Esther Chapter 5:1-14
Distributed by: Internet Bible Studies
Lesson Outline on Esther by: E. L. Bynum
Introduction: We continue our study on the book of Esther this week as we watch God at work for his chosen nation, Israel.
GOD AT WORK FOR HIS PEOPLE
In this chapter we see the beginning of the end for the wicked Haman. He has plotted to destroy the Jews, but his on destruction would come very soon. Little does he know that all his schemes are going to backfire on him. God is now fashioning the way of Haman's destruction. The following states it well:
"Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceedingly small; Though with patience He stands waiting, with exactness grinds He all." -Friedrich von Logau
I. THE PROVIDENTIAL COURAGE OF ESTHER
Est 5:1 Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king's house, over against the king's house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house.
Est 5:2 And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre.
Est 5:3 Then said the king unto her, What wilt thou, queen Esther? and what is thy request? it shall be even given thee to the half of the kingdom.
Esther dressed in her very best clothes and comes to the King. If you were going to the White House, you would wear your best. If we would dress up for the president, should we not do the same or better for the King of Kings. When we come into God's House (The Church), why should it be any different. Back in the Great Depression, people did not have much, but they still wore the best they had. This was true, even if it was the best and cleanest work clothes they had.
In this grungy, dress down, and sloppy clothes age, it should be the same for God's people. I read the article in Saturday's paper about how the Catholic Church is making dress code changes due to the horrible things people are wearing today. Some of the things were so offensive, I won't even mention them, but if we want to represent the Lord properly, we need to dress appropriately. God knows what we can afford, but decent modest apparel is definitely pleasing in the Lord's sight when we come into the church.
Esther approached the most powerful king in the world, and this was a deadly danger without an invitation as we talked about last week. Most people who came to the king without an invitation were put to death. But despite the danger, she went on for herself and her people. I believe she had faith, although the Bible does not say so. Last week Mordecai spoke of how this might have been the very reason she was in a position of power at this time.
Est 4:13 Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews.
Est 4:14 For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
James 2:20, "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?"
We heard Bro. Taylor preach on this verse last week. We are saved by faith, but if we have faith, we will certainly have works to prove our salvation. Esther must have known what God had promised to Abram and she was willing to stand up for her people.
Gen. 12:3, "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."
God's people (those that are saved) are assured that they can always come to His throne in the name of Jesus Christ.
Heb. 4:16, "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
We can come with our garments stained with sin, but we had better come asking for cleansing. To have power with God we need to be in his perfect will, and living in sin is never pleasing to the Heavenly Father.
I John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Jas 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Only the saved man is righteous, and when we are serious with God (effectual fervent prayer) it avails much. That means continual and serious coming to the Father with our petitions.
The king shows Esther favor. The extended sceptre mentioned in verse 2 was a sign of his mercy. Her touching the sceptre was a sign of her submission to his rule. She came as an intercessor, and God is looking for intercessors today.
Isa. 59:16, "And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him."
In Ezekiel's days, God sought for one who would make up the hedge.
Eze 22:30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.
Over in the book of Genesis, Abraham interceded for Lot.
Gen. 18:24, "Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?"
Esther found grace in the king's sight, and he makes a generous offer. He was willing to give up to half of his kingdom to her at this time. Remember that while kings think they are in control, in reality it is God who is in control. He makes things happen that the king has no idea about how it comes about.
Prov. 21:1, "The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will."
Ezra 6:22, "And kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy: for the LORD had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel."
Prov. 19:21, "There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand."
Est 5:4 And Esther answered, If it seem good unto the king, let the king and Haman come this day unto the banquet that I have prepared for him.
Est 5:5 Then the king said, Cause Haman to make haste, that he may do as Esther hath said. So the king and Haman came to the banquet that Esther had prepared.
Esther appeals to the king and invites he and Haman to her banquet. Haman would be flattered by this invitation to dine with the king and queen. Little did he know that the noose that would end his career was settling around his neck.
Est 5:6 And the king said unto Esther at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? even to the half of the kingdom it shall be performed.
Est 5:7 Then answered Esther, and said, My petition and my request is;
Est 5:8 If I have found favour in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to grant my petition, and to perform my request, let the king and Haman come to the banquet that I shall prepare for them, and I will do to morrow as the king hath said.
Esther asks that they come to her next banquet. The king grants whatever she wants, before she asks.
Prov. 16:1, "The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD."
Esther invites the king and Haman to even a more elaborate banquet on the morrow. Why did not Esther not make here request right then? It was not the right place and the right time.
How many times did the religious leaders intend to put Christ to death, but his time was not yet, and he walked right through their midst.
Luk 4:28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,
Luk 4:29 And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.
Luk 4:30 But he passing through the midst of them went his way,
God must have put it in her heart, so that the king would make the discovery revealed in Chapter 6. The promotion of Mordecai must take place first, according to God's providential plan.
Matthew Henry spoke of how perfectly Esther accomplished her goals.
The favourable reception which the king gave her. When he saw her she obtained favour in his sight. The apocryphal author and Josephus say that she took two maids with her, on one of whom she leaned, while the other bore up her train, - that her countenance was cheerful and very amiable, but her heart was in anguish, - that the king, lifting up his countenance that shone with majesty, at first looked very fiercely upon here, whereupon she grew pale, and fainted, and bowed herself on the head of the maid that went by her; but then God changed the spirit of the king, and, in a fear, he leaped from his throne, took her in his arms till she came to herself, and comforted her with loving words. Here we are only told, That he protected her from the law, and assured her of safety, by holding out to her the golden sceptre (Est_5:2), which she thankfully touched the top of, thereby presenting herself to him as a humble petitioner. Thus having had power with God and prevailed, like Jacob, she had power with men too. He that will lose his life for God shall save it, or find it in a better life.
II. THE PRIDEFUL CONDUCT OF HAMAN
Est 5:9 Then went Haman forth that day joyful and with a glad heart: but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king's gate, that he stood not up, nor moved for him, he was full of indignation against Mordecai.
Est 5:10 Nevertheless Haman refrained himself: and when he came home, he sent and called for his friends, and Zeresh his wife.
Est 5:11 And Haman told them of the glory of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and all the things wherein the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the princes and servants of the king.
Est 5:12 Haman said moreover, Yea, Esther the queen did let no man come in with the king unto the banquet that she had prepared but myself; and to morrow am I invited unto her also with the king.
Haman was very happy as he left the palace that day. He is beaming and blissful as he leaves the palace.
Prov. 28:26, "He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered."
He reminds us of many others who walked in pride and confidence.
II Chron. 32:25, "But Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem."
When King Nebuchadnezzar was filled with pride, it brought his destruction.
Dan. 5:20, "But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him."
Everything seemed to be going so well according to Haman's plans. The one fly in his ointment was Mordecai, who refused to honor him. But he was so joyful, he chose to ignore Mordecai for the time being. He could not wait to tell his wife and his friends of his supposed exaltation. Notice in verse 11 the pride of this self-centered man.
It is his wife, his riches, his children. It is his and him alone that he is interested in. It is his riches and his promotion, in which he boasts.
Prov. 16:18-19, "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud."
Prov. 29:23, "A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit."
Haman reminds us of the rich barn building fool that Jesus spoke of in Luke 12:16-21. He had "I" trouble and Jesus told us of his destiny.
Luk 12:16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
Luk 12:17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
Luk 12:18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
Luk 12:19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
Luk 12:20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
Luk 12:21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
It was pride that caused Satan's fall.
Isa. 14:12-15, "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit."
Haman boasts of the fact that he was the only man except the king who was ever invited to dine at the palace of the queen.
Job 20:5, "That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?"
Psa. 37:35-36, "I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree. Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found."
One of the old Puritan preachers said, "Our father was Adam, our grandfather dust, and our great-great grandfather nothing." We were formed out of the dust, and the body will return back to the dust when we die. But the Christian goes on to be with the Lord in a new glorified body fashioned after the glorious body of Jesus Christ.
John Wesley had some good comments about Haman.
Est 5:12 Am I - Thus he makes that matter of glorying which was the occasion of his utter ruin. So ignorant are the wisest men, and subject to fatal mistakes, rejoicing when they have most cause of fear, and sorrowing for those things which tend to joy and comfort.
Est 5:13 Availeth - Gives me no content. Such torment did his envy and malice bring upon him. Sitting - Enjoying that honour and privilege without disturbance, and denying me the worship due to me by the king's command. Thus tho' proud men have much to their mind, if they have not all to their mind, it is nothing. The thousandth part of what Haman had, would give a modest, humble man, as much happiness as he expects to receive from anything under the sun. And Haman as passionately complains, as if he was in the lowest depth of poverty!
Est 5:13 Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate.
Est 5:14 Then said Zeresh his wife and all his friends unto him, Let a gallows be made of fifty cubits high, and to morrow speak thou unto the king that Mordecai may be hanged thereon: then go thou in merrily with the king unto the banquet. And the thing pleased Haman; and he caused the gallows to be made.
Although he was happy and full of pride, we see the hatred in Haman. The heart of Haman was filled with malice and hate against Mordecai and the Jews. Mordecai had failed to stand up and honor this pompous man at the king's gate, and this really bothered Haman. Christians can expect the hatred of the world if we live Godly.
John 15:18, "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you."
I John 3:13, "Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you."
2Ti 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
Note that persecution isn't optional. If you live for God, you will suffer because the world hates Jesus Christ. The one who died for their sins, but yet they do not understand Him.
Malice is another sin that is abhorrent to God.
I Cor. 5:8, "Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."
Eph. 4:31, "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice."
Col. 3:8, "But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth."
I Pet. 2:1, " Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,"
Haman's wife proposes the building of gallows to be used for the hanging of Mordecai. Little does he know that he is preparing his own gallows where he will be executed.
Prov. 26:27, "Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him."
Eccl. 10:8, "He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him."
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