Opening Prayer Thoughts
Praise God that he is our God, the Lord of Hosts, and the God of Jacob, and that he rules over all, and yet he is with us personally. Praise God that he is our refuge, strength, and fortress, and when he speaks, the earth melts, and yet he cares for us intimately. Psalm 46, Psalm 91, Psalm 23.
Confess the sin of having too low a view of God’s being and power. Confess the sin of our disbelieving God’s love, and provision for us. Ask God to give you a desire to know him as he truly is, and to understand the reality of his love for you in Christ.
Please ask the Holy Spirit's help as you come to his Word.
Please read Esther chapter 7:1-10
Notes prepared by Rev. Johnny McCollum, Milford RPCI.
Esther 6:14 - 7:6. It All Comes Down to This!
We've had plots and plans, strategies and schemes. We've sat on the edge of our seats, watching to see if the Jews can escape certain destruction. Survival rests on a knife-edge: it all comes down to this! Like all the best stories, our’s has a hero. Esther is much more than a pretty face; she's also smart and courageous. She has shown skill in reeling Ahasuerus in and shrewdness in playing her cards close to her chest. Her plan seems to be working, and the King has taken the bait. So far, so good, yet none of that matters if Esther falls at the final hurdle. Now that she's reeled Ahasuerus in, it's time to put her cards on the table. What a nail-biting prospect! This might just be the very last thing she ever does. What's going to happen when this savvy Queen reveals her secret to the savage King? Esther is perceptive enough to realize that everything depends on one thing and one thing only. Has she or hasn't she found favour in the King's sight? (v3) It's that simple. If the answer is yes, the Jews can be saved. If the answer is no, Esther's funeral will be the first of many. Ahasuerus' reaction shows that Esther had indeed found favour in his sight. Of course, we've known that ever since she won the beauty contest in chapter 2. She was beautiful, she was smart, she was courageous. In other words, she was perfectly equipped by God to be the saviour his people needed "for such a time as this" (4:14). Esther is a saviour worth celebrating. Yet, we mustn't forget that her heroic actions could only earn a temporary deliverance. The infinitely greater problems of sin and divine judgement remained the gravest threat of all. Yet that should make us celebrate her even more because she points us to Jesus, the ultimate Saviour. He is upright, wise, and committed to our deliverance. He is perfectly equipped to be the saviour we need.
Esther 7:7. A Taste of What's to Come.
"At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:10-11) Let's be honest: some parts of Scripture can seem rather far-fetched. The very notion of every knee bowing before Jesus Christ is surely one of them. Our world is hostile to Christ. TV shows use him as the butt of their jokes. Lobbyists condemn his word as an oppressive relic of the past. Political leaders wield the levers of power in the fight to cast off his authority. I live in a country that has put key ethical issues to a public vote, not once, but twice in recent years. The result was conclusive on both occasions: my nation refuses to submit to the clear commands of Jesus Christ. It has been sickening to watch preening politicians joining cheering crowds as they have celebrated such wicked defiance. Imagine seriously suggesting that these lobbyists and politicians who rebel against Christ will one day bow the knee before him. It beggars belief! Yet, there it is, in black and white. Today we see a verse that helps us believe. Haman despised the one true God. He was an unimaginably wicked man who set his face against the Almighty and set his fury against the Almighty's people. He was a powerful man, perhaps more powerful than anyone alive today. Imagine being in Susa back in chapter 3. Imagine predicting that one day Haman would bow before one of the Jews and desperately plead for his life. No-one would believe you! And yet, here he is. This is a taste of what's to come. Presidents and prime ministers, journalists and lobbyists; all will bow the knee before the Lord Jesus Christ. If you haven't yet bowed, you need to do so before it's too late. If you have bowed before Christ, you need to rejoice that you're on the winning side.
Esther 7:8-10. Rough Justice.
Building bombs is not an advisable endeavour. Just in case you need convincing, consider the Wisconsin man who recently plotted a terrorist attack. He had everything an aspiring bomb maker could possibly need: chemicals, timers, and instructions on how to prepare deadly explosives. Sadly, for him, but thankfully for the general public, he never completed his murderous project; a premature explosion left him buried under what was left of his homemade lab. The bomb that he had so carefully assembled literally blew up in his face. Today's passage is an explosive one, but not in the way Haman intended. This wicked man had spent a long time putting his holocaust together. The King was on board; the date was set – all he had to do was light the fuse and watch the carnage unfold. Except, what this master strategist didn't anticipate was that the Queen had a bombshell of her own. Just a few hours earlier, Haman had been putting the finishing touches on his plot. In a furious overreaction, he had a 75-foot gallows built on which to display his defeated enemy's corpse. Little did he know that his vindictiveness would blow up in his own face. As Esther revealed her true identity, God worked in Ahasuerus' heart. The most powerful man on the planet was led to feel pity for the Jews… and frenzied hatred for the architect of their despair. There was to be no escape from justice. The only question that remained: how was Haman to be dispatched? You've got to love the irony. At the very moment, it was needed most, there was a gallows ready for use. Psalm 7:16 sums it up perfectly: "His mischief returns on his own head, and on his own skull, the violence descends." What's the lesson in all this? It's simple. God will thwart his enemies. It doesn't matter how clever, well resourced, influential, or determined they are. He can use their very weapons to seal their doom. Esther's God always wins.
Sing with joy in your heart to God.
Psalm 68B. Link to the words. Link to it being sung.
It is a privilege to lay into our hearts and minds the light and truth of God's Word.
Ephesians 2:4-5 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved –”
Truth for the Mind and Heart.
Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 5 – Are there more Gods than one?
Answer – There is only one God, the living and true God.
This is taken from https://matt2819.com/wsc where you will find proof texts.
Thank God for whatever is on your heart.
Take care in Christ,
Rev. Dr. Andrew Quigley
Minister, Ottawa RPC