spiritwarfare

Submission and Obedience

Part 15

Esther: Steps in Spirit Warfare

Prayer With Fasting Enables God's Purposes: Part 1 - Esther 5:9-6:3

As soon as King Ahasuerus officially recognized Esther in his throne room and sought her request, she invited him with Haman to an intimate dinner that same afternoon. What a God-inspired setting in which to expose Haman's plot.

By bringing Haman to eat at her table, Esther efficiently brought him to her turf where God ruled, thus removing him from his familiar 'political' setting. With the passing of several days since the issue of Haman's edict, many of the king's courtiers undoubtedly hated the Jews in direct reaction to it. If Esther presented her case in the throne room, her pleas to the king would have been outweighed by their prejudice and her case for the Jews might have been lost.

How effectively she disarmed Haman, too. Interpreting her attention to him as exclusiveness, he left the banquet elated, believing he had "arrived." Not only had he eaten with just the king and queen, but Esther had invited him to attend a second banquet the following day!!

What an opportunity God had given Haman to confess his plot to the king and queen in the seclusion of this private banquet. He still had a chance to reverse his awful plot--but failed to recognize the presence of God's mercy because his pride blinded him completely!

As Haman left the palace rejoicing in his good fortune, Esther must have had opposite thoughts. Had she failed by not confronting Haman at the table? Commentators have said she acted out of cowardly fear! But, while they dined, God let her know it wasn't yet time. Obediently, she proposed the second banquet instead.

Obedience Or Natural Reason?

Obedience is never failure. Three days of fasting and prayer had finely-tuned her awareness of spiritual things and freed God to fulfill His purposes. Romans 8:28 says, " And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."

The word purpose conveys the meaning of a settled determination of doing something or bringing it about. God who called Esther wanted to unveil the intention for which He called her. No one else could reveal what it was or effect it except Him! Through her obedience Esther would be His vessel to demonstrate and perform it. And God knew He could trust her!

During the process of being called, chosen, and found faithful, Esther proved her positioning for this assignment. God finds faithful a person who:

'All Things' Fulfilled Through Obedience

So, at the table God let Esther know she should postpone her confrontation with Haman and stage a second banquet. She obeyed. Unseen and unknown to her, God had other elements of His "all things" to accomplish by the next day. Let's look at those:

When his perversity and selfishness were at their lowest, Haman hurried from the palace gate, only to see Mordecai strategically fail to bow down to him once more! God used this faithful Jewish man to give another wake-up call to Haman, revealing He is the One to whom reverence is due!

However, the Bible account clearly indicates Haman had a hard time not wiping out Mordecai on the spot. That very moment Haman trampled the seed or call of the Spirit underfoot! Remember the Seed and the Sower and the roadway?

Never believe that God ever gave up on despots throughout human history. As evil as they may have been, God has brought witness of Himself to them through those they persecuted and executed. No martyr suffers or dies in vain! And their seeming 'neglect' by God is really His demonstrated mercy and warning toward the persecutors. Who is willing to be God's demonstration project? Mordecai was.

Fuming at the Jew, Haman ran home, where with swelling pride he bragged to his wife, Zuresh, and their friends about:

In spite of hearing his gloating, Haman's wife knew something was eating on him until the truth came out: Haman wanted Mordecai's obeisance or else!

According to Zuresh and their friends, the solution was simple: Get Mordecai out of the way. Build a gallows and hang him immediately! Then Haman could attend the next banquet carefree. Haman issued a work order for the gallows to be built ASAP.

How easily he missed seeing God's mercy extended to him through Mordecai! Haman must have known enough about the Jews and their worship of God to have been humbled by Mordecai's faithfulness to Him. Instead pride and anger blinded his eyes!

With the gallows waiting, all he had to do was get to the throne room early the next morning and conjure up a story worthy of Mordecai's immediate death. Haman had missed his second last opportunity to turn and honor God. He hardened his heart toward Him instead.

Which brings us to the second of the "all things" God did:

The same night Haman was building his gallows, God robbed Ahasuerus of sleep. After tossing and turning, the king asked a courtier to read 'the book of records, the chronicles' or archives of Persia's kingdom events to him. Guess where they began reading!

Miraculously, the courtier found the place where Mordecai had reported Bigthana and Teresh's plot to kill the king. Had Esther not honored her father and credited him when she told Ahasuerus about the plot, Mordecai's name would not have been a matter of record to be read this very night!

Yes, there it was plainly! The king had forgotten, but God remembered. He never forgets! Now He reminded Ahasuerus.

Quickly the king asked what had been done to honor Mordecai for his heroism. Nothing! Absolutely nothing?

No, not yet. But, great king, in the morning God shall use you to bring it to pass! His timing is perfect and so is His choice of instruments. Appropriately, you, a pagan, are His man!

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