Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Bible Study Notes in Esther- Chapter 5

Esther 5

-After Esther’s commitment to go before the king with her petition to save the Jewish people, and on the third day of the fast that she had called on behalf of her people, the queen put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace and in front of the king’s rooms. King Ahasuerus was sitting on his royal throne opposite the entrance when she walked in. When he saw her standing in the court, she providentially obtained favor in his sight and the golden scepter was extended toward her so that she wouldn’t perish (see Esther 4:11). Esther came near her sovereign lord and touched the top of this scepter. The king spoke kindly to her, “What is troubling you, Queen Esther? And what is your request? Even to half of the kingdom it shall be given you.” Can you imagine the relief that Esther must have felt at this point? I’m sure a rush of mixed emotions came over her as she realized that God truly was at work in all of this to give her and her people Divine favor “for such a time as this.” But, she held to a preconceived plan it appears despite the king’s offer to almost anything she wanted. Why she proceeded like this is unknown, but it worked out perfectly in time. Esther replied, “If it pleases the king, may the king and Haman come this day to the banquet that I have prepared for him.” The king quickly summoned his highly ranked subordinate and complete enemy of the Jews, Haman, to do exactly what Esther desired. At the banquet, they ate and drank an abundance of wine. Then, once more the king petitioned his queen as to what she really desired. Again, he offered her half the kingdom if she would simply ask. Esther, being led of the Holy Spirit and sensing that the time was not yet quite right, asked for the favor of the king to come the next night, again with Haman, to an extended banquet, which she had prepared for them. She promised that tomorrow she would do as the king asked in responding to what she really wanted (Esther 5:1-8).

-Haman went out that day “very glad and pleased of heart.” I’m sure he was filled with all the pride, contentment, and confidence a man could ever want. But, when he saw Mordecai in the king’s gate still not standing in respect or trembling before him, he became filled with anger against this hated Jew. It was one of those ruin the moment type of scenarios for him. He did control himself in the instant, and moved on toward his house but with irritation now in his heart. Upon coming home, he sent for his friends and wife, Zeresh, to recount to them the glory of his riches, the number of his sons, and every instance where the king had magnified and promoted him above all the princes and servants of the kingdom. He even gushed over the fact that he alone had found favor with the queen in being invited to this banquet with the sovereign king not just for this night, but again on the tomorrow. Yet, he was still ticked off to the point of being dissatisfied with his existence every time he encountered Mordecai the Jew at the king’s gate. This man crawled under his skin and made him insane with rage. This demonic force with Haman was boiling over. His wife and all his friends devised a sinister plan in recommending to have gallows made 50 cubits high (about 75 feet) in the morning and ask the king for permission to have Mordecai hanged on it. Then he could proceed joyfully to his banquet with Esther and the king without having this Jew disrupt his peace anymore. The advice pleased Haman a lot, so he promptly had the gallows constructed (Esther 5:9-14)

*Application* First of all, let’s talk about the satisfaction of proceeding with a God sized plan in courage and boldness seeing it all play out to perfection with His Divine providence. In times like these, when we face our fears and move forward in faith, God erases our fretting worry and turns our situation into complete joy with His favor and blessing. This is what happened for Esther, and it can happen for us too. Secondly, let’s talk about the disadvantages of letting rage rule our spirit. Do people we don’t get along with ever irritate us? That’s a common temptation, right? Doing the complete opposite of what Haman did would help us overcome this ploy of Satan. Jesus tells us to bless those who persecute us and pray for them sincerely when they mistreat you (Luke 6:28). This love for our enemies is a bold new way to defuse any situation and make it come into conformity with the righteousness of Christ (Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:27). It only happens supernaturally, so ask the LORD to help in loving our neighbor.

Verse to Memorize: Esther 5:14

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