Temple Baptist Church - 1-9-2011
A. The three books of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther record God's dealings with the Jews after their captivity in Babylon. But while Ezra and Nehemiah deal with the remnant of the people which returned to Jerusalem, the book of Esther is concerned with those who stayed on in the land of their captivity.
B. The book of Esther is a drama, not of FICTION but of FACT! It is set on the stage of real history, and involves real people. Esther is the main figure in this drama, and her elevation to the throne is the focal point on which the story hinges.
C. Through the disobedience of a Queen, Vashti, Esther is elevated to a place of prominence and power from which she, through the unseen but powerful hand of God, delivers His people. I think of Joseph in Egypt when I think of Esther.
D. The Book of Esther is one of two books named after a woman: Esther and Ruth.
1. Ruth was a Gentile who married a Jewish Prince and Esther was a Jew who married a Gentile King.
2. Both of these books set forth a descriptive portrayal of the Providence of God at work: preparing years before for events that eventually take place.
3. The foresight and foreknowledge of God are shown in both the dilemmas and outcomes of both books.
E. The Book of Esther is one of two books that make no mention of the Lord: Esther and Song of Solomon.
1. In both of these books, we can see the “unseen hand of God” working in the background for both the protection and benefit of His people. This book reveals that “unseen hand of God” delivering His chosen people from a diabolical enemy!
2. I have found that when God seems so far away He does His most wonderful work. He sees; He cares; and He works in the lives of His people.
F. He does not always miraculously work on our behalf but allows His power to work through us. He does not always instantly “fix” our problems but allows us to “step by step” walk through our valleys and come out the other side victoriously. I often say that God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts!
G. In the days just prior to the First Advent, we find that the greatest preacher ever born of woman “did no miracle.” (John 10:41) In light of the Second Advent, once again God’s people do no miracles! We find just God’s chosen, beloved people standing in the gap for the Lord, their nation, and their people.
H. Verses 13-14 are probably the most recognized verses in the entire book.
“Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews…For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
I. These evil devices recorded in the book of Esther that were hatched in the mad mind of Haman did not take God by surprise. God knew what to do. All He needed was a willing soul wherein He could work. You and I are not here today by chance or accident! We are here, in this time, because of the Providence of Almighty God!
1. The World In Which We Live Is Prophetically Dark: God said that it would be this way!
a. It Is Sinfully Dark! Never, since the days of Noah and Lord, has such sinfulness reigned. Once again, “every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually!” There is seemingly nothing sacred anymore. Sin that was once hidden in the darkness of the night is now openly practiced in the light of day. There is very little shame anymore. Sin has always been rampant but never has there been a day when it has been more acceptable!
2 Timothy 3:1-8 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2) For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, (3) Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, (4) Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; (5) Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (6) For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, (7) Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (8) Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
b. It Is Spiritually Dark! “Christendom” is a shallow façade that is enveloped in the sinfulness and philosophy of this “present evil world.” The title of “Christian” is now being placed upon the heads of people who know nothing about Christ likeness! Hypocrisy is the rule of the day.
Titus 1:15-16 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. (16) They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
c. It Is Scripturally Dark! Very few preachers or churches stand for the Word of God anymore. So preachers and churches have compromised in every area of separation (doctrinal, ecclesiastical, and personal). They have gone the way of the world in order to bring the world into the church. We are to remain separate from the world and take the gospel to them! We do compel them to come in but are not to adopt their dress, philosophy, music, or methodology! Many have gone out from among us because they were not of us while others have become “Demas” in their love for this present world.
2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
Amos 8:11-12 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: (12) And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.
2. “For Such A Time As This!” A time for the true Christian to stand! As Esther stood and “if I perish, I perish!”
Ephesians 6:10-18 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. (11) Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (12) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (13) Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (14) Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; (15) And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; (16) Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. (17) And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (18) Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
a. Stand In Christian Testimony!
b. Stand In Adversity!
c. Stand In Unity!
d. Stand In Purity!
e. Stand In Temptation!
f. Stand Before Your Enemies!
g. Stand Before Your Family!
h. Stand Before Your Church!
i. Stand Before The World!
j. Stand Before The Lord!
k. “And having done all, to stand!”
Conclusion: We have been born “for such a time as this” and the Lord will help us to stand tall and firm in these last days as an undying testimony for the Lord before a lost and hopeless generation!