Following good advice: The obedience of Esther

we are Esther, the church,
no one comes to the Son unless the Father draws them
many people are called before God, but few are chosen
only those who obey God and put their faith in Christ become chosen
we can come before God the king, we will not be destroyed
preaching the Gospel is dangerous
God is the great advisor
The substitutionary death of Haman for the Jews (Jesus became like Haman and died)

We are going to look at the Book of Esther. The Book of Esther takes place around the year 486 BC in the land of the Persian empire. The Temple in Jerusalem has been rebuilt and Esther, as a Jew, is living in exile in the lands of Persia.

We are going to look at how Ether’s obedience to good advice gave her success. Esther listened to the wise counsel of those around her. By listening to good advice she became the queen of Persia. She married King Xerxes who ruled the lands from India to Ethiopia. By listening to good advice, she saved her Jewish brothers and sisters from death.

The book starts off with the king of Persian wanting to find a wife. His advisors bring women to him from around the kingdom to allow the king to choose his new wife. Esther was one of those who was brought to the palace to the king.

Let’s look at Esther chapter 2. In chapter 2:9 we read that her counsellors provided her with a “special menu for her and provided her with beauty treatments”. Esther followed these instructions. In chapter 2:10 she does not tell anyone she is Jewish because her uncle “Mordecai had directed her to do so”. She listened to her uncle. When it came to what to wear before going before the king, we read in chapter 2:15 “she accepted the advice of Hegai.” In this short period of time she listened to those who gave her advice on what to eat, what to wear, how to prepare herself to see the king, and how to hide her identity.

Then, of the king’s advisors decides he wanted to exterminate, that is to say, to kill, all the Jews in the Persian kingdom. This advisor was named Haman. He convinced the king to sign a law which stated that all Jews in the Persian kingdom must be killed on a given future date. Mordecai, Esther’s uncle finds out about the plan and goes to speak to Esther.

In Esther chapter 4, Mordecai sends a message to Esther. We read in chapter 4:8 that Mordecai sent a message to “explain the situation to her”. He told Esther to “go to the king to beg for mercy and plead for her people”. But there is problem. In chapter 4:11 we read: “anyone who appears before the king in his inner court without being invited is doomed to die”. In other words, you can’t just walk into the king’s inner court uninvited or you could be killed.

Mordecai tells Esther to go the king anyways because the Jewish people are in danger of being killed. Mordecai says to Esther in chapter 4:13: “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all the other Jews are killed. If you keep quiet at a time like this deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just a time as this?”

Esther accepts her uncle’s advice to go to the king even with the danger of being killed. She says in chapter 4:16: “I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.”

Here Esther takes the advice of her uncle even though it means her life may be in danger. Esther instructed Mordecai and all the Jews to fast and pray for 3 days. After that Esther went before the king and he allowed to go come before him. She made a plan for how she was going to speak to the king. She planned to make him a banquet, and then tell him what the evil Haman was planning to do to the Jews. It worked and the Jews were saved.