Featured, Sunday School

Basic Bible: Esther Goes Before the King

Esther 4:6 – 5:2

“So Hatach went forth to Mordecai . . .” (v. 6). Hatach was a servant assigned to attend to whatever commands that Esther, queen and wife of Ahasuerus, might make. Esther had dispatched Hatach to Mordecai to find out why he had refused a change of clothing which Esther had sent to him. Esther had learned from others that Mordecai, her uncle, was wearing sackcloth and ashes but did not know for what reason. She, as queen, lived in isolation from the general populace of which Mordecai was a member.

Mordecai told Hatach all that had happened. He told him all that is recorded in the third chapter of Esther. He told Hatach that he had refused to bow before Haman and to give him reverence. Bowing entailed giving homage as one would give homage to a divine being.
Haman had been appointed to oversee all of the other princes (3:1). Mordecai, in refusing to bow to Haman, refused to honor any man as one would honor the Lord God.

Mordecai told Hatach that Haman sought to destroy all Jews throughout the empire because they, like Mordecai, refused to bow to as had been decreed that they should. Mordecai told Hatach that Haman promised to deliver ten thousand talents of silver to the king’s treasuries upon destroying the Jews (ch. 3:9-12).

It was Haman’s plan to seize all the property which the dead Jews had possessed. He would deliver ten thousand talents of silver to the treasury and keep the remainder plunder for services rendered.

He told Hatach the date on which the Jews were to be killed and he provided him a copy of the king’s decree to present to Esther. It is of note that Haman had astrologers and magicians cast lots to determine the day of the year in which he should bring destruction to Israel (3:7). The date, eleven months to the future, was provided by God (see Prov. 16:33). It provided time for Mordecai and all Jews to take counter-measures.

Mordecai instructed Hatach to tell Esther to present herself before the king and make supplication and to request that her people (the Jews) be spared.

Before this time, Esther had concealed the fact from all in the king’s court that she was a Jew. Prior to this time, Mordecai had instructed her not to reveal her Jewish lineage. She was to reveal that she was a Jew and subject to the king’s decree.

Hatach told Esther all that Mordecai had said. Esther hesitated to do as Mordecai had asked because she feared for her life. To bring a request before the king, she would have to enter into the inner court. Anyone entering the inner court who had not been summoned was subject to death. All coming, not being summoned, would be executed unless the king would “hold out the golden scepter, that he might live” (v. 11). Esther was hesitant. She knew the king. She knew that he was unpredictable. She knew that Ahasuerus had deposed the queen before her (Vashti) because she did not please him. Hatach relayed Esther’s words to Mordecai.

Mordecai’s answer is recorded in verses 13 and 14. Mordecai told Esther that being part of the king’s house did not change the fact that she was a Jew. To Mordecai and other Jews, being a Jew meant being chosen for God’s purposes. He argued that she, like all other Jews, shared the same fate. Mordecai stated that if Esther were not to step forward that God would provide a different means to deliver His people and, Esther and her father’s would be destroyed for her failure to act.

His final argument is phrased as a question: Who knows that it was not for this very purpose that she (Esather) was made queen that she might intercede for her people?

Esther’s answer was “. . . so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law” (v. 16). Esther asked that Mordecai have all Jews in Shushan fast for her for three days. She, too, would fast. Then, she would go to the king in the inner chamber. If she would perish, she would perish believing that God would save her people.

Mordecai did as Esther had said and on the third day, she went before the king. The king saw her and reached out to her with the golden scepter. From that which followed, all believers know that Esther was made queen such that the Jews might not perish.

The promised Messiah, a Jew born of the lineage of David, would not come until more than four hundred years after Esther was queen, but God used her because she let Him use her. New Testament believers know that God is true to His promises. We know that God will use those who seek His will.

Might we have ears to hear when His Spirit speaks. Might we let His will be done in us.

Please follow and like us: