Esther - Part 10

Part 10 - Esther series
By: John Herbert | Oct 5, 2008
Esther 4:1 ? When Mordecai learned all that had happened, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city. He cried out with a loud and bitter cry.

As Haman sets in progress his plan to exterminate the Jews within Ahasuerus?s kingdom, precipitated by Mordecai?s refusal to worship him, he sets in motion a chain of events that he could not imagine. Events that begin with Mordecai in sackcloth and ashes.

Message Notes

1). Es 3:10 So the king took his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. 11 And the king said to Haman, "The money and the people are given to you, to do with them as seems good to you." 12 Then the king's scribes were called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and a decree was written according to all that Haman commanded-to the king's satraps, to the governors who were over each province, to the officials of all people, to every province according to its script, and to every people in their language. In the name of King Ahasuerus it was written, and sealed with the king's signet ring. 13 And the letters were sent by couriers into all the king's provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day,
a). We had seen last week that Haman?s promotion to a position second only to the king had attributed to him the status of deity and that as a result of Mordecai refusing to worship Haman as a god and because of Mordecai?s position, seated in the king?s gate, portending rulership, Haman determines to annihilate the entire Jewish race within the kingdom of Ahasuerus.
b). And we had seen how this presented for us in the type a picture of what will happen with respect to Antichrist and the Jewish people during the final 31/2 years of the Tribulation when Antichrist will seek to annihilate the entire Jewish people within his kingdom, after he has declared himself to be God, because they also will refuse to worship him and because of their position as God?s firstborn son.
c). However if we go back to things at the beginning of Daniel?s 70th week everything has the appearance of going well for the Jews - Da 9:27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
d). There is a covenant made between Israel and the nations at the beginning of the week that apparently resolves the problem that has plagued the Middle East for generations ? even to the extent that the Jews will rebuild their temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and for the first time since 70AD will once again begin the daily sacrifices and offerings as given in the Law of Moses. As well as having a focal point for the celebration of their feasts.
e). However, as we see in the second part of our Daniel 9 scripture, during the middle of the week, after 31/2 years, when he has been given Satan?s throne and power and great authority, having now become world ruler, Antichrist brings an end to sacrifice and offering. Jesus Himself tells of this event in ?
Mr 13:14 ? "So when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not" (let the reader understand), "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
f). And further detail is given in - 2Th 2:3 ? Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
g). So then in the middle of Daniel?s 70th week, Antichrist, the seed of Satan, a Gentile, will enter the newly built Jewish temple and declare himself to be God ? demanding that the whole world, including the Jews worship him as God. When the Jews refuse, as typified in Mordecai, the plan to enact genocide on the entire Jewish race is unleashed - Mr 13:19 "For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be.
h). Jerusalem will be destroyed, the nation of Israel will cease to exist and the people scattered amongst the nations and given into Antichrist?s hands for ?a time, times and half a time?.

2). And here is one of the most poignant ironies to be found in scripture ? at the height of his power, when the whole world is in his hand, Antichrist sets in motion a series of events designed to exterminate the Jews and yet it is these very events themselves that ironically will bring about the Jews deliverance and his own destruction.

3). What we have just described should not be an unfamiliar picture for us as we have already seen it played out in the parallel type in Exodus where the Jewish people captive in Egypt are persecuted by the Assyrian Pharaoh with a view to their destruction.
a). However, because of the harshness of Pharaoh?s actions the Jewish people are brought to such a deplorable condition that they have no alternative but to cry out to the God of their fathers.
b). Ex 2:23 ? Now it happened in the process of time that the king of Egypt died. Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage. 24 So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them.
c). And when they cry out to God He hears and He acts - Ex 3:7 ? And the LORD said: "I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows.
8 "So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites.
d). God Himself will act on behalf of His people and in that fact alone Pharaoh , the most powerful man in the known world of his day, is powerless to do anything about it.
e). And not only does God bring about the deliverance of His people, but He also acts in accordance with His unchangeable word as it applies to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob recorded in - Ge 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you;.
f). And in another facet of this same picture we can see that Pharaoh reaps what he has sown in accordance with the laws of the harvest - Ga 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
g). And in Pharaoh?s case that recorded in Hosea would give us great insight into what this looked like for him, and not only for him but also for Haman and what is still in store for Antichrist ? for what is reaped, whether blessing or cursing is abundantly more than that which is sown - Ho 8:7 "They sow the wind, And reap the whirlwind.[lit. a Cat 5 hurricane ? from a word meaning to be utterly consumed]
h). Pharaoh sows the wind by setting his anti-Semitic hand against the people of God, the word of God and consequently God Himself, what he reaps is the whirlwind; the complete destruction of his army and the absolute overthrow of the most powerful Gentile nation in the world as God works through the hand of Moses, a Jew ? the leader of the very people he wanted to exterminate ?
Ex 14:26 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the waters may come back upon the Egyptians, on their chariots, and on their horsemen." 27 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and when the morning appeared, the sea returned to its full depth, while the Egyptians were fleeing into it. So the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. 28 Then the waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them remained.
i). And all this occurs with Pharaoh?s certain knowledge that Israel and not Egypt occupies the position of rulership within God?s economy - Ex 4:22 "Then you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the LORD: "Israel is My son, My firstborn.
j). Again a situation he is powerless to change.
k). Exodus then, and Esther, provide us with different perspectives of the same picture ? hence the reason why we must compare scripture with scripture and take ?here a little, there a little?.

4). Another variation on this same theme can be seen in the Book of Daniel with respect to Daniel?s image. God has used and is using the Gentile nations as the instrument by which He will bring about Israel?s repentance. But those same nations, although participating in God?s revealed purpose will also be judged for their actions ? just as Pharaoh was.
a). They sow the wind of persecution and attempted genocide and reap the whirlwind of utter destruction that is brought about as a result of the actions of the very people they have sought to exterminate - Da 2:40 "And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others. 41 "Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay. 42 "And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. 43 "As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay. 44 "And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. 45 "Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold-the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this.
b). We see that it is the entire image standing in Babylon that is shattered by the stone cut out of the mountain without hands, demonstrating clearly the absolute and complete destruction of Gentile world power that has been in the ascendant since the days of Nebuchadnezzar.

5). And this of course is the very same picture presented to us in Esther ? Chapter 3 concludes with the king?s couriers taking the decree issued against the Jews to all parts of Ahasuerus?s kingdom with the determination that they should be annihilated in a single day.
a). The impending extermination of the Jews then produces the following result recorded at the beginning of Chapter 4 - Es 4:1 ? When Mordecai learned all that had happened, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city. He cried out with a loud and bitter cry. 2 He went as far as the front of the king's gate, for no one might enter the king's gate clothed with sackcloth. 3 And in every province where the king's command and decree arrived, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes.
b). So serious is the situation that action is required from the queen herself if disaster is to be averted ? action that could put her own life in jeopardy ?
Es 4:6 So Hathach went out to Mordecai in the city square that was in front of the king's gate. 7 And Mordecai told him all that had happened to him, and the sum of money that Haman had promised to pay into the king's treasuries to destroy the Jews. 8 He also gave him a copy of the written decree for their destruction, which was given at Shushan, that he might show it to Esther and explain it to her, and that he might command her to go in to the king to make supplication to him and plead before him for her people. 9 So Hathach returned and told Esther the words of Mordecai. 10 Then Esther spoke to Hathach, and gave him a command for Mordecai: 11 "All the king's servants and the people of the king's provinces know that any man or woman who goes into the inner court to the king, who has not been called, he has but one law: put all to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter, that he may live. Yet I myself have not been called to go in to the king these thirty days." 12 So they told Mordecai Esther's words.
13 And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: "Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king's palace any more than all the other Jews. 14 "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?" 15 Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: 16 "Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!" 17 So Mordecai went his way and did according to all that Esther commanded him.

6). Here in the actions of Mordecai and Esther we have a complete picture of Israel in repentance ? Mordecai and the Jews in sackcloth and ashes presents for us the picture of Israel in recognition of their sin and acknowledging their need for the only One who can deliver them ? and with Esther going before the king we see the Jewish nation crying out to God, coming into His presence to plead for deliverance - Es 5:1 ? 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.
2 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. 3 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!"
a). It is Israel alone of the nations of the world that is destined to stand before the King on the Third Day wearing royal robes, which is what our scripture here in Esther 5 points to.
b). But in order to understand how the events here fit with regards to Israel?s repentance, because we know that Israel does not appear before God in royal robes when crying out for deliverance, we can look to Young?s Literal Translation ?
Es 5:1 ? And it cometh to pass on the third day, that Esther putteth on royalty,
c). The word ?robes? in our NKJV has been added by the translators and does not appear in the original language.
d). The Hebrew word translated ?royal? in NKJV and ?royalty? in YLT is ? ?malkuwth? which comes from the word ? ?malak? = a primitive root; to reign; inceptively, to ascend the throne; causatively, to induct into royalty; hence (by implication) to take counsel:--consult, X indeed, be (make, set a, set up) king, be (make) queen, (begin to, make to) reign(-ing), rule, X surely.
e). What we see here then is a multi-layered image ? Israel, as we have said, is destined to stand before the King on the 3rd Day in a position of royalty ? but for this to happen Israel must first be inducted into that position of royalty and this induction takes place through repentance ? with all that is involved in that.
f). In other words, as Israel cries out to God in repentance, this will make possible Israel?s induction into the position of royalty God had always intended for her which will result in Israel occupying a regal position during the 3rd Day, during the Millennial Kingdom ? all this is contained in the account of Esther appearing in Ahasuerus?s presence on the third day.
g). We see her properly prepared to be in the king?s presence and as a result of this she, ?finds favor in his sight?, and the king holds out to her the golden scepter of rulership. In that coming Day Israel in repentance will be properly prepared as she cries out to God ? because of repentance she will find favor in His sight and He will hold out to her the scepter of rulership and ask the same question as Ahasuerus asks Esther, ?what is your request??

7). We find a parallel event to this in Revelation Chapter 12 which will make all of this clearer still - Re 12:1 ? And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
a). The woman here in our scripture is Israel, and the imagery used to describe her calls to mind Joseph?s dream in Genesis 37 ? but of particular note for us is that she is wearing a crown ? and this picture is given to us just a few verses before Satan is cast out of heaven, when he gives his throne and power and great authority to Antichrist.
b). Given the timing of this ?great wonder?, appearing in heaven we will realize that we are still at the mid-point of the Tribulation, before Antichrist has declared himself to be God and before Israel has come to repentance, therefore Israel cannot be in a regal position at this time ? and yet she is seen wearing a crown of twelve stars.
c). If we will remember what we learnt about crowns last week, what seems to be a problem is easily resolved. The word translated ?crown? here in Revelation 12:1 is ?stephanos? and not ?diadema? ? therefore the word itself would denote that the woman, Israel, is destined to attain a regal position, but has note attained it yet.
d). It is Antichrist in Revelation 13:1 that is seen with the ?diadema? ?
Re 13:1 ? And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns,[diadema]
e). By comparing Esther?s appearance before king Ahasuerus in Esther Chapter 5 with the woman?s appearance in heaven in Revelation Chapter 12 we have the confirmation of that which we already know ? Israel is destined to occupy a regal position in the 3rd Day and the events about to unfold in Esther in the type and Revelation in the antitype move all the protagonists to that inexorable end.
f). Ho 5:13 When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb: yet could he not heal you, nor cure you of your wound. 14 For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away; I will take away, and none shall rescue him. 15 I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early. 6:1 ? Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. 2 After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.
g). Antichrist can no more change the outcome of this than Pharaoh could.

8). In Esther the attempted annihilation of the Jews is a single event to be accomplished in one day - Es 3:13 And the letters were sent by couriers into all the king's provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day,
a). An event that because of Mordecai?s and Esther?s intervention with the king does not take place ? and this would clearly point to that future time when Antichrist?s attempted annihilation of the Jews will also fail for exactly the same reason.
b). In Esther however, there is no indication of what the Jews will go through before Antichrist?s plans are brought to an end. For that we would have to go to related scripture, some of which we have already seen in Hosea. The following are some further examples.
c). Jer 30:7 Alas! For that day is great, So that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob's trouble,
d). Mt 24:15 "Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 "Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 "And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 "But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 "And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 "And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened.
e). Zec 13:8 And it shall come to pass in all the land," Says the LORD, "That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die, But one -third shall be left in it: 9 I will bring the one-third through the fire, Will refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested.
f). Re 19:2 "For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her."
g). There is no doubt that the suffering of the Jewish people during the last 31/2 years of the Tribulation will be of an intensity that is beyond our comprehension. We know that during the holocaust some 6 million Jews were exterminated in a period of about 7 years. Current estimates of the number of Jews throughout the world today shows that there are approximately 13.2 million in Israel and some 12-15 million scattered amongst the other nations. And we know from our Zechariah scripture that 2/3 shall be cut off and die. In rough figures then this would be about 14 million Jews who will die in less than 31/2 years. Imagine.

9). Despite the horror of these events we must keep in mind their purpose ? it is to bring Israel to repentance for the purpose of regality. God has from the beginning declared things that are not yet done. As we see in - Hosea 6:2 After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.
a). As we would also see in - Jer 30:7 Alas! For that day is great, So that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob's trouble, But he shall be saved out of it.
8 'For it shall come to pass in that day,' Says the LORD of hosts, 'That I will break his yoke from your neck, And will burst your bonds; Foreigners shall no more enslave them. 9 But they shall serve the LORD their God, And David their king, Whom I will raise up for them. 10 ? 'Therefore do not fear, O My servant Jacob,' says the LORD, 'Nor be dismayed, O Israel; For behold, I will save you from afar, And your seed from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return, have rest and be quiet, And no one shall make him afraid. 11 For I am with you,' says the LORD, 'to save you; Though I make a full end of all nations where I have scattered you, Yet I will not make a complete end of you. But I will correct you in justice, And will not let you go altogether unpunished.'
b). In Matthew 24 we see that the days will be shortened for the elects sake.
c). And in - Zec 13:9b?They will call on My name, And I will answer them. I will say, 'This is My people'; And each one will say, 'The LORD is my God.'"
d). And here in Zechariah is the key to the matter ? ?they will call on My name, and I will answer?
e). This is the promise that God has made to His people, exactly as it is recorded in - 2Ch 7:14 "if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
f). That which precipitates the conclusion of the events in Esther, and will be the same in the antitype, is then two interrelated things ? that which Israel does and God being faithful to His word.
g). And in all of this let us not forget that everything we have looked at is moving to one end ? the establishment of Christ?s Kingdom ? Ps 2:1 ? Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, 3 "Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us." 4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. 5 Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure: 6 "Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion."
h). A time in which the fullness of the promise given to Abraham in Genesis 12:3 will be realized - Ge 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
i). And the enormity of what is involved in this blessing is something at present we can only wonder at.
i). Perhaps now we may have an added incentive to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, as we realize what it is we are asking for while also realizing the seriousness of what is contained in our petition - Ps 122:3 Jerusalem is built As a city that is compact together, 4 Where the tribes go up, The tribes of the LORD, To the Testimony of Israel, To give thanks to the name of the LORD. 5 For thrones are set there for judgment, The thrones of the house of David. 6 ? Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May they prosper who love you. 7 Peace be within your walls, Prosperity within your palaces."
Other messages from this series Audio Video PDF Study Notes
Part 1 - Esther ? Part One
Part 2 - Esther - Part Two
Part 3 - Esther - Part Three
Part 4 - Esther ? Part Four
Part 5 - Esther ? Part Five
Part 6 - Esther ? Part Six
Part 7 - Esther - Part Seven
Part 8 - Esther ? Part Eight
Part 9 - Esther ? Part Nine
Part 10 - Esther - Part 10
Part 11 - Esther - Part 11
Part 12 - Esther - Part 12
Part 13 - Esther - Part 13