The LORD protects His people in foreign lands
1 Now in the days of Ahasuerus, (this is the Ahasuerus who reigned, over 127 provinces from India to Ethiopia,:) 2 That when the king Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan, the royal city, 3 In the third year of his reign, he made a feast for all his princes and his servants; the power of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes of the provinces, being before him:
- This is king Xerxes 486-465 BC. The book of Esther shows us how God watches over His people and protects them while they are in exile for their unfaithfulness to Him. The book is full of analogies to Our Lord and His future kingdom. When the Lord comes to rule earth, He will make a feast for all people.
- Isaiah 25:6 In this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines… well refined.
4 And he displayed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honor of his excellent majesty many days, 180 days. 5 And when these days were expired, the king made a feast for all the people that were present in Shushan, the royal city both great and small, seven days, in the court of the garden of the king's palace; 6 There were white, green, and blue, hangings, fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings and pillars of marble: the beds were of gold and silver, on a pavement of red, and blue, and white, and black marble. 7 And they gave them drinks in vessels of gold, (the vessels being different one from one another,) and wine of the kingdom in abundance, according to the state of the king.
- God adorns His great feast with 1,000 years of total world peace, health, and plenty. And then begins an eternity in His royal city, a place beyond imagining.
- Revelation 21:21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent
- Song of Solomon 1:2 Your love is better than wine.
8 And the drinking was according to the law; none were forced: for the king had appointed this to all the officers of his house, that they do according to every man's pleasure. 9 Also, Vashti the queen made a feast for the women in the royal house that belonged to king Ahasuerus. 10 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains that served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king, 11 to bring Vashti, the queen, before the king with the royal crown, to show the people and the princes her beauty: for she was beautiful to look at.
- The Lord is more beautiful than all.
- Psalm 45:2 You are more beautiful than the children of men: grace is poured into your lips: therefore God has blessed you forever.
12 But queen Vashti refused to come at the king's commandment by his chamberlains: so the king was very angry, and his anger burned in him. 13 Then the king said to the wise men who knew the times, (for that was the king's custom toward all that knew law and judgment: 14 And the next to him was Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, who saw the king's face, and who sat the first in the kingdom;) 15 What are we to do to queen Vashti according to law, because she has not performed the commandment of the king Ahasuerus by the chamberlains? 16 And Memucan answered the king and the princes, Vashti the queen has not done wrong to the king only, but also to all the princes, and to all the people that are in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus. 17 For this deed of the queen will come abroad to all women, so that they will despise their husbands in their eyes, when it will be reported, The king Ahasuerus commanded Vashti the queen to be brought in before him, but she did not come.
- Ephesians 5:33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
18 And so the ladies of Persia and Media will say this to all the king's princes, who have heard of the deed of the queen. By this there will arise too much contempt and wrath. 19 If it pleases the king, let there be a royal commandment from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes, so that it cannot be altered, That Vashti come no more before king Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal estate to another better than she. 20 And when the king's decree that he makes is published throughout all his empire, (for it is great,) all the wives will give to their husbands honor, both to great and small. 21 And the saying pleased the king and the princes; and the king did according to the word of Memucan: 22 He sent letters to all the king's provinces, into every province according to its writing, to every people after by their language, for every man to rule in his own house, to be published in every language of his people.
- 1Timothy 3:5 (if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?)
- Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it…
1 After these things, when the wrath of king Ahasuerus was appeased, he remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what was decreed against her. 2 Then the king's servants that ministered to him said, Let beautiful young virgins be sought for the king: 3 Let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, to gather together all the beautiful young virgins to Shushan the royal city, to the house of the women, into the custody of Hegai the king's chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let things for purification be given them. 4 Let the maiden that pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti. This thing pleased the king; so he did it.
- 2 Corinthians11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
- I John 1:9 If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness
- John 15:3 You are clean through the word I have spoken unto you
5 Now in Shushan the royal city there was a certain Jew named Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite; 6 who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity which had been carried away with Jeconiah, king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, had carried away. 7 And he raised his uncle's daughter Hadassah, that is, Esther: for she had no father or mother, and the maid was lovely and beautiful; whom Mordecai took for his own daughter, when her father and mother were dead. 8 So when the king's commandment and his decree was heard, and when many maidens were gathered together to Shushan the palace, to the custody of Hegai, Esther was also brought into the king's house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women. 9 And the maiden pleased him, and she obtained kindness of him; and he speedily gave her things for purification, with her potions, and seven maidens, which were chosen to be given to her out of the king's house: and he moved her and her maids to the best place of the house of the women.
- God purifies us and makes us ready to live with Himself forever.
- Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify to himself a special people, zealous of good works.
10 Esther had not revealed her people or her kindred: for Mordecai had told her not to reveal it. 11 And Mordecai walked every day before the court of the women's house, to know of Esther’s welfare, and what would become of her. 12 Now when every maid's turn came to go in to king Ahasuerus, after she had been twelve months, according to the manner of the women, (for so were the days of their purifications accomplished, that is, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odors, and with other things for the purifying of the women;) 13 Thus prepared, each young woman went to the king, and she was given whatever she desired to take with her from the women’s quarters to the king’s palace. 14 In the evening she went, and the next day she returned into the second house for the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king's chamberlain, who guarded the concubines: she did not come in to the king again, unless the king delighted in her, and she was called by name. 15 Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail, the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, came to go in to the king, she required nothing except what Hegai, the king's chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all those that looked upon her. 16 So Esther was taken to king Ahasuerus into his house royal in the tenth month, which is the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.
- God gives favor.
- Genesis 39:21 But the LORD was with Joseph, and showed him mercy, and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
17 And the king loved Esther above all the women and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti. 18.Then the king made a great feast for all his princes and his servants, Esther's feast; and he made a release to the provinces, and gave gifts, according to the state of the king.
- Psalm 75:6-7 promotion does not come from the east, or from the west, or from the south. But God is the judge: he puts down one, and sets up another.
- Revelation 3:21 To him that overcomes I will give to sit with me on my throne
19 And when the virgins were gathered together the second time, then Mordecai sat in the king's gate. 20 Esther had not yet showed her kindred or her people; as Mordecai had charged her: for Esther did the commandment of Mordecai, as when she was brought up with him.
- Sitting in the king’s gate meant leadership.
- Mordecai was involved with the leadership of affairs of state.
21 In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king's gate, two of the king's chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, of those who guarded the door, were angry, and sought to lay hand on king Ahasuerus. 22 And the thing was revealed to Mordecai, who told it to Esther the queen; and Esther informed the king of it in Mordecai's name. 23 And when the matter was investigated, and confirmed; they were both hanged on a tree: and it was written in the book of the chronicles before the king.
- Esther became queen by God’s sovereign hand.
- Her story illustrates God’s desire for each life.
- Hosea 2:19 And I will betroth you to me forever; yes, I will betroth you unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving-kindness, and in mercies.
1 After these things king Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his above all the princes that were with him. 2 And all the king's servants that were in the king's gate, bowed and reverenced Haman: for the king had commanded this concerning him. But Mordecai did not bow or do him reverence.
- Did Haman make Mordecai? Did Haman give Mordecai life? Did Haman sustain Mordecai? Did Haman deserve Mordecai’s worship?
- Exodus 20:3You will have no other gods before me.
- Philippians 2:10-11at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
3 Then the king's servants who were in the king's gate said to Mordecai, Why do you transgress the king's commandment? 4 When they spoke to him daily, he did not listen to them, so they told Haman, to see whether Mordecai's matters would stand: for he had told them that he was a Jew. 5 And when Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow, or do him reverence, then Haman was full of wrath. 6 He thought it was not enough to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had showed him the people of Mordecai: therefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were in whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, the people of Mordecai.
- All bowed to him except one, so Haman sought to destroy the whole race of people belonging to that one person.
- Satan is the same. He seeks to destroy all concerning one who doesn't serve him.
- Evil is not some innocuous pest in the face of mankind. It is a vicious, rabid monster.
7 In the first month, that is, the month Nisan, in the twelfth year of king Ahasuerus, they cast Pur, that is, the lot, before Haman from day to day, and from month to month, to the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar. 8 Haman said to king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from all people; they do not keep the king's laws: therefore it is not to the king's advantage to let them alone.
- Matthew 4:4 Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
9 If it pleases the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed: and I will pay 375 tons of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king's treasuries. 10 And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it to Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews' enemy. 11 And the king said to Haman, And the king said to Haman, The money and the people are given to you, to do with them as seems good to you. 12 Then the king's scribes were called, on the thirteenth day of the first month, and it was written according to all that Haman had commanded the king's lieutenants, and to the governors that were over every province, and to the rulers of every people of every province according to the edict, to every people by their language; it was written in the name of king Ahasuerus and sealed with the king's ring. 13 And the letters were sent by posts to all the king's provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take their plunder for a prize.
- Haman blithely proposed to the king to destroy God’s people as if swatting a fly.
- Without investigation, the king gave the authority to do it.
- Satan tried this in the days of Nazi Germany.
- Our Lord is just the opposite. He died to give us life.
- John 10:28 And I give to them eternal life; and they will never perish, neither will any man pluck them out of my hand.
14 The copy of the writing to be made a law in every province was published to all people, so that they would be ready for that day. 15 The posts went out, being hurried by the king's commandment, and the decree was given in Shushan the royal city. And the king and Haman sat down to drink; but the city Shushan was perplexed.
- Remember chapter one where this king had the party that lasted for months.
- Now this man agrees to destroy a whole race of people, without investigating, and sat down with Haman to drink.
- Proverbs 31:4-5 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; or for princes strong drink: 5 Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.
- Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
God hears our cries for help
1 When Mordecai perceived all that was done, Mordecai tore his clothes, put on sackcloth with ashes, went out into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and a bitter cry; 2 And even came before the king's gate: for none might enter into the king's gate clothed with sackcloth.
- Psalm 34:17 The righteous cry, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.
3 And in every province, wherever the king's commandment and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes. 4 So Esther’s maids and her chamberlains came and told her. Then the queen was exceedingly grieved; she sent clothing to clothe Mordecai, to take away his sackcloth from him: but he did not receive it. 5 Then Esther called for Hatach, one of the king's chamberlains, whom he had appointed to attend her, and gave him a commandment to Mordecai, to know what this was, and why it was. 6 So Hatach went out to Mordecai in the street of the city before the king's gate. 7 And Mordecai told him all that had happened to him, and the sum of the money that Haman had promised to pay to the king's treasuries for the Jews, to destroy them. 8 Also he gave him the copy of the writing of the decree that was given at Shushan to destroy them, to show to Esther, to declare it to her, and to order her to go in to the king, to make supplication to him, and to make request before him for her people.
- Every time we pray for someone else or for ourselves we go in unto the Eternal King of Kings with our requests.
- How awesomely blessed we are to have this privilege.
- John 14:13 And whatever you ask in my name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
- John 14:14 If you ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
9 Hatach came and told Esther the words of Mordecai. 10 Again Esther spoke to Hatach, and gave him a message for Mordecai; 11 All the king's servants, and the people of the king's provinces know that for any man or woman who comes to the king into the inner court, who is not summoned, he has but one law, to put him to death, except one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in to the king these thirty days.
- Esther would risk her life to go to the king and make this request.
- Our Eternal King of Kings makes no such rules.
- He wouldn’t think of killing someone for approaching Him.
- He is available to all 24 hours a day seven days a week.
- Anyone can enter His infinitely majestic presence by simply turning the eyes of your heart to Him.
- Psalm 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear me.
12 So they told Esther's words to Mordecai.13 Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Do not think that you will escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise to the Jews from another place; but you and your father's house will be destroyed: and who knows if you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
- Mordecai trusted that God would somehow deliver them.
- That’s what the name Savior means, deliverer.
- God delivers us from many things including sin and death.
15 Then Esther told them to return Mordecai this answer, 16 Go, gather together all the Jews that are found in Shushan, and fast for me, eat or drink nothing for three days, night or day: I and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in to the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish. 17 So Mordecai went his way, and did all that Esther had commanded him.
- Fasting helped the people focus their thoughts on God. It gave power to their request.
- James 5:16 b The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
SUMMARY: Esther 1-4
- The LORD protects His people in foreign lands
- The LORD promotes
He hears our cries for help