Today's story is from the full Book of Esther. PART 3 OF 3
In our previous episode, we saw what an ego can do to a person. Haman, attacked by this disease, let it run within him until it consumed him. It made him desire heights within the kingdom, lie, scheme, even try to deceive his King, which was punishable by death but worth the chance.
When ego is a problem with us, we will also find ourselves doing similar. Perhaps not to that extent, but to some of it. One of the biggest battles of the Christian is to fight ego when it tries to rear itself in our lives. Ego is the opposite of humility, a foundation of the Christian walk. We're not talking self-esteem, but self-importance.
Our self-esteem must come through our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, as we rid ourselves of any other worth besides that. We all get a touch of ego through life, but the problem is when we listen to it and keep hold of it, thinking that we have shaped ourselves into this marvellous person, and it wasn't God after all. Esther, on the other hand, submitted her spirit to God to be instructed and then led through this minefield of a mystery, which is also our calling for our mystery of life.
Today's story - The vengeance of the Lord
After a few drinks with Haman and the Queen, the King again asked Esther for her request. Then Esther placed her final card down, claiming both she and her people are set to be destroyed. Ahasuerus immediately wanted to know who had presumed in his heart the right to do that. Esther responded interestingly, and said, The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman (Esther 7:6), pointing to the brute, Haman.
We see Esther here, not playing games with Haman. She held this party for one reason only — to cold-heartedly cut off the unrepentant head of this snake of a man.
In this eight-word statement, Esther said much more than is obvious at first reading. After the fast and much prayer, the Lord put the words in her heart.
Adversary: He became an enemy to her personally, and therefore her husband and Lord, the King.
Enemy: He became an enemy of the State. a treasonous crime.
Wicked: He was clearly wicked in his heart, from which his murderous concoctions emanated. This pogrom was no mistake!
Then, as the King went out to the garden to think it over and calm down, Haman fell on Esther’s bed to plead with her, as she had gone to her bedroom. The King came back and misread the scene, accusing him of trying to molest Esther. He then committed Haman to be hung on the very same gallows he had made for Mordecai. His ten sons were hung after him, as they were also knee-deep in his mischief, but this produced only half of the results of the fast. The snake was dead but the planned slaughter was still to happen, that part of Haman was still alive.
Esther again pleaded with the King, creating another wise saying applicable to us now when we come before our Lord.
Esther 8:5 states four things:
1.If it please the king, and
2.if I have favour in his sight, and
3.the thing seem right before the king, and
4.I be pleasing in his eyes,
let it be written to reverse the letters devised by Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to destroy the Jews which are in all the king's provinces:
The number Four stands for solidity, firm, able to be established. When you pray, don't come before the Lord in spiritual rags. Even in those times of being bereft of hope, perhaps look at these four points and shape your prayer and life as accordingly, as you can.
The King hurriedly granted another letter be written, and sealed by the King's ring. This time the letter was to the Jews to defend themselves on the upcoming day of this mass execution. They did and reversed the outcome. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.
Also, the fame and fear of Mordecai went throughout all the land. This is the same fear that fell upon Jericho as the Joshua came upon them. It is also the same fear Satan and his fallen angels have when we rise up in the power of the Lord.
There was much bloodshed at that time, as there is in most theatres of war. Today's believers are also put in situations of battle. Sometimes we go to war in the spirit, praying and fasting, other times to Court to defend ourselves, and other times to defend our country against oppressors. We have to respond accordingly, and these instances will not change until Satan is put away.
Our story ended up with the Queen being on one side of the King, and Mordecai being elevated to the other. This brilliant history of God's success was written into the Chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia, but do we hear of it today from that source? How Jews saved the King of Persia, or as it is known today, Iran?
Esther, a simple Jewish girl was thrust into Queenhood and applied herself cunningly and tenderly with Mordecai to remove gross wickedness from her husband's kingdom, save the Jews from extinction, bring internal peace to the Kingdom, bring honour to God and get many converts, and obtain love from a despot of a king.
It’s worthy to note for us all that Esther did not step out of her godly character despite the size of the problem and its urgency. She did not walk around the place swearing and losing her cool or drinking to excess. She went to her Saviour, the Lord God Almighty, and Mordecai, God's man of wisdom for this trial, and worked within the means and wisdom given.
Esther’s eloquence spoke loudly in word and deed, and her faith saved her nation from termination. Purim, the festival arising from this salvation, is still celebrated today in recognition of that victory.
There are so many twists in this story it makes fascinating reading, causing us to dwell on multiple spiritual parallels with our own lives.
It's also good to remember this story for another reason. We seem to be living in some strange times ourselves at the moment. Satan prepares his works secretly to bring about mass destruction, as he wants every person not just dead but in hell.
How do we recognise Satan's works? They are all built on lies, as were Haman's. Behind the facades of news reports and statements, we will not see his substructure built with permanent materials, because Satan himself is not permanent. Rather, we see it built of matchsticks ready for the fire, and easily lit by the flint held by the spirit of truth.
To help remove our fear of these times, God is also working secretly, raising his Body and Bride, as he raised Esther, to pull down the works of Satan just as he is about to execute his plan. In these times, we are not to have fear. Satan can only remove from us goods and chattels, but nothing of real value. What is important is that he doesn't get to our faith, which is his goal to destroy.
We can also see the two main hearts in this story, Haman's and Esther's, and how they distinctly show us that the end we have depends entirely on which god we allow to craft and shape our hearts.
When you read about women like Esther, do you get the feeling they are way above your faith, somewhere at the spiritual height of Moses or Elijah? Esther was a normal person, just like you, but called to a great height from a much lower existence. It also happened to Rahab and Abigail. We may not be called to marry a prince of Persia or to other great heights, but the crossroad of preparation meeting opportunity always exists with God. Our role is to stay ready, and when that time comes to slot us in somewhere, God can choose us for the job, as is his desire.