ESTHER 4, 5, AND 6
Going To The King
By Johnny Tatum
The purpose of studying Esther 4-6 is to understand that Holy Spirit is quenched when He is speaking love to us and that love is not returned to Him.
PART 1: OFFERING UP TO HALF
Question:Why Do We Want To Study Holy Spirit Versus The Flesh?
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. (John 6:63)
Life in Holy Spirit [to our spirit] is the whole basis to the biblical believer's life; and, the only obstacle to living in God's Holy Spirit is our flesh. [Satan is no obstacle to living in the Spirit.] In that battle — flesh versus Holy Spirit — the very best thing we can do is to know what is going on (what has happened). That is exposing the flesh, which the flesh hates.
I have been crucified to Messiah; and yet I live, but the life I am living, I am living by faith in the Son of God. (Galatians 2:20)
ESTHER, AN ALLEGORY
The book of Esther is an allegory, meaning it is a true story that contains extended symbolism (a deeper meaning underlying the literal meaning). Let us review how the allegorical symbols fit together, first, by identifying the main characters in the story and the spiritual pictures they represent, as presented in the following table:
— The core of our being
— Our new nature
— Third Person of the Godhead
Second, let us see how the allegorical symbols fit together by briefing the story and reviewing the underlying pictures and applications.
Story:The king does not have a queen.
Picture:An unbeliever has a soul but does not have a spirit.
Application:For unbelievers, there is always something missing, but they do not know what it is — it is a spirit.
Story:The king looks for a queen; and in God's providence, Mordecai brings Esther in. In the text, the writer clearly explains that Mordecai is not Esther's biological father; however, he is a relative who is raising Esther as a foster-father to her.
Picture [For Biblical Believers]:Holy Spirit is not our biological father, but He is the Father of our new nature — of our spirit. It is Holy Spirit who regenerated us and who gave us a new spirit, so He is our spiritual Father.
Story:The king and his new queen are united.
Picture:Our soul (mind – will – emotions) is tied to our new spirit.
Story:Immediately, there is trouble with Haman.
Picture:The flesh causes trouble.
Story:Haman and Mordecai are trying to influence the king and they are vying for control of the king's will.
Application:There is a relationship between Holy Spirit, our spirit, our will, and our flesh.
Story:Haman is exalted within the kingdom — everybody bows down to him except for Mordecai. When Mordecai does not bow down to Haman, he is enraged.
Picture:When Holy Spirit does not bow down to our flesh, our flesh gets enraged.
Story:Haman wants to get rid of Mordecai, so he devises a plan to do so.
Picture:Though it is difficult to realize, our flesh would love to see Holy Spirit eliminated.
Story:Haman cannot be so crass as to barge into the king's presence and say Let us kill Mordecai! That would be too brazen.
Picture:Of course, our flesh does not say Let us kill Holy Spirit. The flesh wants to look religious, so he would never say that he wants to get rid of Holy Spirit.
Story:Haman was subtle; he does not strike just at the target; he also strikes at the target periphery. When Haman goes to the king, he does not bring up Mordecai per se — he brings up the Jews [and Mordecai is a Jew]. He says King Ahasuerus, you know these people who have a different law than everybody else, and they do not follow the king's Laws. Obviously, they do not fit in.
Picture:Our flesh tells us Holy Spirit is working under a different Law. What Law is that? The Law of Liberty (Law of Holy Spirit]. Our flesh does not like that, but he does not say Let us kill Holy Spirit; instead, he tells us Let us not pursue this.
Application:So often biblical believers have apathy about spiritual matters; many do not get past John 3:16—
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16)
Though that is a great verse, Paul says That is milk. Unfortunately, most biblical believers live right there and the flesh has won. The flesh does not make biblical believers into dreadfully immoral people. The flesh makes biblical believers into passive people, who are redeemed but who do not have any supernatural power in their lives until they are resurrected to be with Messiah Jesus. In their case, the flesh has won.
Story:Mordecai finds out what happened.
Picture:Holy Spirit knows exactly what the flesh is doing in our lives. What does the flesh do? The flesh goes to our will and convinces him that there are good things we can do.
Story:Haman goes to the king and says It is in your SELF-interest to get rid of this race (the Jews). It would be a good thing to do; it would even benefit you. In fact, I will pay you — put money into your treasury.
Picture:We know to reject a thought like I will get rich from this because that is too crass. However, we subtly say This will help me if I do this; it will be in my SELF-interest; it is a good thing to do.
GOD CONDEMENED SIN
Just like King Ahasuerus, many times we do something that seems to be in our self-interest, but really, it is a trick of the flesh that is going to backfire on us. That is what grieves Holy Spirit; it is not sin that makes Holy Spirit grieve.
People who say that sin is what makes Holy Spirit grieve do not understand what sinners we are. If sin made Holy Spirit grieve, then Holy Spirit would spend His whole time grieving. Rather, sin is not a problem for Holy Spirit. In Romans 8, Paul says—
For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh. (Romans 8:3)
At the Cross, God condemned sin in the flesh.
Question:What Does It Mean That God Condemned Sin In The Flesh?
God crucified sin.
Question:What Does It Mean That Somebody Is Condemned?
[Just as we talk about a condemned killer—] The sentence has been passed. Once a person is condemned, there do not need to be any future directives.
At the Cross, Holy Spirit was given the order to kill our sin judicially and to kill sin in our lives. That is why Holy Spirit kills sin in our lives — whether we confess them or not — He is not waiting for new orders, because that order was given to Him at the Cross. So when sin flares up in our lives — Holy Spirit does not grieve and we do not have to ask Him to kill our sin (that decision was made almost 2,000 years before we were born) — Holy Spirit kills the sin in our lives.
Note:There are at least two aspects of sin: (1) The root of sin, and (2) The manifestations of sin. It is those manifestations that Holy Spirit chops off as soon as they come up — and yes, they keep coming up in all of our lives.
It may seem strange— the Godhead sees us as sinless, as a spirit that is perfect. However, Holy Spirit still keeps killing off the manifestations of sin in our lives. How can He see us as perfect and yet still kill off sin in our lives? He sees those sins as something we (the new person) are not doing. He sympathizes with us, knowing that this old person, called sin, is doing these things. He can be killing off sin in our life, and not making the connection that the sinner is the real us, because from God's perspective, the person who did all of those sins died 2,000 years ago.
HOLY SPIRIT IS GRIEVED
Again, it is not sin that grieves Holy Spirit. It is things that we believe are good but are really bad for us I do something that will help me. Blatant sin is not involved in this.
Obviously, we do not do things against our own self-interest; it is certainly normal to do things in our self-interest. In Ephesians, Paul says:
For no one ever hated his own flesh (body). (Ephesians 5:29)
It is taken for granted that you will provide for your own body. However, there are times when we are doing something that seems to be in our own self-interest, but if we would listen to Holy Spirit, we would understand His warning to us that it is not for our own good.
If we believe we are in that situation, the worst thing we can do is to try to undo it, because that is just our flesh trying to cover up his tracks. The best thing we can do is just give it up by acknowledging to God that it was in our self-interest, and say Lord God, You take care of it. That is dying-to-self.
As we will see in this study—
When you follow Holy Spirit, sin is being killed off and your flesh is under control; it is through an act of your will.
Story:The king goes along what Haman tells him, because it sounds good. In reality, what the king has done is something incredibly stupid, and that is to kill all of the Jews. And Mordecai is grieved.
Picture:Holy Spirit is grieved, not when we do blatant sin, but when we do things that we do not know are sin, but we think they are good things. Holy Spirit knows it is going to backfire on us. However, even when Holy Spirit grieves, that is good news for us, because there is an exception here. Normally, if we do not actively ask Holy Spirit to rule us, then by default, the flesh would rule. That is why it is always Put off the old and Put on the new; it is never Do not take off the new because, by default, we would let our flesh rule.
An Exception:Holy Spirit is grieved but He starts moving anyway, specifically, to reveal information to us.
1 When Mordecai learned all that had been done, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city and wailed loudly and bitterly.
2 He went as far as the king's gate for no one was to enter the king's gate clothed in sackcloth.
Mordecai is grieved. He does not go into the city; he stops at the gate.
Picture:[We want to understand this so we can understand how we quench Holy Spirit.] Holy Spirit does not barge in on us, because:
We Are Free — We Are Under No Obligations
[We want to reinforce that truth in our minds one more time, because we will never understand how we quench Holy Spirit until we understand that we are free and under no obligations.] If we believe we are under any kind of obligation to obey, to follow Holy Spirit, then the whole concept of quenching Holy Spirit is not going to make sense.
9 Hathach came back and related Mordecai's words to Esther.
Mordecai sends a messenger whose name is Hathach — truth — to Esther.
Picture: Holy Spirit sends a message to our spirit You are listening to your flesh; your flesh is leading you to do something that sure seems good to your flesh, but it is going to lead you into trouble.
So Esther goes to the king.
Picture:Our spirit goes to our will — to our mind.
1 Now it came about on the third day that Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king's palace in front of the king's rooms, and the king was sitting on his royal throne in the throne room, opposite the entrance to the palace.
2 It happened when the king saw Esther, the queen standing in the court, she obtained favor in his sight;
Literally, that means she was beautiful in his sight.
Picture:Esther represents biblical believers in their new nature; when the king sees Esther, he finds her to be beautiful in his sight. It is very important that we have a high view of our self. Does that sound unbiblical to you? It may, depending on what our self means to you; here we are referring to our new self.
Application:We are to have two diametrically, opposed views of our self:
Practically speaking, God wants us to follow His Spirit and not our own flesh; however, He wants us to do so because we want to! God wants us to look at our new nature that has been created in His righteousness—
the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth (Ephesians 4:24)
My new nature that God sees is very appealing to me; I want to follow that life [the one that is free and without obligation].
Again, if we believe that life in our new nature is one of obligation, then it will never work; it has to be because that is what we want.
and the king extended to Esther the golden scepter which was in his hand. So Esther came near and touched the top of the scepter.
Picture:We are welcomed in the throne room; it is the symbol of having the power and authority in your own life. We are not under our will where he is sovereign in our lives. We are king now.
Look at what King Ahasuerus says…
3 Then the king said to her, "What is troubling you, Queen Esther? And what is your request? Even to half of the kingdom it will be given to you."
The king tells Esther Whatever you ask, it will be given to you, up to half. Is that not strange?
Up until this point, the whole story has been going downhill. And then, here the king says Up to half the kingdom. From this point on, it is all going to go uphill (and that is why I think of the book of Esther like a V for Victory), and everything turns around.
Look at what the king [who represents our will] offered — up to half.
Picture:We do not have to surrender all.
Note:The son "All To Jesus I Surrender, All To Him I Freely Give" would be a great son, except that there is no human being who has ever done that.
Application:On the matter of flesh versus Holy Spirit in our lives, we are not obligated to surrender all for Holy Spirit to work in our lives; it is enough to turn our will in His direction.
Next: Esther 4-6, Part 2: RETURNING HIS LOVE
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We express our appreciation to Mitchell and Dawn Kolodin for their excellent work in transcribing and editing this entire Esther study.
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