The Book of Esther shows us how God keeps His promises, how God saves the Jews from annihilation, and the sovereignty of God. Did I mention the name of God is not mentioned in the whole book? God is in every circumstance that happens to save God’s people.
Things to remember as you read Esther. The Jews were captives and living in Babylon. The story takes place in Shushan. Woman, whether Jew or Gentile, did not have any rights. They were required to submit to men. The Babylonians did not worship Jehovah God. To understand why Mordecai and Haman (Chapter 3) were at odds, read Exodus 17:8-16, Genesis 36:12, Deuteronomy 25:17-19, 1 Samuel 15:2,3,7-9,11,26,32-33 28:18.
Exodus 17:8-16 “Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. 9 And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.10 So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.12 But Moses hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.13 And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.14 And the Lord said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.15 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi: 16 For he said, Because the Lord hath sworn that the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.” (Haman was an Amalekite)
Genesis 36:12 “And Timna was concubine to Eliphaz Esau’s son; and she bare to Eliphaz Amalek: these were the sons of Adah Esau’s wife.”
Deuteronomy 25:17-19 “Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt;18 How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God. 19 Therefore it shall be, when the Lord thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it.”
1 Samuel 15:2,3,7-9,11,26,32-33 28:18 “Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.”
“And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt.8 And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. 9 But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but everything that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.”
Haman hated the Jewish people because of his upbringing as an Amalekite. Had King Saul been obedient, Haman would not be alive.
When we fail to obey God, bad things happen.
Wednesdays I am preaching through the Book of Esther. Come and join us at WASI Meeting room at 10 am.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001