We learn that–thanks to Mordecai– King Ahasuerus discovers the treachery brewing between his trusted eunuchs, and he changed things up quite a bit. He decided to promote Haman the Agagite and set him above all the princes and servants who had held the privilege of being close to him (Esther 3:1-2).
The king commanded that they all were to bow down and pay homage to his newly promoted Haman. Certainly, this change must have raised many eyebrows beyond the king’s sight. “But Mordecai would not bow or pay homage.” (3:2). The king’s servants would question Mordecai on a daily basis to try and figure out why Mordecai would not obey the king’s command to bow to Haman.”..Mordecai had told them that he was a Jew. When Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow or pay him homage, Haman was filled with wrath.” (3:4-5)
Mordecai not only refused to show respect to Haman but went a step further to announce that He was a Jew. Note that in Esther 2:20 “..Esther had not revealed her family and her people, just as Mordecai had charged her, for Esther obeyed the command of Mordecai as when she was brought up by him.”
Haman was infuriated that Mordecai would not honor him and disgrace him publicly without shame. He was so filled with hatred for Mordecai and the knowledge that he was a Jew compelled him to seek the destruction of “all the Jews who were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus–the people of Mordecai” (3:6). Haman decided to take his sinister plan to the king; however, his presentation made it seem as if the “certain people” posed a threat to his kingdom. Haman did not specify to King Ahasuerus that those people were the Jews; he pointed out that they were abiding in the kingdom but were not obeying the laws. Haman’s proposal seemed to cater to the king’s best interests for his kingdom:
“If it pleases the king, let a decree be written that they be destroyed,” (3:9)
Haman was so intent on carrying out his scheme, he was willing to pay King Ahasuerus 10,000 talents of silver–hand delivered by the ones who would carry out the extinguishment of the Jews! How incredibly evil and vindictive Haman was for seeking to rid the kingdom of all of the Jews because Mordecai was a Jew who had humiliated him.
The king took him at his word, for he simply gave Haman his signet ring and said, “The money and the people are given to you, to do with them as seems good to you” (3:11). The king did no research to confirm whether Haman was telling him the truth for the sake of his kingdom or seeking to fulfill his own selfish aims. Perhaps, he hastily accepted Haman’s word because was unwilling to risk another threat coming from his own people in his kingdom following the plot of his trusted eunuchs.
“In the name of King Ahasuerus it was written, and sealed with the king’s signet ring.” (3:12) and the copies of the decree were issued forth, “the letters were sent by countries 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.”
We are told that the “city of Shushan was perplexed.” Let’s take a moment to process all of this. The people of Shushan are rightfully confused and bewildered because there has been a transition that has taken place unawares to them that has taken them from being welcomed to feast and celebrate King Ahasuerus’s splendor to hearing his officials issue a decree that says all of the Jews are being killed!
Can you imagine the shock and the horror!
The same Jews who had relinquished their young, beautiful, virgin daughters to the king’s officials when he was searching for Vashti’s replacement as queen, were back to ring death knells over them. Consider how Haman’s callous decree echoes the description of the devil’s plot against God’s people.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” (John 10:10)
We know that “God is not the author of confusion” (1Corinthians 14:33).
In our marriages, we cannot look at the confusion in our “inner courtyards”–strife with our spouses, in-laws, and other marital turmoil–and simply hand over our signet rings (our authority in Christ) to the enemy.
The signet ring was recognized as the personal signature or endorsement of its owner. It was a seal of authority, honor, and favor. Just as God chose Zerubbabel and made him “like a signet ring”, we as wives, as daughters of God, are chosen and walk as signets with authority in Christ Jesus!
“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14)
I’m sure that Esther must have felt torn. She must have felt that her hands were tied. How many times have you felt like you were helpless in the face of adversity in your circumstances?
Promise of God:
“We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
When we go back to verse 15, the king and Haman “sat down to drink” and toast to the decree; however, Ahasuerus did not know that the Jews were the “certain peoples” that Haman was seeking to wipeout.
When Mordecai finds out about Haman’s decree, he ripped his clothes and “put on sackcloth and ashes” (4:1). In the middle of the city, he wailed bitterly and stood at the king’s gate. This lamenting and mourning spread everywhere the “king’s command and decree arrived” (4:3). Esther’s maids and eunuchs witnessed Mordecai’s public disarray and Queen Esther was “deeply distressed” (4:4). She sent clothes down to Mordecai, but he refused them. She sent Hathach “one of the king’s eunuchs whom he had appointed to attend her” (4:5) to investigate, and Mordecai told him of Haman’s decree to destroy the Jews. Mordecai also “gave him a copy of the written decree for their destruction….that he might show it to Esther and…he might command her to go in to the king to make supplication to him and plead before him for her people.”(4:8)
When we read Esther 4:10-14, we learn Queen Esther faced the dilemma of risking being put to death by going to king without being summoned by him. She had not seen the king personally in thirty days, so she had no idea how her presence would be received by him. On the other hand, if she remained silent and sought to spare her own life because she was not called by the king, she and her father’s house would eventually face death, as warned by Mordecai. Her royal position in the king’s palace was not her refuge. She may not have been called by King Ahasuerus, but who knows whether she was made queen “for such a time as this” (4:14)? Esther had to remember her name Hadassah. She had to weigh God’s calling for her life.
Sometimes we as wives and women of God, face many difficult decisions in our lives. At times, the enemy does all that he can to cause havoc and destruction in our marriages right underneath our husbands’ noses. Sometimes our husbands are oblivious to the enemy’s work, but as their helpers, God has called us to bring it to their attention with a bold yet humble spirit. This attitude requires prayer and the ability to put the interests of the bigger plan–God’s–above our own.
Esther considered that she faced death and told them to tell Mordecai that she was going to the king, despite it being against the law.
“If I perish, I perish!” (4:16)
Now on the third day of the fast, “Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace, across from the king’s house, facing the entrance of the house. So it was, when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, that she found favor in his sight, and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptor that was in his hand. Then Esther went near and touched the top of the sceptor.” (5:1-2)
Do you seek God before you go to your husband concerning issues in your marriage?
Esther put on her royal robes to manifest in the natural what she was attaching her hope to in the spiritual realm. She was the embodiment of 1 Peter 3:1-2 in that she hoped to remind her husband of his royal duty and responsibility to her as her husband without her having to say a word. Without a word, with her chaste conduct, she wanted to remind her king that she was his queen and worthy of being called.
Esther did not attempt to barge her way into King Ahasuerus’ presence by entering his house. She simply positioned herself where she was in his sight, and once he laid eyes on his gracious, beautiful wife, he did not hesitate to hold out his golden sceptor to her. When she touched the top of the sceptor, she was affirming her husband’s authority and demonstrating reverence for him.
Like Esther, we can put on our royal robes–the disposition within our hearts–and allow our “gentle and quiet spirit” speak on our behalf. We can have faith that our husbands will see those gracious, respectable qualities and honor us. Call us into their vulnerable places so we can come alongside them and help them.
King Ahasuerus asked Queen Esther what her request was and offered her up to half his kingdom. Esther requested only that the king and Haman attend the banquet she had prepared for him. The king sent for Haman immediately and both he and Haman went to her banquet.
At the banquet, the king asked Esther again what she would like and assured her “up to half the kingdom? It shall be done!” (5:6) Esther answered that “if I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, then the king and Haman come to the banquet which I will prepare for them and tomorrow I will do as the king has said.” (5:8)
Esther was patient and wise. She put her husband’s peace of mind as her priority. She made sure she remained in his good graces and added no pressure to his life. She caused him no stress and made it a point to show him that she understood her role as his queen and that she knew how to fulfill his need. Queen Esther did not lose the war against Haman by trying to win the battle at once at her first meeting with the king. She was careful to be diplomatic and not demanding or needy for material things.
Esther trusted God’s timing and knew that He’d opened the door to this meeting with King Ahasuerus. Death was not her fate. She knew that she had another day chance–a more opportune time to speak to the king about Haman’s plan. We are going to continue in the next lesson, which will pick us up to speed at Esther’s second banquet with the king and Haman.
Prayer pic below 🙏🏽