Esther: Steps in Spirit Warfare
God Reaches to the Rebellious - Esther 1:15-22
Rebellion Severs Relationship
All the women at Queen Vashti's banquet witnessed her rebellion and would follow her example of contempt toward their own husbands. At least that's what their husbands feared. Worse yet, word of her rebellion would spread throughout the kingdom, endangering Persia's homes, marriages and even the realm's foundation of authority.
King Ahasuerus could curb the spread of Vashti's rebellion only one way: he had to remove her from her throne, take her crown and find a new queen. He 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 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 possible sentiment for her or her own pleading, Ahasuerus could not excuse Vashti. He turned his back on her completely. She had no way to redeem herself, nor did Lucifer. Vashti was sent to the harem of his concubines, never to be summoned by him again (Esther 2:14). Lucifer and his horde were condemned to hell. 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 must be no misunderstanding about who was in charge at home!!
God's Law of Love
Just as with the laws of the Medes and Persians, God will not nor can He compromise His holiness because of His love for fallen humanity. "The soul that sins shall die" is one of the first commandments or laws verified in Genesis. He did not let Adam and Eve eat of the Tree of Life after they rebelled. Their sin brought immediate spiritual death evidenced by their hiding from God rather than wanting His fellowship, corruption of their souls as seen in Cain's murdering of Abel, and eventual physical death chronicled farther in Genesis. God drove them from the Garden, but clothed them in skins of animals whose blood was shed for their covering...He would redeem them with blood...His own.
God went beyond what the laws of the Medes and Persians said. He invoked the law of Intercession that did not nullify His other laws, but surpassed them. In order to demonstrate and activate the law of Intercession, God suffered the consequences of human rebellion through His Son, Jesus Christ, as a substitution for a condemned race. The depth and intensity of His suffering defy human comprehension.
The Perfect Saviour
A human had to be born without the rebellion-contaminated nature of all others born on the planet. That Man was Jesus. To not acquire the hereditary nature of Sin, He was supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of a devout Jewish virgin.
Then He had to encounter the same joys, sorrows, tests, obstacles, temptations, frustrations,and humiliations common to human existence on this earth, while living out EVERY law of God perfectly, not violating one of them to the slightest degree. Jesus did this according to the law of Perfect Love for His Father through absolute submission and obedience to Him.
As the sinless Second Adam, Jesus became 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 Torah Lamb of God, the One without blemish or spot, who was found worthy to atone for or come between a righteous God and the condemned human race, Jew and Gentile alike. From the cross He uttered His intercessory prayer, "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they're doing."
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, the Tabernacle and the covenants God made with the Hebrews pointed to and foretold this Perfect Lamb of God in the deeper meanings God put there.
However, God turned His back on the resolutely rebellious pagan Gentile nations of Old Testament history such as those He destroyed for the Jews when they entered the Promised Land. Unless Gentiles turned from their occult practices to embrace Jewish belief in the One True God, they had no hope of redemption. Condemnation was their only future.
Restoration From Rebellion to Righteousness
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 spread the Gospel to the world. Mistakenly, some have interpreted this to mean that God permanently replaced the Jews with the Gentiles in His plan of salvation and inheritance of 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, host of "It's Supernatural," references the following Scripture concerning these Last Days and God's embracing of Israel:
- "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 Ahasuerus, who never let Vashti see him again, God reveals His face to the Jewish people through Jesus. The atonement He 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)
The Law Of Intercession
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 God who went beyond His laws with His law of Intercession. He made it possible for an intercessor to stand between a rejected God and a rejecting sinner or world to intervene through prayer. In turn, the prayed-for will receive God's great mercy. It becomes possible for that sinner to:
- absolutely stop his or her rebellion,
- surrender to God, and
- embrace Messiah Jesus as his Lord,
- receive forgiveness,
- know God intimately and
- do His will.
The law of Intercession or the Watchman applies equally to Jew AND Gentile.
This is the start of the story. There is much more to being a disciple of Jesus, which is what we shall examine in subsequent articles about the life of Esther.
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