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Watered by The Word
Esther Series: Don't Sit At Standing Time!
August 15, 2018 O'Neil K. Russell
Watered by The Word

Esther Series: Don't Sit At Standing Time!

August 15, 2018

O'Neil K. Russell

Esther 4:1-17

Esther 4:1-17

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1:0:00To ask the four, as we go to the next chapter in study of a book of Esther, Esther, chapter four. I don't know about you, but I've thoroughly enjoyed going through the book of Esther so far. I must be honest. They are

Speaker 1:0:26certain passages of scripture or certain books in the Bible that are a lot more interesting than others. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, but I think we would all agree as Christians that there are just certain books that catch our attention much more than others and ask. They're certainly one of those books that has the ability of getting your attention from the very beginning and then keeping your attention all throughout the entire book. And so we're going to continue in our study tonight and we're going to pray that the Lord blessed is our heart through what is written in scripture. So esther chapter four, we're going to begin reading at Verse Number One.

Speaker 1:1:04And the Bible says, when Mordecai had learned all that had been done, Mordecai tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes and went into the midst of the city and he cried out with a loud and bitter cry. He went up to the entrance of the king's gate for no one was allowed to enter the king's gate, closed and sackcloth, and in every province, wherever the king's command and his decreased reached, there was great mourning among the Jews with fasting and weeping and lamenting and many of them lay sick in sackcloth and ashes. When Esther's young women on Unix came and told her the queen was deeply distressed. She sent garments, the clothes Mordecai so that he might take off in sackcloth, but he would not accept them. Then aster called for high thigh and one of one of the kings units who had been appointed to attend to her and ordered him to go to Mordecai to learn what this was and why it was high.

Speaker 1:2:09Stock went out to Mordecai in the open square of the city in front of the king's gate. And Mordecai told him all that had happened to him and the exact sum of money that Haman had promised to pay into the king's treasuries for the destruction of the Jews. Verse a motorcar. I also gave him a copy of the written decree issued in Susa for their destruction that he made, show it to esther and explained it to her, uncommanded her to go to the king, to bag his favor and plead with him on behalf of her people and how that went and told as to what Mordecai had said. Then aster spoke to Haifa and commanded him to go to Mordecai and see all the king's servants and the people of the king's provinces know that if any man or woman goes to the king inside the inner court without being called, there is but one door to be put to death except the one to whom the king holds out the golden sector so that he may live.

Speaker 1:3:16But as for me, I have not been called to come into the king these 30 days and they told Mordecai what? Aster hot. Then Mordecai told them to reply to esther. Do not think to yourself that in the king's palace you will escape anymore than than all the other Jews for if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish and who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this. Then I start told them to reply to Mordecai, go gather all the Jews to be found in Susa and hold fast on my behalf and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast. As you do, then I will go to the king though it is against the law and if I perish, I perish.

Speaker 1:4:22Mordecai then went away and did everything as esther had ordered him. The title of the message tonight is don't sit at standing time. Let's pray. Father, we thank you for your word. We thank you for the encouragement that it is to us and I pray that you would use me in a special way tonight to minister your word to your people. We thank you for all that we have gained from studying this wonderful book so far and we pray, Lord, that as we continue to progress through this book, that Your Holy Spirit would continue to open our eyes to the truth of scripture and that we may be better Christians. As a result, we ask all of these things and no other name, but the name of your precious son, Jesus Christ. Amen. The year was 1536. The place was billboard castle in Brussels, Belgium. The person was William Tyndale.

Speaker 1:5:20This Christian scholar and theologian was being led to his death for participating in a most vile and despicable act. This act was translating the Bible from the original languages into the English language so that the person common on the street could understand the word of God for themselves. A circle of stakes and closed. The place of execution in the center was a large pillar of wood in the form of a cross. The prisoner was brought in and a final appeal was made for him to recruit. Recap, tyndale stood without moving. He kept his eyes gazing towards the common people. His feet were bound to the steak, the iron chain fastened around his neck. The noose was placed out his throat. Finally, the executioner came up behind the steak and with all his force snapped down upon the news, Tyndale was dead within seconds. That day he paid the ultimate price for standing for what he knew to be right in the face of a multitude of opposition.

Speaker 1:6:42In this passage of scripture which we, which we have just read, we see someone else who's also going to be forced to make a decision and that person is Queen Esther. Queen Esther is going to have to decide whether or not she is going to stand for what is right in the face of opposition. Stand against the rulers of the Persian empire, stand against her own husband and fight for the protection of her own Jewish people. Or She's going to have to stop to decide if she's going to turn a blind eye and act as if she doesn't see and watch all of the Jews throughout the entire empire be massacred. She's going to have to make a choice. And today we must understand. Or tonight we must understand, rather that God's people must be prepared to make serious sacrifices in order to stand confidently for what is right.

Speaker 1:7:40Esther is going to come to make a bold Stein. I want us to see the events that lead up to this time that she's going to make. First of all, let's see number one, that there is intense sadness. There is intense sadness in the Persian empire at this time, and this is amongst more Chi and the Jews. They are out of point of being completely destroyed. Look at Verse Number One, Verse Chapter Four. When Mordecai learned all that had been done, now let's stop there. What is it that has been done well to remind ourselves of what has been done, we have to go back to chapter three and let's look at verse number 13. It tells us as we look at it very briefly, letters were sent by warriors who are messengers to all the king's provinces with instruction to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all Jews, young and old women and children in one day, the 13th day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Ada, and to plunder their goods.

Speaker 1:8:46A decree has been set out by King Ahasuerus because of the influence of a man by the name of Haman who hates Mordecai, and as a result of that, Haman is able to coerce the king into making sure that all the Jews throughout the entire Persian empire are an idol annihilated, and that's not only men. We see they're also women are included in that, and children are included in that. Every single Jew. And so when we come to chapter four, Mordecai has now already received this news and to completely destroy, he is completely sided to buy this. It says in verse one, Mordecai tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes. What a sack law sackcloth is a material that was made from goat skins on here. It was a very dark, very rough, very heavy and course material, and what would happen is the average Jew, we'll take sackcloth, take a garment of cycle off and put it on themselves and wear it and nothing, no nothing beneath it, and it would symbolize the fact that they are, that they are in mourning, that they are saddened that they are in a serious state of being destitute and that's what Mordecai is doing here.

Speaker 1:9:57Not only did they put on sackcloth, not only did Mordecai put on sackcloth, but he also put ashes on himself as well. The same way you would go to your fireplace or to your stove at home and you would have ashes normally washes from something that has been burned. The Jews would put ashes on themselves also in addition to sack cloth to show that they were mourning. It says, and he went out into the middle of the city and he cried out with a loud and bitter cry. Mordecai is hurt and it's not only he who is hurt, it's also the rest of the Jews who are in a state of being completely side. In. Verse two, it says he went up to the entrance of the king's gate. Now when we see this, I want us to remember the king's gate is not a small gate like a gate, and we have at the side there, that'd be allowed cars to come through.

Speaker 1:10:45The king's gate would have been a large palatial place. The king's gate would have been the entrance to the king's palace. However, at the king's gate there would've been persons and, and in a sense of buildings that were set up beside it because this is where most of the, the courts were and the places of commerce were as far as every particular city was concerned. And so you would have, yes, a large, huge gate, but besides that would be, um, officials quarters and places where people would be who would be involved in business. And I should go beyond the gate. Then after several hundred feet you would have the king's palace where the king and the Queen and all of their servants to lift. So Mordecai goes up to the entrance in the open square where these official quarters are. So he went up to the entrance of the king's gate for Nolan was allowed, get this to enter into the king's gate, closed in sackcloth.

Speaker 1:11:41Everybody in the Persian empire knew that for the Jews cyclonic men sadness and and, and being poor and being in a state of being really, really sides come in no other way to say it on the person's would not stand for that. When you came into the king's gate, they didn't stand for allow you to bring your sadness, your dreary, this upon them, the king's palace and the king's gate was a place for merriness. You were to eat, drink, be married, be happy, just have a wonderful time. That is what they allowed at the king's gate. So when Mordecai comes up to the king's gate, he has stopped because he's not allowed to go in, in sackcloth, verse three. And in every province, notice it says every province. Now, if he were to just turn back briefly to chapter one, verse one of the Book of Esther, we would be reminded of how large the Persian empire is.

Speaker 1:12:32It tells us now in the days of a hazard awareness that has housewares who ran from India to Ethiopia. That's a period of that's a a space of several hundred miles over 127 provinces. This is a large empire and so this decree has actually been sent straight across that empire. This is not just in the city of Susa where Mordecai and this situation is taking place. This is across from India to Ethiopia, hundreds of miles across the Persian empire. It says in every province, everywhere, the king's command and decree reached, there was great mourning among the Jews. Every Jew in every province in the Persian empire was morning and it says with fasting and weeping and lamenting and many of them lay in sackcloth and ashes. Why? Why? We're in the day in the state of sackcloth and ashes and mourning and lamenting simply because one individual influence the king and the king made a very bad and in a sense of very stupid decree and put all of the lives of every Jew in that empire in danger.

Speaker 1:13:43And this says something to us today. Very importantly, we must ensure that when we pray, we also keep our leaders, national leaders, kings and governors in prayer because they can make one decision and as a result of that one decision, we all in this building here today may be forced. We may be put in danger or maybe forced to pay a certain price or whatever the case may be. That's why the Bible tells us and the Bible encourages us to pray for our leaders. First Timothy Chapter two, verse one and two says, first of all, then I urge this is Paul speaking to Timothy, that supplications, prayers, intersessions and thanksgivings be made for all people, and then it goes on. It says for kings and all who are in high positions that we may lead a quiet, sorry, a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.

Speaker 1:14:44In other words, Paul is saying, pray for the leaders of your nation. We should pray for the fuck of Ireland. I should pray for the prime minister of the Bahamas. We need to pray for leaders across the nations whether we like them or not, whether we appreciate what they stand for or not simply because they are in positions of making very important decisions that can affect millions of people in their country and other countries across the world, so we must understand that it is important to pray for our leaders because as we can see in this situation, King Ahasuerus is doing something that is very bad and the Jews now are living in terror. Not only do we see intense sadness, but secondly, we see an immediate seeking and immediate seeking. Secondly, queen asked her is going to get wind of what's going on with Mordecai and she's going to eat me immediately.

Speaker 1:15:39Sorry, send somebody out to see Mordecai and find out what in the world is going on. Verse Four, when Esther's young women, these are the young women who worked with her in her palace and who took care of her when Esther's young women on her units, also servants as well. Came and told her, asked her the queen. She was deeply distressed, so she found out, first of all, that Mordecai was outside in front of the king's gate where she was living probably a different part of the Polish, but nevertheless where she was living ice queen and Mordecai was in sackcloth and ashes. She being a Jew knew exactly what that stood for. Most people even who are not used knew what that stood for and the Persian empire, so immediately she becomes stress. Being a Jew and understanding what being in sackcloth and ashes stood for.

Speaker 1:16:31She sent garments to clothe Mordecai so that he might take off his sackcloth. In other words, she said, somebody gave him these clothes, normal clothes put these on. That was her message, but what the Mordecai do, but he would not accept them. When the said, no way, I'm not having it. This is a serious situation. More than Chi is trying to expect express to her who is the queen that this is no laughing matter. Don't send me these garments. Don't send me these clothes because this is serious business. I am dealing with that as to call for some of the Bible. Say High touch, you pronounce it one way or the other, praise the Lord. Then Astra called Haystack, one of the kings units. So this person originally had worked for the king, but now he had been working for the queen. It's as who I'd been appointed to attend to her and ordered him to go to Mordecai to learn what this was and why it was.

Speaker 1:17:35So here's what the Bible is saying here, Queen Esther has no idea what's happening. And so she gets this individual how? And she says, you know what? Mordecai these people on her side of the pilots, probably news that's there's some connection between Mordecai and Queen Esther. So we need to tell her what's going on. So she finds out Mordecai. Mordecai says, no, I don't want the government. I'm going to stay in my sackcloth and ashes. So now she sends out an official individual pathic one of the kings units, and he goes and he speaks to Mordecai. It says an ordered him to go down to Mordecai to learn what this was and why it was high. He went out to Mordecai in the open square of the city in front of the king's gate, and Mordecai told him all that happened to him and the exact sum of money that Haman had promised to pay and the king's treasuries for destruction of the Jews.

Speaker 1:18:31Let's be reminded that this wickedness was not only a wickedness that came about as a result of Hamans disrespect and disregard for Mordecai, but also included in this deal, wasn't money that was a sum of money that was mentioned in chapter three and the son was 10,000 pieces of pilots and this was offered to go into the king's treasuries so that the king would relinquishes authority and allow this decree that Haman wanted to take place for all the Jews to be massacred. So not only is there jealousy here and hatred, there's also the love of money here on the king side, King Ahasuerus. So he sees this opportunity to make some money. As a matter of fact, this is a lot of money. We can get some evidence from history that that was probably. It probably took 14,000 pieces of silver talents to be able to take care of all of the Persian empire.

Speaker 1:19:36In other words, each year, about $14,000, Thailand's was taken into the king's treasuries that was mentioned in chapter three in order to take care of the needs of the Persian empire. What Haman was offering was 10,000 pieces of Thailand Thailand's $10,000. Now, if you do the math on that, that's about 70 percent. In other words, Haman was almost doubling the amount of income the Persian empire was getting from all of its provinces. Every year. They only got about 14,000 talents. Now, that may be a lot so I can take only they got a hold 14,000 talents and Haman was offering for this one deal, an extra 10,000 talents, and King Ahasuerus said, yes, you know why it was because of the money and you and I today can get into the same trap. We can end up doing things that are not right, going to places and doing and making deals that are not right simply because we want to have some money.

Speaker 1:20:40I remember when I was back home, maybe two years ago and I was in the little convenience store not far from where we lived and that was this gentleman talking to this lady and she was making a statement to him and she said to him and my brother had just passed away. He just died and so he did what any normal person would do. He said, Oh, well, my condolences. I'm so sorry to hear that. And then she said after this, immediately after, yeah, he just died. He died on certain certain date, whatever the case may be, and I'm going to take that data and I'm going to go to the gambling house and I'm going to. Wouldn't be saying the Bahamas playback number. She's going to gamble with the date that he died. Now I'm hearing this. This lady has just lost a brother.

Speaker 1:21:25She should be mourning like Mordecai was. She should be saddened, but her mind was focused on seeing if she could take those numbers on the day he died. Oh, to the gambling house and try to see if she could win a few dollars. And I thought to myself, how sad is that? But people all around the world, a lot of people would do anything just to make a few dollars. And that's what's happening here. The Bible tells us that the love of money is the root of all sorts of evil. Now, notice it doesn't say money is the root of evil. There are some people I know who would say, the Bible says, money is the root of all evil. No, no, no. The Bible says the love of money. Nothing wrong with having money. Nothing wrong with having a few dollars in your pocket. What you should not love money. That's what the Bible teaches.

Speaker 1:22:11And so that's what's happening here. The opposite is happening. King Ahasuerus, he sees the opportunity and he jumps for it. Verse Eight, Mordecai also gave him him as the unit high five, a copy of the written decree issued in Susa for their destruction that he might show it to esther and explained it to her and command you to go to the king to bag his favor and plead with him on behalf of her people. So Mordecai now produces a copy of this decree. This is very interesting. We know that there were no xerox machines, no copy machines. So what probably happened was Mordecai, so at somewhere in the city square town square or wherever the case may be, word got out, he went and saw it for himself, that decree posted by some unit and I'm with the Kings signature, his signet ring on it, and he went and he actually wrote it down and copied it himself.

Speaker 1:23:08That's how he would have gotten a copy. That would have been the only way for him to get a copy and he presents it to this unit who is going to Queen Esther and I couldn't help but think that this time it just dawned on me. All of a sudden while I was studying this queen esther has no idea what's going on. Now she is Queen Esther. So if she is Queen Esther, her relationship to King Ahasuerus is that, that's her husband. Why doesn't shoot your whole pile of this? What's the situation? She is completely in the dark and all of the perfect versus from four to verse eight proves that she has no idea of what's going on. King Ahasuerus did a bad job at communicating with his so called White, an extremely bad job. Now I understand in these times and in the Persian days, the days of the Persian empire, she would not have had much authority at at all. The king would have been king and king over everybody. He did what he wanted to do, and that's just normal for history at this time. However, there should have been some kind of principle or consideration in place for king has housewares to at least say or somebody else in the Persian empire, some official in his Polish should've said, oh, by the way, maybe we should at least let the king the queen or what's going on.

Speaker 1:24:34This decree went from that same policy that Queen Esther lived in, went all across the Persian empire. Hundreds of miles went back to plot to Susa Mordecai's outside at the gate, crying over this decree and Queen Esther doesn't have an idea what's going on.

Speaker 1:24:55Talk about bad communication and this shows us people like myself, those of us who are in authority, husbands, we need to ensure that we are properly communicating to people who are under our authority, particularly our wives. We need to ensure that when we make decisions and we do things, we actually include them in what is going on. I understand the fact that in every situation everything does not need to be sat on. No, but there are some things that our wives should be brought on, brought in on most things in our lives and we need to ensure that we are not. I can't say miscommunicating, I would say not communicating when in a daily way as we live with them. There should be proper communication. That is obviously what is happening here and I think it's quite sad that Queen Esther seems to be the last person in the entire empire that knows about this edict.

Speaker 1:25:50The guy outside Mordecai is one of the brown weeping. He knows why doesn't the queen know what we must move on. Not only do we see intense sadness, not only do we see an immediate seeking, but thirdly, we see an inner struggle. Verse nine and half back went and told esther what Mordecai had said. Verse 10 that as to spoke to Haifa and commanded him to go to Molokai, high back is going back and forth, back and forth. They had didn't have any email or any cell phone, so I guess they had to do with what they had to do with and commanded them to go to market and say all the king's servants. This is what she tells Dr. Sick. Now, watch this. All the king's servants, in other words, everybody who works for the king and all the people of the king's provinces.

Speaker 1:26:39In other words, everybody who lives in the Persian empire at this time across all 127 provinces, know that if any man or woman pose to the king inside the inner court, this is where the king would be living and where he would conduct this business and where people would come to see him. If any man or woman goes to the king inside the intercourse without being called by the king to come into his presence in the inner court, there is, but one law. What is that law? There was one law to be put to death, except there is an exception, the one to whom the king hold out, the golden staph after the chapter would have been the staff, the royal stopped that the king would have had beside them would've held except to whom he holds out the golden scepter so that he mailed it so nobody man, woman, boy or girl is to go into the king's presence.

Speaker 1:27:38And if you make that decision to go on your own without the king calling you and inviting you in, you better hope that the king holds out to you the royal scepter and you get the opportunity to touch it because if not, it means immediate death without exception, and this is what she tells Mordecai and I personally believe she tells him what the kindness help trying to help more to Chi to understand. By the way, you know this information as well. Mr Mordecai. That's why she says all the king's servants and the people in the king's provinces, including you. You know how this Persian empire operates more than five. This is what she tells motorcar, so there's a battle going on and to be quite honest, when it comes to us and where we stand and how we stand there, bottles that raged within within us as well.

Speaker 1:28:28Should I do this? Should I say that? If I say that this is going to happen or these folks are gonna, think I'm crazy? Should I let people know that I'm a Christian? Should I speak up for God in my home or amongst my families or in the place that I work? Should I? Should I do the right thing and we struggled? There is an inner struggle. Why? Because we know the consequences and this is exactly what's happening here with Queen Esther. She is struggling as any human being would. It's normal to struggle, but we need to understand that as God's people, we need to come out on the end and making the right decision. How do we know what is right? How do we know where we should stand because some people can stand but they can stand on the principle that is not right. In order for us to know how and when to stand, we need to be in the word of God.

Speaker 1:29:20We need to be studying the word of God because this book is truth. We need to search it. Find out what the truth is, and after we have done that and after we have a knowledge of what God says to us through his word, then we're able to come out on this side and says and say this. This is where I stand. This is what I see in scripture, and this is how I as a Christian, I'm going to conduct myself. This is the condition that I am going to take, this the decision that I am going to make. So she's struggling. Verse Twelve, and they told them what to Chi, what astro had said, that Mordecai told them to reply to esther. Do not think to yourself that in the king's palace you will escape more than any than sorry, than all the other Jews.

Speaker 1:30:12What Mordecai says is this, your in that policy, you're in your safe house, but let me give you a quick word of advice. Don't think that because you are in that policy that you will escape this massacre. Don't think that you will escape this genocide. Don't think you're going to escape this mass killing of the Jews and you know Mordecai was probably right because I could see this happening. I could see, I can see this almost unfolding as a movie king of hardware sends out, sends out this edict and they sent out the date the twelfth of the month of eight hours, which seems to have been the last month of the year, so that's probably the twelfth of December. And they say, you know what? We're going to kill all the Jews and the day before the twelfth of December comes, I can see once you over in the corner standing up and saying, okay, tomorrow we're going to be murdered.

Speaker 1:31:04So I hear there's an edict, a decree out for our murder brought king ahasuerus. Please make sure that you murder that first Jew that is just a few doors down from you. Oh yeah, the one Queen Esther. Did you know that she was a Jew? I could see that happening and guess what? Because the king would not want to have any egg on his face. He would not want to look foolish. He would probably take out his own wife. Remember now, this is not any godly individual and the person who has a fear of God. This is a wicked king who got rid of his own wife and said, I'm going to take this one because she looked so beautiful. He didn't have much moral standing so I could see that happening, which is why Mordecai probably says this here. As a warning. Understand aster. You're jus yourself.

Speaker 1:31:53Don't think that you are going to escape necessarily and you know what? Sometimes the same thing happens with us. We think that if we don't say anything, it's going to be easy. If we don't say anything, nobody will care. Nobody will notice and we will just go on living life as normal and we don't have to worry about any confrontation or looking foolish or looking like the odd one sometimes by not saying anything and not making a stand. What we're actually doing is bringing judgment upon ourselves. Sometimes the way God works in some instances, not all, he. He gives you the opportunity to make a stand in order to save yourself, and that seems to be what is executed in the book of now. That doesn't happen in every situation. As we know throughout history, every body who makes us stand for right doesn't necessarily escape.

Speaker 1:32:48Some people pay with the price of their lives and like William Tyndale at the beginning of this message, so some people, they make a stand and guess what? Things work out well and God saves the day and everything just goes by fine and some people they take a stand and guess what they pay for that stand with their life. How do we know what's going to happen with us when we make a stand? How do we know we're not going to be pushed the size as an outcast? How do we know that our family is not going to despise us? How do we know they're not gonna? Think of us out of Weirdo as aware to other people on our job or not. I'm going to look at us funny. How do we know that? The answer is we don't know. Nobody knows besides God what we must stand for, what is right as Christians. That is what God requires of us and this is what Mordecai is trying to communicate to esther. Verse 14,

Speaker 1:33:51going on for if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place. Woo. Alright, Mordecai's getting deep. He says faster. By the way. We can keep your mouth closed, but I want you to know that God's people did use. They will be delivered through another avenue. Somebody else is going to save the date. Oh God is going to use some other means to make sure this doesn't happen. Mordecai here is pointing to the fact that the Jews, from the time Bob made that covenant with Abraham all the way even to today, they have the blessing and the hand of the Almighty God upon them. I'm not saying they're perfect people. I'm not saying they never do anything wrong. I'm not saying that Jews have always been on the right side of history. I'm not saying that country has always done the right step according to the Bible or even just the Old Testament.

Speaker 1:34:52What I am saying is God made a covenant with them from the Old Testament, and that is one of the things that carries through from the Old Testament into the new testament and is still present today. God still has that nation as his people, his chosen race. Now they have rejected Jesus Christ as their messiah. Yes, and if anybody reject Jesus Christ as their messiah in the life to come, they are not going to be in heaven but in hell because he's the only sacrifice for sins. What? While they are living on this earth, they'll go out to people and there's no other way to put it. The other day, the wonderful president of the United States made a statement, you said that United States will recognize Jerusalem rather than Tel Aviv as being the capital of the nation of Israel, and when he said that people went all over the place, it how could he do this?

Speaker 1:35:52What is going on? And of course the nations around Israel, they will. I'm sure barry nervous because they understood that, that that's a big move. That's a big step, but I want you to know according to the Bible, he's actually right. He's speaking the absolute truth. Now, I don't know where he got his advice from how long he was thinking about making that decision, but in making that decision, that decision is the right decision because that's what the Bible teaches. Jerusalem is the capital of the nation of Israel. Jerusalem is where Zion is God's Holy Hill. That is the capital, not Tel Aviv, according to the Bible. That's true, and God is going to continue to ensure the survival of the Israeli people. They are not going to be overcome until bod says, okay, I will allow you to be overcome, and we actually see that from scripture.

Speaker 1:36:42The only times the Jews have actually been overcome is when Bob has said, you know what? You have disrespected my laws. You have not obeyed me, so I'm going to allow all of these other nations to come and they're going to conquer you and they are going to take you into captivity. The reason why the Jews were overcome is because God said, you know what? You're going to be overcome by the enemy, but it's not because those people had greater blessing from God. Then the Jews. God was simply punishing people, but outside of what God wants to do with that nation. Nobody can do anything else. Nobody can make any other decision outside of what God allows to take place because they are his chosen people and that is what Mordecai is pointing to. When he makes that statement. If you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place. He's making that, making himself very clear about the blessing God has upon the Jews. He said, but you and your father's house will perish. When Mordecai's really blunt here, sometimes I stop and say, I hope of realized. He realizes he's talking to the queen.

Speaker 2:37:53Wow.

Speaker 1:37:55What'd you know? Mordecai doesn't really care.

Speaker 1:37:59He understands who God is and he understands. He understands the way God operates. As we established a few sermons earlier, what was not a perfect individual, but he knows God and he's saying, God is able aster to cause you and your father's house to be destroyed and still keep the rest of the Jews. In other words, Mordecai's saying, you know how powerful God is. Just because you're a Jew doesn't mean that, oh God will deliver the Jews and you being a Jew means God will deliver you as well. In this situation, he can make sure you and your father's house Paris and still take care of the situation as to what a Chi is saying and who knows. It goes the big thing and who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this Mordecai says here, it could just be Queen Esther,

Speaker 1:39:02but the reason you are queen now is because God knew that this situation was going to arise and you were brought into the kingdom, into the Persian empire. For this time, you could be the one that God is going to use to deliver the Jewish people. Now it's God who brings the deliverance. Yes, but praise God. He uses people to do his work. God could do everything by himself. I always say that. I mean preaching. Don't have to hear from a preacher, Parkinson and angel and he could speak and you guys will be in all. You'll probably on the floor in our but still nevertheless, choir's singing o was better having the music. Bob Doesn't need us, but he still decides and I thank God for that. God doesn't need you. He doesn't need me, but he wants to use us. And Mordecai is saying, Queen Esther.

Speaker 1:40:00The reason that King Ahasuerus got rid of Queen Vashti and he had this big parade and pageant and he saw all these other women that he didn't care about anything spiritual or anything moral. He just cared about beauty and he saw your beauty and saw who you were and the Bible even says the shape of your finger and the reason he said, you know what, that's going to be my queen and he brought you in and now several years later, the Jews are in a tough spot spot. They are probably going to be massacred and you have the opportunity to put your hand forward and provide deliverance by the power of God. The reason all of that happened, it's probably because God wants to use you in this time and I want to say the same thing to you tonight. Don't know what your situation is. I don't know what you're dealing with.

Speaker 1:40:52I don't know what your struggles are, but you may feel like you're in a situation similar to what is in you wondering, what should I do? What decision should I make? If people see me as this, they're going to do that. If my friends see me as a Christian, they're going to separate from me. Should I do this? Should I do that? And it may seem as if the pressures are caving in on you. It might just be that God wants to use you for such a time as this or that has been going on, leading up to this point. The aligning of the hand of God may simply be because God wants to use you to be a witness in your whole. He wants you to be a witness on your job. He wants you to stand for right, whatever that may be, and allow him to take care of whatever needs to be taken care of and you be the one to give the Christian testimony and whatever your situation, your setting is, he probably just wants to use you in spite of the precious, in spite of the negativity that you may feel in spite of what may be coming at you and you think, this is so unfair.

Speaker 1:42:04I don't know. It's hard being a Christian. God wants to use you and who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this then asked to told them to reply to Mordecai and this is what she says.

Speaker 2:42:28Go.

Speaker 1:42:33Sorry, I. I missed something. Yes. Now, finally we see the indomitable Stein. She's going to make her stand. Now, the indomitable Stan. She says, go gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, so you go get the Jews that are in this town, in the city, and hold a fast on my behalf. Now it says here that they held a fast. The Bible doesn't say anything about prayer, usually in the Bible, prayer and fasting goal to go together. I believe in this case, even though the Bible doesn't say that they prayed. I believed that they prayed, so I believe there was prayer and fasting. I think there was fasting and praying because spiritually you can pray without fasting, but I don't think it's beneficial to you spiritually to fast without praying. Why fast? If you're not going to pray. I believe they did both. If you're fasting without praying your, I guess just on a detox as they call it or trying to cleanse your system, I mean you can do that, but normally in scripture, praying and fasting go together. I assume that

Speaker 1:43:47Queen Esther probably knew that Mordecai understood that this included praying, even though it doesn't say that I can't prove that, but that's just what I believe. So when they go on a fast, they also prayed. Now what is fasting? Fasting is abstaining from some kind of pleasure, usually food, but it can be from any kind of pleasure to separate yourself totally unto seeking God's face and in most cases in the Bible, when people fast, what happens is there was a crisis. There is a situation that was a problem that occurs and the individual says, I have no way out. I have no hope. I have nothing that I can see that can show me any way in which I am going to be delivered from this situation. So what am I going to do is I'm going to set up side the food. I'm going to satisfy the water.

Speaker 1:44:39I am going to set aside any pleasures and I am just going to dedicate myself completely to God and that may be a situation in your life, maybe you as a crisis that occurred. Maybe your crisis is on this level here and maybe what you need to do today or maybe what you need to think about and pray about is going upon a fast. It could be, it could be here as a three day fast. I wouldn't recommend that. If that is your first fast. I don't even recommend a whole day fast. If it's your first fast, I recommend you starting off with maybe something that you like, sweets, maybe a certain meal or cutting up maybe one meal a day for a week or whatever the case may be. Some people just find from television and entire week or an entire month, no television. That's a fast whatever the case may be, but whatever your situation is, you need to pray and I would say if it's that serious, you also need to fast as well as as during these Jews that, but going on says, hold fast on my behalf and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day three, day five.

Speaker 1:45:44It's not easy to do, but go ahead if you want to before the Lord and my young women, those who worked with esther will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king though it is against the law. See Astronaut, astronomical knows the decision she's making. She knows this is the game to law. This has consequences, but I'm going to go to the king. She hide the inner struggle as we all have. Should I say that? Should I do this? I might just stand. I might be public with my Christian faith. I might. I should I. She says I will go to the king though. It's a game

Speaker 3:46:23and then she says, if I Perish, I perish. In other words, if I die, I die. If they cut off my head, cut off by hand for us today, it may be. If they see me as a Weirdo, I'm aware though if they shot me, then they shun me.

Speaker 1:46:54It may even be, and I'm not saying this is easy to deal with, but it may even be if they fire me, then they fired me, whatever the case may be, but she decided that she was going to take a Stein and not only what she going to take a star,

Speaker 3:47:10she was prepared to deal with the consequences of taking that stance.

Speaker 1:47:16Who knows what would happen. She didn't. No, not at this point. We know because we have the whole story. That's why the word of God is so wonderful. We could look at the whole story from beginning to end, but she had no idea this was a big bold step that she was going into the king and she was just hoping that the king would grab that to when she comes in and hands it out to her. As a matter of fact, I think I skipped this, but she said at the end of verse 11,

Speaker 3:47:42where is it?

Speaker 1:47:50Okay, I can't find it. Oh, no wonder why I'm on the wrong page. She says at the end of verse 11, yes, but as for me, this is what she says, but as for me, I have not been called to come into the king these 30 days. In other words, what she's saying is, it's been 30 days since the king has called me. You see, I didn't just speak to the king yesterday or the day before or the day before, so it would be easier for me to now just go into the king's presence as his wife, you know, but we had a discussion with you yesterday. I'm coming in as your wife to finish this discussion, so you better a handout that says to me, Mr King Ahasuerus, I am your wife. See if it was just one day or two days or three days in a space, then she could maybe pull that kind of stunt, but 30 days and it's been almost a month, I could tell you what kind of King King Ahasuerus was, but anyhow, that's the time for different. That's a different story for different time. Thirty days, so she shouldn't just. It's been a long time, but she says

Speaker 3:48:56here, I don't care. Willing to pay the consequences, and if I perish, I perish. And as God's people,

Speaker 1:49:07it may be easy to to say and not easy to do,

Speaker 3:49:11but that ought to be asked her if we parish and the parish,

Speaker 1:49:18if we are going to have to make a decision to do something right in this situation. She knew, she knew. What was she? She is a Jew. She knows Jewish history. I'm sure she has. She had copies of the Jewish scriptures and Mordecai had taught her. He had taken care of her. She knew what was right according to whatever form of the word of God. She hot and she knew the Jewish scriptures at least in some part, and she knew where she should have stood and those she had a struggle. We all have our struggles and we all say, I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. She came out on the other side saying,

Speaker 3:49:56this is where I stand. If I perish, I perish. That's where we all need to be as God's people. We need to stand for right. We need to ensure that we do the right thing.

Speaker 1:50:12We must know the word of God and not stand on our own ideas. The Bible says there is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end there are there other ways of death. There have been many people throughout history who've made stances even as Christians, but they didn't stand upon the word of God. They stood upon their own ideas or some kind of political ideology and they were saying, well, I'm representing God, but they were not representing God because they didn't go back to the scriptures. No, you made a mockery of Christianity, so we need to know where to stand. We stand upon the scriptures, but once you read this and you got what God has said and you know what, it's right

Speaker 3:50:51and you must stop for what is right according to truth, and I must stand with for what is right according to truth. I'm not saying it's going to be easy, but in this situation it could've been possible. That estimate of Paris, like Mordecai said, and God still would've had provision for the Jews. God is calling you to make a stand today in one way or the other. What is the style that you were making? I can still remember the day like it was yesterday. It was February twelfth, 2015 all across new stations all over the world. There was this video of these 21 Egyptian Christians being led down a beach in Libya and next to each Egyptian Christian that was an isis militant out as the left side. They took these 21 Christians. They brought them down by this beach side. They made them sit down on their knees and lay down on their knees and then the leader of the group, he was wearing camouflage.

Speaker 3:52:05He out a few words, he sat a few things, call these, these Christians are people of the cross and things like that and said they were from the Egyptian Church and made threats against Christianity worldwide and then after three minutes of talking, each isis militant took a knife and they put it to the throat of the person who was in front of them and they went line by line, stroke for stroke and they decapitated. They beheaded those ben there on that video and they completely separated each and every hat from each and every body. After that, they took the hat, they put it in the water and they allow the heads to run in the water and the entire area of that see just Ryan red with blood in their minds. They thought that they were doing a lot of great service. He's a Christian man. These are people and they recorded it live on video for the entire world. See, there are still many questions that remain concerning that event. Questions like who were. What is the identity of those individuals, those Isis militants who did that? We may never know who those 21 isis militants are, not the question

Speaker 1:53:39some people believe they actually tampered with the video and made the isis militants seem taller on the video. Then they actually were. They believed they had the technology to tamper with the videos and make them seem like huge med so that it could intimidate everybody who saw the video.

Speaker 3:53:55We may never know, but one thing we know for sure is where those 21 Egyptian Christian men stood. A lot of questions that still remain, but that question was answered on that day. They decided before the Isis militant and also before the entire world. That day we're going to stand for the Lord Jesus Christ. They decided that they were not going to sit when I was standing time and I prayed that you and I would decide to do the same. Let's pray. Father, we thank you for your word. We thank you for your truth. Not It's not easy being a Christian. Some people, it's harder than others. People deal with different issues and problems in their lives and Lord, this morning, this evening, rather sorry, we asked for your grace to be upon us. We pray also though, that you would help us to know your truth, to know your word, and we pray, God, that you would give us, we chatted out, do it on our own, but that you would give us the boldness that you would give us, the spiritual fortitude like esther, to be able to stand for what is right. We don't know if we're going to perish. We don't know if we're going to live. However that works out. Help us to trust you. Almost to lean on you.

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