Vs. 3, “Esther again pleaded with the king, falling at his feet and weeping. She begged him to put an end to the evil plan of Haman the Agagite, which he had devised against the Jews.” Esther had defeated the enemy Haman and saved her own life…now it was time to save her people! While the King could not rescind his own edict, he could send out another one that would supercede it. Mordecai goes from nearly dead to being quite blessed to say the least. He would have the very signet ring of the King. We see the sense of urgency as the King’s couriers ride out in haste to deliver the message for the Jews to be saved. But it also gives them enough time to arm and protect themselves should any group decide to rebel against them.
Regarding application…Celebration. Vs. 16, “For the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honor.” There is a time for everything and now was the time to celebrate! What roller coaster of emotions as God’s people go from being sentenced to death and now saved from death. Likewise, we were sentenced to die…But God sent his own son to die so we may live, his own new Edict. We are the King’s couriers rushing out to those who are perishing and give them a answer that can save them! I know this world is a crazy place to live and it’s not an easy road…but let’s truly take time to remember the happiness & joy that God also desires us to have. When I look back at my own life….what makes me appreciate the good times so much more is because of the tough times.
Vs. 3, “Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor with you, O king, and if it pleases your majesty, grant me my life—this is my petition. And spare my people—this is my request.” Don’t forget…Until this time, Esther had not revealed to the King her true nationality. More than likely, Esther was very nervous and worried about how the King would react. I’m sure Haman was just as shocked, for he did not know his King’s Queen was a Jew. It’s obvious that King Xerxes is not exactly a man who cares too much about human life. He so easily allowed Haman to give an edict to destroy God’s people without evening hardly knowing anything. But, this was his precious Queen. Once again, God is ever-present behind the scences. It must have enraged the King to realize Haman had such power and schemes behind his back…no wonder he would soon have him dead. Ironically, Haman would die that same day on the very gallows he had built for Mordecai.
Regarding application…Death Penalty. Vs. 9, “Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs attending the king, said, “A gallows seventy-five feet high stands by Haman’s house. He had it made for Mordecai, who spoke up to help the king.” The king said, “Hang him on it!” The penalty was death…the sin penalty for all of us is also death. We all have sin nature in us…we all have the same condemnation upon us. By the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, we are no longer condemned to death (Romans 8:1). I remember when I was a sophomore in high school, I gave my first public speech in speech class on the death penalty. On a sidenote…I remember I endorsed it then and I still have not changed my views. Anyways…part of the purpose of the death penalty isn’t only for justice but to also put fear in the perpatrators that might do a crime. We would think the fear of death is a good motivator, but sadly some knowingly do it despite the cost. What we all don’t realize (before knowing Jesus) is that we already are sentenced. Many on death row who know they are dying turn to Jesus. Let’s not wait for death to be knocking at our door or anyone else’s door for that matter. We have the answer against death, let’s share it!
Vs. 1, “That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him.” Coincidence? I think not! God’s hand was at play as Xerxes tossed and turned that night and I’m sure his curiosity towards Esther’s intent was looming. God was working on behalf of His children yet at the time, they were not privy of this. The drama unfolds as Haman wakes up early to request the death of Mordecai to the king (vs. 4). A shocking twist unfolds before Haman’s eyes as he surely thought that the King was referring to him (vs. 6). Haman must have nearly fainted when he heard Xerxes mention the name of Mordecai. If this setting were a movie at the theatre, the audience would have a rousing applause! It must have been a humliating experience for Haman as he had to profess pubicliy the honor of Moredcai (Vs. 11).
Regarding application…Justice is Served. Vs. 13b, “…His advisers and his wife Zeresh said to him, “Since Mordecai, before whom your downfall has started, is of Jewish origin, you cannot stand against him—you will surely come to ruin!” We’ve all heard the saying, “What comes around goes around.” Haman was an evil man and God would bring justice to this situation. Justice may not always come in the manner or timing that we would like, but God wins everytime! Sometimes in my human perspective, I want to administer justice to those who have wronged others. Perhaps that is why I want to be a police officer. But, even then…we must be careful to not go outside of the the will of God. Esther or Mordecai could have tried to have Haman assasinated, but instead…attempted diplomacy and faith. It’s not an easy life we live on this earth, but let us remember that God is on our side!
Vs. 2, “When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter.” God’s providence is at work and she would find favor with the King. Xerxes is intrigued to say the least at this unexpected visit from Esther. Esther wisely holds out in telling her true intentions and asks to have a banquet with Haman later that day. Perhaps the wine and food would lend the King to a more happier disposition. Once again, Xerxes asked what Esther’s inquiry was all about…but Esther would again wisely hold back her response to another day. It’s interesting to note Haman’s false sense of security and pride (vs. 12). That evening after the banquet, Mordecai happened to have another encounter with Haman which would bring Haman to a rage since Mordecai was not respecting him. In Haman’s wrath against Mordecai, he would have gallows built to hang him…little did he know what truly would happen soon.
Regarding application…Wisdom. Vs. 8, “If the king regards me with favor and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come tomorrow to the banquet I will prepare for them. Then I will answer the king’s question.” Esther in a sense was “working” the King. She had the wisdom to know that she would need Haman there if she were going to bring up the accusation of Haman’s intentions to kill her people to the Xerxes. I’m not sure if Esther froze up and was too scared to do it the first day, but in this verse, she waits another day. And there was truly a reason for it as you will see in the following chapter. Esther must have surely prayed and had the wisdom to discern how to approach such a grave accusation. It reminds me how we tend to want to bring justice immediately or solve a issue without thinking it through. What a brave & wise woman Esther was!
Vs. 3, “In every province to which the edict and order of the king came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping and wailing. Many lay in sackcloth and ashes.” Earlier we see Mordecai set the example in both bravery and now in mourning (sackcloth and ashes were a visible sign of mourning). Remember, it was Mordecai who had told Esther to hide her nationality. But now we see a different unashamed Mordecai who would not be afraid. When Esther finds out why Mordecai is mourning, she begins to realize the ball is now in her court. If she approaches the king without being summoned she could die immediately! It is a intense time for Esther as she weighs the death of her people and her own mortality.
Regarding application…Tough Decisions. Vs. 14, “…And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” Remember the saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” This is what seperates the little boys and girls from the Men and Women. I’m sure Esther’s little hairs on her neck stood up when she realized the decision she was to make. While Mordecai had faith that God would deliver them, he also realized Esther could play a huge role in this. This is where we see God’s providence shine through. Esther would become Queen, so she could eventually save her own people. She was now willing to even die so that others may not perish. Jesus would say, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13). We make many tough decisions in this life we live. While many of us probably won’t have to physically die for another (though it could happen)…we still must die to ourselves so others can see the reflection of the Lord in our lives.
Vs. 1, “After these events, King Xerxes honored Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, elevating him and giving him a seat of honor higher than that of all the other nobles.” Five years have passed since the previous chapter…and we are now introduced to the evil Haman. We are reminded here of the extent of evil that we as human beings can possess. Mass genocide is on par with Adolf Hitler (and bear in mind that thousands of years had passed between Haman and Hitler, yet the people they targeted was the same). It is noteworthy to mention that when Haman casted lots to determine his destruction day, it would fall nearly a year later (vs. 7). The amount that Haman offered the king to get rid of the Jews is equivalent to $25,000,000 (notice, how he also withheld who the people group were). King Xerxes irresponsibly gave Haman his signet ring authorization, not realizing his own queen was at risk of death!
Regarding application…Standing Up. Vs. 2, “All the royal officials at the king’s gate knelt down and paid honor to Haman, for the king had commanded this concerning him. But Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor. ” Wow~~~this is great drama played out before us as we see Mordecai understanding the full magnitude of Haman’s intent! Haman was a power-monger and evil to the bone…had his request to bow down before him been associated with a simple polite respect gesture…Mordecai would probably complied. But Haman’s request/command was beyond the boundary that Mordecai would allow (Haman was an Amalikite an outspoken enemy of God’s people and of God). He stood his ground and would not pay the honor that was only due to God. Call it reckless or call it courageous…Mordecai was a man who stood his ground. While we are to respect authority above us, we do not comply or bown down when it comes between the Lord!