The Hidden Face of God – Purim – Pt 2

Posted: March 19, 2011 in Holidays- Holy Days

Esther, Chapter 2 ‘The first recorded beauty pageant’

Yesterday we saw the key figures in the Book of Esther. King  Ahasuerus & Queen Vashti from the Royal Family, Esther & Mordecai who were Jews in captivity and Haman who was an outright Jew hater.

Esther 2:1, begins with ‘after these things’– but does not tell ‘what things’. History records this came 4 years later after coming back from another great defeat with Greece. He comes back and no harem women could satisfy him
because he could only share his heart with an equal, a queen. But there was no longer a Queen Vashti.

What to do? Let’s go throughout all 127 provinces and bring back the most beautiful virgins. So 400 virgins were taken to the harem to begin preparations for a night with the King, to possibly be chosen as the next queen. The Hebrew
verb, ‘was taken’ is a verb used elsewhere as ‘taken by force’. Can you blame them? Taken from their family to be put in a harem with hundreds of women, maybe never to get married and have a family. One of those virgins was Esther, a Jew. She was orphaned and living with her uncle Mordecai. Neither of them revealed their Jewish bloodline.

All the 400 virgins went through 6 months of bitter herb treatment for cleansing and then 6 months of sweet odors. They would be taught the art of sensual techniques in love making, art of seduction, pampering bodies, art of
applying costumes & makeup. Esther gained favor with the keeper of the women, Hegai. In Hebrew it reads, ‘she lifted up grace before his face’. All the other virgins had to guess what would please the king, but Esther was graced with the only one that knew what pleased the king.

Hegai is likened to the work the Holy Spirit does in our lives when we first come to the Lord. The Holy Spirit knows what pleases our King Jesus and for a period begins the bitter work of working things out of our lives that keep us from His perfect plan. The next period the Holy Spirit brings us into the sweet presence of God through prayer and His Word so that we can be used of God. She was also given 7 choice maidservants (representing the 7 spirits around the throne of God)

When it came time to come before the king, they other women probably used lots of makeup, too much perfume, incredibly elaborate costumes. Hegai knew what the king wanted, simple beauty. More favor was found, because she was chosen to be the next queen in the 7th year of the king’s reign. Such a party! A month long feast was thrown to celebrate the wedding.

Mordecai discovered a plot to kill the king and he revealed it to Esther to tell the king. The 2  conspiriators were found and hanged. This was recorded in the chronicles of the king.

Wicked Haman, whose name means ‘magnificient’, was a descendant of Amelek, an Agagite. King Saul of the tribe of Benjamin) had been ordered to kill the the line of Amelek, but did not complete his assignment (Exodus 16:16; I Samuel 15; Deuteronomy 25:17-19). Haman had an inherited blood-line hatred for the Jews.

Mordacai would not bow down to anyone except God and that infuriated Haman so much he devised a plot to kill all the Jews. He chose the appointed day by casting lots, called purim. This method of choosing a date was determined also according to astrology, which is foretelling their future by the stars. (Note: Hitler had astrologers on his staff to tell him the best time to kill Jews & go to war; Sadam Hussein consulted astrologers as to when to go to war) Astrology is witchcraft, and should never be confused with astronomy- the science of stars. Larry Huch said he was studying with a Rabbi who told him the numbers of the purim (dice) came up with the numbers 133, which is the numeric number of Agag’s name. However, on the bottom of those purim was the number 644, which is the numeric of King David!

On the 1st month of the year, the month of Nissan, the day was chosen 11 months later (Adar 13) to kill all the Jews. Now in 127 provinces, there was no hope for the future of the Jews. No reason to get married, plant a field, have a
baby. No hope. Mordecai who was forced to write this death verdict, tore his clothes, put on sack cloth and sat outside the king’s gates wailing loudly. A message was sent to Queen Esther to go to the king and plead for the people. Esther replied that according to law, no one could approach the king without being called. Men stood by the king with axes, ready to kill anyone who approached the king. Mordecai’s reply was: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Patrick Henry said “Give me liberty or give me death”; Nathan Hale said, “I only regret that I have but one life to live for my country.” David said, “Is there no cause?”

So Esther chose a new life:

She went from being a beauty queen to a Jewish saint

She went from being a sex symbol to intercessor

She chose to leave the idle life to find high risk adventure

The call of God is anything but dull and boring.  She told Mordecai to have the Jewish people fast for 3 days, complete fast, day and night. On the 3rd day, she went with fear and trembling before the king. Instead of finding death, she
found favor.

She invited the King and wicked Haman to a dinner she had prepared in their honor.

Acrostic #2, (YHWH) 5:4, ‘let the king and Haman come this day’ (name YHWH, showing it was God’s plan, not hers)

As the evening went on, the king asked her the same question that got John the Baptist’s head cut off. “What is your petition? It shall be granted you. What is your request, up to half the kingdom? It shall be done!” Her answer was to invite them to a second feast the next night.

Haman went home so proud of being honored by Queen Esther with the same honor as the king. However, his joy bubble was burst when he passed Mordecai who refused to worship him. He went home dejected and told everything to his wife.

Acrostic #3,  (YHWH)  5:13, ‘this avails me nothing’ (showing God burst Haman’s joy)

Haman’s wife helped devise a plan to kill Mordecai by building a gallow 50 cubits high (7 1/2 stories high). At the same time, God was keeping the king awake and decided to have some of his chronicles read to him. God chose to have
the incident of Mordecai saving his life from death. When he discovered that no reward was given Mordecai, in walk Haman.  The king asked Haman, “”What shall be done for the man whom the king delights to honor?” Now
Haman thought in his heart, “Whom would the king delight to honor more than me?”

Haman, thinking he was going to be honored suggested “let a royal robe be brought which the king has worn, and a horse on which the king has ridden, which has a royal crest placed on its head. Then let this robe and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king’s most noble princes, that he may array the man whom the king delights to honor. Then parade him on horseback through the city square, and proclaim before him: ‘Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!'”

But Haman was trapped into honoring Mordecai in this fashion and went home defeated and angry. First time he went home to his wife he was bragging, now he is whining. Immediately he was summoned to Queen Esther’s 2nd banquet.

After the meal, the king asked Esther again, “What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request, up to half the kingdom? It shall be done!”

Esther answered, If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request. For we have been sold, my people and I, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. Had we been sold as male and female slaves, I would have held my tongue, although the enemy could never compensate for the king’s loss.”

4th acrostic, 7:5, (EHYH, I AM) ‘who is he and where is he’, uttered by the king. (God revealing His rule over Kings &
Pharoahs; the same Deliverer as in Egypt) As the king went into the garden to settle his wrath, Haman began to beg
Esther, pleading for his life.

5th & Final acrostic, 7:7, (YHWH), ‘that there was evil determined against him’ (showing God’s ruling over wicked Haman)

As wicked Haman fell across Queen Esther, the king entered the room and Haman’s fate was sealed. He died on the same gallows he had built to hang Mordecai.

Chapter 8:9 is the longest verse in the entire Bible. “So the king’s scribes were called at that time, in the third month, which [is] the month of Sivan, on the twenty-third [day]; and it was written, according to all that Mordecai commanded, to the Jews, the satraps, the governors, and the princes of the provinces from India to Ethiopia, one hundred and twenty-seven provinces [in all], to every province in its own script, to every people in their own
language, and to the Jews in their own script and language.” The law of the Medes and Persians cannot be reversed so a new law was written to override the first proclamation of all the Jews to die on Adar 14. Haman’s law stood 70 days
(symbolic of the Babylonian captivity). Haman sent out runners, King sent out his fastest horses. The Jews would have 9 months to prepare to defend themselves on Adar 13.

Chapter 9 finds a total turnaround. 9:1, “Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month of Adar, on the thirteenth day, the time came for the king’s command and his decree to be executed. On the day that the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, the opposite occurred, in that the Jews themselves overpowered those who hated them.”

All 10 sons of Haman were killed, 300 enemies of the Jews were killed in Susa, 75,000 of the enemies of the Jews were killed throughout all the 127 provinces. None of their wealth was taken by the Jews, no plunder. By the end of
Adar 13, they had a great feast.

Adar 14 & 15 they celebrated with feasting and great joy; giving presents to each other and gifts to the poor. This has become the Feast of Purim, celebrated throughout generations, still today.

The book ends in 10:3, (Hebrew Bible translation) “For Mordekhai the Yehudi (Jew) was next to king Achashverosh, and great among the Yehudim, and accepted of the multitude of his brothers, seeking the good of his people, and speaking shalom to all his seed.”

Tonight as Purim begins, will you stop and pray for the Peace of Jerusalem? (Psalm 122)

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