The book of Esther is one of the two books in the Bible which doesn’t contain the name of God. It seems strange that it never mentions God. The book is a story of palace intrigue in ancient Persia and is an actual historical incident out of the very distant past.
The probable reason for omission of God's name is that this book contains indirect teaching rather than direct teaching. God is very much in the book, but not in direct appearance. The book is an allegory about your life and mine so the story of Esther is being acted out in the life of every Christian.
As we go through the book we recognize that we encounter the same influences in our own lives as these depicted here. Each of us has a king, it’s our will that is under the influence of our minds and our emotions, and that will sits as a king in our lives and it determines the course of the kingdom.
Satan subtly suggests that a Christian using self-denial and patience is never really going to get ahead and the only way to get what we want is to adopt the philosophy, "Watch out for number one!" Haman pictures Satan at work in each of us.
Each Christian also has a Queen Esther, it’s our personal spirit made alive in Jesus Christ and is under the influence of the Holy Spirit of God just as Queen Esther was under the influence of Mordecai in this story. Romans 8:16 tells us, "His Spirit bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God."
If you’ve followed the story this far, you’ve noticed that the king doesn’t realize Haman’s true character. He thinks Haman is his friend and has made him the prime minister of the kingdom.
Mordecai, who represents the Holy Spirit in our lives, knows what Haman is like, and Esther, the picture of our own human spirit, knows what Haman is like. But the king in our life, portrayed by our mind and soul, doesn’t recognize Haman is his enemy.
With the guidance of Mordecai, Queen Esther decided to reveal Haman's true nature to the king. She approached the king even against the possibility of death, and that has the king's curiosity up and at the same time she’s gotten Haman to where he has dropped his caution and openly confessed his plan to hang Mordecai on a gallows.
In the course of events, the history for the Jewish nation was changed because a pagan king, hundreds of miles from the center of God's activities in Jerusalem, couldn’t sleep.
The king had to be wondering why had Esther risked death to see him. Why wouldn’t she tell him what she wanted? Was she involved with Haman? He knew something was going on and couldn’t sleep. This is where we take up the story again from Scripture.
Esther 6:1-3. “On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king. 2: And it was found written, that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's chamberlains, the keepers of the door, who sought to lay hand on the king. 3: And the king said, What honour and dignity hath been done to Mordecai for this? Then said the king's servants that ministered unto him, There is nothing done for him.”
Here is an empire that was saved because a king couldn’t sleep! We can see now the reason for Esther’s delay before telling the king her request. It was God working behind the scenes through Esther. God was going to remove Haman and put Mordecai in the position of power where Haman was previously.
The night between the two banquets that Queen Esther gave, the king couldn’t sleep and he asked for some of the chronicles to be read to him. The story of how Mordecai had saved the king’s life was read and he asked what honor Mordecai had been given for saving his life five years previously. The scribe reported that he hadn’t been rewarded in any way and the king discovered that he owed his very life to Mordecai.
It’s a sobering fact to know that you owe your life to someone else.
Do I need to draw the parallel in our Christian life to this? Think back to those terrible dark hours of the cross when our Lord was in battle with the powers of darkness that were arrayed against him. There’s nothing like it anywhere else in the records of mankind, how one man, abandoned and alone, struggled with the invisible forces of evil, and conquered them. He fought that battle and died there for you and me, not for himself.
The whole thing was a tragic, senseless mistake unless we realize that He was the Good Shepherd giving his life for the sheep. "He who knew no sin was made sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in him," (2 Corinthians 5:21 ).
Verses 4-9. “And the king said, Who is in the court? Now Haman was come into the outward court of the king's house, to speak unto the king to hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him. 5: And the king's servants said unto him, Behold, Haman standeth in the court. And the king said, Let him come in. 6: So Haman came in. And the king said unto him, What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour? Now Haman thought in his heart, To whom would the king delight to do honour more than to myself? 7: And Haman answered the king, For the man whom the king delighteth to honour, 8: Let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which is set upon his head: 9: And let this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king's most noble princes, that they may array the man withal whom the king delighteth to honour, and bring him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaim before him, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honour."
The next morning Haman came into the outer court of the palace to ask that Mordecai be hanged. The king asked who was in the court and Haman "just happened" to be there. Obviously the tables were being turned. When the king asked him “what should be done for the man the king delights to honor?” Haman thought that the king was speaking about him and said that the man should wear a kingly robe and ride one the king’s horses with a royal crest on its head. Also, one of the most noble princes should take the honored man through the city on this horse, pointing out to everyone that this man was honored by the king.
Verses 10-14: “Then the king said to Haman, Make haste, and take the apparel and the horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the king's gate: let nothing fail of all that thou has spoken. 11: Then took Haman the apparel and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and brought him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaimed before him, Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour.” 12: And Mordecai came again to the king's gate. But Haman hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered. 13: And Haman told Zeresh his wife and all his friends every thing that had befallen him. Then said his wise men and Zeresh his wife unto him, If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before him. 14: And while they were yet talking with him, came the king's chamberlains, and hasted to bring Haman unto the banquet that Esther had prepared.”
Haman's ideas apparently appealed to the king; but he commanded Haman to carry them out for Mordecai the Jew. What a turn of events; what irony for Haman! Mordecai the Jew, the one he hated so much, had to be honored by Haman the Agagite. Haman had to carry out the king's order even though he was very angry and embarrassed.
Afterward he rushed home, covered his head in grief and told Zeresh his wife and friends about the reversal of his fortunes.
Earlier in the story Mordecai had publicly grieved over his people (Esther 4:1); now Haman privately grieved over his own humiliation. When Haman left his wife in the morning he had been elated. Now the bottom had fallen out. To make matters worse, his advisers and his wife all saw nothing but trouble for him in the future. They informed him that because Mordecai was a Jew, Haman was doomed.
Here were some pagan advisers and the pagan wife of an evil man and they were unknowingly stating the central message of this book: neither Haman nor any other human can possibly stand against God's Chosen People, the Jewish nation.
Now, with his world crashing down around his head, Haman had to go to Esther's second banquet. I’m sure he didn’t have much of an appetite. It was something that he once looked forward to but now he dreaded going. He probably wondered what the king would have to say to him at the banquet.
Even though God's people often disobey Him, even though we’re often not spiritually or even physically where God wants us to be, deliverance will come. Throughout history God has always worked so that He would be vindicated and His people delivered.
This is where we leave the story in chapter 6. We’ll pick it up again in chapter 7.
CHAPTER 7Chapter 7 opens with a supper in a private banqueting room where Queen Esther, Ahasuerus the king, and Haman the prime minister are gathered, and it closes with a man nailed to a tree until he is dead.
The king doesn’t know what is going on in his kingdom. It is a picture of our human soul with its power of will and choice, but also of it’s blindness and ignorance to the true nature of the things Satan does in our life.
The queen has been informed by her cousin Mordecai of exactly what is happening. She is trying to avert disaster. This is a picture of the human spirit of the believer which is indwelt and taught by the Holy Spirit to recognize the true nature of evil and it also pictures how God moves in our lives to prevent disaster.
First we have Haman, a descendent of Agag, the Amalekite, the sworn enemy of God. His plot is to destroy God’s people from the kingdom and to exalt himself. It’s a picture of our ego with its central purpose to promote ourselves and do away with God’s control in our lives.
Centuries after this fateful supper, another supper was held in a upstairs room in a house in Jerusalem.
There were eleven disciples who didn’t realize what was going on. Their hearts were troubled and they had many questions.
Jesus their Lord was there, aware of everything and moving to save both the Jews and the Gentiles from the worst of all circumstances, their personal sins.
And there was Judas the traitor, intent on fulfilling his own desires, unconcerned for the terrible results as long as he reached the fulfillment of his own will.
That supper also ended with an evil man hanged on a tree. It wasn't Jesus, it was Judas. Matthew 27:5. “And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.” Judas went out and hanged himself just as Haman, for all practical purposes, is going to hang himself.
Shortly after that last supper however, Jesus, the Son of God, was hanged on a cross. In Scripture, there is only one reason to be hanged, it’s to put an evil man to death. That is what the cross means to the believer. And that’s what the cross of Jesus was, the place where evil mankind met death!
Paul says, in 2 Corinthians, "He who knew no sin was made sin for us," ( 2 Corinthians 5:21). That day on the cross, Jesus became Haman for us. Jesus was made evil (sin) for us. The only remedy God has for sin is to nail it to a cross. Put it to death! Scripture says that took place on the cross of our Lord Jesus; He became sin, and God put Him to death.
The action of Chapter 7 is a picture of the only way a Christian can find real victory over the evil that arises within us.
Esther 7:1-6a. “So the king and Haman came to banquet with Esther the queen. 2: And the king said again unto Esther on the second day at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition, queen Esther? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? and it shall be performed, even to the half of the kingdom. 3: Then Esther the queen answered and said, If I have found favour in thy sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request: 4: For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held my tongue, although the enemy could not countervail the king's damage. 5: Then the king Ahasuerus answered and said unto Esther the queen, Who is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so? 6: And Esther said, The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman."
Haman evidently didn’t know Esther was a Jew nor the connection between her and Mordecai.
During the banquet the king asked what Esther requested and again promised he would grant it. This time Esther made her request, it was to spare the lives of her and her people. By this, the king now knew her nationality. She explained that all her people had been sold to death. If they had only been sold into slavery she wouldn’t have bothered the king in this manner.
Esther's statement shows the power of the king and the state she had been reduced to. She couldn’t know if the king would grant her request, or fly into a rage as he had with Vashti.
When the king asked who was doing such a thing to Esther and her people, Esther told him Haman was that enemy.
Esther 7:6b-10. “Then Haman was afraid before the king and the queen. 7: And the king arising from the banquet of wine in his wrath went into the palace garden: and Haman stood up to make request for his life to Esther the queen; for he saw that there was evil determined against him by the king.” 8: Then the king returned out of the palace garden into the place of the banquet of wine; and Haman was fallen upon the bed whereon Esther was. Then said the king, Will he force the queen also before me in the house? As the word went out of the king's mouth, they covered Haman's face. 9: And Harbonah, one of the chamberlains, said before the king, Behold also, the gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman had made for Mordecai, who had spoken good for the king, standeth in the house of Haman. Then the king said, Hang him thereon. 10: So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king's wrath pacified.”
When the king heard the details of what Haman had done, he was livid. He left the palace to go outside to the palace garden, possibly to think these events over and decide what to do. This left Esther and Haman together in the banquet hall.
In a desperate plea for his life, Haman fell on Esther on the couch where she was reclining, and just at that moment the king returned and accused Haman of assaulting the queen. A guard covered Haman's face immediately because Haman was now condemned to death.
Harbona, one of the king's seven eunuchs, told the king that on the previous night Haman had built a gallows to hang Mordecai. The king ordered Haman to be hung on that same gallows and he was taken out and hanged.
Haman's evil wasn’t ended until the king said “Hang him on a tree!” When you agree with God that evil things no longer have a right to live in your life, that’s when you find deliverance from their power. Romans 6:11. “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
While we’re here in the body we’re never safe from the attempts of the flesh to influence us. Jesus hung all our sins on the tree, be sure you don’t try to retrieve any of them!
The enemy of the Jews in the palace was gone but the Jews still had a major problem. The order that Haman had signed in the king's name to eradicate all the Jews was still in effect.
God had worked out the solution for the Jews to be delivered too, but now the Jews would have to fight to retain what was theirs. God’s people still had to take part actively in their own deliverance.
God would work out a means of deliverance for the guilty sinner. That deliverance was bought and paid for by the blood of His dear Son, Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:13: “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 5:19b: “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.”
If the sinner, and this includes everyone, wants deliverance from the fires of hell for eternity, we have to repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. Action for deliverance consists of confessing we are sinners and accepting God’s gift of salvation.
In chapter 8, the deliverance is begun.