This week is going to be so exciting as we see what God does in the life of one ordinary woman, who was called to do an extraordinary thing. And the thing that’s most impressive and most encouraging is that she wasn’t called to do it alone. God put people around her who she could trust, and she listened to those people. She accepted their wise counsel, and as a result, the course of history was changed.
We’re about to pick up this unbelievable epic Bible story in moments in Esther chapter six, where we’re going to find the King of Persia suffering from insomnia. God can definitely use insomnia by the way. But first let’s recap what happened last week in this series on Esther and then jump into Esther, chapter six.
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Royalty and conspiracy. Fear and faith. Life and death. Favor and demise. Position, power, and God’s plan. Hi I’m Erica. Welcome to the Bible for Busy People. Queen Esther’s story is about all of those things and more. And this week is going to be so exciting as we see what God does in the life of one ordinary woman, who was called to do an extraordinary thing. And the thing that’s most impressive and most encouraging is that she wasn’t called to do it alone. God put people around her who she could trust, and she listened to those people. She accepted their wise counsel, and as a result, the course of history was changed. We’re about to pick up this unbelievable epic Bible story in moments in Esther chapter six, where we’re going to find the King of Persia suffering from insomnia. God can definitely use insomnia by the way. But first I want to tell you what’s happened so far.
Esther’s story is about a girl who was chosen to become queen. She didn’t seek the royal position; the position found her, or should I say, God called her to this position. Esther was a beautiful young woman. She was an orphan raised in the home of her cousin Mordecai, who she loved dearly and who loved her dearly. He was a wise Jewish man. He loved God. We know him as someone who was unafraid to live out his faith. When Esther was called to be queen and she left his home, Mordecai warned her to tell no one that she was Jewish. Esther listened to the council of her cousin Mordecai, her adopted father. And here’s where it gets really interesting, because the lives of these two ordinary Jewish people would become intertwined with the royal line, with history. And this is what God does. He taps us ordinary people, like you and like me, to accomplish his extraordinary plans. Mordecai, one day, Mordecai was sitting by the Palace gate when he heard two guards talking about their evil plan to take the life of the king. Mordecai told his cousin, Esther, what was going on. And together they saved the king’s life. This was recorded for posterity, but Mordecai wasn’t recognized for his action. He was, unfortunately, recognized for his unwillingness to bow down to the king’s right hand man. Haman. This infuriated Haman because Mordecai would only bow to God. And in his fury, he decided not to just make Mordecai pay for not bowing, but to make all of his people, all of the Jews, pay for Mordecai’s, refusal to bow. So Haman hatched one of the most evil plans in history and got the king to sign off on it to kill all of the Jewish people on a certain date.
The king, by the way, remember, had no clue that his own wife was Jewish. Mordecai gets word of the evil plan that Haman hatches, and clothes himself in sackcloth and ashes and pleads with Esther. He says, perhaps you were made queen for such a time as this. You have to go to the king and beg for mercy on behalf of our people, the Jewish people. And Esther is terrified when Mordecai delivers this message to her, because at that time in royal history, you could only go to the king if he invited you to come. And if you appeared before the king and he was displeased to see you, you could be executed. On the other hand, if he raised the golden scepter, it meant you were welcome. Esther knew that she would be risking her life by going to the king, and then especially having to ask for mercy.
Imagine how terrifying that would be. But Esther once again chooses to listen to the council of her cousin Mordecai. She gathers her maids and they fast and pray, and she asks Mordecai to gather his fellow Jews and to fast and pray. And she goes before the king and he raises the golden scepter and she invites him to a banquet, and Haman his right hand man, as well. At the end of dinner, Esther invites Haman and the king to a second banquet the following night and promises to make her real ask at that time. Haman goes home all full of himself, bragging that he got to dine with the king and queen, and yet he sees Mordecai who won’t bow to him, and he’s so filled with hate and he goes home with pride and hate in his heart, and his wife says, just have Mordecai executed. Why are you worried about this? We pick up the story here in Esther chapter six.
The night you and I just talked about,
…the king had trouble sleeping. So, he ordered an attendant to bring the book of the history of his reign so it could be read to him. In those records, he discovered an account of how Mordecai had exposed the plot of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the eunuchs who guarded the door to the king’s private quarters. They had plotted to assassinate King Xerxes. What reward or recognition did we ever give Mordecai for this? The king asked. His attendants replied, nothing has been done for him. Who is that? In the outer court? the king inquired. As it happened, Haman had just arrived in the outer court of the palace to ask the king to impale Mordecai on the pole he had prepared. So the attendants replied to the king, Haman is out in the court. Bring him in, the king ordered. So Haman came in and the king said, what should I do to honor a man who truly pleases me? Haman thought to himself, whom would the king wish to honor more than me? So he replied, If the king wishes to honor someone, he should bring out one of the king’s own royal robes as well as a horse that the king himself has ridden. One with a royal emblem on its head. Let the robes and the horse be handed over to one of the king’s most noble officials and let him see that the man whom the king wishes to honor is dressed in the king’s robes and let through the city square on the king’s horse. Have the official shout as they go. This is what the king does for someone he wishes to honor. Excellent. The king said to Haman. Quick take the robes and my horse and do, just as you have said, for Mordecai the Jew who sits at the gate of the palace. Leave out nothing you have suggested.
Oh, how the tables have begun to turn. We’ll pick it up right here next time. Until then, you are loved.
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