jump to navigation

Characters in Esther – The Queen Herself April 6, 2008

Posted by roberttalley in Esther, Faith, Religion, Sermons.
trackback

 

 

 

 

CHARACTERS IN ESTHER

ESTHER – STRENGTH TO DO THE NECESSARY

Esther 4:6-17

 

As we look at the various characters of this book, we move to the heroine, the woman God uses to protect His people from their enemies. Esther became queen after twelve months of impressing on official of the king after another and finally impressing Ahasuerus himself with her great beauty. Today we want to see how that this woman had the courage and boldness and strength to do what was necessary for her to do, if she was going to be an active participant in God’s plan.

 

Esther was not living as an orthodox Jew (2:8-12). This is in great contrast to the example of Daniel and his three friends in the first chapter of his prophecy. These men refused to eat the unclean food and drink the wine that was provided by the king. Esther not only becomes fully integrated with the culture of the palace but we find that when she gives a banquet for the king and Haman, it is called a banquet of wine. We do not know what kind of woman Esther was but there is no mention of her godliness. She’s apparently not living faithfully according to the law of God. She is also trying to keep it a secret that she is one of God’s chosen people.

Humanly speaking, she has good reason to keep her ethnic identity a secret. The Jews had a number of enemies in the Persian empire. Daniel, as an old man was hated by his political rivals who set a trap to have him cast into the lion’s den. As also happens in the book of Esther, they trick a foolish king, Darius, into signing a law that should have resulted in Daniel’s death. Instead Daniel’s political rivals and their families were killed. The likelihood of remaining personal animosity against the Jews because of Daniel was great.

The Jews also had political enemies who we read about in Ezra and Nehemiah. These people did not want to see the temple rebuilt nor the walls around Jerusalem rebuilt and they attempted a number of ways to bring the work to a halt and were at times successful. One of these methods was appeal to the Persian king to stop the work. They were painted in the descriptions of one of these letters as a rebellious people who would not remain submissive to the Persian king if allowed to establish themselves in Jerusalem.

 

Mordecai and Esther are aware of the recent history of the Jews in the Persian Empire. They also knew what type of man that Ahasuerus was and that Esther is going to have to deal with this man as his queen. We find, however, that God controlled and even used Esther’s secret for His purposes. Esther ended up queen because God needed her there.

Esther was put in a position where she was forced to make a decision about doing the will of God (4:10-14).

She needed to face her personal responsibility in this matter. It does not appear that Esther is trying to know God’s will for her life. God does not speak to her or perform some miracle or give some sort of sign. Esther does not go and read her Bible. In fact, she may not have had access to the Scriptures. She is just there in the palace minding her own business and then God works the situation to the point where she is forced to make a decision. Do I do what is right or do I try to find a way to save my hide?

God himself actively works to see that she has the opportunity to do His will. Remember that Esther did not know when she became queen that she would be used of God to deliver the Jewish people. She was not keeping her identity a secret waiting for that special day when its revelation would be salvation of the Jewish nation. All she knew was that she was now the most honored woman in the kingdom. God, however, is working. He is working before she becomes queen and after she becomes queen and even during the night between her two banquets of wine, when he takes Ahasuerus’ sleep away from him and allows him to hear of how that Mordecai rescued his life by revealing a plot against the king’s life and how that Mordecai had not been honored for his good deed and God uses this knowledge to humble Haman.

What God wants more than anything else is a willing, strong, and courageous heart. Now the book of Esther does not say this but the Bible makes it clear that what He wants from us is a willingness to simply to what is right, what is His will. How important is it to do the will of God?

Jesus put it this way in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”

It is the only guarantee of eternal blessing and significance according to 1 John 2:17, “And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”

Esther was willing to do God’s will despite the likely personal cost. The issue is not being in God’s will but rather doing God’s will. That is, by the way, the emphasis in the New Testament. It is not a matter of finding out what you are to be but simply doing what you already know to be the truth. That is the decision that Esther has to make. Am I going to do what is right, what God wants me to or am I going to do something else? Esther did not know whether she would survive the first step but she had faith to act, confident that this was the right thing to do. Faith and confidence are not real if you are assured of a rosy outcome. Faith and confidence show itself to be real even if the outcome appears to be disaster in the making.

Esther was encouraged to put her trust in God and she did (4:16, 5:1-8, 7:1-6). God’s will is revealed to her one step at a time and even at that it is not always clear what it is that she should do.

“If I perish, I perish! (4:16)” That is not the same as “Que sera, sera!” (Whatever will be, will be). Esther is not passive nor is she fatalistic. She is active and convinced that she must act. She did not know if she would survive but she did know that God was in control and that her responsibility was to act accordingly. She did not need to fear when the events of the day were going against her. She needed to trust in God’s providence and power and purposes.

Esther seems in 5:1-8 to be feeling her way. She does not seem to be convinced as to the best time to reveal Haman’s trap. God, however, even uses her hesitancy for His purposes. Just as God is not limited by our lack of character, he is also not limited by our inadequate plan. He will accomplish His purposes, no matter how awful we may bungle to the task we have before us. There were many records that could have been read to Ahasuerus that night but the royal reader selected exactly the portion that included the deeds of Mordecai.

When Esther at the second banquet finally revealed Haman’s plan and her identity (7:1-6), God took things up from there and shaped the situation to accomplish His purposes (7:7-8:8).

He Maketh No Mistake

My Father’s way may twist and turn

My heart may throb and ache.

But in my soul I’m glad I know

He maketh no mistake.

My cherished plans may go astray,

My hopes may fade away.

But still I’ll trust my Lord to lead

for he doth know the way.

Tho’ night be dark, and it may seem

That day will never break;

I pin my faith, my all in Him,

He maketh no mistake.

There is so much now I cannot see;

My eyesight’s far too dim.

But come what may I’ll simply trust

And leave it all to Him.

But by and by the mist will lift

And plain it all He’ll make.

Through all the way tho’ dark to me

He made not one mistake. (unknown)

 

You are presented almost everyday with an opportunity to do God’s will. He is giving you that opportunity. It is not easy but it is there for you. You may be no more interested in doing something great for God than Esther was but that does not absolve you from the responsibility to do what is God’s will.

 

Believer, young and old, where does the strength come? According to 2 Thessalonians 1:11 it comes from God,

 

“Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power,” Turn to Christ for the strength and the power and the courage and the boldness that you need.

 

Perhaps you have yet to trust Christ. Please consider Hebrews 10:35-39.

35

 

Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.

36

 

For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:

37

 

“For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry.

38

 

Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.”

{#Hab 2:3,4}

39

But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.

Advertisements

Comments»

1. Joshuva - March 20, 2009

good to understand me
thank you

2. Tati - October 11, 2012

Awesome n simple!!!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: