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Esther - Lesson 8

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     Esther 2:11-23

Ø  Our main subject here in the book of Esther is the providence of God.

o   God is sovereign!

o   God is in control!

Ø   Recap of Esther 2:1-10

ü  The king has de-throned his queen and is looking for a new queen. Verse 4

ü  Introduced to a couple of Jews; Mordecai and Esther, main characters of the story. Verse 5-7

ü  We find many maidens thru out the land are gathered together, including Esther for a beauty contest, to find the king a new queen. Verse 8

ü  Esther is put up in no. 1 slot by Hegai the keeper of the woman. Verse 9

à        Why? The providence of God, you see God’s hand at work here.

à        You see God’s fixing to use this little Hebrew girl even though she hadn’t publicly made it known that she is of God’s chosen people, a Jew. Verse 10

o   (Read verse 11)

ü  First thing, let me make this statement; I don’t think Mordecai was where he should have been.

ü  If we look into the scriptures of the events that have happen up to this point, it doesn’t appear that Mordecai and all these Jews should be here in this pagan land.

ü  And if a person is indeed not where God wants them to be, then he or she is out of the will of God.

ü  So if Mordecai is not being directed by the will of God then he’s definitely being directed by His providence.

ü  I think when we’re not in God’s will, He mixes things up in our lives and we get very uncomfortable.

ü  So why’s Mordecai walking every day before the court of the women’s house? I think he was nerves.

ü  I do believe if a person is truly walking hand and hand with God, you can relax and not worry about things, because you know God’s working it out.

ü  So, I think Mordecai is flat out worried about what’s going to become of Esther.

ü  Even if you’re of the belief that this beauty contest was voluntary, this would mean he more worried about what he’s subjected Esther to.

ü  He knows it’s against the Mosaic Law for Jews to marry Gentiles.

ü  One other thing worth noting here is that Mordecai must have had some small position at the palace in order to walk each day before the court of the women. But his position seems to change later.

o   (Read verse 12)

ü  One comment; what kind of beauty treatment last one year?

o   (Read verse 13)

ü  Everything possible, for one whole year, had been done to these girls to make them as attractive as they could be.

ü  And when it was time to go before the king the women were give whatever they desired, the finest clothing and the finest jewelry.

ü  This whole thing boiled down to one thing. The king had to be pleased!

ü  You see, this king is all about pleasure!

ü  And isn’t this just the condition we find the world in today!

ü  It’s all about pleasure, if it feels good do it! Got to feed the flesh!

ü  The flesh is full of lust; because it’s all about self.

ü  And just because we’re Christians doesn’t mean we’re immune to all of this either.

ü  We’re wrapped in this wicked flesh and boy does it like pleasure!

ü  And if wasn’t for the Holy Ghost that lives within the true Christian, he or she wouldn’t have any way to control their flesh either, just as king Ahasuerus couldn’t control his.    

o   (Read verse 14)

ü  “second house of the women”; house for the concubines.

ü  Each night, a new maiden was brought to the king; and in the morning, she was sent to the house of the concubines, never again to be with the king unless he remembered her and called for her.

ü  The ones he liked he would call them back for another night of pleasure.

ü  Again this all about fulfilling the king’s lustful desires.

o   (Read verse 15)

ü  Don’t you think this is interesting here, the fact that it says Esther “required nothing

ü  Esther had an amazing thing called natural beauty.

ü  She didn’t need any war paint at all; this wasn’t and old barn that need a fresh coat of paint!

ü  And I think what’s being said here is, she was so beautiful that she required no beauty treatment at all.

ü  “Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her

ü  In other words she was so beautiful everyone knew she was going to be queen.

ü  Why was she so beautiful? Was it by chance?

ü  Think about this; when God formed Esther in her mother’s womb, He knew that her beauty would be required to place her on the throne someday.

ü  Now let me tell you what I think (now this thrills me, so if you don’t believe it, I don’t want to hear it, don’t mess up my good time):

à        God knew, that one day His people wouldn’t be where they should be and thus would have to be delivered, so thru His providence, Esther’s beauty was planned way back before the foundation of the world.

à        I made the statement at work when the Stock Market first got is such a mess, that “it was all planned before the foundation of the world”.

à        And someone who confesses to be a Christian said, right there in the presents of unsaved people, “I don’t believe that”!

à        I have to say, if you’re Christian, how can you not believe that?

à        Everything was planned by God before the foundation of the world!

à        We don’t have to understand it; we just have to believe it!

à        Let me read you a few of the verses that tell us this:

1 Peter 1:20 (KJV)
Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

Revelation 13:8 (KJV)
And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Matthew 25:34 (KJV)
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

Luke 11:50 (KJV)
That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation;

Ephesians 1:4 (KJV)
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

o   Esther 2:16-17

  Something to note “seventh year of his reign”, back in Esther 1:3 “third year of this reign” now 4 years has passed since Vashti his queen disobeyed him.

ü  “And the king loved Esther above all the women” because of her preordained beauty.

ü  The NIV says it best: “Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women

ü  Again was it just chance that Esther was created so beautiful and thus became queen?

ü  Acts 15:18 (KJV) says “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

ü  Esther is now queen because God is in control, He’s overruling thru His providence.

o   Esther 2:18

ü  Guess what? The old king’s happy again.

ü  He’s got a queen now that has had the ultimate beauty treatment.

ü  You could say, Esther had real God given beauty!

ü  Here the king is feasting again, this is the fourth banquet already mentioned in this book. Maybe he’s Baptist, I don’t know.

ü  Esther’s beauty made the king so happy that he got generous, he’s feeding people, he’s giving gifts and he’s actually reducing taxes here too, if I understand it correctly.

ü  J. Vernon McGee said, he wishes that bunch in Washington would have some kind of contest if it would cause them to reduce taxes.   

o   (Read verse 19)

ü  What does this mean “the second time”?

à        The second “gathering of the virgins” probably means that the king’s officers continued to gather beautiful girls for his harem.

à        Those who think this entire occasion was a “beauty contest” see this second gathering as a farewell to the “candidates” who never got to see the king. They were thanked and sent home.

à        I think Queen or no queen, a man like king Ahasuerus wasn’t about to release a group of beautiful virgins from his palace!

ü  “Mordecai sat in the king’s gate”?

ü  Possibly he’s now a judge, we find they sat in the gate.

ü  It doesn’t really matter, the fact is, that it was no accident that he sat in the gate, it was by the providence of God as we’ll find later in this story.

o   (Read verse 20)

ü  “Esther had not yet shewed her kindred nor her people”.

ü  As I stated last week – we don’t want people to know we’re Christians when we know we’re no obeying God.

ü  There is one honorable thing that needs to be mentioned, look what it says “Esther did the commandment of Mordecai, like as when she was brought up with him

ü  Esther was taught to obey he parents and she did, even after becoming older!

ü  It would do us all some good, parents and children, to put that phase on our refrigerator and read it daily “Esther did the commandment of Mordecai, like as when she was brought up with him”.

o   (Read verse 21-23)

ü  “Mordecai sat in the king’s gate”; this is another one of them before the foundation of the world events!

ü  Mordecai saved the kings life and guess what? It goes pretty much unnoticed, doesn’t seem too important at this particular time.

ü  In fact, the very next verse, chapter 3:1 says “After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman” the next main character in this story.

ü  But this whole event becomes very important later in chapter 6.

Ø  Next 2 weeks Jason will be with have the Sunday School Class.

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