A Challenge of Faith Esther 3-4, cont’d.
Esther 4 Mordecai Appeals to Esther for Intervention
Esther 4:1-17-When Mordecai finds out about the edict he mourns in sackcloth. Esther hears that Mordecai is mourning and sends a courier to find out why. When he returns and tells her she is devastated. Mordecai tells her that she should go to the king and tell him what has happened. But she tells him that she (nor anyone else) can enter into the king's presence without his invitation. If someone approaches him without an invitation and he does not raise his scepter towards them…then they will be put to death. Mordecai tells her that if Haman’s orders are carried out, it won’t make any difference. Because eventually he will discover that she is Jewish and not even her marriage to the king will save her. He then gives her words of counsel that have since become one of the most famous lines in the Old Testament, "...who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?" (:14). Esther asks the Jews to fast for three days for her safety and then she will approach the king. Her reply has become as famous as Mordecai’s counsel…"and if I perish, I perish." (:16).
An Appeal for Help Esther 5-6
Esther 5 Esther Hosts a Banquet for the King…to Haman’s Delight
Esther 5:1-14-Three days later, Esther appears in the king's court. He invites her in and asks what her request is. She invites him and Haman to a banquet...they attend. Afterward, she invites them to another banquet the next day. Haman left and as he did he saw Mordecai in the gate not bowing down and he was filled with anger. He went home and bragged to all of his friends about the banquet...and everything that he owned. Then he said, "Yet all of this does not satisfy me every time I see Mordecai..." (:13). His wife and friends suggested that he build a gallows to hang Mordecai on...and he did so.
Esther 6 Mordecai is Honored by the King…to Haman’s Dismay
Acts 6:1-14-That night the king could not sleep and he ordered that the record journals be brought. There, he discovered how Mordecai had reported the attempt on his life and that nothing had ever been done for him. He asked what official was in the court at the time and found that Haman had just entered...actually, he was there to ask the king about hanging Mordecai. The king asked Haman what should be done for a man that he wanted to honor. Haman thought the king was speaking of him (he was not aware he was speaking of Mordecai)...and said to put a royal robe the crown on him, and have him paraded through the streets on a royal horse, led by one of the kings princes. The king liked the idea and told Haman to do just that…for Mordecai. He did so...but afterwards he returned home mourning and told his family the terrible news. They said that it appeared that he would fall before Mordecai. At that moment, the messengers of the king arrived to take Haman to Esther's second banquet.
Prayer: Lord, I see Your hand, Your sovereign hand, guiding the affairs of Esther and Mordecai. You were working all along…even when they feared for their lives and the lives of all of the Jews. You are forever faithful. You can be trusted in all circumstances.