Activity, when one is not in the presence of God,
where the heart does not judge itself, has always
a tendency to harden.
God's name is not once mentioned in the book!
Should this book be in the Bible? But just wait
till you read it! You'll find God's unseen hand
on every page, but you will have to read it
carefully. It's all true, rest assured. It is
about a time in the Jews' history when they were
captives in Babylon and about 80 years after
Daniel's time. Remember, they were captives (see
chap. 2 verse 6) because they had turned to
worshipping idols, so God hides Himself. But He
tells us what He was doing for them behind the
scenes. Merciful God. We can wonder why this man
and Esther, his young cousin, would stay in that
far country when many Jews had returned to
Jerusalem (We'll read about them in Ezra and
Nehemiah). They certainly lived in a place where
God was not known.
When this fleeting life shall be over, that only
shall abide which has been produced by the Word.
Esth 1:1-9 What a tremendous feast this was. But
typical of these prosperous days. God had allowed
the Gentiles to rise to great power and wealth.
Esth 1:10-22 As a result of the queen's refusal
to obey her husband, she lost her crown. Remember,
this story is of a heathen land.
Esth 2:1-4 The king is about to take another
Esth 2:5-7 Here we are introduced to Mordecai and
to Esther (her name means "I will be hidden"),
whom he had brought up as his daughter. Both of
these were of the Jewish captivity. Notice that
Esther had kept herself pure, she was a virgin.
Esth 2:15 She did not rely on anything of her own
choosing, but left everything in God's hand.
Esth 2:20 She was submissive to Mordecai's
Esth 2:21-23 Notice these verses and the story of
this plot, for it forms a very important part of
the story that will follow. How interesting to
see the way the Lord works "behind the
scenes" directing things for the blessings
of His people.
Cultivate intimacy with Him; it keeps the
conscience alive and the heart happy.
Esth 3:1-6 Haman is raised to great power by
Ahasuerus. He takes great pleasure in seeing
everyone bow down to him - but Mordecai the Jew
will not bow. Although God's name is not
mentioned in this book of Esther, we can see that
God's Word was known and obeyed. The ten
commandments (Exodus 20:5) were being followed
here, cost what they may. The believer obeys the
laws of his land. But when those laws come into
conflict with what the Word of God says, then he
obeys the Word.
Esth 3:7-15 Haman is so angry about this, that
instead of trying to get rid of Mordecai, he
decides to get rid of all the Jews in the whole
Esth 3:8 Interesting verse. Modern writers today
claim that the Bible is just made up from the
writings of other peoples. Notice what this verse
says which utterly denies this.
Esth 3:15 Just like the world today. It sits down
to drink, but it does not know what is ahead.
Haman thought that he was in control - but wait!
Habitual faithfulness in judging the flesh in
little things is the secret of not failing.
Esth 4:1-3 Mordecai is obviously distressed and
for good reason; he loves his nation. He was
doing a brave thing to come to the very gate of
the palace in sackcloth, and to cry out bitterly.
Esth 4:4-8 Queen Esther hears of the way Mordecai
is dressed and of his weeping and she shares his
Esth 4:10-14 Esther at first is afraid, but then
she is reminded that her own life will also be
taken along with all the other Jews. Also she is
reminded that she might have come to the office
of queen for just this special challenge. Notice
again her willingness to submit to her cousin's
advice. As you are reading this chapter, notice
seven things in the first three verses: (1) rent
(tore) his clothes, (2) put on sackcloth, (3)
cried, (4) mourning, (5) fasting (6), weeping and
(7) wailing. We will see a contrast with these
things when the story unfolds more.
If we cannot overcome where we are, we cannot
The three days of fasting are ended, and Esther
enters the palace room of the king. To her
delight, he holds out the sceptre and she is free
to make her request. She does not tell him at
once just what her purpose is.
Esth 5:9-14 Haman has reached the very highest
point of honour, and is very proud of it. But
Mordecai still will not bow down to him. Haman
goes home and boasts to all his friends of his
wealth and honour, and then ends by telling of
his anger about Mordecai. So far, everything has
been going against the Jews, and in favour of
their enemies. But God has His eye upon His
people and He loved them still, though they had
lost all right to be called His people, because
of their disobedience.
Esth 5:13 No matter how well things go for an
unbeliever, there is never complete happiness, as
we see here.
Esth 5:14 Would we have the courage of Esther?
What a brave woman! Did she know that God was
Afflictions cannot injure when blended with
It was much more than an ordinary case of a
sleepless night. God kept the king awake.
Esth 6:2-3 The king asks someone to read the
diary of his reign. In it, was the story that we
noticed in the end of chapter 2. And it was found
that no reward or honour had been done to
Mordecai for saving the life of the king. Do you
see God's hand in this great story? Who had put
the thought into the king's head of reading in
the old diary?
Esth 6:4-11 Haman is humiliated, and hated
Mordecai is honoured. It is true today, that in
many countries Jews have been hated and
persecuted and put to death; it would seem that
God has not taken any notice. But the day is
coming when He shall turn to His earthly people
once again (after we have been taken to heaven).
Jesus Christ is no security AGAINST storms, but
He is perfect security IN storms. He has not
promised us an easy passage, only a safe landing.
Esth 7:3-5 The king does not yet know that Esther
is a Jewess, and he asks in surprise who is it
that would dare to threaten her life.
Esth 7:6 She accuses Haman. Swift vengeance comes
upon that haughty, crafty, guilty man. Let us
remember as we read this story, that the Lord is
behind all that takes place (Proverbs 21, verse 1;
and Ps. 73:19).
It is one thing to be the advocate of
Christianity and another to be a disciple of it,
far easier to teach its lessons than to learn
The Jews were not only spared from the penalty of
death which had been sent out, but a new decree
was written, giving the Jews liberty to put to
death any "that would assault them".
Esth 8:15 What a wonderful change! No more
sackcloth and tears, but kingly raiment and
rejoicing. And all this came about without the
Jew's own efforts, but rather from the faithful
hand of the Lord working for them. Notice the
contrast between last words of 3:15 and the last
words of this verse!
Esth 8:16-17 We can understand their joy, for one
day they were under the sentence of death, and
the next day they were delivered from it. Notice
too that "many of the people became Jews".
What a good thing it would be if many people
would turn to the Lord today, and receive Him as
their Saviour and become Christians.
We pointed out seven sad things in chapter 4:1.
Here we see the contrast; (1)light, (2)gladness,
(3)joy, (4)honour, (5)a feast, (6) a good day, (7)rest
(9:17), What a perfect description of the unsaved
and then the believer.
When knowledge enters the head, it exalts me.
When knowledge enters the heart, it humbles me.
Esth 9:1-11 The day of vengeance came, but it did
not fall, as had been planned, on the Jews, but
on their enemies. Even the ten sons of Haman are
put to death (Remember what you read in Zechariah
12:8,9, about Israel's future). The troubles and
problems of this poor world are not going to be
settled by the gospel, nor by the efforts of
people, but by the judgments of God.
Esth 9:30 Do our letters always have "words
of peace and truth"? They should.
The breaking of the will is a great means of
opening the understanding.
A description of the glory and honour of Mordecai.
His story began as an unknown Jew, captive in the
land of a proud Gentile king. God has promised
blessing for His beloved nation the Jews. And He
will keep His promise, though there have already
been times when they were more hated and
persecuted than any other race. And there will
yet be times when they will pass through terrible
tribulation. But they will at last shine forth in
their own land, blessed through God's own
faithfulness. So our story of Esther ends. Have
you learned its meaning concerning Israel's
future? Be careful not to confuse this story with
Christianity (we do not take vengeance on our
enemies). But this is a picture of what will
happen to the enemies of Israel in a future day.
God is going to use Israel to punish their
enemies, who have hated and persecuted them. (Take
a minute to read Zechariah 12:8-9 to prove this).
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