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2011.12.11 - Esther, Part 5

  • | Chris McCann
  • Audio: Length: 50:14 Size: 8.6 MB
  • A look at Esther 2:7-3:2. Spiritually, the historical parable in the book of Esther moves from the church age to the end of the church age and the loosing of Satan during the great tribulation.

We have been in the book of Esther for a few weeks and that has led us to Zechariah 1 where we found a reference to five months, the 24th day of the 11th month. We also found that Esther’s Hebrew name was Hadassah and that, in the Hebrew, the masculine form is hadac (had-as) and that this is translated as “myrtle tree” three times in Zechariah 1 in an unusual passage that is describing a vision that God gave to Zechariah.

Zechariah’s name means “Jah has remembered.” And is it not interesting that after five months, the prophet Zechariah, whose name means “Jah has remembered,” is given a vision? In that vision, there is a rider on a red horse who stands among the myrtle trees. There are also other riders on red, white, and speckled horses behind him who are going “to and fro through the earth” and then they are asked a question.

It says in Zechariah 1:10-11:

And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom JEHOVAH hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth. And they answered the angel of JEHOVAH that stood among the myrtle trees…

The “angel of Jehovah” is Christ. Just look up the phrase “angel of Jehovah” or “angel of the Lord.” We know that this word “LORD” is “Jehovah” because it is in all caps. If you do this, you will see that in many places that this can be no one else but God, no one else but the Lord Jesus Christ.

He is standing among the myrtle trees; and if we go back to Zechariah 1:8, we see:

I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees…

So “the angel of Jehovah” is identified as the one standing among the myrtle trees and He is the one, apparently, who was riding the red horse.

This confuses us some because in other places this is Satan, like in Revelation 6:4, who rides the red horse and takes peace from the earth. Yet, now, after a period of five months, which followed 23 days in Haggai 1, we find this vision and it is “the angel of Jehovah” riding on the red horse.

We are not going to get further into this because we need to find out some other things from Esther. Then we can come back to Zechariah 1. Lord willing, this will be in a couple of weeks. But just look at it this way: the king of Babylon represented Satan. But when Cyrus took Babylon, he became the king of Babylon. The Bible tells us this in the book of Ezra where it says “Cyrus the king of Babylon.”

The king of Babylon no longer represented Satan there. This was after 70 years when the kingdom was taken. There, Cyrus, who was the anointed one according to Isaiah (or the Messiah), was a picture of Christ who will build again Jerusalem. Cyrus was clearly a type of the Lord Jesus, but he was called the king of Babylon because he was victorious over Babylon. Therefore, he becomes its ruler and its king. This can help us to explain why it is the “angel of Jehovah” riding on the red horse; but we will get back to this later.

This is kind of like a trial. You have a witness and then they reserve the right of recall. This is because other things have to develop before the witness can be called back. And we are told that the Bible is a “cloud of witnesses” and a “multitude of counsellors.” The book of Proverbs tells us, “In the multitude of counsellors there is safety.”

This is not talking about your friends, believe me, and it is not talking about theologians and it is not talking about churches. This is talking about all the counsel of God within the 66 books of the Bible. There is safety if you check things out in every place that you can in the Bible. If you check it out with men and if this is where you go to get your answers, you have lost that safety net immediately. No matter who it is, if it is not from the Bible, you do not have safety.

We will come back to Zechariah, Lord willing, later; but let us return to Esther. In Esther 2, we saw in Esther 2:7:

And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle's daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter.

This really paints a picture of Esther as a type of believer. This is because she is an orphan. Her parents are dead. This is also because she is adopted by Mordecai who is a figure of the Lord Jesus; and all of God’s people were adopted into the family of God. This is the language of the Bible.

There is just one thing that I would like to mention. We are going to go more quickly through Esther 2 until we get to the end of Esther 2. Then we will go into Esther 3, hopefully, today; because there are a lot of things to cover and we need to speed this up some.

Then we read in Esther 2:8:

So it came to pass, when the king's commandment and his decree was heard, and when many maidens were gathered together unto Shushan the palace…

Shushan represents whom? It represents Jesus. This is because it is the same word as “lily” and He is “the lily of the valleys.” Also, the maidens or the virgins are gathered unto Shushan.

We saw before how the Gospel goes out. All those who hear and are brought into the Kingdom of God, God then likens them to virgins.

So the Gospel goes out. The virgins are gathered together to Christ. Here, this is pictured by the maidens gathering together unto Shushan the palace; then it continues:

…to the custody of Hegai…

This word “custody” is also translated in Esther 2:18 as “state.” In the last part of Esther 2:18, we read:

…according to the state of the king.

It is also translated as “custody” in Esther 2:14:

…to the custody of Shaashgaz…

This is a word that is also translated “hand.” This helps me to understand it.

So we could say “to the [hand] of Hegai”; or where it says “according to the state of the king,” we could say, “according to the [hand] of the king.” The hand represents the will there, and so this is what is going on. The maidens were given into the hand of Hegai.

Then it continues on to say in Esther 2:8:

…that Esther was brought also unto the king's house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women.

God does picture the church as His Bride. This means that the church is pictured as a female, and this house is a gathering of the virgins.

Actually, there were two houses. I did not point this out before because I just noticed this. There was a house of virgins. When they would be gathered from all of the provinces, they would begin there. But then when they went into the king, they would not go back to the house of the virgins. They would go to the house of concubines. Only the queen Esther, when, finally, Ahasuerus picks her, does not return to the house of the virgins and she does not return to the house of the concubines. She goes to the royal house where the king lives.

So there were two houses besides the royal house. This would only make sense because you could not have someone who spent the night with the king go back to the house where all of the virgins were. And this says that Hegai was the “keeper of the women.”

Just picture this house full of women as a type of the corporate church. During the church age, was there a keeper of the church? Yes; it was the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was in the midst. Christ was in the midst of the congregations.

Who kept the church from going far astray throughout the 1,955 years? Just look at what has happened once God removed His hand completely. Since 1988, what has happened? Nobody is keeping the women now. Nobody is watching them or restraining sin or holding back the false teachings and doctrines and gospels at all. What is happening is just anything under the sun.

But there was a “keeper of the women,” the Holy Spirit, who kept things in check. He made sure, to a certain degree, that the churches were faithful in order that the Gospel could go out, even though they always had sin. They always had high places and false doctrines, but they did not always have women in congregations teaching and they certainly did not have homosexuals ordained throughout the history of the church. They also did not have falling over backwards throughout the history of the church and they did not have holy laughter. We could go on and on and on with things going on in the churches that we have today.

So God was in the midst of the churches. Of course, here and there, there would be a congregation that would go off and they would just no longer be a part of the church of God. God would remove the candlestick during the church age; but then, finally, at the end of the church age, He removed it from all of the church in all of the world.

Then we read in Esther 2:9:

And the maiden pleased him, and she obtained kindness of him; and he speedily gave her her things for purification

This is the same word we saw back in Esther 2:3:

…Hege the king's chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their things for purification be given them:

This word is translated as “purification” at all times except for Proverbs 20:30 where it is translated as “cleanseth,” and this is the idea of this word.

Esther 2:9-10 continues:

…with such things as belonged to her, and seven maidens, which were meet to be given her, out of the king's house: and he preferred her and her maids unto the best place of the house of the women. Esther had not showed her people nor her kindred: for Mordecai had charged her that she should not show it.

We are going to see repeatedly in the book of Esther the providence of God on display as God works through circumstances in the world.

They lived in the world just like we live in the world right now. They existed. They sat in chairs. They ate. They slept. These people that we read about on the pages of the Bible did all of the things that we do, and God orchestrated events. He worked through circumstances and this is one of them.

It seems like a minor thing because Mordecai just instructs her, “Do not say that you are a Jew. Do not tell them that you are a Jew.” We are not told why he told her this; but if we look at the history leading up to this point in the Bible, we can see how there was always a lot of animosity towards the Jews.

Is there not always a lot of animosity towards God’s people? We know this as Christians and as believers. When someone finds out that you are a believer at work or in your neighborhood, they might say some things to you that they would not say to someone else. They might try you a little bit in a way that they would not try someone else.

In this case, there was danger that Mordecai sensed. She was going into the king’s house; and so he said, “Do not tell them that you are a Jew.” Remember again that Mordecai was a type of Christ and Esther was a picture of the believers at this point.

It tells us elsewhere that Esther did as she was told. As Mordecai instructed her, she listened to him. He was her adopted father. She listened to him as she grew up and she listened to him now, “You tell me not to say anything; so okay Mordecai, I trust you. I am not going to say anything. I am not going to tell them that I am a Jew.”

Then we read in Esther 2:11:

And Mordecai walked every day before the court of the women's house, to know how Esther did, and what should become of her.

It is interesting that this word “how” is often translated as “peace.” For instance, in Esther 9:30, it is the same Hebrew word and it says:

And he sent the letters unto all the Jews, to the hundred twenty and seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, with words of peace and truth,

“Peace” is the same word for “how.”

Also, we read at the end of Esther 10:3, which is at the end of the book of Esther:

…seeking the wealth of his people, and speaking peace to all his seed.

I do not know why the translators translated this word as “how,” except in a certain sense. Mordecai came by; and you know how we say, “How are you doing?” This is our common expression, “How are you?” In a way, this is really saying, “Are you at peace? Is everything well with you?” It is actually that word “peace.”

So we can understand that Mordecai, a type of Christ, is very interested in the peace of his people, “Are you at peace?” And this does not mean emotional peace or mental peace. Who is peace but Christ?

Do you have peace with God, which is only through Christ? This is really the question for everyone. It has always been the question and it remains the question. Are you at peace with God? This is only possible through Jesus; and so Mordecai comes every day trying to discover about Esther’s peace and what should become of her.

One other thing before we leave this little section. Imagine that you are a believer, and we would assume that Esther was a believer. She did the commandment of Mordecai. The problem with the book of Esther is that we do not find the name of God. We also do not find prayer. Later, when she goes in before the king, they talk about fasting, but they do not mention prayer. They speak of fasting for three days. She says, “I also and my maidens will fast.” She nor Mordecai mention prayer, but I think that we can assume that she was a true believer.

So imagine that you are in her shoes. She was a young girl who had never known a man. Imagine that you are gathered with all of the virgins in all the king’s provinces. You are just rounded up one day, however it happened. Maybe she was just walking down the street or maybe they came to her house, but they gathered her and they took her. Here she is thrust now into a house of women and it is a harem. It is a harem of virgins.

She has left her house where, certainly, Mordecai would have had the word of God. They probably would have lived as faithful Jews. But she is just taken out of that environment and is now placed in, really, a heathen house, historically. She is placed in a house where she is going to become the king’s bride, but so are how many other hundreds of women? There does not seem to be any love involved in this or that there is any good thing about this at all.

We could imagine that in Esther’s case, she could have been greatly troubled by this and cast down. She could have been thinking, “What is happening to me?” This reminds us again of how God works through circumstances.

Who does this remind us of? This reminds us of Joseph who was sold by his brothers into slavery in Egypt. He did not know what was going to happen when those Midianite traders just carried him in their caravan into Egypt. Joseph had to be thinking, “What is going to become of me?” Or when Esther was just gathered and taken by the authorities to the king, she must have been thinking, “What is going to become of me?” Things looked very bad. Believers have trials and tribulations, and this was an affliction to her. Yet through it all, God was working.

Go back to Genesis 50. Do you remember what Joseph said concerning his case to his brothers after it was all over? Jacob had died and his brothers were in fear because they still had it on their minds what they did to him. Joseph is speaking to his brothers in Genesis 50:19-20, which says:

And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

This is one of the most wonderful accounts in the Bible. We see how God worked in the life of Joseph in order to save Jacob and his family and all of Israel, as well as all the land of Egypt. Many other people from the nation survived physically, because there had been a famine in many lands. But there was bread in Egypt all because Joseph had been taken through those circumstances.

Joseph had to be in the dungeon to interpret his fellow prisoner’s dreams in order for God one night to trouble Pharaoh with a dream so that the butler who was released could then remember Joseph in prison. Then Joseph could be called unto Pharaoh, and then we see how God exalted him and elevated him.

Well, think of Esther. She was dragged into the house of the women. Did God have a long-term goal in mind? Did He have a very great reason for having Esther taken out of her house and brought into that harem? Yes, definitely; because He was going to use her one day to go before the king.

So this is all working together for good, which is something that always happens in the case of a child of God. It never works together for bad. You might feel that way, and I have, and you might just bemoan things and feel sorry about things, “Why me? Why is this going on like this?” And you can shed a lot of tears over the things that are happening.

With Joseph, he was taken at 17 and he was 30 when he was finally brought up out of prison and taken before the king or Pharaoh, which was 13 years later.

In Esther’s case, I think we will see a time a little later. Actually, she becomes the king’s wife in the 10th month of the 7th year of king Ahasuerus. Well, she is going to spend 12 months in the house of the women being prepared.

Let us read this. We read in Esther 2:12:

Now when every maid's turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus, after that she had been twelve months, according to the manner of the women, (for so were the days of their purifications accomplished, to wit, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours, and with other things for the purifying of the women;)

So she was taken in the 6th year of the king. This could be 12 months prior to when she became the queen in place of Vashti, in the 10th month of the 7th year, and we definitely know that she was in the house of the women for 12 months. This means that it could be that she entered into the harem in the 10th month, or very close to that, in the 6th year of Ahasuerus.

When are all of the events with Purim going to take place? They will take place in Ahasuerus’ 12th year. And so it is several years later before this all works out.

Here she is. She is placed in the house of the women with all of these other women and they are being purified with oil of myrrh for six months and with sweet odours for six months. We are not going to get into this, but remember that these are the ingredients of the holy anointing oil mixture in the book of Exodus.

This word “purifying” is that same word again that is translated in Proverbs as “cleanseth.” This has to do with the cleansing of the women and it is done over the course of one year: six months plus six months.

This makes us think of “the acceptable year of the Lord.” When the Gospel goes out, the women are brought to God and He cleanses them. He purifies them over this period that the Bible refers to as “the acceptable year of the Lord.”

Then we read in Esther 2:13-14:

Then thus came every maiden unto the king; whatsoever she desired was given her to go with her out of the house of the women unto the king's house. In the evening she went, and on the morrow she returned into the second house of the women…

That would be the house of the concubines. She could not go back to the house of the virgins. She had to go to a second house that was just for those who had already seen the king.

It continues:

…to the custody of [or hand of] Shaashgaz, the king's chamberlain, which kept the concubines…

Shaashgaz kept the concubines. Who kept the virgins? Hegai kept the virgins, and so it was a different chamberlain because it was the second house.

It continues:

…she came in unto the king no more, except the king delighted in her, and that she were called by name.

Of course, we could talk about how “many be called, but few chosen.”

So all of the virgins are gathered; and God sends forth the Gospel into the world, but it is only those whom God calls by name, His elect, who are brought back to Him.

Then we read in Esther 2:15-17:

Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail…

“Abihail” means “father of might.” It continues:

…the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king's chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her. So Esther was taken unto king Ahasuerus into his house royal in the tenth month, which is the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign. And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins…

Now, who is this describing? Who is this describing but the believers who find favor and grace in God’s sight as He has saved them and they become His Bride, the Bride of Christ?

It continues:

…so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti.

We are not going to go there, but we read of elders in the book of Revelation. What do those elders cast before God? They cast their crowns.

In that case, it is looking at God’s people as they are made kings and princes. We are of the royal family of God. But here, this is just viewing this from the feminine role. Since we are also the Bride of Christ, we are given a crown and we are made the queen, in that sense.

So Esther is made the queen instead of Vashti who represents national Israel. God married Israel but put Israel away. He divorced her. Then He marries Esther who represents the true believers.

When will God put the true believers away? He will never do this because there is no more divorce. He has rescinded that law. Jesus rescinded it in the New Testament when He said, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder,” and the earthly marriage illustrates the spiritual marriage.

We know that God will not violate His own law. This is why it is important to understand this. People can divorce if they want to divorce, but they cannot think that the Bible justifies this. This sin is on them, it is on the state, and it is on the government if they want to allow this; but as far as God is concerned in the Bible, there is no legal divorce at all.

The only time when someone who has been married before can marry again is if their former spouse is dead, and then they can get remarried. But otherwise, it would be adultery, which is what Jesus said a couple of times in the New Testament when He said, “Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery.” This is because the original marriage stays intact in God’s sight.

This is necessary and it is a wonderful thing that it is. This is so because He follows His law; therefore, His people who are married to Him and who are the Bride of Christ can never be divorced. They can never be put away and put asunder and separated from, no matter what. It does not matter what sin they commit, like David who committed murder, or like Noah who got drunk on one occasion. It makes no difference what sin any believer does, as long as they are a believer.

The Bible tells us, “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” We all do sin, but not one of those sins can ever separate the child of God, as Romans 8 tells us, from the love of Christ.

Then we read in Esther 2:18-19:

Then the king made a great feast unto all his princes and his servants, even Esther's feast; and he made a release to the provinces, and gave gifts, according to the state [or the hand] of the king. And when the virgins were gathered together the second time, then Mordecai sat in the king's gate.

I am not sure what it means that they were gathered together a second time. We do know that God stretched out His hand a second time “to recover the remnant of his people,” but that does not fit the context here. This is not talking about the great tribulation yet. This is not speaking of that point in time, and so I am not really sure.

Then we read in Esther 2:20:

Esther had not yet showed her kindred nor her people; as Mordecai had charged her: for Esther did the commandment of Mordecai, like as when she was brought up with him.

This is a picture of the believers. We do the commandment of Christ. We keep His commandment, but this does not mean that we guard them. We keep them. We do them. If you do not do the commandments of God and if you do not have the desire to do His will, then you have to ask yourself the question, “Am I saved? Was I ever saved?”

It is a convenient thing to say, “Well, we are all sinners,” like I just said; and this is true. Some say, “We are all sinners, so we cannot keep them but we guard them; that is, if anyone tries to say something about the Word of God, we protect it.”

This is not our role. This is Christ’s role. This is the Holy Spirit’s role. He will guard His Word. He does not need us for that. He just simply tells us, “Do what I say. Obey. Obey and Keep My commandments.” There is joy when we do because then we will find that it must be God working in us “to will and to do of his good pleasure.”

Then we read in Esther 2:21-23:

In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king's gate, two of the king's chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, of those which kept the door, were wroth, and sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus. And the thing was known to Mordecai, who told it unto Esther the queen; and Esther certified the king thereof in Mordecai's name. And when inquisition was made of the matter, it was found out; therefore they were both hanged on a tree: and it was written in the book of the chronicles before the king.

Why does God tells us this about these two doorkeepers? We know that, again, we see the providence of God later when the king cannot sleep. Why can the king not sleep spiritually? This is because God never sleeps.

So when the king cannot sleep, he calls for the chronicles, “Read to me.” Then he reads there that Mordecai saved his life and that Mordecai had reported these men, which is what Mordecai should have done when he found out that they were plotting against the king.

It does not matter what kind of government any of us are under. Whether it is a communist government or a dictatorship or a democracy, this is rebellion; and God tells us that the believer obeys the government. We try to operate within the government that we are placed in and in whatever country we are in.

Here, Mordecai is just being a good citizen, because this is where God has him. He reports the matter to the authorities and it is found out that this is true.

These two men, what are they? They are rebels. These two men are trying to lay hands on the king, which would mean that they were trying to kill him. They did not want to do anything but kill him because they were angry with him about something.

Yet who were they? We look at this and find that they were doorkeepers. They were two doorkeepers and they had a really humble position, and yet they did not like King Ahasuerus and how he was running things. They wanted to rebel.

Who does this remind us of? First, we have the number two and the number two identifies with the caretakers of the Bible. The church was given the Bible for 1,955 years during the church age. Then we find that they were doorkeepers.

Do you remember what Jesus said in John 10:9? He says:

I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

So Jesus is the door. But what is your role and what is my role, what is every believer’s role? If Christ is the door, we are the doorkeepers. We are simply the doorkeepers, and the church had this position. This was their task throughout the church age. They were to keep the door.

It is only through Christ, it is only through that door that someone enters into Heaven. This is the only way. Is there any other way? The Bible says, “There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

The one and only exclusive way into the Kingdom of God is through Christ the door. It is not through any other religion and it is not even through the Christian religion of the churches and congregations today, because they have another Christ and they have some other kind of door. But the door, as it is laid out in the Bible and only through the Word of God, is the way to Heaven; and we are the doorkeepers.

Throughout the church age, here is what God said of the two witnesses who operated within the churches. We read in Revelation 11:6:

These have power [or authority] to shut heaven…

They could shut Heaven. Well, what is the way to Heaven? It is through Christ who is the door. So during the church age, they could shut the door or they could open the door, as that authority was given to them by God.

We just went through a period of time with the great tribulation and the time of the latter rain when a great multitude was being saved. What was our role as a doorkeeper? It was to fling that door wide open. We were to keep it wide open and to call out to everyone, “Enter in; enter in. Of course, this is how you have to enter in. It is through the salvation of God and He has to do the work. But while it is still the great day of salvation and the door is still wide open, why do you not go to Him and enter in?”

Did any of the true believers have a problem with the door being that wide open? Absolutely not! We loved it. How wonderful! But there came a day, the 17th day of the 2nd month, which was May 21, 2011, and this day came because it was exactly 7,000 years after the flood. It was the equivalent date when God shut the door of the ark and shut Noah and his family in; and the door shut.

What is our role as a doorkeeper? Do we determine when the door is open or when the door is shut? Is this our role? Are we the ones who make this decision?

Looking at this from a perspective of a New York high rise or from a penthouse or from the owners of a building, “Keep that door wide open for a certain period of time,” or, “Shut the door and do not let anybody in.”

We are a doorkeeper. We open it and we shut it according to the command. We never make the decision. Never do we make this decision. We have to know and we have to know absolutely that this is from the Supreme Authority if He wants the door open. No man can open the door. Only God can open the door.

Well, here are these two men, the doorkeepers, who kept the door and they were rebels who rebelled against their king and then they were slain. They were hung. They were hanged on a tree; and what does the Bible say of anyone who is hanged on a tree? It says that they were cursed.

We can understand that this is pointing to the end of the church age. We saw the gathering of the virgins into the house and the purifying of the virgins. We saw how God very carefully took care of them, especially Esther who obtained favor and grace in the king’s sight. Then He just slips this in at the end of this chapter; and we are going to find, surprisingly, that this spiritually follows a chronology.

We saw the church age and now we are moving to the end of the church age described by these two men, Bigthan and Teresh. They are being judged by the king and put to death and made an open shame and a curse, which is exactly what God did with the churches and congregations when He judged them. They were under His judgment throughout the great tribulation and they became a curse.

We are not going to have too much time to get into it, but notice the context as we move into Esther 3. We read in Esther 3:1:

After these things…

After the two men, the chamberlains or the doorkeepers, were hung:

After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite…

Who does Haman represent? He represents Satan. Who does King Ahasuerus represent? He represents God who is Christ. Did God ever promote Satan? When? He promoted him at the end of the church age and the beginning of the great tribulation. This is when God loosed him and this is when Satan entered into all of the churches and congregations and became the ruler over the church.

We have that identical picture here. The two men are killed. They are hung, and then Ahasuerus promotes this wicked man Haman.

Notice what else it says:

…and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him.

What does this remind us of? This reminds us of Satan again.

Go to 2 Thessalonians 2. We read about the man of sin, the son of perdition, in 2 Thessalonians 2:4:

Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

Satan took his seat. He began to rule in the church, and this is the language used to describe Haman. Haman was promoted, he was advanced, and his seat is “above all the princes” who were under King Ahasuerus.

This is because this is typifying what God did at the beginning of the great tribulation. When He ended the church age, He was no longer using the church’s doorkeepers. They were not faithful. They were rebellious. And so He has destroyed them and is no longer using them, but He is going to promote Haman. In other words, He is going to loose Satan so that God can bring judgment on the churches.

Let us just go on in Esther 3. We read in Esther 3:2:

And all the king's servants, that were in the king's gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence.

What does this remind us of? This reminds us of “the image of the beast.”

If you remember, we read in Revelation 13 of an image made to the beast who was loosed. In Revelation 13:14-15 where it is commanded and where it is speaking of the beast, it says:

And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast…

This is all associated with Satan’s rule in the church. It continues:

…saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

You have to worship. To worship, you must bow down.

There is a strong tie-in between that image and the image that King Nebuchadnezzar made of gold back in the book of Daniel. If you remember, it was commanded at the hearing of the musical instruments that everyone must bow down. The musical instruments were listed four times. There were six, six, and six. There were six musical instruments listed three times. The fourth time they were listed, there were five musical instruments. This totaled 23, which identified with the 23-year great tribulation. When they heard the playing of the instruments, they were to bow down and worship; and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego would not bow down.

Who else will not bow down? Mordecai would not bow down. Mordecai would not bow down to Haman. He was not going to worship.

We will not get into this today, but what is the judgment that Haman works out because Mordecai would not bow down? The judgment was that Mordecai was to die, as well as all of the Jews.

It was like Haman was thinking, “Since Mordecai will not bow down, maybe his people will not do this either; and so I am going to kill them all. This is because these people will not bow down and do me my proper service. Look; King Ahasuerus placed me here in rule. They are not honoring him if they are not honoring me.”

It is almost like Satan is saying, “Look; God put me in the church. He set me up to rule in the churches and congregations. Are you not going to go to church? Are you not going to come and worship before me? You must bow down before me!”

God’s people did not and this infuriated Satan. This infuriated him that God’s people would not go. How do we know that this infuriated him? We know because this infuriated his emissaries who were in the churches.

We certainly heard from them. We heard, really, right from the mouth of Satan. We can say that this was prompted or that this was what was underneath everything. Satan was stirring up a lot of the hostility towards the people of God concerning the proclamation that the church age was over and that God’s people should not be there and that we should not bow down to him in any way.

Let us stop here and have a word of prayer.

Dear Heavenly Father, we do thank You for the Bible and we thank You that You are patient and longsuffering. Father, we have need of patience, and yet this does not come naturally to us. We do not like waiting, especially with affliction, and we do not like being tried. Father, we pray that You would help us like Job to endure and to wait on You and to trust You, that no matter the circumstances, no matter how bleak it seems, no matter how dark, that You are working all things for good and that it will turn around for Your people. This is guaranteed. Father, we pray that You would help each one of us according to our situations by the power of Your Spirit; and we pray this in Christ’s Name. Amen.