Holding to Convictions

00:00 / 00:00

Sun, Nov 19, 2017

Teacher: Yale Wall Series: Esther: Hidden God Scripture: Esther 3:1-4:17

November 18, 2017

EstherHiddenGod

Esther: Hidden God

Holding to Convictions
Esther 3-4

Esther 3:1-6
After these events, King Xerxes honored Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, elevating him and giving him a seat of honor higher than that of all the other nobles. 2 All the royal officials at the king’s gate knelt down and paid honor to Haman, for the king had commanded this concerning him. But Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor.

3 Then the royal officials at the king’s gate asked Mordecai, “Why do you disobey the king’s command?” 4 Day after day they spoke to him but he refused to comply. Therefore they told Haman about it to see whether Mordecai’s behavior would be tolerated, for he had told them he was a Jew.

5 When Haman saw that Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor, he was enraged. 6 Yet having learned who Mordecai’s people were, he scorned the idea of killing only Mordecai. Instead Haman looked for a way to destroy all Mordecai’s people, the Jews, throughout the whole kingdom of Xerxes.

Haman becomes Xerxes' #2 in command meaning everyone has to bow to him, but Mordecai, a Jewish man who is fully devoted to God, refuses to bow. 

 

Esther 3:8-11
8 Then Haman said to King Xerxes, “There is a certain people dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom who keep themselves separate. Their customs are different from those of all other people, and they do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them. 9 If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them, and I will give ten thousand talents of silver to the king’s administrators for the royal treasury.”

10 So the king took his signet ring from his finger and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. 11 “Keep the money,” the king said to Haman, “and do with the people as you please.”

So Haman is tells Xerxes that Jews keep worshiping their God instead of worshiping him, and and he gets the okay to erredicate them.



In response to all of this, Mordecai doesn’t go to Esther, he goes straight to God.

Esther 4:1
When Mordecai learned of all that had been done, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the city, wailing loudly and bitterly.

Esther 4:3
3 In every province to which the edict and order of the king came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping and wailing. Many lay in sackcloth and ashes.


Esther then sends someone with clothes for Mordecai so he can take off the sackcloth.  Mordecai doesn’t take the clothes, so Esther asks her servant to figure out what’s going on.  Here’s the message Mordecai sends back:

Esther 4:7-11
7 Mordecai told him everything that had happened to him, including the exact amount of money Haman had promised to pay into the royal treasury for the destruction of the Jews. 8 He also gave him a copy of the text of the edict for their annihilation, which had been published in Susa, to show to Esther and explain it to her, and he told him to instruct her to go into the king’s presence to beg for mercy and plead with him for her people.

9 Hathak went back and reported to Esther what Mordecai had said. 10 Then she instructed him to say to Mordecai, 11 “All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.”

 

Esther 4:13-14
13 he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

 

Esther 4:16-17
16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”

 

 

Holding to Convictions

From very different places, we see both of these people stand up against opposition and choose to follow God instead of following man. The real issue that Mordecai and Esther go through here is a collision between God and culture.

 

When our culture says that:
- Everyone has their own God
- Sex is a free thing to share with anyone
- We need subscribe to one political system regardless of how it divides us
- Marriage can’t be defined by God
- We can watch porn and it won’t affect us
- No one can tell us what to do

We have a choice to bow to those things in our culture or believe that our God is the one who makes the rules.

 

Matthew 6:33
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

 

 

Communication Card
- I will stand by God’s truth regardless of circumstances.
- I will intentionally compel others around me to live for something bigger.
- I will leverage the positions God has put me in for His glory.

 

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