ESTHER 4, 5, AND 6
Going To The King
By Johnny Tatum
PART 2: RETURNING HIS LOVE
UNDERSTANDING QUENCHING HOLY SPIRIT
Notice that King Ahasuerus is free because he is the boss and it is his decision how much to give — he says Up to half though he could have given 100 percent – 99 percent – 1 percent. Was there any obligation imposed upon the king? No.
As we start to understand what it is to quench Holy Spirit, it has to be on the premise that biblical believers are absolutely, totally free — we are kings of our lives. Holy Spirit respects that, which is why He stops at the gate. Holy Spirit does not barge in — not because He does not feel welcome — because He always wants us to understand that we decide when to turn our will toward Him.
The decree has come out to kill all the Jews; Mordecai is grieved, which Esther finds out…
4 Then Esther's maidens and her eunuchs came and told her, and the queen writhed in great anguish. And she sent garments to clothe Mordecai that he might remove his sackcloth from him, but he did not accept them.
This is a strange verse.
Picture:[Again, Mordecai is a picture of Holy Spirit—] Our spirit sends Holy Spirit clothes, which He does not take.
1 THESSALONIANS 5:15-20
This Thessalonians passage is the only one in the Bible that mentions quenching Holy Spirit—
1 THESSALONIANS 5
15 See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.
16 Rejoice always;
17 pray without ceasing;
18 in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
19 Do not quench the Spirit;
Most people say You quench Holy Spirit by not rejoicing – by not praying – by not giving thanks.
20 do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.
Paul wrote this passage following an Old Testament system of using couplets — the way many of the Psalms are written. In the original [Greek] text, this arrangement is very easy to see because of the rhythm of the passage. It will make more sense if we look at this passage presented in couplets [with concepts side-by-side], as follows:
See that no one repay another with evil for evil, but seek after that which is good for other and for all men.
Rejoice always; pray without ceasing.
Rejoice always and Pray without ceasing go together (they are not two separate things); you pray without ceasing by being full of rejoicing.
In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
Paul is saying This is what God has willed for you.
Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances.
How do we quench Holy Spirit?
We despise prophetic utterances.
Who is giving those prophetic utterances?
What are we rejecting?
Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. When we do not live in that Knowledge — when we do not accept that we are regenerated children of God — Holy Spirit is quenched.
And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:5)
What is Holy Spirit telling us?
Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit. (Romans 15:30)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love. (Galatians 5:22)
Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion. (Philippians 2:1)
He says Do not quench the Spirit; do not reject His utterances. What is He uttering to us? Love. Holy Spirit is quenched, very simply, when love is not returned to Him.
Question:What Is The Difference Between Grieving Holy Spirit and Quenching Holy Spirit?
There is a substantial difference between grieving Holy Spirit and quenching Him—
When we quench Holy Spirit, it does not affect what He does, however, when we grieve Holy Spirit, it does.
Ultimately, it works out better when we grieve Him; Grieving Holy Spirit prompts Him to action.
Quenching Holy Spirit strikes at His emotions. [That might sound strange, but it should not. Holy Spirit is a Person, and like Messiah Jesus, who was sinless and who had emotions, Holy Spirit also has emotions.] If Holy Spirit is speaking love to us and it is unrequited (not returned) to Him, then obviously, that would quench it.
RETURNING HIS LOVE
This is where we are learning how to return that love through an act of our will. As we saw in the book of Ruth (please see our Ruth Series), Messiah Jesus is wooing us. Here the king looked at Esther and said She is beautiful. That is what Holy Spirit wants from us — for us to look at that, and by our will say That is what I want to do.
That is why Mordecai did not take the garments from Esther…
4 And [Esther] sent garments to clothe Mordecai that he might remove his sackcloth from him, but he did not accept them.
Picture:Holy Spirit does not take the garments from the person of our new nature.
Application:Holy Spirit is not looking for everything to be okay with our spirit, because He knows it already is. He is looking beyond the person of our new nature to our will.
Again, there is no obligation for us to love Holy Spirit back — if there were, then Holy Spirit would not be quenched. He wants that love requited (returned) to Him, because we want to return that love. He wants us to be drawn to Him because, by our will, we want to be empowered and lead by Holy Spirit.
SINNERS LOVING GOD
In our spirit, we are absolutely perfect, we are right in line with Holy Spirit, and we are seated in the heavenlies (imperfect people cannot be in heaven), so Holy Spirit does not have to woo (court) our spirit. He wants our will, but only if that is what we want.
Individuals who struggle to obey in self-effort— so they will not be punished; so they will get rewards and crowns; so they will fulfill their obligations — do not get that relationship with Holy Spirit.
Let us consider the people who loved Messiah Jesus the most: sinners, who were much closer to Messiah Jesus than so-called righteous people—
And Levi gave a big reception for Him in his house; and there was a great crowd of tax-gatherers and other people who were reclining at the table with them. And the Pharisees and their scribes began grumbling at His disciples, saying, "Why do you eat and drink with the tax-gatherers and sinners?" And Jesus answered and said to them, "It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance." (Luke 5:29-32)
Mary Magdalene had seven demons come out of her…
And it came about soon afterwards, that He began going about from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God; and the twelve were with Him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others who were contributing their support out of their private means. (Luke 8:1-3)
Now after He had risen early on the first day of the week, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons. (Mark 16:9)
When the prostitutes were saved, they loved Messiah Jesus because they were drawn to Him — they just wanted to love Him…
When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind Him at His feet weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them…Then He turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came to your house. You did not give me any water for My feet, but she wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give Me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing My feet. You did not put oil on My head, but she has poured perfume on My feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven — for she loved much. (Luke 7:37-47)
The disciples did not follow Messiah Jesus because of obligation. In fact, He made it easy for them to leave if they did not want to follow Him. Why did they follow Him? They wanted to. They found Him spiritually attractive.
And walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." And they immediately left the nets, and followed Him. And going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. And they immediately left the boat and their father, and followed Him. (Matthew 4:18-22)
And in the early morning, while it was still dark, He arose and went out and departed to a lonely place, and was praying there. And Simon and his companions hunted for Him; and they found Him, and said to Him, "Everyone is looking for You." (Mark 1:35-37)
And as Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man, called Matthew, sitting in the tax office; and He said to him, "Follow Me!" And he rose, and followed Him. (Matthew 9:9)
And it came about soon afterwards, that He began going about from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God; and the twelve were with Him. (Luke 8:1)
Story:So Esther goes to the king, who says I will give you whatever you want, up to half.
Picture:That is what we do — give a nod in His direction (if we could give Him our all — which sounds great, but is impossible for us to do — then He would have asked for that). Just a nod in that direction is all that He meant:
Whatever You want Lord, take some of what I have for now; no promises for tomorrow.
Esther's request is very strange…
My Request:If the king would have said to me Whatever you want is yours up to half, I would have requested two things: First, I will take half; and second, kill Haman. [We could end the story right here with our own version of Esther 5 And verily the Lord smiteth Haman -sic!]
4 Esther said, "If it pleases the king, may the king and Haman come this day to the banquet that I have prepared for him."
5 Then the king said, 'Bring Haman quickly that we may do as Esther desires.' So the king and Haman came to the banquet which Esther had prepared.
6 As they drank their wine at the banquet, the king said to Esther, "What is your petition, for it shall be granted to you. And what is your request? Even to half of the kingdom it shall be done."
Esther did not request that Haman be put to death…
7 So Esther answered and said, "My petition and my request is:
8 If I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and do what I request, may the king and Haman come to the banquet which I shall prepare for them, and tomorrow I will do as the king says."
Is this not strange? Esther requests a banquet, which the king attends. Once there, the king asks again What is your request? And Esther responds May we have a banquet tomorrow? It does not seem to make any sense.
Picture:In the interim, we are between banquets in this life.
Application:The flesh has been condemned, but we have to put up with him until the ultimate banquet.
Why is it that we do choose Holy Spirit?-and- Why is it that we do reject our flesh?
By our will, we do it the way the king did — we do not give it all, but we would [probably] give up to half.
Why does my flesh keep flaring up, though I have asked Holy Spirit to control my life?
We want our lives to be based on decisions that Holy Spirit makes; we want His power — not our flesh — controlling us. And we think Yes, I have been there; done that! However, even if we believe that we have made that decision of our will, sometimes it seems that things continue the same -or- they get worse!
It is possible to firmly believe we have made that decision, and not only do things stay the same, but also, it seems like our flesh is more powerful than before.
PUTTING OFF THE OLD, PUTTING ON THE NEW
Story:The king certainly would have, and could have, killed Haman right then but he did not. The king let Haman linger and then twist in the wind for a few days.
Application:We do not worry about the results. We make the decision to—
Put off the old man[who is not the real me]:
Put on the new self [who is the real me]:
Our part is over then; any manifestations of our flesh beyond that are in God's sovereignty.
Note:I am not talking about blatant sin, which Holy Spirit is not responsible for.
MATURING IN THE SPIRIT
Another Problem For Biblical Believers:As biblical believers mature in their spirit, sin is dropping out of their lives like crazy, however, frequently they will say I am sinning more than ever.
For example, Paul said about himself I am the chief of sinners [to which we would respond No way!]. However, Paul firmly believed it. Why? He was so sensitive to sin. Paul was seeing all this sin — he was thinking that they were horrible sins — to which we would have responded They are absolutely nothing! Paul was firmly convinced that something minor in his life was something he would start seeing all of the time in his life.
Note:I am not talking about blatant sin; I am talking about self-life.
Remember that God is a Triunity (one God in three Persons—God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit). How do these three Persons see our flesh and our sins?
That is why I am not talking about sin per se, but just self-life. Once we make that decision, then any lingering of the flesh is under God's sovereignty.
Next: Esther 4-6, Part 3: WORKING ON OUR BEHALF
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