Submission and Obedience
Spirit Warfare

October 10, 2004

Esther: Steps in Spirit Warfare, Part 2

Esther 1:15-22

All the women at Queen Vashti's banquet were eye witnesses of her rebellion. They would follow her example of contempt toward their own husbands or at least that's what their husbands feared. Worse yet, word of her rebellion would spread throughout the kingdom of Persia, endangering all its homes and marriages.

King Ahasuerus could curb the spread of Vashti's rebellion only one way: he had to remove her from her throne, remove the crown from her head and find a new queen. Not only did he take those actions, but he also sent an official edict throughout his kingdom stating that Vashti no longer could come into his presence and that he was giving her royal position to another more worthy than she.

As verified by events in the life of the prophet, Daniel (Daniel 6), the laws of the Medes and later the Persians were so binding that even the king himself would not and could not violate them. Therefore, in spite of his sentiment or her pleading, Ahasuerus could not excuse Vashti and turned his back on her completely. It's likely he truly loved her (he waited four years to replace her), but Ahasuerus put the welfare of the kingdom above his personal feelings. Vashti was sent to the harem of his concubines, never to be summoned by him again (Esther 2:14). What an irrevocable, never-ending humiliation!

Furthermore, Ahasuerus sent notices to each country and province stating that every man must be master of his house and speak in his own people's language. There could be no misunderstanding about who was in charge at home!!

Just as with the laws of the Medes and Persians, God will not nor can He compromise His laws because of His love for fallen humanity. "The soul that sins shall die" is one of the first commandments or laws verified in Genesis. Adam and Eve's sin brought immediate spiritual death, corruption of their souls and eventual physical death.

But here is where God's laws differ from those of the Medes and Persians. God invoked the law of Perfect Love that did not nullify His other laws, but went beyond them. In order to demonstrate and activate the law of Perfect Love, God is the One who suffered the consequences of human rebellion. The depth and intensity of His suffering defies human imagination.

A human being had to be born without the rebellion-contaminated nature of all others born on the planet. That Man is Jesus. To not acquire the hereditary nature of sin, He had to be supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of a devout Jewish virgin.

Then He had to encounter the same tests, obstacles, temptations, frustrations, humiliation and everything else common to human existence on this earth, while living out EVERY law of God perfectly without violating a single one of them. Jesus did this according to the law of Perfect Love for His Father with absolute submission and obedience to Him.

As the perfect Second Adam, God made Jesus to become SIN for Jew and Gentile when He died on the Cross. SIN is more than the disease symptoms we call "sins." SIN is the corrupt nature of rebellion against God from which spring the sins we commit. Jesus was the Old Testament Lamb of God, the One without blemish or spot, who was found worthy to atone for the whole human race, Jew and Gentile alike.

From the first promise of redemption God gave to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:15 until the death and resurrection of Jesus from the dead, Jewish believers looked FORWARD to Jesus' coming. The Ten Commandments, Tabernacle and the covenants God made with the Hebrews pointed to and foretold this Perfect Lamb of God.

However, God turned His back on the resolutely pagan Gentile nations of Old Testament history like those He destroyed for the Jews when they entered the Promised Land. Unless Gentiles became Jews in belief and practice, they had no hope of redemption. Condemnation was their only future.

After Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to Heaven, His disciples preached the Good News of His atonement to both Jews and Gentiles. God singled out Paul to evangelize the pagan Gentiles of his day. In turn, they became the primary evangelizers of the world. Mistakenly, some have interpreted this to mean that God permanently replaced the Jews with the Gentiles in His plan of salvation and for all the promises and prophecies yet to be fulfilled.

Because the Jews rejected Jesus' earthly ministry and His claim to be their Messiah, God broke them off as a branch from an olive tree and turned His face from them (Deuteronomy 31:17) for a time. He grafted the Gentiles like a branch from a wild olive tree into the cultivated olive root. But now God is grafting the severed Jewish branch back into the tree.

Sid Roth references the following Scripture concerning these Last Days:

  • "I will not hide My face from them any longer, for I will have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel," declares the LORD God. (Ezekiel 39:29)
  • "...God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be!...God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew." (Romans 11:1-2)

Unlike Vashti, who never saw Ahasuerus' face again, God is revealing His face to the Jewish people once more. The atonement Jesus made for sin applies alike and equally to Jew and Gentile. God has restored the nation of Israel a final time and is summoning Jews to faith in their Messiah. Paul said it this way:

  • "But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off (Gentiles) have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances (Jews), so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity." (Ephesians 2:13-16)

So while this topic may have digressed a bit, God's Word shows that neither the Medes and Persians nor God could violate any of their respective laws. It is only God who went beyond His Laws with His law of Perfect Love. He made it possible for any sinner who will absolutely stop his or her rebellion, surrender to God, and embrace Messiah Jesus as his Lord, to receive forgiveness, know God intimately and do His will. The law of Perfect Love applies to Jew AND Gentile.

However, that is the start of the story. There is much more to being a believer, and that is what we shall examine in subsequent articles about the life of Esther.