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2012.01.08 - Esther, Part 9

  • | Chris McCann
  • Audio: Length: 46:05 Size: 7.9 MB
  • A look at Esther chapters 3 to 5. A review of the flood, how it ties to May 21, 2011, Judgment Day and the 17th day of the 2nd month. Also tying to the 17th day of the 2nd month is the second banquet Esther gives King Ahasuerus and the hanging of Haman. Mordecai requests Esther intercede on behalf of the Jews, Esther, her maids and the Jews fast.

Turn to the book of Esther and open your Bibles up to the general area of Esther 3, 4, and 5. I would like to go over what we were looking at last week to review and also to reinforce what we saw.

First, let us remember why this is significant. In Genesis 7 when the flood came, it says in Genesis 7:11-12:

In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.

That was after seven days and then God brought the flood on the 17th day of the 2nd month of Noah’s calendar.

We do not have to go through the whole thing, but we had all of this down pretty pat. Prior to May 21, we could quickly link this with 2 Peter 3 that “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years.” We knew that the flood took place in 4990 B.C. and that 7,000 years later brought us to 2011. God gave us Biblical allowance to substitute one day for one thousand years. When He said to Noah, “Yet seven days,” He was spiritually saying, “Yet seven thousand years”; and so 7,000 years later from the flood, we knew that the year would be 2011.

For awhile, we did not know where this would land; but then it was seen that there was a time of great tribulation when judgment began at the house of God. This began on May 21 in 1988 and this continued for exactly 23 years until May 21 in 2011. Then it was noticed that May 21 in the Hebrew or Biblical calendar was the 17th day of the 2nd month.

Many other things went into this information that locked that date in. It was not chosen out of the air. It was because of a precise 8400 days of great tribulation that lasted 23 years that just so happened to end on a day that was the 17th day of the 2nd month. This was the equivalent day to when God shut the door to the ark and the flood began.

So we assumed – and I think rightly – that that was Judgment Day. That was the day that God would bring judgment on the world. We did have some incorrect assumptions along with this about the rapture and about a worldwide earthquake and things like that, but the one very important thing that we had correct was that it was Judgment Day.

What did God do on that day, which was the 17th day of the 2nd month? It says in Genesis 7:16:

And they that went in…

That is, into the ark. It continues:

…went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and JEHOVAH shut him in.

It does not say the word “door,” but how else could He shut him in? He closed the one and only door on the ark. That closing of the door brought security to the people within the ark and it also sealed the fate of everyone outside of the ark.

When we spiritually understand that Christ is the door, the significance of this is that all of those who were to be spared or delivered from the flood made it into the ark by the 17th day of the 2nd month of Noah’s calendar. No one else after that date made it into the ark and was delivered.

God was longsuffering and patient up until the 17th day of the 2nd month. Likewise, He was longsuffering and patient with the world in making salvation possible to the world up until the point of the 17th day of the 2nd month, which in our calendar was May 21, 2011.

Let us go back to Esther and see how the book of Esther ties in with this information. In Esther 3:7, we find that the lot was cast:

In the first month…from day to day, and from month to month…

More than likely, it was cast on the 1st day of the 1st month of King Ahasuerus’ 12th year. The date chosen was the 13th day of the 12th month, which was 338 days from the very first day. This breaks down to 2x13x13.

The date itself is very important because it is the 12th month; and, spiritually, the number 12 has to do with fullness. And it is the 13th day, and the number 13 has to do with the end of the world. This date was chosen by lot. In other words, God selected it.

So Haman goes to the king and he makes a deal with him and the king sells the Jews into the hands of Haman. Then Haman has the scribes called and it says in Esther 3:12:

Then were the king's scribes called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and there was written according to all that Haman had commanded unto the king's lieutenants…

Then this was published and sent by post to all 127 provinces of the kingdom.

The very first province to have heard this information would have been Shushan. This was where the king had his palace, where Esther lived, and where Mordecai was. It was the central spot for the government of the king. This was where the decree was made and this was where it would initially be published immediately and right away on the same day, which was the 13th day of the 1st month.

In order for that message to get to all of the other provinces, this could take days or weeks, because his kingdom was from India to Ethiopia. Sometimes those posts traveled by horseback or camel or some other way and it could take them quite awhile to reach the provinces of the kingdom. Maybe they did not get to these other places for four weeks or six weeks or eight weeks; but the people in Shushan heard it that day, and this is important.

I do not want to go through everything because we talked about this last week, but Mordecai and Esther have a discussion after Mordecai hears this decree that is made that all of the Jews were to perish or be destroyed on the 13th day of Adar. After hearing this, he sits in sackcloth before the king’s gate.

Esther hears that her adopted father, who was Mordecai because he had adopted her, was sitting in front of the king’s gate; and so she sends her chamberlains and her maids to take away his sackcloth. There is discussion back and forth and then Mordecai is really prompting her to go into the king and to make intercession on behalf of the Jews, because she is the queen. He points out that there is a particular reason for why she is the queen of the kingdom at that time.

Then Esther says in response to this in Esther 4:10-11:

Again Esther spake unto Hatach, and gave him commandment unto Mordecai; All the king's servants, and the people of the king's provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days.

So she is explaining this to Mordecai. Mordecai had also sent her a copy of the decree. She had this in her possession and she is telling him that she had not been called to go into the king “these thirty days.”

We have to be careful in how we read this. She does not say “for thirty days.” This is how I have always read this, which would mean that she would have been saying, “The last time that I went to visit the king was thirty days ago; that was the last time that he called me and that I went into him.”

She is not saying that. She is referring back to the writing of the decree of which she has a copy. She is also a prominent citizen of Shushan the city and it says in Esther 3:15 that the city of Shushan was perplexed when they heard this decree.

Word was getting all around. She had information about that and that was what she was referring to when she said:

…I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days.

She had not been called into the king since the decree was made or since the decree was given thirty days ago. For an explanation and really in defense of herself, she is telling Mordecai, “I have not had any opportunity to even talk to the king about this since that decree, that awful decree, was given.”

This is important because this dates the discussion between Mordecai and Esther as 30 days from the date that the decree was first given. It was first given on the 13th day of the 1st month. Thirty days later is the 13th day of the 2nd month.

Again, I do not want to spend a lot of time on this, but I am sure that you are familiar with this account. After further discussing this with Mordecai, Esther decides to go into the king but she has one condition that she gives Mordecai, “Get all of the Jews together in Shushan and fast for three days, night and day, and then I will go into the king.” Esther said that she and her maids would fast likewise and then she would go into the king.

So we are basically looking at the timeline. She is talking to Mordecai on the 13th day of the 2nd month. We know this from the reference to thirty days. Then there are three days of fasting, which would then be the 14th, the 15th, and the 16th days, ending on the 16th day of the 2nd month. It says that they were fasting night and day. This was an urgent matter, so we can be sure that it began that first evening, the night of the 13th, and then the night of the 14th and the night of the 15th. Actually, we can be very sure of this.

This is like the three days and three nights that Jesus was in the heart of the earth. It began in the garden in the evening, Thursday evening, then Friday evening, then Saturday evening. The days were Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; and on that third day, He rose. It was night and then day.

So the 13th was one night of fasting, and so was the 14th and the 15th. The days would have been the 14th and the 15th with the third day being the 16th day of the 2nd month; and Esther 5:1 tells us:

Now it came to pass on the third day…

So she was going into the king in the daytime when that day arrived, because the three nights of fasting had already passed. On the third day, she goes into the king. This would be the 16th day of the 2nd month.

There is a saying, “Close, but no cigar.” We know that the key date is the 17th day of the 2nd month. “Close” does not work. It does not work with God and His timeline.

I keep seeing all sorts of studies where it is indicated that when we look at the length of a woman’s pregnancy it ends just two weeks short of Purim; but no. That is nothing. God is very exact and very precise. If something is one day off, it is off. It is off and it would not mean anything. We could say that something is pretty interesting and we would probably keep looking at it to maybe see something else, but it would not have any impact because God does things exactly and precisely.

However, as we continue to read, there is something unusual. Esther goes into the king to make request and she finds favor. Lord willing, we will later talk about what this means spiritually, but let us just look at this historical situation for now. She goes into the king, she finds favor, and the king grants her petition unto the half of his kingdom, “What do you want, Esther?”

How does she respond? She responds that he come to the banquet that she has prepared for the king and Haman; and so they do go to the banquet on the 16th day of the 2nd month.

Then let us read in Esther 5:7-8:

Then answered Esther, and said, My petition and my request is; If I have found favour in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to grant my petition, and to perform my request, let the king and Haman come to the banquet that I shall prepare for them, and I will do to morrow as the king hath said.

This is very unusual and I do not understand a lot of the significance of this. An opportunity is right there. They had been fasting for three nights and days. She comes into the king and the king already grants her favor. She touches the tip of his scepter. Everything is primed and ready at that point, and yet, no. It was not that day but the next day as Esther tells the king, “Tomorrow, I want you and Haman to come to the banquet.”

Again, spiritually, I am not sure of all that is in view; but historically we know that the next day was the 17th day of the 2nd month.

Let us look at all that had to happen; because, of course, it is not just written out for us that it was the 17th day of the 2nd month that this banquet was held. We had to do a lot of searching and putting these things together. Because of this, some people right away will doubt this because this is not plainly stated. We know how many people are if something is not plainly stated. They will not accept this, but there are a lot of things that are not plainly stated. For example, we have the commandment with the seventy weeks of Daniel 9. Mr. Camping wrote the booklet entitled 70 Weeks of Daniel Nine. He looked to secular evidence to date a particular king’s reign in order for the commandment, I think, to Ezra, and then the time path of 490 or 483 years from that point.

What locked it in, even though he went to a secular reference to get the date for that particular king, was how it unfolded. That is the information where Mr. Camping points out the number of years for a Jubilee and so forth, and then a time path goes to the sacrifice of Christ in 33 A.D. and one goes to 29 A.D., but this involved the secular dating of one of the kings.

We understood that was Biblical because all of the other information fit so perfectly. It fit so precisely that it could not be anything else but the solution to Daniel 9.

Now, think about this. If the decree was given on the 12th day of the 1st month or the 20th day of the 1st month, it would not fit. If Esther had said, “These fifteen days,” or, “These forty-five days,” or any other day but thirty, it would not fit. If they had fasted one day or ten days or any other time but three days, it would not fit. If the banquet had been held on the first day only and there was not a second day of banqueting, it would not fit. In addition to this, if on the 17th day of the 2nd month, they had held a picnic, it would not fit.

But what happened on that 17th day of the 2nd month? Does it match up with what happened on May 21? It does. Haman was not killed every day of the year and Mordecai was not exalted every day of the year. First, actually, Haman was humiliated on that day early in the morning. Mordecai was exalted early in the morning. Then Haman was killed later on that very bad day for him. Then Mordecai was given the reign or the rule over the house of Haman that same day. And it was all on the 17th day of the 2nd month.

So when we put all of this together and we see that this information fits perfectly and that what happened on that day matches a scenario that we had come to understand regarding Judgment Day on May 21, then we have to stop and we have to think about the implications of what this information is showing us.

For instance, if we had known about this prior to May 21, we probably would have had to rethink the idea of a rapture, because the Jews did not go anywhere. After Haman was killed on that day, the Jews were still out there in the provinces. They were not taken out of the kingdom.

We also would have had to rethink about October 21 because Haman died on the 17th day of the 2nd month and we find nothing in the book of Esther about five months later. It is almost 10 months later to the Feast of Purim that there is a date. The date in the book of Esther is the 12th month, which represents the fullness of time, and the 13th day, and the number 13 has to do with the end of the world.

We have gone to this verse many times, but let us look again at Daniel 12:13 just to refresh our minds. And, yes; I said “Daniel 12:13.” You just cannot forget this reference. This is not Biblical, but this will certainly help you to remember this reference. The Feast of Purim is held on the 12th month and the 13th day and the verse that ties in with it again and again and again with the words in this verse just happens to be chapter 12 and verse 13 of the book of Daniel. I am sure that we will now be able to remember this. God just gave us this as a little assist to help us to remember this verse. It says in Daniel 12:13:

But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.

There are three things that tie into Esther in this verse. There is the rest. After they kill their enemies, they rest. They stood for their lives, as we read of the word “stand” here in Daniel. And then there is the “lot.” Here it refers to “at the end of the days” and the book of Esther deals with a date that was selected by lot. That lot was chosen at the beginning of the year, and then it relates to the end of the year. This is just as God knows the end from the beginning and He selected the date for the end of the world. Of course, Daniel mentions “the end” twice in this verse. “Go thy way Daniel until the end be, the end of the days.”

We can skip over the chapter and verse reference, but it is interesting. We have this information in this verse that relates to the prophet Daniel; and Daniel has everything to do with the end of the world as God gave him many end-time revelations. Then here we are at the last chapter of Daniel and the last verse of Daniel and God is talking about standing in the lot at the end of the days.

Let us go Esther 4. I will read from verse 10 and then we will pick things up from there. It says in Esther 4:10-14:

Again Esther spake unto Hatach, and gave him commandment unto Mordecai; All the king's servants, and the people of the king's provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days. And they told to Mordecai Esther's words. Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews. For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

We know how God does work mysteriously and greatly in the lives of His people. The Bible tells us that “all things work together for good.”

Esther was similar to Joseph. She was in a bad situation. She was taken as a virgin into a harem. We can imagine all of the awful things that could have happened. From everything that we can see, she was a true believer. Of course, she would not have wanted to be there. That would have been the last place that a true believer would have wanted to be, but look at how God turned this. He graced her with beauty and also with other attributes that the king found attractive.

So the king selected her to be his queen, which happened several years earlier. It says in Esther 2:16:

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.

It is now the 12th year and it is the 2nd month of the 12th year. As she is talking with Mordecai, it is the 13th day. Mordecai is pointing out, “Esther, look at your life. Look at your situation. Look at where you ended up, and you are just a simple Jewish girl. Look around; how many other Jewish girls are queens in this world? Obviously, God had a very important purpose for you in placing you where He did,” as it says at the end of Esther 4:14:

…who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

Really, this has truth related to all of us. Each one of us was handpicked to be alive at this particular time in history to go through the events that we have just gone through, just as Esther. Our situation is exactly as God would have it because He allowed it, whatever it is. It could be a difficult situation; but whatever our present position is, wherever we are, whatever trouble, whatever trial, God placed us here and this is exactly where He wants us to be at this time. And Esther was also where God wanted her to be, and the book of Esther has a lot to do with the providence of God. God Himself is not mentioned, but He is everywhere present, just like He is in the world.

So here leading up to May 21, as we can spiritually identify this as this historically leads up to the 17th day of the 2nd month, Esther wanted Mordecai to gather the Jews and to fast. We will talk about this fasting later; but I have jumped ahead, so let us back up to verse 14. We read again in Esther 4:14:

For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time…

Let us compare this to Ezekiel 33:6:

But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.

God was indicating something to His people here, and this was a verse that we went to often. Prior to the information about the coming day of judgment on May 21, God used this verse in the lives of many of His people to make them understand that they had a responsibility and a task. They had a duty to warn the world and to blow the trumpet. They had a responsibility to get the information out.

What if you held your peace? Then their blood would be upon your hands, indicating that you would have to question whether or not you were a child of God if you were not warning the world and getting the information out that God was opening up. You would have to really ask yourself why you were not doing what you really should have been doing, which was living as a Christian, taking up your cross and blowing the trumpet.

So really this is the question that Mordecai is presenting to Esther. In this case, I think that Mordecai is becoming a type of the Holy Spirit as he is prompting her to go into the king, “Go in. This is something that you are responsible to do, something that you should do. It is really your duty, Esther. Look where God has placed you.” Here is Esther’s response in Esther 4:15-16:

Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan…

Shushan is a synonym that we could say is for Christ. It is the word “lily,” and so this is referring to all of the “Jews,” the elect, who are in Christ. It continues:

…and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.

What does fasting spiritually represent in the Bible? It represents bringing the Gospel. Where can we go do prove this? Turn to Isaiah 58:4-7:

Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to JEHOVAH? Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

We can see the spiritual references or the language that identifies with the Gospel of loosing the bands of wickedness, letting the oppressed go free, breaking every yoke, dealing thy bread to the hungry, covering the naked. This is the fast that God has chosen. This is the spiritual definition of “fasting” in many cases when we are looking up this word.

By the way, this is how God has made the Bible its own dictionary. For example, we read about a house in Hebrews where it says “whose house are we.” This is the spiritual definition of “house” when we read about the house. Christ says, “I am the door,” and so when we read about the door, Christ is the spiritual definition many times for what is in view.

As we are reading the Bible, we are reading history but we are also developing our spiritual vocabulary or dictionary and we are getting our definitions set. As we are reading the historical books of Solomon building a house or the temple and we are reading that the door was shut in Genesis 19 in relation to Sodom and so forth, we begin to gather spiritual understanding; and so, too, with the word “fast.”

When we read of fasting, the natural mind is going to think about not eating, “Maybe someone did not eat or drink for three nights and three days.” But as God begins to open up the understanding of someone who is a child of God and He gives them the definition as they compare Scripture with Scripture,” here a little, and there a little,” they learn to look at words Biblically.

So let us insert an idea here. Let us look at this. As Esther is leading up to the 17th day of the 2nd month, which was May 21st, does it fit? Was there a period of intense fasting? With Esther, it was intense. Her life depended on it. In a great and tremendous way, there was fasting by God’s people.

How many were “fasting” and praying before May 21? Was it one single church? Was it one particular denomination? Actually, it had nothing to do with the churches. Where were God’s people, those in Christ? They were all over the earth. All over the earth, there was an intense getting out of the Gospel in every country.

Well, I would not really say it was every country, even though I suspect that it was in every country. I do know this. There were tract trips to England, Scotland, and Ireland. There were billboards in Italy. Project Jonah was traveling all over Africa. There were billboards in Papua New Guinea. There was advertising in Iceland and in Greenland. There were teams who were in India, in Japan, in South America. There was a truck with a billboard that was in constant motion for a couple of months at least leading up to May 21 that was traveling in many of the South American countries. Reuben is here and the New York group was all over the Caribbean. We could go on. Russia had billboards. Poland had a tract trip and billboards. Germany had a tract trip. Sweden, Norway, and Finland had tract trips, as well as Vietnam, not to mention the worldwide blanketing by the ministry of Family Radio through radio and shortwave, satellite programming and internet. And in the United States, it was everywhere. It was absolutely everywhere. People could not go anywhere without seeing or hearing about this.

To contrast this, think about today. What is going on today? The church is still the church, right? They say that they have the task to evangelize the world. What are they doing? It is so quiet, it is like you can hear the crickets at night. It is like you can hear a pin drop. We do not hear anything. When Gunther said that there had never been an occasion in the history of the world like we just witnessed, this is a fact. This really is true.

Just look at the church decades ago. Yes; the church did have its missions. It would have its little trips. But now, we see nothing. The world has never been confronted like this. Never before has the Gospel message of Judgment Day been placed in the forefront of the eyes of mankind. As people were traveling down I-95, they saw “Judgment Day!” As people were in New York City and were sitting behind a bus, they saw “Judgment Day!” Everywhere people would look, they would see people with T-shirts and hats and signs and banners. Tracts were just flooding the country and many other places. “Judgment Day! May 21, 2011, the 17th day of the 2nd month.”

It was an intense period of fasting that the world has never known, and we find here in the book of Esther that this leads right up until the time when Esther goes into the king. She goes into the king in chapter 5. We read in Esther 5:1-2:

Now it came to pass on the third day…

That would be the 16th day of the 2nd month. It continues:

…that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king's house, over against the king's house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house. And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre.

We need to ask the question, “Who does Esther represent?” We have always thought that Esther represented Christ because of the fasting of three days, night and day, which we read about in Esther, and we know that Jesus was three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. However, there is a fourth day. She goes in on the third day, but then she also goes in on the fourth day and makes petition.

So there are a few difficulties with Esther being a type of Christ in this case. For instance, back in Esther 4, at the end of Esther 4:16, we read:

…and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.

Then Esther goes in and finds favor. But is that what happened with Christ? Christ made payment. He paid the penalty. He worked in order to pay for the sins of His elect. God did not just wave His scepter and all of the sins laid on Christ were done away with. He had to pay for all of the sins laid upon Him for all of His elect people.

So we see some things that sort of remind us of Christ; but on the other hand, Esther is the bride of the king, which identifies with believers. Secondly, she did not go in according to law, which means that she went in by grace; that is, she had no justification in the sight of the king due to the law. She could have legally and justly been put to death, but then she finds the king’s favor as she touches the top of the golden scepter.

We will discuss this a little bit more in the next study, but we will stop here.