Only the Queen Can Save God's People
Esther has now come to a position where she alone is going to be able to save her entire race, the Jewish people. Haman, the Jew-hater, has gotten the king to give him his signet ring and he has passed the law saying that all the Jews were to be slain. Actually, by the slaying of the Jews, money was to come into the treasury of the Persian government.
Mordecai reminds Esther that she, alone, stands between her people, the Jews, and eminent death. Esther was afraid to go in and talk with the king, because she had not been with him for thirty days, and had no invitation.
She sorta hung around out in the courtyard, and got the king’s eye, and he extended the scepter to her which meant she would be okay. She invited the king and Haman to come to the banquet and when she got to the banquet, the king asked her what she wanted.
Because Haman has become one of his advisors, and he asks him his opinion of all this, Haman thought the king was talking about honoring him, so he rolled out the red carpet for himself.
He told the king that someone should parade him around the city on a horse, someone should go in front of him, and announce his coming and he should be treated with royalty.
Little did he know that he, himself, would have to lead Mordecai around the city, announcing that Mordecai was the king’s great helper. It was a most embarrassing moment to Haman.
All of this had transpired in the twenty-four hours between the first banquet and the passage of Scripture we have open today in the 7TH chapter.
Verses 1 - 2
“So the king and Haman came to banquet with Esther the queen, And the king said again unto Esther on the second day at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition, queen Esther? And it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? And it shall be performed, even to the half of the kingdom.”
The invitation to the second banquet is going to unfold a story. This banquet to which Haman and the king were to come was the dinner that saved the Jews. This final banquet which we read about in verses 1 and 2 probably took place in a room overlooking the garden. The garden lay in between the harem complex, where Esther lived, and the king’s private apartments.
The hour of the banquet is not given to us in the text; probably it must have been in the afternoon because so much happened that same day. Later on, Haman is hanged that day and Mordecai is personally received by the king, all of which would have taken quite some time.
I believe Esther came into the second banquet without hesitation or any fear, for she had known that God had been working through the hours of the night setting up the way for her to make her statement.
When she arrives in the banquet place, the king once again addresses her, and it is interesting that he addresses her this time as Queen Esther. He was giving emphasis by doing that, to the fact that she was in a “royal “position. In other words, he was not treating her as some subject, or just another ordinary person; he treated her with respect and dignity.
And when he asked her, as he had done at the first banquet, “What is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee”, and “What is thy request? and it shall be done even to the half of the kingdom,” once again he renews his complete promise to Esther that whatever she wants, even if it means giving away half of his means, giving half of his kingdom, he will do it.
I’m sure he didn’t have a clue as to what Esther’s request would be. He said whatever you want, I will do and that was probably of the Lord. We feel The Lord had put those words in his mouth to assure Esther that she need not fear to present her petition to the king.
Well, that’s the dinner that saved the Jews, verses 1 and 2, but verses 3 and 4 tell us the disclosure that shocked the king.
Verses 3 - 4
“Then Esther the queen answered and said, If I have found favour in thy sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request: For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held my tongue, although the enemy could not countervail the king’s damage.”
THE KING LEARNS THE TRUTH ABOUT HIS QUEEN
The first shock that the king is about to receive is something that he had not known up until this time, and that is, that his Queen Esther, herself was a Jewess. He had no way of knowing this up until this moment, when she admitted that it was her people that were in danger. She identified herself for the very first time with her people, the Jews. Mordecai had told her earlier not to tell anyone, but now she has made herself known to the king.
And the king is now aware of the fact, because of her nationality that the plot that Haman has talked him into being a party to, is going to jeopardize the life of the woman that he loves, who is his Queen. When Mordecai had told Esther earlier don’t tell them that you are a Jewess, he saved it for this very important moment, and now the king is aware of her situation.
She identifies herself with her people, and the king realizes that the plot, that he has actually allowed, is going to jeopardize the life of someone he cares about very much.
He also realizes that the Jews are the ones that are sentenced to die. With boldness, Esther identifies herself with her people and her God because they both go together. And she mentions in her request to the king that if it was anything other than the life of her people, she would not have asked.
In fact, she uses some words that were actually written in the decree to destroy the Jews. She said, “We are sold,” and “my people to be destroyed, to be slain” and “to perish.”
How could the king have forgotten that these were the very words he had caused the scribes to write and send out to all the 127 provinces that this was to be done to all the Jews?
Esther wanted the king to realize the seriousness of the problem.
The king realizes that he has been tricked into a plot, in support of it and that very plot could mean the death of Esther, and all of her Jewish nation.
EXPOSING THE ENEMY
So we come after the dinner that saved the Jews and the disclosure that shocked the king to the discovery that sentenced the enemy. Notice verses 5 - 6.
“Then the king Ahasuerus answered and said unto Esther the queen, Who is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so? And Esther said, The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman. Then Haman was afraid before the king and the queen.”
Oh, Haman has no answer for that, and the king is filled with anger and notice before she ever called Haman’s name, she used three strong words to describe him.
Look at your Bibles. He is the adversary. Isn’t that interesting? That’s the term that’s used for Satan in the Bible. The Bible tells us “that your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8.
And Esther also said he is the enemy or one who hates the people of God, and the wicked one. He is the very enemy to goodness. All of these phrases are used to describe Satan, and we know that Haman was a tool in Satan’s hands.
Satan has hated Israel from the very moment that it was known that Israel would be the means by which the Redeemer would come into the world. It is no accident that the Jews are the target of assassination attempts and annihilation attempts. It has been true from the beginning, because the Jewish people was the nation that brought Jesus into the world. And Satan has hated the Jews and he has always found a Haman or a Hussein or a Hitler or someone who has come along to do his work to stir up the hatred toward the Jews.
And now the enemy of the Jews has been identified. A man without a twinge of remorse who could devote a nation for destruction is now filled with distress at the thought that he has been found out.
A very interesting thing happened in verse 7. The king is so startled at the sudden turn of events that he leaves the banquet table and goes out into the garden. He wants to think this matter over.
And Haman stood up to make a request for his life, to Esther the Queen, because he was in trouble and he knew it. This was a stressful moment for Haman and the king.
“And the king arising from the banquet of wine in his wrath went into the palace garden: and Haman stood up to make request for his life to Esther the queen; for he saw that there was evil determined against him by the king.”
The king needed to think things through. He simply could not believe that Haman would do such a thing. But the Queen had begged and pleaded for her life because of Haman.
He believed his Queen. The King needed time to cool off a little so that he could think clearly about Queen Esther’s plight and about Haman, his trusted adviser and Prime Minister.
While the king was walking in the garden, Haman stood up to make a request for his life to Esther, the Queen.
This man, who was so bold in asking that others be put to death, now becomes like a slave. He realizes that the king is not going to let this thing pass and Haman knows that the Queen is his only hope.
The custom of the day was that when you banqueted, you didn’t sit up in high back chairs like we do today, but in the Persian culture they reclined as they ate and drank wine.
“Then the king returned out of the palace garden into the place of the banquet of wine; and Haman was fallen upon the bed whereon Esther was. Then said the king, Will he force the queen also before me in the house? As the word went out of the king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face.”
Haman was there at Esther’s feet, begging for his life and the king walked in. The last plea had been uttered. The covering of Haman’s face was the sign that he was going to die.
Verses 9 - 10
“And Har-bo-nah, one of the chamberlains, said before the king, Behold also, the gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman had made for Mordecai, who had spoken good for the king, standeth in the house of Haman. Then the king said, Hang him thereon. So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king’s wrath pacified.”
Haman died the same night on the same gallows that he had hoped to hang Mordecai. This is a revelation of a great truth that runs all the way through the Word of God. Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
As long as there is a Haman or a Saddam Hussein or a Hitler, there will be trouble for the Jews. Satan will see to that.
Psalm 7: 14 - 15
“Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood. He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made.”
That, exactly, is what happened to Haman. He dug his own grave and fell into it.
You remember the story of Jacob in the Old Testament who deceived his father. Jacob’s name means “the trickster.” He was always tricking somebody. Jacob put on Esau’s clothes and put goat skins on his hands and blind, old Isaac thought it was Esau at the time Esau was supposed to receive the birthright. So Jacob stole the birthright from his brother, but God did not let him get by with it.
One day when he was old and the father of twelve sons, they brought to him the coat of many colors, dipped in the blood of a goat and they said, “Is this your son’s coat?” Jacob broke down and wept. He, too, was deceived.
Often, what we set out to do to others, in the providence of God, He reaps it back on ourselves. You remember Daniel and how he was saved by God, from the lions, and then his accusers, who put him in there, were cast into the lions’ den. I don’t read those passages unless I think of the awesomeness of that event. Daniel spent the night in the lions’den and they never touched him.
But there was a whole horde of people who were responsible for putting Daniel there and if you go back and read the story, you’ll discover that when they threw them in to the lions, they chewed them up and tore them apart before their bodies hit the floor.
That which Haman had attempted to do to God’s people, was turned back on him.
Here is a proverb that sounds familiar:
“Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.” (Proverbs 26:27)
The delay of justice is not the denial of justice. His justice is not lost. God is watching over His own. The Scripture tells us, “No weapon formed against you shall prosper.”
“God will always bless those who bless the Jews and curse those who curse the Jews.” That is His promise and even when you cannot see it on the surface, you can rest assured that what you cannot see on the surface is going on under the surface and justice will be done. God will perform His Word. He says, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”
The deliverance of one may be the doom of another. Seldom does human life present itself, before our eyes, like the picture that we have in this text.
Haman, who is the favorite Prime Minister of State, the all powerful person, the wealthy, the noble is hanged on the gallows.
You will recall that Mordecai, the despised Jew whose life was seriously in jeopardy and likely to end most promptly was promoted to the highest favor and had the greatest influence with the king.
Remember back in the third chapter, the first verse gives us a little biographical information about Haman.
“After these things did King Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him.”
Remember that? Remember King Agag who was the king over the Amalekites? Well, this night when Haman was hanged, and Mordecai was promoted, Haman was an Amalekite and we are told that because of their hostility against the Israelites they were singled out for God’s judgment. Was it given to them immediately? No, but it was just and sure for the Lord said to Moses, “I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek under heaven.”
The threat was not carried out immediately, but as we have learned, God’s justice delayed is not God’s justice denied.
But it’s interesting to note that Haman, the Agagite is the last Amalekite mentioned in the Old Testament and when he is hung on his own gallows you never hear of the Amalekites again. God’s people, the Jewish people are promoted and preserved and the Amalekites who tried to destroy them are once and for all put out of sight and off the record.
Also, the dedication of one can often make the difference for many. Esther was just one, somebody, but if you subtract Esther from the Old Testament, there is no Jewish nation, no Bible; there is no future for mankind because Esther was the link that preserved the Jewish nation. She was just one somebody who consecrated her life to God, and did what God has asked her to do. She made her commitment in an emotional fury. She said, “If I perish, I perish.”
And in that moment, that “one somebody” became the biggest “one somebody” in the history of Israel. In this moment you might think what can just one somebody do? But you never know how God can use that one somebody. God used Esther to turn the events of the world around. He may choose to use you, in a beautiful, significant way as well.