Esther - Lesson 07
Esther Chapter 8:1-17
Lesson Outline on Esther by: E. L. Bynum
Memory verses for this week: Jas 3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! Jas 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
Introduction: We continue our study on the book of Esther this week as we see the Jews are still in danger of the law to have them killed although the wicked Haman has been executed.
VINDICATION AT LAST
The wicked Haman has been executed, but the law to execute all Jews was still in effect. The law of the Medes and Persians could not be changed or altered.
Dan. 6:15, "Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed."
Since the Jews constituted 15% or less of the population, they did not seem to stand a chance. However, the mighty God of Jacob was on their side, so they were in reality on the majority side. God is the majority in all issues, so whoever is on the Lord's side is always in the majority.
I. THE JEWS PROMOTED
Est 8:1 On that day did the king Ahasuerus give the house of Haman the Jews' enemy unto Esther the queen. And Mordecai came before the king; for Esther had told what he was unto her.
Est 8:2 And the king took off his ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it unto Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.
As we finished chapter 7, we saw the wicked Haman put on the gallows and hanged. It was on the very gallows he had prepared to take Mordecai's life. Now the king gives Haman's possessions to Queen Esther. This great wealth given to Esther was perhaps a reward for her, since the king had allowed himself to be duped. At this time, Esther reveals Mordecai's relationship to her. The king learned that they were cousins, and that Mordecai had raised her as a daughter. The king now rewards Mordecai with his ring which was a ring of authority. In doing this, it meant Mordecai was now the prime minister. They now have a Jew as prime minister and a Jewess as queen. As queen, Esther sets Mordecai over Haman's house. This means that he is in possession of the vast wealth and estate of Haman.
The events reveal that God is able and willing to reward His people. This reward and vindication for God's people does not always come immediately, or even in this life, but it will come.
Psa. 37:34, "Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it."
Luke 14:11, "For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
I Pet. 5:6, "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.
Est 8:3 And Esther spake yet again before the king, and fell down at his feet, and besought him with tears to put away the mischief of Haman the Agagite, and his device that he had devised against the Jews.
Est 8:4 Then the king held out the golden sceptre toward Esther. So Esther arose, and stood before the king,
After receiving all the gifts, Esther now comes and makes another request. Esther was secure in her own safety at this point, but she could not rest as long as millions of Jews were in were in great danger. Christians should have the same attitude of compassion when vast numbers of lost people are doomed for hell, because they do not know Christ as Saviour.
Ezek. 3:18, "When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand."
This knowledge should brings us before the King of Kings with our plea for their souls. Then we should go and witness to them, and present the gospel of salvation that they might be saved. We should also be concerned for the lost Jews in particular, even as Paul was burdened.
Rom. 9:1-3, "I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh."
Psa. 122:6, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee."
James 4:2, "... ye have not, because ye ask not."
Esther is blessed again as the king again holds out the golden sceptre.
Est 8:5 And said, If it please the king, and if I have found favour in his sight, and the thing seem right before the king, and I be pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to reverse the letters devised by Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to destroy the Jews which are in all the king's provinces:
Est 8:6 For how can I endure to see the evil that shall come unto my people? or how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred?
She pleads that he reverse the decree of Haman, which he is unable to do. This was a horrible law, and she does all she can to stop it. She pleads, as we should plead, when we pray to the God of heaven on the behalf of others.
Jer. 9:1, "Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!"
Luke 19:41-42, "And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it. Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes."
Rom. 10:1, "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved."
John Gill in his commentary talked of how Esther came to the aid of her people.
Est 8:6 For how can I endure to see the evil that shall come unto my people?.... I cannot bear it; it will break my heart; I shall die to see all my people massacred throughout the realm; the thought of it is shocking and shuddering; to see it, intolerable: or "how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred?" the same thing in different words, and somewhat more express and explanative. She explains the evil coming upon her people of the utter destruction of them, not barely an oppression, but an extermination of them; and she makes use of a word expressive of their relation to her, as more endearing, being her kindred; she and they being, as it were, of the same family, and with whom she could not but sympathize in distress.
II. THE KING PROCLAIMS
Est 8:7 Then the king Ahasuerus said unto Esther the queen and to Mordecai the Jew, Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and him they have hanged upon the gallows, because he laid his hand upon the Jews.
Est 8:8 Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king's name, and seal it with the king's ring: for the writing which is written in the king's name, and sealed with the king's ring, may no man reverse.
Esther pleads for her country men, but the original decree could not be changed, according to Persian law, but the king could seek a way for the Jews to be saved. Some things can be altered with amendments and changes, but this was fixed. One thing is certain, we have a set of rules that can never be altered in the Word of God. When God says something, it does not change. The law of God cannot be changed.
Ezek. 18:4, "Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die."
Rom. 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death...."
Psa. 9:17, "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God."
I am grateful that God did not forget us before Adam and Eve had that first transgression in the garden of Eden. In eternity past, before the world and man was ever created, Christ agreed to come and pay the price for man's sin. God had a way to save sinful man in spite of the law.
Rom. 3:26, "To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus."
Gal. 3:13, "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree."
Gal. 3:22, "But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe."
Acts 3:19, "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord."
Rom. 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Brother Jack Taylor in his devotion last week made it crystal clear about the purpose of the law. It is a guide to show us how to live as a Christian, but no one could live up to the law. Only Christ ever fulfilled the law. All it is to us is a schoolmaster to show our lost and sinful condition before a perfect and righteous God. It shows us how far we are from the righteousness God requires.
Gal 3:18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
Gal 3:19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.
Gal 3:20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.
Gal 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
Gal 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
Gal 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
Gal 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Gal 3:25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
Gal 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
In verse 7, the king declares what he has done. He makes it clear that the decrees of a king cannot be reversed under any circumstances. However, a new message was to be sent to the vast reaches of the Persian Empire.
Est 8:9 Then were the king's scribes called at that time in the third month, that is, the month Sivan, on the three and twentieth day thereof; and it was written according to all that Mordecai commanded unto the Jews, and to the lieutenants, and the deputies and rulers of the provinces which are from India unto Ethiopia, an hundred twenty and seven provinces, unto every province according to the writing thereof, and unto every people after their language, and to the Jews according to their writing, and according to their language.
Est 8:10 And he wrote in the king Ahasuerus' name, and sealed it with the king's ring, and sent letters by posts on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and young dromedaries:
Est 8:11 Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey,
There was still about eight months left for the Jews to be warned and prepared. The king's business requires haste. Mordecai wrote in the king's name and sealed it with the king's ring.
It would take many fast riders to get the message to every place in the kingdom of Persia. In this new decree, the Jews were granted the right of self-defense. They were given permission to slay the ones that fought against them. Notice the similar language in Haman's decree against the Jews.
Est 3:13 And the letters were sent by posts into all the king's provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey.
Matthew Henry made these comments in his commentary:
It shows the absurdity of that branch of their constitution that none of the king's edicts might be repealed; for it laid the king here under a necessity of enacting a civil war in his own dominions, between the Jews and their enemies, so that both sides took up arms by his authority, and yet against his authority. No better could come of men's pretending to be wise above what is given them. Great expedition was used in dispersing this decree, the king himself being in pain lest it should come too late and any mischief should be done to the Jews by virtue of the former decree before the notice of this arrived. It was therefore by the king's commandment, as well as Mordecai's, that the messengers were hastened and pressed on (Est_8:14), and had swift beasts provided them, Est_8:10. It was not a time to trifle when so many lives were in danger.
The bible does not teach that we are to be pacifist. Many take the teachings of Christ about turning the other cheek to make us people who should never stand up for ourselves. That is not what that is all about. Sure we are not to be greedy and go the extra mile to get along with others. But we are commanded to take care of our families and if required, to even die for them.
Consider the following facts. Satan fell from his former glory. We can be sure that he did not accept this willingly.
Isa. 14:12, "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!"
God blessed Israel and gave them victory when they were attacked by the Amalekites.
Ex. 17:8-9, "Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand."
Saul was commanded to slay the Amalekites.
I Sam. 15:18, "And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed."
God instructed Israel to fight against the inhabitants of Canaan. Jesus instructed the disciples to buy a sword. Later he told Peter to put up the sword. There is a time to fight, and a time not to fight.
Luke 22:36, "Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one."
John 18:11, "Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?"
Jesus himself will come back leading the army of heaven.
Rev. 19:11, "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war."
We can be sure that standing up and defending ourselves is allowed as a Christian. We're not to abuse the freedom we have in Christ, but we are to be men and women who will take a stand for what is good and right. Many times that will mean to walk away, but sometimes we may be required to stand up and fight.
Est 8:12 Upon one day in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus, namely, upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar.
Est 8:13 The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was published unto all people, and that the Jews should be ready against that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.
Est 8:14 So the posts that rode upon mules and camels went out, being hastened and pressed on by the king's commandment. And the decree was given at Shushan the palace.
The messengers made great hast to take this message to all the Jews. Every province was to received a copy of the publication.
Est 8:15 And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and purple: and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad.
Est 8:16 The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour.
Est 8:17 And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.
Because of his promotion, Mordecai was able to come out in authority. Mordecai was dressed in the royal colors and the royal crown of authority, honor, and beauty. Now the Jews had one of their own in power, and in reality, two as both Mordecai and Esther were Jews. The city of Shushan rejoicing with gladness. Suddenly being a Jew was no longer a thing to fear, but rather the name was respected and many of the other people became Jews due to the fear they had.
Isa. 9:2, "The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined."
The Jews were honored and made glad. They had hope again. This reminds us when Israel will one day be the head of the nations.
Deut. 28:13, "And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them."
Verse 17 says that many Gentiles became Jews and took their side in the matter. I am glad that the Gentiles can be a part of God's people, as most of us are not Jews. This certainly fits in with what God promised Abram.
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."
Rom 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
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