TODAY’S READING: ESTHER 1-3
Vashti (a Gentile woman) is removed from her royal position as queen; Esther (a Jewish woman) is chosen to be the new queen; the evil plot of Haman against the whole Jewish race.
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
The events of Esther take place between Ezra 6 and 7. The third year of Ahasuerus (1:3) would be the year 483 BC. Ahasuerus is the title of the Persian ruler, just as Pharaoh was the title of the Egyptian ruler. God’s name is found nowhere in this Book, although Jewish scribes have found the name Jehovah hidden in five different verses. What a great spiritual lesson this illustrates for us all: when it seems that God is nowhere to be found, we just need to look a little harder and we will find Him working “behind the scenes” to accomplish His purposes for our lives (Rom. 8:28).
The Book of Esther opens with King Ahasuerus holding a seven day (1:5) feast for all those in His palace. During this feast, the king, after much drinking, decided to show off His beautiful queen to all of his male friends. The queen, in her wisdom and with her apparent high moral values, refused to cater to the king’s selfish drunken request. This, of course, ticked off the king and all his princes. So they all decided that it was best for the king to remove her from being the queen. They let this be known by way of the “pony express” to the entire kingdom so that all the women would fear and honor their husbands.
After about four years, the king began to regret his rash decision regarding Vashti because he missed her (2:1). His servants convinced him to pick a new queen from among the many beautiful women in his kingdom. It just so happened that God had placed a man named Mordecai in an important position, for he was seated at the king’s gate (2:21). Mordecai, a cousin of Esther, who had brought her up from her youth and was like a father unto her, decided to enter her into this “contest” to become queen. Esther did not let it be known to anyone that she was a Jew at the request of Mordecai (2:20). She was chosen by the king to be his new queen and a feast was thrown in her honor. At the end of chapter 2, Mordecai found out about a plot to kill the king. He notifies Esther, who then tells the king in Mordecai’s name. This all then gets written down in the book of the chronicles of the king. While this may seem rather insignificant at the time, it ends up being the very thing!
that God uses to save His people from destruction. Isn’t it just like God to save His people by something written in a “King’s Book” (Rom. 10:17)?
Chapter 3 begins with a man named Haman getting a big promotion from the king. Haman was now the King’s right hand man so to speak. This promotion went to his head and when he found out that Mordecai didn’t bow to him as he passed by, it ticked him off (3:5). Haman decided to offer the king about 25 million dollars in silver if the king would pass a law condemning the entire Jewish race to death (including women and children). This money would probably come from the property of the Jews that would be slain (much like has happened down through history with Hitler during WWII and the Roman Catholic Church during the crusades). The king passes the law and the date was set by casting lots (Est. 3:7, Prov. 16:33). In God’s providence he sets the date for this murder of His people a whole year away (3:7) in order to give time for Mordecai and Esther to work their plan in the following chapters to stop this wicked plot!
CHRIST IS REVEALED:
Through KING AHASUERUS – Esther 1-2. There is coming a day very soon when God will rapture the church (His Gentile queen) off this earth because of her unfaithfulness to Him, and replace her with the Nation of Israel (His Jewish queen) for His 1000 year reign on earth as King.