TODAYíS READING: ESTHER 4-7
OVERVIEW: Mordecai and the Jews mourn over the king's commandment to destroy them; Esther and Mordecai work a plan to save the Jews; Esther plans a banquet for the king at which she makes her request of the him to save her people, the Jews; The king belatedly honors Mordecai for his service to him in uncovering the assassination plot; Esther accuses Haman before the king and Haman is executed.
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
In chapter 4, Mordecai grieves and mourns aloud over the decree issued by the king to destroy the Jewish race. He does this right in the king's gate where everyone could see him without being ashamed of his God or his people. Esther, not knowing why he was doing this, sent a servant to find out what was wrong. Mordecai sent her word that explained his actions, along with a copy of the king's decree that she might know how desperate the situation was. Mordecai proceeds to convince Esther that she is the one that God wants to use to deliver His people, at "such a time as this". We must admire Esther, for she presents herself before the king as a "living sacrifice" (Rom. 12:1) to do God's will knowing she could die if the king doesn't hold out the golden scepter to her. Are you like Mordecai in that you are deeply concerned for those who are condemned? Are you like Esther in that you are willing to sacrifice yourself in order to intercede on behalf of those who are lost?
Esther, very wisely, goes before the king and invites him to a banquet that she will prepare for him and Haman, rather than just come right out with her request. She knew of the king's love for food and wine and decided her best chance for getting her request granted would be when the king was happy. The king asks Esther what was on her mind but she put him off one more day. That night on the way home from Estherís banquet, Haman was wroth once again over Mordecaiís refusal to bow to him. This is when he decides to build the gallows for which to execute Mordecai on the following day for his "crime". At this same time, the king couldn't sleep for some reason, so he decided to pick up a book and he proceeded to read about Mordecai's disclosure of the assassination attempt against him. He then decided to honor Mordecai and asked Haman how to do this? This, of course, must have humiliated Haman, for he had just come to the king's court to request permission to execute Mor!
decai on the gallows he had built. Haman went home that day, and his wife warned him that he could not overcome the Jews now (6:13). While they were discussing this matter, the servant came to take Haman to the second banquet Esther was throwing.
In chapter 7, Haman comes to the feast with some fear and trembling in his heart, for he knows that his sin is going to find him out and God's law of reaping and sowing is once again about to be illustrated. Esther lets her request be made known unto the king at this second banquet as she reveals to the king who was behind this wicked plot: Haman. The king orders that the very gallows made for Mordecai be used to execute Haman, but not before Haman begs for his life in the presence of Queen Esther. What a perfect picture of the flesh. When it is in control of our lives, it seeks to kill; but when the Spirit of God brings judgment, the flesh acts so humble and innocent! This is why the apostle Paul writes, "have no confidence in the flesh" (Phil. 3:3). We must "die daily" (I Cor. 15:31)!
CHRIST IS REVEALED:
Through ESTHER Ė Esther 5-7. Esther goes before the King pleading for the salvation of her people knowing it may cost a very high price: her own life. Jesus goes before the Father (or King) on our behalf as our advocate (I John 2:1, Rev. 12:9-10) to plead our case for forgiveness in light of the very high price He had to pay to obtain it for us: His own life.