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John Brown :: Esther 5

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I. INTRODUCTION

A. Last week we heard Mordecai say what is considered the most famous verse from the book of Esther: Esth 4:14 (NKJV) "For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for [such] a time as this?"

1. Mordecai has asked Queen Esther to "stand-in-the-gap" for her people.

a) He has asked her to go before the King and try to stop the massacre of the Jews.

b) If she goes before the king without an invitation, she stands the risk of being executed.

c) If she doesn't her people will be executed!

d) So, we left our teaching last week with Esther asking Mordecai to solicit a 3 day fast while she prepared to go to the king!

(1) We also saw that during all of this, there is no mention of prayer!

(2) Let's continue with Chapter 5.

II. TEXT

A. Esth 5:1 (NKJV) Now it happened on the third day that Esther put on [her] royal [robes] and stood in the inner court of the king's palace, across from the king's house, while the king sat on his royal throne in the royal house, facing the entrance of the house.

1. Remember when Esther won the king's heart the first time?

a) She didn't get all "dolled" up like the rest of the women.

(1) She was beautiful enough just as she was.

2. This time she goes all out.That is what is meant with the phrase, she put on [her] royal [robes]!

a) She's wearing all the royal colors, and royal jewelry.

(1) Needless to say, she was gorgeous!

3. Here's the picture:

a) The king is sitting upon the royal throne, probably conducting affairs of the state.

b) He is no doubt surrounded by attendants also dressed in their finest with all the splendor of the Kings Court.

(1) And somewhere from behind a pillar in the courtyard, steps beautiful Queen Esther.

B. Esth 5:2 (NKJV) So it was, when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, [that] she found favor in his sight, and the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that [was] in his hand. Then Esther went near and touched the top of the scepter.

1. If this were a scene in a Broadway play, all eyes would be not upon King Xerxes, or Queen Esther, but upon the scepter!

a) If the King holds it out, it means life.If he does not, it means death.

b) Esther was helpless, her fate was completely in the hands of the King.

c) The king raises the scepter and shows mercy and grace to her.

(1) Then she steps forward and accepts his grace!

2. There are some spiritual lessons here:

a) There is another King that is bound by a law greater that the Law of The Medes and Persians.

(1) Paul tells us in Roma 6:23 (NKJV)... the wages of sin [is] death,...

(2) The Lord told Adam and Eve the same thing at the Garden.

(a) They didn't listen and the result was... all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Roma 3:23 (NKJV)

(3) It is an irrevocable law that must be adhered to.

(a) But like the "Law of The Medes and Persians" it has been amended!

(i) Actually it hasn't been altered in any way.It has been "paid in full" by the Savior.

(b) Jesus holds out His scepter of grace and invites all who will, to come and touch it and enter in, not into His wrath, but into the courts of His mercy and love!

(c) But like Queen Esther, in order to receive that mercy and grace, we must reach out and accept it!

C. Esth 5:3-4 (NKJV) And the king said to her, "What do you wish, Queen Esther? What [is] your request? It shall be given to you--up to half the kingdom!" 4 So Esther answered, "If it pleases the king, let the king and Haman come today to the banquet that I have prepared for him."

1. The king is astute enough to know that the Queen would not take this risk over something petty.

a) I'm sure she was frightened and trembling and greatly distressed.

(1) And like a good husband he picked up on all this.

(2) In an effort to reassure her of his love he offered her anything she wanted up to 1/2 of the kingdom!

(a) He made this offer publicly so it wasn't an idle offer!

b) There are a couple of marital lessons in these verses:

(1) If the king had been in touch with his wife in the last 30 days he would have known something was wrong before this!

(2) He, like some husbands, thought money and gifts would make her happy!

c) She doesn't reveal her heart completely, but invites the king and Haman to a banquet.

(1) To the king's credit, he didn't make her reveal everything right there.

(2) He accepted the invitation.

2. Remember the "Greater King" I talked about earlier, Jesus Christ?

a) He also is astute enough to know that when a genuine "seeker" comes to Him that there is a deeper problem than that which brought them seeking! The greater problem is sin and separation from God.

(1) And to all He offers not just 1/2 of the kingdom, but all of it!

(a) Rev 3:20-21 (NKJV) "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 "To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

D. Esth 5:5-6 (NKJV) Then the king said, "Bring Haman quickly, that he may do as Esther has said." So the king and Haman went to the banquet that Esther had prepared. 6 At the banquet of wine the king said to Esther, "What [is] your petition? It shall be granted you. What [is] your request, up to half the kingdom? It shall be done!"

1. Haman is prime minister of the kingdom, but when the queen made a request, he was ordered to comply!

a) This should have been a good sign to Esther, but she is still frightened!

(1) Prov 21:1 tells us... The king's heart [is] in the hand of the Lord, [Like] the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.

(2) King Xerxes is not a godly man, but God is still at work here!

E. Esth 5:7-9 (NKJV) Then Esther answered and said, "My petition and request [is] [this]: 8 "If I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, then let the king and Haman come to the banquet which I will prepare for them, and tomorrow I will do as the king has said." 9 So Haman went out that day joyful and with a glad heart; but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king's gate, and that he did not stand or tremble before him, he was filled with indignation against Mordecai.

1. Notice she still doesn't reveal her request!

a) She invites them back for yet another banquet the next day, and promised to reveal her request then.

2. Haman is an example of the worst in all of us.

a) As long as he is being "elevated" by being singled out for the royal banquets, he is on cloud nine.

b) But on the way home, when he passes the king's gate, and Mordecai won't bow down to him, he is furious!!

(1) The following verses explain this in a little more detail.

F. Esth 5:10-13 (NKJV) Nevertheless Haman restrained himself and went home, and he sent and called for his friends and his wife Zeresh. 11 Then Haman told them of his great riches, the multitude of his children, everything in which the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the officials and servants of the king. 12 Moreover Haman said, "Besides, Queen Esther invited no one but me to come in with the king to the banquet that she prepared; and tomorrow I am again invited by her, along with the king. 13 "Yet all this avails me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate."

1. The Hebrew word used here for "restrained" means that he "forced" himself to say nothing!

a) Now, one might say, "Well, that was a good thing for Haman to hold his tongue."

(1) But let's see what he did next.

(2) He invites all his friends over and tells them what a wonderful and important guy he is and what a creep Mordecai is.

(3) What we are about to see illustrates Prov 16:18 better than just about anything I can think of. Pride [goes] before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.

b) According to Matthew 18, Haman should have taken his complaint to Mordecai himself instead of holding a "defamation meeting."

(1) The meeting was a great success!It accomplished exactly what Haman thought he wanted!

G. Esth 5:14 (NKJV) Then his wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, "Let a gallows be made, fifty cubits high, and in the morning suggest to the king that Mordecai be hanged on it; then go merrily with the king to the banquet." And the thing pleased Haman; so he had the gallows made.

1. He tainted the hearts of all that were present against Mordecai and they came up with a wonderful suggestion:

a) "Let a gallows be made, fifty cubits high, and in the morning suggest to the king that Mordecai be hanged on it; then go merrily with the king to the banquet."

b) That's what his resentment of Mordecai had said to him all along!

(1) Now it must surely be the right decision because how could all these people be wrong?

(2) He slept well that night, confident that his problems would soon be over!

(3) But the "fall" is just around the corner!!

III. CONCLUSION

A. Pride is an awful thing!

1. It causes us to lose perspective, elevate ourselves to judge and jury, and seek to destroy those who don't agree with us and bow down to us!

B. Gathering people to justify ourselves at the expense of others is NEVER a right thing to do!

1. Following Matthew 18 is ALWAYS the right thing to do.

a) Going to the person we have the "beef" with.

b) We must constantly remember, we are all sinners!

c) Our "righteousness" is as filthy rags!

d) We need to show as much grace as we want grace shown to us when we do something stupid!

e) And we must be as quick to forgive and we want forgiveness when we fail!

C. Jesus holds out the scepter of grace!

1. We can come into His presence and be forgiven and He will give us ALL of His kingdom!

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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