Making Your Voice Known…
I touched a little on the book of Esther a few weeks ago in my post, For Such A Time As This. Esther is a very rich book with many principles and lessons for everyday life today. In this message I want to go a bit deeper and explore how Esther overcame her fear of death and found her voice.
Esther, enters the scene by way of Mordecai, her cousin and adoptive father. Mordecai was aware of the search for a new queen because of his proximity to the palace of the King. At Mordecai’s encouragement, Esther became a candidate. She was brought before the King and in Esther 2:17, we see that “she obtained grace and favour in his sight.” The King “made her queen instead of Vashti.” It is also key to note that at the instruction of Mordecai, Esther did not reveal her Jewish heritage.
Mordecai continued to play a prominent role in the activities as he stayed in contact with Esther. He was privy to an incident of insurrection and an attempted assassination of the King. He relayed the information to Esther, who told the King. The culprits were apprehended, punished by hanging, and the incident, along with Mordecai’s contribution, was recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Media and Persia.
Later, Mordecai had a run-in with the chief prince, Haman. He had refused to bow and reverence Haman, who then took offence and became full of wrath. When Haman discovered that Mordecai was a Jew, he was not satisfied to just punish Mordecai alone for his actions. He sought to destroy all of Mordecai’s people, the entire nation of the Jews throughout the kingdom! We see the struggle between good and evil as described in Proverbs 29:27 and learn how Haman’s evil expanded its reach in Esther 3:6.
Proverbs 29:27 (NIV)
The righteous detest the dishonest; the wicked detest the upright.
Esther 3:6 (GNT)
. . . . when he learned that Mordecai was a Jew, he decided to do more than punish Mordecai alone. He made plans to kill every Jew in the whole Persian Empire.
Haman was in a position to exact his revenge and satisfy his anger because he had the ear of the King. Armed with his vengeance and a plan, he approached the King with the “injustice” done to him. Haman was overcome by his own wickedness as described in Proverbs 4:19 and 6:18.
Proverbs 4:19 (NKJV)
The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know what makes them stumble.
An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief.
Haman made his distorted case against all of the Jews before the King and set a date for the execution of his plan. He offered 10,000 talents of silver (approximately 335 tons of silver or $150 billion today!) to pay for the costs of his destructive vendetta! Perhaps this was a real bounty that Haman was able to pay, or perhaps it was a wild, exaggerated promise to show the King the fervor of his hatred of Mordecai and the Jews. It might also have been a portion of a bounty that he expected to gather from the Jews he was planning to kill. Nonetheless, Haman wanted to have the King write a new law giving him the authority to carry out his plan in Esther 3:7-9.
Esther 3:7-9 (NKJV)
In the first month, which is the month of Nisan, in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, they cast Pur (that is, the lot), before Haman to determine the day and the month, until it fell on the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar. Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from all other people’s, and they do not keep the king’s laws. Therefore it is not fitting for the king to let them remain. If it pleases the king, let a decree be written that they 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 king’s treasuries.”
The sovereign King was persuaded by Haman’s arguments and approved the slaughter of the Jews at the hand of Haman. He gave his ring to Haman, saying he could do as he wished to the people. The King told Haman that he would provide the money to carry out the hostilities. The official stamp of the authority of the King and his sovereignty was his ring.
Once the imprint of the ring was affixed to a decree, it became law, an unchangeable law, unable to be repealed. The King had obviously entrusted nearly all of his power with Haman because he removed the ring from his finger and gave it to him. At that point, Haman possessed the power and authority of the kingdom embodied in the King’s ring.
Haman immediately set out to craft a decree calling for the annihilation of all of the Jews. He dictated the terms to the King’s scribes. They then wrote the law in every language that was represented by the people and addressed it to all of the lieutenants, governors, and rulers over all of the King’s realm. The decree was written in the name of the King, and Haman made it law by sealing it with the King’s ring in Esther 3:10-12.
Esther 3:10-12 (NKJV)
So the king took his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. And the king said to Haman, “The money and the people are given to you, to do with them as seems good to you.” Then the king’s scribes were called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and a decree was written according to all that Haman commanded — to the king’s satraps, to the governors who were over each province, to the officials of all people, to every province ac- cording to its script, and to every people in their language. In the name of King Ahasuerus it was written, and sealed with the king’s signet ring.
The decree was copied and circulated throughout the kingdom, and the day of destruction was fixed at eleven months later. The decree understandably caused a great deal of concern within the Jewish and general populations alike. People would have to choose sides while confusion reigned in the land because of this impending massacre. In contrast, Haman sat down to relax in his new found power and anticipated victory.
Esther 3:13-15 (NKJV)
And the letters were sent by couriers into all the king’s 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 twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and to plunder their possessions . A copy of the document was to be issued as law in every province, being published for all people, that they should be ready for that day. The couriers went out, hastened by the king’s command; and the decree was pro- claimed in Shushan the citadel. So the king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Shushan was perplexed.
Mordecai learned of the decree and immediately humbled himself and cried out in grief. News of his public display of grief was brought to Esther, and she sent messengers to find out the reason. The messengers brought Esther news of Haman’s decree from Mordecai along with his request that she go before the King to plead the case of the Jews.
Esther replied to Mordecai with a statement regarding the current law of the King’s court. She indicated that she was not at liberty to speak to the King whenever she pleased, but only at the King’s bidding. She said that she had no power to intercede and would be subject to death herself if she tried.
Esther 4:11-14 (NKJV)
“All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know
that 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 the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter, that he may live. Yet I myself have not been called to go in to the king these thirty days.” So they told Mordecai Esther’s words. And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s 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 father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Mordecai made it clear to Esther that it was her destiny to intercede for her people. In Esther 4:14, he said, “who knows whether you are come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther knew that fulfilling Mordecai’s request could likely end in her death because of the conditions outlined in the law of the King. She was well aware that the etiquette of the throne room for those in the presence of the King was not something to be taken lightly.
In spite of her fear and the potential consequences, she made a plan to deal shrewdly with Haman and the King, stepped out in faith and made her voice be known.
If God has called you to do so, step out in faith and make your voice known!
May God richly bless you in all that you do! - Dr Rich Masek
I invite you to read Chapter 18, UNWAVERING INTEGRITY – THE UNCHANGEABLE LAW in
Ideolatry - God Is Not Your Problem
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