Esther Lesson 4

 

Ps 121:3-4

3 He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.

4 Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

 

Est 5:1  On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace, in front of the king’s quarters, while the king was sitting on his royal throne inside the throne room opposite the entrance to the palace.

In Lesson 4, we see Esther puts on her royal robes as queen, and requests an audience with the king. Knowing she may lose her life if he doesn’t extend his gold scepter to her. The king responds favorably toward her. 

John MacArthur states that this actually means that Esther first found favor with the God of Israel. As we see in the following verses, it is God who turns the kings heart.

Pro 21:1  The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.

Ezr 6:22  And they kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy, for the LORD had made them joyful and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria to them, so that he aided them in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel. 

Esther invites the king and Haman to a feast she has prepared. In Est. 5:6-8, she requests that they attend another banquet on the next day. This delay of her revealing her purpose will have significant repercussions. God’s is orchestrating all of this behind the scenes and we can see how his plan so perfectly unfolds. The fact that Haman was invited to this private banquet fed his pride and confidence. To his mind both the king and queen regarded him higher than the rest. Psalm 7:15-16 describes to us Haman’s future.

In Est. 5:9-14 we see Haman’s evil plans for Mordecai.

That night the king couldn’t sleep (Est 6:1), so gave an order to bring the book of records to read. This book was a written record of facts and events that were important to the kingdom of Persia. He found in the records the account of how Mordecai had saved his life five years earlier. He asked of his servants what had been done to recognize Mordecai. It was important that Persian kings publicly reward those who were loyal as a means of promoting their own safety in such treacherous times.

The king asks who is in the court, meaning one of his trusted advisers. Haman is brought in and the king asks him “What should be done to the man whom the king delights to honor?”. Thinking the king meant himself, Haman advises (Est. 6:7-9) the king on how to proceed.

Imagine Haman’s surprise when the king orders him to honor Mordecai the Jew, who he was planning to execute! How ironic that Haman would be the one to lead Mordecai through the square of the city. 

In Est. 7:1-2, the king and Haman attend the second banquet prepared by Esther. At this time, the king asks again what it is that Esther requests from him. Remember that neither the king nor Haman knew yet that Esther was a Jewess. Now can you better understand the significance of the repeated detail that she was not to make known her people (Esther 2:10,20).

 

 

Esther tells the king that she and her people have been targeted for destruction. When the king asks who has brought this about, Esther reveals that Haman is the enemy. (Est. 7:5-6).

The king rose and went into his garden, to return only to find Haman begging the queen for his life. Thinking that Haman was assaulting the queen, the king ordered him to be hanged on the very gallows Haman had built to execute Mordecai.

The righteous is delivered from trouble,
But the wicked takes his place.
(Proverbs 11:8)

 

 

Many people object to divine judgment as though it were unjust. Retribution is entirely just. Retribution sees to it that people get what they deserve, no more and no less. Justice and retribution are in perfect harmony; they are nearly synonymous. God is just, and so He judges men according to their deeds (John 5:28-29; Romans 2:5-10; Revelation 20:12-13).

In biblical terminology, men reap what they sow (Galatians 6:7).

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.

 

The book of Esther is a book of perfect timing. What is impressive is not what Esther did or did not do but what God does. The Jews were not spared because of good fortune or the quick thinking of Esther or Mordecai. It was all about God s faithfulness to His covenantal promises. The book of Esther is not simply an entertaining story, but also is instructive about how our God works in the world.

The Westminster Confession of Faith (1647) states

God, the great Creator of all things, doth uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least, by his most wise and holy providence, according to his infallible foreknowledge and the free and immutable counsel of his own will, to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy.