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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Esther 5

Verses 1-14

  1. Intro: Title: Eaten alive by 1 Termite
    1. Seeking to know God better, John Chrysostom became a hermit in the mountains near Antioch in A.D. 373. Although his time of isolation was cut short by illness, he learned that with God at his side, he could attend alone against anyone or anything. That lesson served Chrysostom well. In A.D. 398 he was appointed patriarch of Constantinople, where his zeal for reform antagonized the Empress Eudoxia, who had him exiled. Allowed to return after a short time, Chrysostom again infuriated Eudoxia, who sent him away again. How did Chrysostom respond to such persecution? With these words: “What can I fear? Will it be death? But you know that Christ is my life, and that I shall gain by death. Will it be exile? But the earth and all its fullness are the Lord’s. Poverty I do not fear; riches I do not sigh for; and from death I do not shrink.”
      1. We left off with - Queen Esther saying, If I perish, I perish! Willing to lay her life on the line to do what was right for her people.
        1. We learned her key was 2 things: Fasting (praying) & Waiting.
        2. Waiting in prayer is a disciplined refusal to act before God acts.”
    2. Outline(from Outline Bible): Fearless; Favor; Feast; Fury; Fatal Advice.
  2. FEARLESS (1) Esther risks her life
    1. Archeological evidence shows that her trepidation was not unwarranted. (Karen Jobes, pg.144.)
      1. ​​​​​​​Two bass-reliefs have been excavated from Persepolis showing a Persian King seated on his throne w/a long scepter in his right hand. An attendant standing behind the throne is a Median soldier holding a large ax. [diff pic shown, but is Xerxes]
      2. Esther assumes the dignity & power of her royal position only after she claims her true identity as a woman of God. And she was fearless!
      3. Courage! I have shown it for years; think you I shall lose it at the moment when my sufferings are to end? - Marie Antoinette, moments before her death (for treason, by guillotine, 1793)
      4. Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway. - John Wayne
  3. FAVOR (2,3) Esther is received by the King
    1. ​​​​​​​On the third day - What do you do for 3 days? You wait!
      1. Waiting doesn’t mean, “Doing Nothing”!
      2. We often picture waiting as something you do in a slow line at Disney Land.
        1. Instead, it is like the faithful promise of a loving father, who says to his child, tomorrow we will go to Disney Land, but today you’ll have to wait!”
      3. Is.40:31 those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
        1. Wait on the Lord = trust in, or have faith in, the Lord. It’s waiting in true faith. It’s trusting in God to work as you patiently endure, & continue on, serving Him.
        2. Waiting brings about 4 things:
          1. New Strength – This strength helps when times get rough.
          2. New Perspective – This gives us the Eagle Eye view of our situation.
          3. New Energy – So we may run life’s race.
          4. New Determination – To push on in the spirit…w/o being pushy!
      4. What happens while we wait?
        1. This allows God to work in:
          1. Our Hearts – trusting in Him.
          2. In Others Lives – even in our enemies or in the lives of those we fear.
          3. In the Circumstances Themselves –
            1. God was using 4 days to get all His plans in order. Two banquets need to be put together. Pride had to grow even a little more in Haman’s heart. The King needed to battle w/insomnia one night. Mordecai needed to be esteemed.
    2. Held out to Esther the golden scepter –
      1. Had God not extended the cross of Jesus Christ to the world, all would die in His presence. - “On the third day” after the final judgment transpired on the cross, Jesus Christ arose to imperishable life, guaranteeing safety to enter God’s presence to all who reach out in faith to touch that cross-shaped scepter. (ibid. Pg.147.)
      2. We, like Esther, are undeserving to come into the presence of our King, yet He gives us passage. And He is willing to grant us just about anything. Or, exactly everything...that is in His will for us.
    3. Half the kingdom - an idiom, commonly used by ancient royalty. It simply meant that he king was disposed to be generous in meeting a request.
      1. Centuries later John the Baptist died when Herod also offered up to half his kingdom to the daughter of Herodias(Mark 6:23). He did it not to risk loosing face.
      2. When the king asked, What do you wish? (3,6) Do you think it was hard for Esther to wait when everything seemed to be in position?
        1. We should stick to our Prayed over Plan!
          1. She could have said (w/attitude), “I’ll tell you what my request is!”
          2. She could have said, (pointing to Haman) “It’s him!”
          3. She could have played on the kings emotions & manipulated him (like you ladies are good at!) - (w/sexy voice) [My lil Persian Poookey]
          4. She could have gotten anxious & acted in haste!
        2. Stick to your Prayed over Plan.
  4. FEAST (4-8) Funerals are better than Feasts
    1. ​​​​​​​Funny what is she doing while fasting, but planning a feast. It’s like cooking for your family while your fasting. :)
      1. (Fasting) It allows concentration on spiritual areas. (Joyce Marie Smith, Esther, pg.28.)
    2. Eccl.7:2 - what did Solomon mean by this?
    3. 2 feasts - (vs.4,5 - 1st feast) (vs.6-8 - 2nd feast)
      1. Why didn’t she say something at the 1st feast?
        1. It doesn’t tell us. Maybe afraid? Second thoughts? Sensed timing wasn’t right? Discerning he wasn’t in the right frame of mind?
        2. It definitely raises the tension level of the story!
  5. FURY (9-13) Haman’s discontent
    1. ​​​​​​​Haman went out that day joyful & with a happy heart –
      1. A true joy? No, this was a happiness that changes w/circumstances.
      2. Haman was Self-absorbed. He had a False Reality. And a False Security.
      3. Like the Barn Builder Jesus talks about in the gospel, Haman didn’t hear the faint Slide#15 whisper in the back of his mind, “Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?” "So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."
    2. Ever get so nearsighted toward 1 thing in front of you that your farsightedness toward everything else becomes blurred?
      1. Here is where I got my title: Eaten alive by 1 Termite
      2. Here Haman thought he was rich but became wretched, miserable, poor, blind, & naked. Rev.3:17
      3. He boasts in false glory, false wealth, false happiness, & was resting on false confidence!
        1. He boasted in his Peacock Pride of Plenty, Progeny, Promotions, Preferment, & Prestige.
        2. There Haman was, on the cover of both Forbes magazine & GQ, in the same month! On top of the world but living in the pits!
      4. He was blinded to all who venerated him, & could only see the one who didn’t!
        1. What is your one termite?
  6. FATAL ADVICE (14) Haman listens to bad advice
    1. ​​​​​​​Zeresh counsels him simply to eliminate immediately the cause of his dissatisfaction.
      1. We are reminded of the counsel Jezebel gave to her king husband, Ahab, when he was sulking like a spoiled child. 1 Kings21
        1. Like Haman, all of Ahab’s power & entitlements failed to satisfy because he wanted… just one more thing (the vineyard of Naboth).
      2. Oh & Mr. Haman, what about the kings decree in 1:20, that each man should be master in his own house. Master = man in charge. Way to go Master Haman.
    2. The gallows are built at an extraordinary size, 75’ high, not realizing that it is the measurement of his own pride.
      1. How high is that? About 3 of our flag poles. 3 of our churches high.
      2. Why? So everyone in the city would be able to see. In 7:9 it could even be seen at the palace (it was built at Haman’s house).
      3. Hang? - not on a noose. Persians impaled their victim on a tree/pole.
        1. This is where crucifixion came from. Why it says, Christ hung on a tree.
        2. The Romans learned it from the Phoenicians, who learned it from the Persians.
          1. The Romans came up w/the nails in the hands. The Persians just impaled the body on a pole. (an anguishing torturous death!)
        3. That’s what you do w/people you hate! (That’s why they did it to Jesus!)
      4. How sad when human pride, in its demand for honor & respect outweigh the value of human life.
    3. Haman was Promoted by the King, Honored by the Queen, & Advised by his wife & friends… all his problems seem to be solved!
      1. But be sure Mr. Haman, your sin will find you out. Nm.32:23
      2. Ps.7:14-16 Behold, the wicked brings forth iniquity; Yes, he conceives trouble and brings forth falsehood. He made a pit and dug it out, And has fallen into the ditch which he made. His trouble shall return upon his own head, And his violent dealing shall come down on his own crown.
    4. Slide#21 On the 3rd day - A Jewish Midrash on this scene points out that, “Israel are [sic] never left in dire distress more than 3 days.” (Midrash Rabbah Esther, 112.)
      1. ​​​​​​​Midrash = is a commentary on biblical passages that has accumulated through the centuries among the Jewish Rabbis. [Heb. word found in 2 Chron.13:22; 24:27 annals]
      2. In the Midrash, the miracle of deliverance through Mordecai & Esther is compared to events in the lives of Abraham, Jacob, & Jonah, which also included 3 days.
        1. Abraham (Sac Isaac Gen.22:4 Then on the 3rd day Abraham lifted his eyes & saw the place afar off); Jacob (Gen.31:22 Laban was told on the third day that Jacob had fled); Jonah (Jonah1:17 And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights).
      3. It links this miracle to the Jewish tradition that the dead will “come to life only after 3 days,” from the start of the final judgment.
        1. This idea is based on Hosea 6:2 After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence.
          1. ​​​​​​​Hmmm another reason for Jesus’ 3 days in the NT!
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Esther 5". "Bell's Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/esther-5.html. 2017.