The Story of Esther, A Prophetic Story For Today!
As the Jewish holiday of Purim is celebrated in Israel this week, the ancient story of Queen Esther is being replayed in real time this year, right before our eyes. The ancient story begins with King Ahasuerus, the King of Persia holding a great feast for all his nobles, princes, and servants in Babylon.
During the course of the feast the King sent a messenger to the Queen requesting her presence at the great feast. However, when Queen Vashti refused the command of King Ahasuerus to appear before him and all his princes, she was immediately deposed. Shortly thereafter another young virgin was to be chosen to become queen from among all the maidens in the land.
Esther was the daughter of Jewish parents, who had both died. Having no other living relatives, Esther came to live with her uncle Mordecai, and she became as his daughter.
Because Esther was young and beautiful, she was taken by the king’s soldiers to be prepared to compete with all the other virgins in the kingdom to see whom the king would choose to become his queen.
By the grace of God, from the first time the kingʼs eunuch, Hegai brought Esther before the king, Scripture says, “The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the other virgins, so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.” Esther 2:17
Secretly, her uncle Mordecai had charged Esther not to reveal that she and her family were Jewish. Esther, was obedient to Mordecaiʼs command.
At the time of Esther’s coronation as Queen, the kingʼs chief counselor was a man named Haman, a descendant of Amalek, the king of the Amalekites. He was a proud and evil man, who came to hate both Mordecai and the Jewish people.
Mordecai, Estherʼs uncle, sat in the kingʼs gate administering justice. Haman came to hate Mordecai and the Jewish people because Mordecai would not bow down or pay homage to Him. Mordecai would not bow down to any man, only to the God of Israel.
Consequently, Haman conceived a plot to destroy Mordecai and all of the Jews in the kingdom. As Scripture declares, “Haman sought to destroy all the Jews who were throughout the whole kingdom of King Ahasuerus – the people of Mordecai.” Esther 3:6
Haman subsequently went to the king and said, “If it pleases the king, let a decree be written, that the Jews be destroyed, and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver into the hands of those who do the work to bring it into the kingʼs treasuries.” Esther 3:9
Consequently, “The kingʼs scribes were called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and the decree was written according to Hamanʼs command.” Esther 3:12
It is important to note the date the decree was issued. At sundown, on the thirteenth day of the first month, the Passover of the Jewish people begins! The decree was issued to destroy the Jews on the very day God ordained for the Jewish people to celebrate their liberation from slavery in the land of Egypt.
THE PLOT TO ANNIHILATE ALL THE JEWS IS HATCHED!
So the plot was hatched, the decree was written and sealed with the kingʼs signet ring. It was now law, and was to be sent by courier throughout the land, to destroy all the Jews in the entire kingdom.
Scripture declares, “And the letters were sent by couriers into all the kingʼs provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, on the thirteenth day of the of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and to plunder all their possessions.” Esther 3:13
Upon hearing of the decree, Mordecai went to Esther and explained the decree to her, and asked her to go to the king and have the decree rescinded.
Esther responded to Mordecai saying don’t you know, “Any man or woman who goes into the inner court to the king, who has not been called, he has but one law, put all to death, except to the one whom the king holds out the golden scepter, that he may live.” Esther 4:11
FOR A TIME SUCH AS THIS!
Mordecai responded to Esther with these now famous words, “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the kingʼs palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your fatherʼs house will perish. Yet, who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for a time such as this?” Esther 4:13-14
Then Esther responded to Mordecai with an urgent command; “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me, neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law, and if I perish, I perish!” Esther 4:15-16
PROFOUND LESSONS IN THESE VERSES!
There are some very profound lessons in these verses, which come straight from the heart of God. The first lesson is: to remember there is no security in remaining silent when there is an imminent threat against you, your people, or your nation. If the Lord positions you to speak, do not remain silent, but speak and act, for if you delay or remain completely silent, as Mordecai said to Esther, “you and your fatherʼs house will perish.”
The second lesson comes from the heart of Esther, when she asked Mordecai to “Gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me for three days.” Then she declared that she and her maidens would fast and pray as well.
The principal here is, in order to pray effectively for your people, you must be a part of your people, not divorced or distant from them. This was an example of corporate prayer and intercession as a people before the Lord God of Israel. Esther was in the palace, but her heart was never far from her people. Mordecai did exactly as she requested. He gathered all the Jews in Shushan, to lead them to fast and pray for God to grant Esther favor with the king when she went before him.
After three days Esther said, “So I will go to the king, which is against the law, and if I perish, I perish!”
The Lord had positioned Esther to become queen for a time such as this, when the very existence of the Jewish people was threatened with extinction through the hatred of the Amalekite, Haman.
Interestingly years before, in 1 Samuel 15:3, the Lord commanded king Saul to utterly destroy the Amalekites. “Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.”
Yet, king Saul disobeyed the Lord and did not utterly destroy the Amalekites, and his disobedience would cost both king Saul and the Israelites dearly in the following years.
Samuel confronted and rebuked king Saul declaring, “Samuel said, “Is it not true, though you were little in your own eyes, you were made the head of the tribes of Israel? And the Lord anointed you king over Israel, and the Lord sent you on a mission, and said, ‘Go and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are exterminated. “Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord, but rushed upon the spoil and did what was evil in the sight of the Lord?” 1 Samuel 15:17-19
Then Saul said to Samuel, “I did obey the voice of the Lord, and went on the mission on which the Lord sent me, and have brought back Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.” “But the people took some of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the choicest of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the Lord your God at Gilgal.” 1 Samuel 15:20-21
Notice, the King says the animals were to be sacrificed to “The Lord Your God (Samuel’s God, not his God) at Gilgal.” King Saul never speaks of offering a sacrifice to “His God!”
Samuel said, “Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. “For rebellion is as the sin of divination, And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has also rejected you from being king.” 1 Samuel 15:23
The consequences for king Saul for his disobedience to the God of Israel would be his removal as king of Israel, to be replaced by king David. While the consequences to all the descendants of Israel would be hundreds of years later the rise of Haman, the son of an Amalekite, who would seek the complete annihilation of the Jewish people.
The consequences of disobedience to God’s commands always have eternal consequences. So if the Lord is calling you to a specific mission, understand your disobedience will have eternal consequences for you, your family, and possibly your nation!
God was testing Esther, Mordecai, and the Jewish people to see if they would call upon Him, the only one who had the power to deliver them from the hand of man.
Scripture declares, “If My people who are called by My name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and forgive their sin, and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Because of the corporate prayers of her people, of Esther and her maidens, and Mordecai, the Spirit of God caused the king to extend the scepter to Esther, and the Lord used her to cause Haman to be hanged on the very gallows he had prepared to hang Mordecai.
Thus, by the hand of God, and the prayers of all the house of Israel, the Jewish people were delivered from the hand of their enemies. God is always faithful to His covenant promises, particularly when we humble ourselves and pray, and seek His face.
What is the Parallel of this Story for Today?
The Iranian regime openly and publically has declared that their agenda is to wipe Israel off of the map. Modern day Iran is the nation known as Persia in the Bible.
Consequently, the descendants of Haman are alive and well in Iran today. Confirmation of this was prophetically foretold in Psalm 83:1-8
“O God, do not remain quiet;
Do not be silent and, O God, do not be still.
For behold, Your enemies make an uproar,
And those who hate You have exalted themselves.
They make shrewd plans against Your people,
And conspire together against Your treasured ones.
They have said, “Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation,That the name of Israel be remembered no more.”
“The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites; Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assyria also has joined with them. They have become a help to the children of Lot.”
Notice, the prophetic words written in Psalm 83, are the exact words used by the leaders of Iran to describe what they intend to do to Israel! “Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation,That the name of Israel be remembered no more.”
Notice the specific name of “Amalek,” is used to reveal the modern day name of Iran, as one of the primary nations arising against Israel to wipe it off the map!
Notice the fate prophesied to those who seek to wipe Israel off the map!
“Deal with them as with Midian,
As with Sisera and Jabin at the torrent of Kishon,
Who were destroyed at En-dor,
Who became as dung for the ground.
Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb
And all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
Who said, “Let us possess for ourselves
The pastures of God.”
“O my God, make them like the whirling dust,
Like chaff before the wind.
Like fire that burns the forest
And like a flame that sets the mountains on fire,
So pursue them with Your tempest
And terrify them with Your storm.
Fill their faces with dishonor,
they may seek Your name, O Lord.
Let them be ashamed and dismayed forever,
And let them be humiliated and perish,
That they may know that You alone, whose name is the Lord, Are the Most High over all the earth.”
A Final Lesson for the Jews of Israel from the Story of Esther
A final lesson for the Jews of Israel today regarding what is written in the Tenach in the book of Esther 8:10-11.
“Mordecai wrote in the name of King Ahasuerus, and sealed it with the king’s signet ring, and sent letters by couriers on horses, riding on steeds sired by the royal stud. In them the king granted the Jews who were in each and every city the right to assemble and to defend their lives, to destroy, to kill and to annihilate the entire army of any people or province which might attack them, including children and women, and to plunder their spoil.” Esther 8:10-11
THE QUESTION FOR YOU TODAY?
The question for today is where do you stand, and for whom will you fast, pray, and intercede? Will you fast, pray, and intercede for Israel and the Jewish people; or will you stand with those who seek to wipe Israel off the map?
The choice is yours, and so are the consequences! There is no middle ground with God! You are either for Him and His people, or you are against Him and His people.
Understand your choice will have eternal consequences!