Saturday, December 14, 2013

For Such a Time as This Part 2

Click here if you want to read Part 1.

The day is here.  The fasting is over and all the Jews are looking towards you as their deliverer.  You dress in your royalty and prepare to come before the king.  The king is sitting on his throne in the court of his royal house.  This is the moment.  If the scepter is lowered, there is hope.  If not, all is lost.  As you come before the most powerful man in the world, you realize the seriousness of this.  But suddenly, the king sees you and extends his scepter towards you.  Although you cannot believe what is happening to you, you come closer and touch the tip of the golden scepter.  Then your husband speaks: “What is it, Queen Esther?  What do you want?  I will give it to you even if it is half of the kingdom.” 

Imagine that!  The king has lowered his scepter!  Although Esther could have opened up her heart and told the king everything, she refrains and instead asks the king and Haman to come to a banquet with her.  At the banquet, the king repeats his question and once again, Esther asks for the two to join her at another banquet.

That day, Haman returns home in happiness as he thinks that Esther must have something good coming up that he is apart of.  On his way home, he sees Mordecai sitting by the gate of the king and despises him in his heart.  At home, he tells his family of his the good fortune that has befallen him but that he can’t enjoy it because of the Jew Mordecai.  The advice is to build a gallows for Mordecai and in the morning, request that the king allow him to be hung thereon.

Once again, we see God working behind the scenes.  That night, the king can not sleep and asks that the Chronicles of the Kings be read to him.  Suddenly he hears the story of Mordecai and the overthrown act of treason.  Finding that this man had not been honored, the king asks if anyone is in the court.  Surprise, surprise!  Who could be there but Haman, just getting ready to ask the king about Mordecai...  The king asks him what would be the best thing to do for the one in whom the king delights to honor.  Haman rejoices as he is sure that there is no other man who would be honored by the king than him!!!  “Well,” he says in mock unknowingness. “Let the king’s royal garment (that he himself has worn) be brought, the king’s horse, and the royal crown be set on this man’s head.  And let him be lead throughout the city on horseback by one of the king’s noblest princes and have him proclaim, ‘This is what shall be done to the man who the king delights to honor!’”  The king agreed and told Haman to hurry and go do all this to Mordecai the Jew.  “Oh, and don’t neglect anything you said!”

Our puzzle piece fits in as we see God turn around bad for good in a very funny and intriguing way!  Even though it seemed as if Mordecai’s deed was forgotten, God had him honored in the end.  I agree with David Guzik, “It would have been something to see the face of Haman at that moment; to see that the king took his advice completely, but gave the honor to his arch enemy - the man that Haman came to ask for his execution.”

The moment of the second banquet has arrived.  You know that this is it.  It is time to unveil the plan of Haman.  Once again, the king asks you what your request is.  In all respect and reverence, you proceed, “If I have found favor in your eyes, O king, and if it pleases you, let my life be given to me as my petition and my people at my request.  We are sold to be destroyed and killed.  If we were only  sold into slavery, I would have been quiet, but this is so much greater!”  Then king Ahasuerus answers, “Who is he and where is he that would dare to plot this thing?”  You turn to the other man present and answer the king, “The adversary enemy is this wicked Haman!”

The story is at its climax as the king leaves the room in anger and Haman falls on Esther, pleading for his life.  Haman knows that “this is it”.  Ahasuerus returns to find Haman insulting his queen and hears the news of the gallows that were built for Mordecai.  “Hang him there!” he says as Haman is dragged from the room.

As our story winds down, we find Mordecai again rewarded—by both God and the king.  Mordecai is given Haman’s place in the kingdom and Esther has set him over Haman’s house.  Once more, Esther goes before the king and once more, he lowers his scepter.  This time she pleads with tears for the king to reverse the curse that Haman has put on the Jews.  A letter is written, sealed with the king’s seal, and sent out over the entire kingdom giving out the decree that the Jews should not be attacked and can fight back and plunder their enemies if they were.

The “what ifs” that we can ask throughout this book are countless.  All these things did not line up by chance; instead, it was divine intervention of an all knowing God.  What if Esther had not been selected by Ahasuerus?  What if Mordecai’s deed had never been rediscovered?  What if the scepter had not been lowered to Esther?  This clearly shows the hand of God on this event.  He worked then, He works now!

While this decree is fulfilled, you partake in the gladness, happiness, and rejoicing of the Jews.  Mordecai, your uncle, has become greater and greater and his fame is spread over all the country.  As you reflect on this turn of events, you see that because of your obedience, trust, and bravery, the Jews are saved.  These events were orchestrated by God, “for such a time as this”.

4 comments:

Madi said...

I love the story of Esther!!

Bethany said...

So do I!

Elanee said...

Excellent article Bethany! I really appreciated your take on the story. You're a great writer!!!!!!

Bethany said...

Thank you, Elanee!