A Loud and Bitter Cry

Esther is a book which does not even mention the name of God; the GOD of Israel; the LORD God of hosts.  Yet when you have eyes to see, and ears to hear you will see Him fully at work in the lives of His people and the nations.

There are protests/riots in our nation.  This is a cry for help, but it has the appearance of a cry for help to the wrong place, for the wrong reason, and the wrong way.  These riots of late are signs of anarchy, not freedom, and can become very violent, and destructive.  I want us to look at a man, and an event in the book of Esther which; even though He is not mentioned by name; talks with God through his faith,  and courage…

“When Mordecai perceived all that was done, Mordecai rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and a bitter cry; and came even before the king’s gate: for none might enter into the king’s gate clothed with sackcloth. And in every province, whithersoever 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.” Esther 4:1-3 (KJV)

The king Ahasuerus of Persia had appointed a Hebrew hating man, Haman, to the second seat of authority.  Had given him the authority to destroy the Hebrew people.  Haman was a man who had a long hate relationship with Jewish people; even sense Samuel killed Agag (1 Samuel 15).

There is the very mistaken thought being promoted in this wicked world that “Hate is a learned behavior”.  Let me tell you that genuine love is a learned behavior.  Have you ever watched a newborn baby.  They are solely about themselves.  They want fed.  They want changed.  They want what they want and they want it now.  You will not like that thought, but it is the truth.  A child must be taught to love; it is not natural.  Lust is natural.  Love is supernatural and comes solely from God.  That one is free of cost; but may cost you much.

There is a way of getting things done for good and God’s glory.  Mordecai did what any God loving Jew would do.  It is what any God and Christ loving Christian must do to in order to affect change in a wicked society, culture and world.  We must tear our hearts; make loud and bitter cries of help to our brothers and sisters in Christ, and plead with God to intervene in His power and glory.  When you read through the book of Esther you will find that God does protect the Hebrew people, fulfills His word.  Because He loves His people.

Pray for God to move.  First in your own heart and life.  Confess your sins.  Repent, and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.  The change will begin in you and me.

Standing Before the Throne

“Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king’s house, over against the king’s house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house. And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre.” Esther 5:1-2 (KJV)

A decree had been written by Haman, approved by king Ahasuerus to kill all the Jews in the land of Persia.

The LORD God of Israel (though His name is never mentioned) had sovereignly placed Esther, a Jewish young lady as queen of Persia. Mordecai, the Jewish uncle to Esther, was a man who honored the king, but would not honor the man Haman. Esther has been given a challenge to approach the king while in the court of his throne, and risk her life for the attention of the king in the matter of the decree.

Esther stood in the court, was seen by the king; he held out his scepter. She had found favor in his sight. She approached the king, and touched the top of the sceptre. It was the law of Persia; no one came into the court of the king, approaching his throne without an invitation from the king; on punishment of death, unless the king held out his sceptre.

Due to this bold, and courageous stand by Esther the plot of Haman is exposed, he is hanged on the gallows he built for Mordecai, and his ten sons are hanged on it too (Esther 9:10, 13). The Jewish people receive a decree which allows them to protect themselves against any Persian who would attack, and kill them.

The Lord Jesus Christ is our king. We have immediate access to the very throne of God. The sceptre of His throne is always held out for one of His princes, and princesses – those who are born again through the blood of Jesus Christ. You, by His blood shed on the cross approach the throne of God. You need no one to go for you.

To try and approach God without Christ Jesus is a death sentence. No one can see God and live; except through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ the Son of God and God the Son.

See Hebrews 4:16

Confusing Laws

“The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was published unto all people, that they should be ready against that day. The posts went out, being hastened by the king’s commandment, and the decree was given in Shushan the palace. And the king and Haman sat down to drink; but the city Shushan was perplexed.” Esther 3:14-15 (KJV)

The book of Esther is partly about a Jewish girl in the captivity in Shushan during the reign of Ahasuerus. The name of God is never mentioned, but let us never think that He is not seen, nor heard, nor in control of the events of the great book.

Haman is from the Amalekites who are descendants of Esau. They have hated the Hebrew people for at least a thousand (1,000) years. The Jewish people fought them from the time of their departure from Egypt, in the wilderness (Exodus 17:8-14). Haman is a descendant of Agag from 1 Samuel 15, and due to this history has a vendetta to kill and destroy the Hebrew people. He schemes and plots; after his appointment as the chief prince of the Shushan; and convinces the king to give the writing (3:11-13), and destroy, to kill all the Jewish people throughout the land.

In looking at verse 14 above; the final part of the last sentence says, “But the city of Shushan was perplexed” ie. “confused”. This was pure and simply a plot of demonic proportions. For God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). Yet we will see that God is in complete control to preserve and protect His people.

The king and Haman sat down to drink, to celebrate the writing; yet the city was confused. When kings and rulers make laws that confuse the people that is a simple sign that the laws and the rules are not to benefit the people.

There is peace, there is stability, there is knowledge, and there is wisdom for the people of God; for those who follow God’s way to life.

Wake up today, and walk in the law of God. Do not trust in the edicts of men; they only lead to confusion. The way of God is through the cross of Jesus Christ. He died, was buried, and rose again. One day He is returning to take His people to His place; then returning to this earth to rid the earth of all sin and evil. Join Him by trusting in His Son and His finished work.

Words for Christian Living 061213

“Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus, (this is Ahasuerus which reigned, from India even unto Ethiopia, over an hundred and seven and twenty provinces:) that in those days, when the king Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the palace, in the third year of his reign, he made a feast unto all his princes and his servants; the power of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes of the provinces, being before him: when he shewed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honour of his excellent majesty many days, even an hundred and fourscore days. And when these days were expired, the king made a feast unto all the people that were present in Shushan the palace, both unto great and small, seven days, in the court of the garden of the king’s palace; where 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, upon a pavement of red, and blue, and white, and black, marble. And they gave them drink in vessels of gold, (the vessels being diverse one from another,) and royal wine in abundance, according to the state of the king. And the drinking was according to the law; none did compel: for so the king had appointed to all the officers of his house, that they should do according to every man’s pleasure. Also Vashti the queen made a feast for the women in the royal house which belonged to king Ahasuerus.”  Esther 1:1-9 (KJV)

In the book of Esther we have a historical account of the events in the life of the children of God [Israel] while still in captivity following their being carried away by Babylon.  The book of Esther never mentions the name of God; however you can see God working all through the book.  There are many things about it I do not understand, nor can I explain some of the things concerning the law.

The above verses show the opposite of how the righteous and just are to live.

These posted verses show the extravagance and waste of an earthly king and kingdom.  It shows the Christian that we are in the world, but we cannot live as the world.  We must stand; always with wisdom.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Day 32 – Providence

My reading today consisted of the last five chapters of Esther, and the first nine of Job.  The commentary this morning will deal solely with Esther.

Esther is a book of the Bible that never names the name of God.  God is not even mentioned in person; however the work, power and presence of God is clearly seen by those who have the eyes to see it.  There are many times in Christian life where it feels as though God is nowhere to be found; and all we have to go on is faith.

I have heard the term “Providence”, and usually speaking of the work of God in the events of mankind.  Well, if there is a Biblical case for providence, then, it can certainly be seen throughout the book of Esther.

Let me give you a list of the characters in Esther.  First there is the king, Ahasuerus, “Xerxes” in newer translations; there is the queen who is not in the story very long, but plays a prominent part in the development of the story; there is Mordecai – a Jewish captive from Jerusalem; there is Haman – an Agagite; and then there is Esther – who will be queen.

One thing that can be seen by this event in the story of Israel, its captivity, and return is that even though we may mess up, sin, and seemingly ruin our lives through disobedience we do not thwart the plan and will of God.  That can be seen in the story of Esther as well.

Let us first find out about Haman – the Agagite.  Haman was a descendant of Agag whom king Saul of Israel was disobedient to God in letting him live.  Samuel eventually kills Agag (1 Samuel 15).  For many centuries this hatred for the Jewish people had been stewing in the hearts of the family of Agag; and in this story it came to fruition.  Haman had it in his heart to rid the Persian Empire and the world of the Jewish people.

Though God is not mentioned; He had another plan.  God’s plan was to bring the children of Israel back to their Promised land; so that the Messiah and Savior of the world would one day come, and die for our sins.

Haman sets a course of action after his appointment as prominent leader in Persia.  All others were to bow to him; however Mordecai would not bow to him.  Mordecai knew who Haman was, and saw his heart.  Mordecai had also overheard a plot to assassinate the king, revealed it and the perpetrators were hanged (2:21-23).

One verse that stands out in the book of Esther is one that is well known to many of us –

“For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14 (KJV)

This occurs following the murderous plot of Haman to exterminate the Jewish people.  It is not yet known that Esther is Jewish, and Mordecai, as the uncle of Esther, is telling her that it is time to reveal the truth of her identity, for the salvation of her people.  Mordecai is asking Esther to enter the throne area of the royal house without invitation, and that in the Persian courts could be deadly, meaning immediate and sudden death, if the king did not recognize the one entering by holding out his scepter (4:11); and after three days of fasting she enters the throne room, and the king holds out the scepter (5:1-2).

The night before the banquet of Esther the king cannot sleep remembering what Mordecai had done saving his life from the plot of the two who were hanged for their assassination attempt.  Haman’s plot is known by the king, he has even given him the authority to send the message with the kings signet ring seal on the documents authorizing its execution.  The following day, however, Haman is put to humility by walking Mordecai around the streets of Jerusalem, exalting him for the great deed he has done in exposing the plat of assassination.  Haman probably realizes by now that “his goose is cooked”.

It becomes even more apparent when Esther reveals it to the king at the banquet.  Haman has built a gallows on which to have Mordecai hanged; and finds himself hanging on the device of his own imagination.

God, though not named, is also a prominent presence in the book.  His hand of Providence is seen, in the elevation of Esther, a Jew, to the seat of the queen of Persia; the man despised by the Agagite is exalted to the Agagites position after his plot is foiled.  God’s people do return to Jerusalem; and the Messiah is born, dies on the cross for the sins of the world, is buried, and rises bodily from the grave conquering sin, hell and death.

Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God ever lives; that those who trust in Him might live too.

Christian take note of the Providence of God; even when you do not think He is present and working; take another look.

-Tim A. Blankenship