday. He declared that these days are to be days for feasting and celebrating and for sending gifts of food to one another, especially gifts to the poor.
The only feast which was not established by the Law. All the other holy feasts were sanctioned by the Word of God. Joshua and David never appointed any annual feasts to celebrate their victories. Why did Mordecai and Esther Ordain these Feasts? Two possibilities: God did ordain this feast; or God did not sanction it. The second would mean that Purim was more like the 4th of July; a civil festive of an historical event never to be forgotten. Celebrates the deliverance of Israel by the grace of God.
Portions of food are given and gifts to the poor.
Esther 9:23 So the Jews accepted as tradition what they had begun, as Mordecai had written to them.
These Jews were acutely aware of God’s grace at this point. It is very real in their souls. They saw what it had done for them. The celebration showed gratitude for what God had done for them; and Mordecai and Esther were used by God to deliver. They tried to follow his instructions to the letter. They could have blamed Mordecai for this problem.
God’s grace condemns us before He saves us. The Jews had to be condemned before they can be delivered. Because of this deliverance, they became very important people in the Persian empire. We were condemned at the moment of our birth. That is condemnation. The Lamb of God Who took away the sins of the world appeared. When we believe, our status is raised. Esther is filled with an explanation what Jesus has done for us. Condemnation must precede salvation.
Gratitude should always be given to those who are instrumental in saving our lives. How much more love should you render under these circumstances. How much more obedience do we owe to doctrine.
The events which led to the establishment of Purim are then given. Perhaps this is part of the decree. The Feast of Lots. This is probably the preamble of Mordecai’s decree. Haman was the prime minister, the most powerful man on earth; the memory of defeating such a powerful enemy. Mordecai wants the Jews to remember that Haman was the second most powerful man in the empire and he went to naught; and a Jew replaces him and they were all delivered.
Esther 9:24 It was because Haman, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them. (Haman was the son of Hammedatha and was from Agag.) Haman had the Pur (which means the lot) thrown in order to determine when to crush and destroy them.
Esther 9: June 24, 2004
In v. 23, the Jews are celebrating God’s deliverance of them. The rest of Israel would see that the God of Israel is God. Mordecai requested that they remember the source of their deliverance, which is God; and gratitude to the Lord Jesus Christ Who has delivered His people. There is a parallel here to Christ’s deliverance of us on the cross. Gratitude should always be given to those who deliver us and forgive us our lives. God has redeemed us from total destruction.
Haman, the adversary of all the Jews, had schemed against all the Jews, and he tried to disrupt and destroy them (these two verses could be a part of the preamble of what Mordecai wrote to the rest of the Jews). The methods and means found here are still used by God today. We should have the same motivation of thanksgiving in our lives.
We need to examine why God’s name is not found in the book of Esther.
Esther 9:25 But when this came to the king's attention, he ordered, in the well-known letter, that the evil plan Haman had plotted against the Jews should turn back on his own head. As a result, they hung Haman and his sons on poles.
Some of the history is cited. The people in the empire did not know exactly what happened in the capital. Mordecai explains the means by which Haman was defeated. Jesus Christ controls history. We don’t always know all of the details. The Jews of the Persian empire did get a look at this. Jesus Christ controls history and the destiny of Israel.
Esther and Mordecai’s name will live forever. They are not found in Heb. 11, but they belong there. From weakness, they became strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.
Esther 9: June 27, 2004
Esther and Mordecai and the Jews of the Persian empire have found themselves in some very abnormal and deadly circumstances. Mordecai was the butt of Haman’s anti-Semitic rage. This is one of the greatest examples of divine providence in the history of man. God will deliver His people from annihilation just as He has done for many generations.
Esther begins with Vashti, the queen, refusing to acquiesce to Ahasuerus’ request to show herself at one of his drunken parties. So, he deposes her and he chooses Esther from a group of very intelligent and attractive women. Ahasuerus did not know that Esther was Jewish.
Her godfather, Mordecai, will not bow down to Haman, which enrages him. Esther hears about Haman’s edict to kill all of the Jews; and she goes to her husband, although she has not seen him for 30 days. This could mean death for her. She decides to do this to deliver her own people. She did find favor in his eyes. She could have been executed, and the king could have moved on to another woman.
Esther requests to have a banquet for the king and Haman. The king can’t sleep, so he reads the chronicles of the empire, which would be a boring book that would put him to sleep. He comes across the recording of Mordecai and the debt the king owed him. While the king is reading this, Haman walks in and he wants to kill Mordecai. The king has just read about how he owes Mordecai a debt. The king has decided to reward Mordecai. So the king decides that Haman ought to be the one to reward Mordecai. Haman was to lead Mordecai through the streets and say that Mordecai is the king’s favorite.
The next day at the banquet, Esther tells how Haman wants to kill all the Jews, which would include her and Mordecai. Haman begs for mercy from Esther, and he is dragged out and impaled at that moment. The king issues another decree which allows the Jews to defend themselves. The book of Esther is a part of the canon of Scripture because it shows God’s control of history, and how He delivers His people, the Jews.
Only Jesus Christ could accomplish a deliverance like this. It must have been wonderful for the Jews to observe God delivering them; as it has been a pleasure for us to study this book. Mordecai will live forever in the roster of Heroes in Heb. 11:32–35: And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah; also David, and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the strangers. Women received their dead raised to life again, and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.
We have the same Lord Who takes care of us in the same way. We study the book of Esther for this reason. We can depend upon Him for deliverance, just as the Jews depended upon Him as well in the Persian empire.
Esther 9:26 So the Jews called these days Purim, based on the word Pur. Therefore, because of everything that was said in this letter-both what they had seen and what had happened to them-
Mordecai believed that these events should be remembered throughout all history, so he establishes a feast day to celebrate God’s deliverance of the Jews. Esther is a model of spiritual impact; her spiritual life came first, and her impact was strong and immortal. No matter what crises we face in the future, God will raise up a man or woman to deal with it. If God places us at any place to have an impact, we need to be ready with divine viewpoint.
The Jews have destroyed their enemies and they are ready to celebrate what happened.
Esther 9:27 the Jews established a tradition for themselves and their descendants and for anyone who would join them. The tradition was that a person should never fail to observe these two days every year, as they were described and at their appointed time.
Those who joined them were Persians who became Jews. They celebrated these two days according to their regulations and times.
Esther 9:28 So these days must be remembered and observed in every age, family, province, and city. These days of Purim must not be ignored among the Jews, and the importance of these days must never be forgotten by the generations to come.
The Jews were to recall what occurred here. These verses are the feast of Purim; first mentioned in this passage. This is their 4th of July, so to speak. Purim was an ironic name. It means lots, those things thrown to determine something. Like dice.
Esther 9:28 Second Session June 27, 2004
Independent and free choices do not deter the plan of God. Decisions like, do I stay for the second session or not.
Purim became an ordinance or a statute of Israel, by their own choice. All of the other festivals were given by God. The Jews were ready to celebrate after the great victory over their enemies. “Enjoy yourself; have a good time; do not forget why you are celebrating.” You have to wonder just how binding this ordinance was to subsequent generations. They were told not to forget, but this does not always impact. We forget; so certainly they did as well. Just like the 4th of July, Memorial day, Christmas, etc. Many of these holidays lose their meanings. The same thing happened, no doubt, with the Feast of Purim. God used Esther and Mordecai to deliver His people.
Esther 9:28 So these days must be remembered and observed in every age, family, province, and city. These days of Purim must not be ignored among the Jews, and the importance of these days must never be forgotten by the generations to come.
Unfortunately the lessons of the past are lost
Esther 9:29 Abihail's daughter Queen Esther and Mordecai the Jew wrote with full authority in order to establish with this second letter the well-known celebration of Purim.
Esther now has more than nominal power now. She has real power now. Her king recognizes her greatness. She correctly uses her power. She could have let all of this go to her head. Saul was one of the causes for this whole book of Esther.
We will have the opportunity to remember next week on the 4th of July. We don’t celebrate the Feast of Purim, which was in February. That is for Jews and for their own remembrance. We have the 4th of July instead. If you appreciate what God has done for you, you can appreciate everything in life, including the bad stuff. Everything happens for a reason. If you are in the plan of God, you can only see great things come out of it. That is capacity for life.
Esther 9: June 30, 2004
Setting up this feast was a correct use of Esther’s power. Some people get power and they become a law to themselves. Power does not have to corrupt, but it often does. Esther uses her authority properly.
Esther 9:30 Mordecai sent official documents granting peace and security to all the Jews in the 127 provinces of the kingdom of Xerxes.
Esther 9:31 He did this in order to establish these days of Purim at the appointed time. Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther established them for themselves, as they had established for themselves and their descendants the practices of fasting with sadness.
Esther had to face Ahasuerus and she asked the Jews to fast for three days. The Jews were asked to turn to the Lord and concentrate. Regular daily activities of life were put aside to focus on God. Along with fasting came prayer. She asked for concentrated support for when she was going to the king about his murderous decree. Esther wanted concentrated prayer. She was not asking just for her own deliverance. Bush has asked us for prayer many times.
Jim Meyers, a missionary from the Ukraine speaks. Little smaller than Texas and the larger country in Europe. They pride themselves as being a separate people. One of the countries with the greatest freedom and great positive volition there. Even greater than in Germany, Amsterdam or England. The people are very open there to the teaching of God's Word. There is a lot of false doctrine there. However, many recognize the truth. Very small number of well-trained missionaries. In WW II, many believers saw the need in Asia and Europe. Most of these people have retired or have come home. Many missionaries are coming from the east; no understanding of dispensations or systematic theology. The quality of missionary is much worse. Everything in most churches has been dumbed down. Entertainment and emotions in US churches. This is also taken to the Ukraine. The US continues to be free because we continue to send out missionaries. We are here to evangelize and edify. Then you can apply God's Word to your day by day experience. Eph. 4: Communication gifts are given to edify the body. God doesn't need any of us. When God's people become complacent, then God removes His blessing from them. God works through His people and we ought to wonder what our roll is.
Brazil invited him. They rented a football stadium.. Horrendous rain. A few hundred showed up and were there in the rain. The people had to walk. He was interviewed by Debate Brazil and was interviewed for an hour and able to give the gospel. Another show...asked about "The Passion of the Christ." Then radio shows.
Kiev, Ukraine, 3.5–4 million people in Kiev proper. Go to children hospitals where children are dying of cancer; and they give them the gospel. Several different sorts of hospitals bring them in; and children detention centers. The gospel can be given in a straightforward manner. A camp is put on for about 100+ kids who are unbelievers.
Began a Bible College; meet 5 days a week; 11 students. 3–4 hours a day. A 2 year program. Greek and Hebrew classes; theology; Bible. It is more than for those who just want doctrine. This is for those who want to teach God's Word.
He's gone to Kosakstan; no Kosak believers 15 years ago. However, now some have believed. They are actually a minority people in their own country.
Zambia (northern Rhodesia). One guy began as a JW, and then with the 7th Day Adventists; and then became a charismatic. Then found a book called the basics. Gene someone. Wanted to know what was wrong, and was told to get away from all of this emotionalism. Millions evangelized there, but there is no Bible teaching. He is building a training center for pastors out in the sticks; no running water even.
Zambia is the only nation in the world whose constitution claims they are a Christian nation. All the nations around them are becoming Islamic. Freedom to preach the gospel there.
He teaches Campus Crusade leaders in the Ukraine doctrine twice a year, 10 days, 4 hours at a time.
Esther 9: July 1, 2004
4th of July Special July 4, 2004
Freedom is what is best about our country. Volition is the difference between a rich spiritual life and a spiritual disaster. It is our volition which dictates the speed and distance that we travel spiritually.
Bobby reads from the :Declaration of Independence. Did not break away from England easily. Continued abuses and a tyrannical government. Abolished the free system of English laws. We hold England, enemies in war, and in peace, friends. 56 Americans pledged thier lives and fortunes. 5 captured and imprisoned; a number killed in the war; 17 lost everything they owned; 12 had their houses burned to the ground.
Purim is a remembrance of an historical event that they should never forget. Divine providence is why we have such a tremendous freedom in our nation. The USA is a client nation to God. We have a responsibility before the Lord to serve Him. Freedom is the best environment in which ti disseminate doctrine and to send out missionaries and to provide a haven for the Jews. God has continued to bless us with an endowment of freedom as we have never seen.
Voices claim that Judea Christianity is the bloodiest of all religions; this was a quote by John Adams, who referred to wars in the preceding centuries and the acts of the Puritans. Abuses have and will occur. Everyone possesses a sin nature. We believe in the separation of church and state as a safeguard; it protects us from zealots from any religion. The doctrine found in the Old and New Testaments is never oppressive. Liberty, morality and divine authority is found in Scripture. Today, these same truths guarantee personal freedom and national liberty for any nation which operates under these maxims. Christianity cannot be forced by anyone. This is not the same as the persecutions of various religious groups. Salvation is completely a free will choice.
In the realm of government, there is a clear connection between the freedom code of the Mosaic Law and our law is unmistakable. The center lawgiver is Moses holding the Ten Commandments outside the Supreme Court. Other lawgivers face them. Ten Commandments on the door and inside. Scriptures found etched in stone all over Washington DC in various federal buildings.
John Jay said the people should select Christians as their rulers.
Ben Shapiro: It Is time for American Jews to Open their eyes. Jewish resistance to conservative politics; Jews fear the Christians because they are told they will go to hell for not believing in Christ. Therefore, the oppose Christians. Down deep the Jews fear another holocaust. The most tolerant and pro-Semetic religion in history is Christianity. The Nazis were secular. American Christians die to deliver Jews from the death camps. The Russians were also godless. It is American Christians who defend the Jews from religious tyranny. Christianity is opposed completely to the Muslim fanatics. American secularists and the French secularists who support the Muslims. Bush has staunchly defended Israel who zealously guards Judeo-Christian ethics. It is about time the Jewish community must recognize that fact. Part of our freedom is the US being a haven for Jews.
Even though Christian zealots have denigrated the truth; this does not negate the principles of Christianity.
There is an absolute union of church and state in Muslim countries; no freedom where the Koran dominates the state. You will hear the Koran and the Bible are books of equal stature. The oppression of Muslim countries stands in contrast to the freedom of our country. When we try to negate the Ten Commandments, we are going overboard. Real freedom did not begin in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776. Freedom was begun in eternity past by God the Father in the Divine Decrees. Our decisions would be truly free. God does not limit, coerce, or violate man’s free will. This divine decree which sets up man’s free will in the past sets up freedom in various nations today.
Failure of law and abuse of freedom when Christ approached the cross. Jewish and Roman law were paragons of law; facts were omitted, heresay was accepted; religious zealots prosecuted Him. They thoroughly disregarded the laws of their time to kill our Lord. God uses the evil of men to further His purposes. God the Father could do nothing but judge our sins. Jesus Christ made Himself sin for us. The birth of our spiritual freedom was born with our spiritual slavery. We are released to the freedom of grace. As believers, we have the freedom to execute the spiritual life. It is our spiritual freedom. 4th of July celebrates our human and national freedom both. The source of all freedom is Jesus Christ. We don’t look myopically to the founding fathers of our constitution. Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of our freedom and of our faith. We have a double portion of freedom. We live in a free nation which provides us with individual liberties; and we have spiritual freedom to execute the spiritual life. Our founding fathers did not separate God from their political thinking.
Esther 9:32 Session Two July 4, 2004
Esther 9:32 Esther's command had established these practices of Purim, and they are written in a book.
Jesus Christ risked His life and gave it up for us. He delivered us from the holocaust to come. The final clause says, it is written in the book. This was officially recorded.
The Feast of Purim is observed today, but without the spiritual impact that was intended. There is no spiritual freedom today among the Jews. Even though there is no belief in Jesus Christ, He still protects them to this very day. He always delivers them and always offers them salvation. We can always bet the God will be there and it will be to our best interest.
Esther 10:1 And King Ahasuerus laid a tax on the land and on the isles of the sea.
Ahasuerus could impose taxes to the full extent of the end of his world. When taxes are increased, people get upset. Ahasuerus could impose taxes to all his 127 provinces. Mordecai was a huge factor in extending his power over all his empire.
Ahasuerus had many expenses; he had to maintain his splendor and his harem. Also important for his image. So he needed money. This requires that he spend a lot of money. He scoured the kingdom for hot babes, which required a lot of money. He spent millions of dollars on the Greek wars mentioned at the beginning. This was a bank breaking campaign. The army and navy cost him a huge sum. They winning army can plunder those they destroy. He wasted a ton of money in political intrigue and foreign ventures.
Our government affords protection and services, which is where our taxes go. This chapter tells us just how powerful Mordecai was.
When Ahasuerus wanted more money, Mordecai put it into action.
Esther 10:1 July 7, 2004
Esther 10:1 And King Ahasuerus laid a tax on the land and on the isles of the sea.
This word tax could be used for slave gangs, but here, it is for taxes. His long arm reached throughout the empire. This was second only the Alexander the Great’s empire and the Roman empire. The sun never set on the union jack for the British empire; and that small island had the largest empire that this world has ever seen.
Mordecai was the top man in this empire. Taxes are necessary. It’s painful and most people don’t like that.
Esther 10:2 And all the acts of his power and of might, and the declaration of the greatness of Mordecai, with which the king made him great, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia?
Ahasuerus was a very powerful man; he was lethargic, a loser in war, a rabid seeker of pleasure, wishy washy in decisions, he was easily influenced by his closest friends, and he turned his empire over to Haman.
Now, what happened to Ahasuerus, was he came into contact with Esther and Mordecai. He was blessed by his relationship to these two Jews. Blessing by association is clearly what happened here. Whatever was left of his reign was a smashing success, for the sake of Mordecai and Esther and for the sake of Israel.
No electioneering will occur in Berachah. The message of Esther would be futile if we worried about the election. God controls history. We stand or fall based upon the pivot. Any nation which persecutes the Jews will be hurt by God. Economic or military disaster, political unrest; anything which is included in the 5 cycles of discipline. Antisemitism lists some of those empires which went down for that reason. It was the antisemitism of the British empire which marked its demise.
In the official records of the Persian empire we find Mordecai, the Jew. This was read by Ahasuerus when he could not fall asleep.
Esther 10:3 For Mordecai the Jew was next to King Ahasuerus and great among the Jews, and pleasing to the multitude of his brothers, seeking the wealth of his people and speaking peace to all his seed.
Mordecai was a great man, and yet his rise to power is seemingly impossible. It is very unusual for a Jew to reach such a high status in history in a foreign nation. Mordecai is a part of the history of Israel and Persia.