ESTHER: AN ALLEGORY
By Johnny Tatum
PART 2: PARTY TIME!
An Important Note:
TO OUR READERS
To fully understand the text as it is presented in the book of Esther, know that since the beginning, God has desired to have a personal and vital relationship with each one of us with you. As individuals, we have a choice to receive Messiah Jesus as our Redeemer (Savior) and live our life with God for all eternity, or to reject the living God and live our life apart from Him for all eternity. The choice is yours.
Do you want to have God guide you internally and externally by His faithful Holy Spirit? Then simply acknowledge in prayer to God:
I confess I am a sinner and I deserve to go to hell because of my sins. But I believe that when Messiah Jesus died on the cross, He was paying the penalty for my sin. And that when He arose again, He rose to give me eternal life.
The pictures and applications, presented throughout the Esther series, refer to the body of the living God those who believe Messiah Jesus is their Redeemer.
OVERVIEW OF THE BOOK OF ESTHER
This overview will not contain an exposition of the text; however, it will present a panorama of the events.
Let us see how the allegorical symbols fit together by using a threefold framework: (1) Text, (2) Picture, and (3) Application.
THE KING OF PERSIA
As the book of Esther opens, the focus is on the last king of Persia (the most powerful nation in the world). What is the king called in the book of Esther? King Ahasuerus. And how is he named in secular history? [King] Artaxerxes (or his shortened Greek name, Xerxes).
THE KING'S FIRST FEAST
King Ahasuerus gives a feast to which thousands of people attend. Do you remember how long the feast lasts? Six months! During this feast, the king displays all that he has to everybody.
KING AHASUERUS: A PICTURE OF OUR WILL
King Ahasuerus is a picture of our will. He has a kingdom, and so do we. The king has sovereignty and dominion over his kingdom, and we are supposed to have the same over ourselves.
Though we do not have control over all of our circumstances, we are to have control over our soul our mind, our will, and our emotions.
THE KING BECOMES RESTLESS
King Ahasuerus has a queen, named Queen Vashti. In the middle of the feast, he calls for his queen to appear, but she refuses his request. As punishment for the queen's disobedience, the king banishes (gets rid of) her. However, the king becomes lonely and restless.
Picture:Those who have not been redeemed are lonely and restless. The unregenerate person has a body and a soul mind, will, emotions but he does not have a spirit.
Application:The soul without a spirit an unregenerate person is restless, because they cannot be fully content. Oh, they may be happy externally, but there is always an inner restlessness because the soul needs to be anchored by a spirit.
A Long Parenthesis:
THE UNREGENERATE DO NOT POSSESS A SPIRIT
Since the Scriptures do not say specifically whether an unregenerate person possesses a spirit or not, I am not totally dogmatic about that.
Some people say that the unregenerate individual has a spirit, which is possessed by Satan. Others, including myself, think that an unbeliever does not have a spirit, and Satan possesses his soul. Either way
GOD intended for the soul to be ruled by a spirit
THE KING CHOOSES ESTHER TO BE HIS NEW QUEEN
King Ahasuerus decides he needs a new queen. The process of finding his new queen is determined:
One of the candidates was a beautiful maiden, named Esther, a Jewess. Ultimately, the king favored her more than all the rest, so King Ahasuerus chose Esther as his new queen.
ESTHER: A PICTURE OF OUR NEW NATURE
Esther is a picture of our new nature (our new person):
God gives those who are redeemed a new nature.
A Thought To Consider:
Something very important in Oriental literature is to know the meaning of names. Typically, I see what a name means in Greek [as found in the Septuagint] and I do the same in Hebrew [as found in the Hebrew Scriptures], to assure the meanings are the same. I always learn something significant by doing this.
Esther is a word with which I was not familiar in the Greek. I looked it up and discovered it is not a Greek word. I checked the Hebrew, and I found out it is not a Hebrew word. Esther is a transliteration of Hadassah, her non-Hebraic, Persian name; and that word does not mean anything either.
I realized Esther might be the only proper name in the Scriptures that has no meaning. Then I thought, Of course not
Application:Believers have been given a new name that only God knows [until the moment of resurrection]. And Esther (a picture of a believer's new nature) does not have a name we recognize. How appropriate!
TWO OFFICIALS IN THE KING'S COURT
Mordecaiand Haman have high positions in the king's court.
Mordecaiis a Benjamite living in exile. He is a near relative a cousin of Esther. It was Mordecai who brought up Esther, his foster-daughter, as if she were his biological daughter.
In Esther 3, we meet the villain who is a sleazy a character, named Haman. He is an Agagite (his name sounds like some type of rock -sic!) and a descendant of Agag, king of the Amalekites.
MORDECAI: A PICTURE OF HOLY SPIRIT
HAMAN: A PICTURE OF OUR FLESH
Mordecaiis a picture of Holy Spirit. His name (which is actually much longer than Mordecai, however, it was shortened for the reader of the Scriptures) means a person who hides himself in humility.
Hamanis a picture of our flesh; the Amalekites are always a picture of the flesh. Haman comes to power as Prime Minister, and immediately he hates Mordecai. In fact, Haman starts hating Mordecai before he knows anything about him!
The back and forth struggle between Haman and Mordecai represents the struggle between our flesh and Holy Spirit.
MORDECAI AND HAMAN WANT TO INFLUENCE THE KING
Both Mordecai and Haman have access to King Ahasuerus, and they both want to influence the king.
Picture:The king (a picture of our will) chooses to follow the advice of Mordecai (a picture of Holy Spirit) or the advice of Haman (a picture of our flesh).
Application:Our will chooses to follow Holy Spirit or our flesh.
THE LAW OF LIBERTY AND THE LAW OF OBEDIENCE
It is really intriguing, because Haman specifically says why he hates Mordecai. He does not say that Mordecai is a low life (a person of reprehensible behavior). Haman says that he hates Mordecai because:
Mordecai and his people follow a different law than we do; they follow a strange law.
Picture:The flesh always wants to be under the Law, which is:
The Law of Performance = The Law of Obedience
However, the flesh does not like the new law that we are now under, which is as follows:
The Law of Holy Spirit = The Law of Liberty
Application:In our flesh, we think we do pretty well. Remember however, the flesh reasserts the Law of Obedience (the Law of Performance). Our flesh does not want to give up sovereignty to the Law of Holy Spirit (the Law of Liberty), whereby God is working through His Holy Spirit in us. Why?
Our flesh opposes everything God does in our lives.
HAMAN PLOTS TO ELIMINATE THE JEWS
Haman goes to the king to persuade him to eliminate the Jews; kill them all. Haman convinces him by saying It is for your own good and for your benefit.
Application:That is exactly what our own flesh tries to do to our will. Remember that our will is king (King Will) and that our flesh vies for his attention (Hey Man!) Our flesh counsels our will and says I recommend we do not get involved in these spiritual things. For your own sake, keep on going the way you are, because everything is fine.
For now, Haman controls the king.
Picture:The flesh is controlling the will.
THE LAW OF THE MEDES AND PERSIANS
The king grants Haman's request; he issues an edict to kill all of the Jews. And, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, an edict issued and sealed by the king could not be reversed. Even the king of Persia was subject to all of the law of the Medes and Persians.
A Question To Ask:
WOULD NEBUCHADNEZZAR HAVE SUPPORTED A SIMILAR LAW?
No, Nebuchadnezzar and his Babylonian Empire would never have been subject to laws like the law of the Medes and Persians. He wanted total freedom to say Change the law; I do not like it anymore. And kill the people who wrote the law. And kill six more people at random too. End of problem. Next!
But times had changed. The edict could NOT be repealed.
We always think about the wickedness Pharaoh and Herod inflicted on the Jews. However, here the edict stated something much worse: Kill ALL of the Jews. However, the Holocaust was the most terrible and evil, because it was actually enacted.
THE LAW WAS NOT REVOKED
One of the puzzling things about he Book of Esther is the issue the law of the Medes and Persians whereby all of the Jews are to be killed does not seem to be resolved. We know the killing of the Jews did not happen, and the law was never repealed.
How was the king able to stop that from happening when he did not break the law of the Medes and Persians?
A higher law replaced the original law.
Picture:What is the classic Bible verse that is the law of the Medes and Persians for the human race?
The soul who sins will die. (Ezekiel 18:4)
Application:The Law of Sin and Death goes out to the world, and it will not be revoked. As believers, we know we will spiritually live forever, even though we have sinned and even though the Law was not repealed. Why? Because:
A higher Law the Law of Holy Spirit replaced the Law of Sin and Death
THE KING GIVES HIS AUTHORITY AND POWER TO HAMAN
King Ahasuerus gives his ring to Haman.
Picture:What is the significance of somebody wearing a ring that belongs to the king? They are given the king's authority and power.
Who is wearing the ring? Haman (a picture of the flesh) is wearing the ring.
Application:What do we do to give our flesh the ring of power and authority? Nothing! That is the problem. We do not have to say Flesh I am giving you authority, I am giving you my ring. [It sounds like you are committing to a steady relationship with your flesh -sic]
Your flesh is automatically in control when you do nothing.
In the New Testament, it is always phrased:
Put off the old man [See Ephesians 4:22.]
It is never phrased:
Do not put the old man on.
To me it seems he would say both. However, it is always Put off the old man [-self].
What does that imply if it is always phrased Put off the old?
If we do not do anything, then the old man [-self] is on.
THE KING SURRENDERS HIMSELF TO HAMAN
The king believes that Haman is his friend. He brings Haman in, pats him on the back, and says We have done pretty well. The king is totally unaware that he has surrendered himself to his enemy.
Picture:We tend to believe our flesh is our friend, though we know it is not. Do you find it hard to believe your own flesh is against you? It is really hard to accept.
Application:A big problem we have is we believe that we can manage fairly well on our own. Or when we do something on our own, we pat ourselves on the back and think Job well done! And that is like inviting Haman in.
We have surrendered to our own flesh!
God starts to movein this situation with Haman and Mordecai.
God's Providence:When we surrender to our flesh, God does not idly sit by; God moves!
Esther: An Allegory, PART 3: NO BARGING IN!
Back To: Esther Home Page
Worldnet Grace Ministries Home Page
Back To: Radical Grace
Bible Study Page
© Worldnet Grace Ministries
This data file is the sole property of Worldnet Grace Ministries. It may be copied only in its entirety for circulation freely without charge. All copies of this data file must contain the above copyright notice.
This data file may not be copied in part, edited, revised, copied for resale or incorporated in any commercial publications, recordings, broadcasts, displays or other products offered for sale, without the written permission of Worldnet Grace Ministries. Requests for permission should be made in writing and addressed to:
Worldnet Grace Ministries, PO Box 130006, The Woodlands, Texas 77393, USA