ESTHER: AN ALLEGORY
By Johnny Tatum
PART 4: THE BULLY LOSES
THE KING GETS A BEDTIME STORY
That night the king cannot sleep. Since there are no newspapers or television programming to help him nod off, the king tells someone to read aloud. And what a fascinating story (a real sleeper) was read: a chronicle of events that happened in Ahasuerus' kingdom! [I suppose that would have put him to sleep -sic!] While listening to the accounts, the king realized he had forgotten one of the incidents.
What account was read? A couple of men were plotting to kill King Ahasuerus. Mordecai found out about the plot, he busted the men, and the two men were put to death. When the king recalled the incident, he said:
I have not honored Mordecai for what he did!
Picture:He read in a book an account of somebody who destroyed his enemies. Through a book, he discovered his real friend.
Application:There is a Book describing our enemy's plot to destroy us. Through a Book, we read an account of the ONE who discovered the plot; He triumphed over our enemy, and He became our real Friend.
What is the name of the Book? The Holy Scriptures
Who is our real Friend? Messiah Jesus
THE KING WANTS TO HONOR MORDECAI
Notice the king's response is NOT I really feel guilty, because I should have honored him; I really need to honor him. His response was:
Wow! I want to honor him.
Application:Is it correct for us to honor and worship God based on a sense of obligation or guilt? No, however, if we read the Scriptures to understand what He did, then what is our normal response?
I want to honor and worship GOD!
HAMAN IS ALWAYS READY TO HELP THE KING
King Ahasuerus has an inner desire to honor Mordecai. In the middle of the night he calls out without even knowing who is there Hey! Who is there? And that somebody who answers is Haman.
Application:Our flesh is always ready to help. We just call out and he is there. The reason we know that is when we have trouble or if we have to make a decision, our flesh always kicks in an idea first. He is eager to help us.
THE KING DESIRES TO HONOR HIS REAL FRIEND
Haman answers the call, and the king asks What shall I do for the man in whom I delight? Haman answers Give him a crown, a robe and authority, let him ride a horse, display him, and give him a parade.
Application:Our flesh always wants exaltation.
HAMAN SUGGESTS THE CROWN
Haman focuses on the king's crown.
Application:Our flesh always wants a crown.
A Picture To Remember:
A PICTURE OF THE FLESH
During the latest episode of the generational battle between Israel and Amalek, King Saul was instructed to carry out a divine judgment on the Amalekites (a picture of the flesh) and their ruler, King Agag. God told Saul Kill him! Kill all of them! Destroy everything! Instead of doing so, Saul defeated the Amalekites and he captured King Agag and the best of their sheep, oxen, fatlings and lambs. The next day, the prophet Samuel asked Saul What is the bleating of the sheep in my ears? Saul admitted that he took them; he blatantly disobeyed God (see 1 Samuel 15:1-35). Thereafter, the Amalekites continued to torment Saul.
After the death of Saul, a messenger comes to David and says I have King Saul's crown, and I am an Amalekite (see 2 Samuel 1:1-10).
Picture:That is a perfect picture of the flesh; the enemy stole Saul's crown.
Application:Our flesh wants to steal God's crown.
HAMAN HONORS MORDECAI
Holy Spirit speaks to the king saying Sounds like a great idea! Do that for Mordecai. King Ahasuerus tells Haman You lead Mordecai through the streets, parading him just the way you described it.
Amazingly enough, Haman does it! He humiliates himself by arraying Mordecai with the crown and the robe, and by leading Mordecai through the city square while holding the horse. Haman is a servant and he is leading Mordecai.
An Historical Note:
Secular history tells us when Haman's daughter saw her father doing this, she was so distressed that she went home, put a heavy pot on top of the house, stood under it, and jarred the house until the pot fell on her head and killed her.
It may seem strange, and even hard to believe that Haman honored Mordecai. However, let us think about this:
The king (the will) was over Haman (the flesh), and the king told Haman to do it.
Picture:There are two pictures here:
The flesh did not have any choice but to honor Holy Spirit; the will told him to!
Consider This Profile:
WHO ARE THE RELIGIOUS?
The religious are those who live apart from the resurrection power of God by denying His power, as follows:
The religious reject God's power and substitute any manmade activity or system.
Picture:That is why I think this is the greatest picture.
Our flesh has been defeated.
Where was the flesh defeated?
Our flesh was defeated at the Cross, because our sin was placed on Messiah Jesus' flesh.
What happened to our sin nature?
When Messiah Jesus died, our sin nature was killed and now our will is over our flesh.
Application:I think we know it with our brain, but we do not have a personal appropriation of this knowledge:
Our will is the boss over our flesh. Our will does have control over our flesh; however, we do not exert it.
KING AHASUERUS LEARNS THE TRUTH
Haman, Esther, and the king come together at a second banquet, which Esther prepares. At that time, Esther reveals the whole story to King Ahasuerus.
Application:This is what we accomplish as we study the book of Esther
Stage Two:Exposing the flesh.
We will see more pictures in this book of exactly how our flesh works against us.
THE KING'S VICTORY OVER HAMAN
What happens to Haman? He was hanged on a tree; he was cursed.
Application:That is the way we get victory over our flesh. How?
Let God crucify the flesh
We do not want to try to make our flesh be religious or to suppress our flesh with will power do not pacify the flesh.
MORDECAI COMES TO POWER
After Haman is crucified, Mordecai comes to power.
Application:Holy Spirit comes to power when our flesh is crucified.
SUMMARIZING THE BOOK OF ESTHER
The sequence that happens to the redeemed is also presented in the book of Esther, as follows:
THE VALUE OF STUDYING A BOOK LIKE ESTHER
The reason we go through the book of Esther and study in this manner is:
Exposing the flesh is [spiritually] presenting our flesh to the LORD GOD to be zapped(putting up our cancer and letting Him radiate it).
Let Us Think About This:
THE STRUGGLE WITH THE ALLEGORY
Now do you see why the Rabbis knew this was an allegory? The characters presented in the book are easily recognized as an exact equivalent of something intangible.
Largely, the characters made sense to the Rabbis. Most agreed the king represents our will. Many said Haman represents Satan; however, Haman representing our flesh makes a lot more sense. Some had a problem with Mordecai, although most agreed he is a picture of Holy Spirit, because the Jews also believe Holy Spirit guides His children. Clearly, the messenger is a picture of the truth.
The Rabbis struggled with a part of the extended symbolism. They had great difficulty in distinguishing Esther and the king, because they thought the king represents us, but they think the same about Esther. And they could not attach symbols to the relationship between Mordecai and Esther.
Esther really duped them. They could not figure her out, because her name does not mean anything and there is no concept in rabbinical Judaism of the new nature a regenerated spirit (a new person). And that is what Esther is.
If you do not have Messiah Jesus plugged into the allegory and Esther representing our new nature, then it does not all fit together.
Father, thank You for giving us the book of Esther. Thank You for the clear picture about the inner workings of, and the relationship between, Holy Spirit, our new nature, our flesh, and our will. How wonderful it is to know we can choose to follow Holy Spirit and not our flesh. Help us by planting this knowledge in our hearts and minds so we will want to follow the Law of Liberty of Holy Spirit and not the Law of Performance, which has always been such a struggle for us.
Thank You for revealing Yourself to us as a God of Providence. How grateful we are for Your assurance that, even when we are faithless, You are faithful and are constantly reigning behind the scenes of our lives. Indeed, You are a loving God!
Father, thank You for unfolding the allegorical symbols in the book of Esther. Now we know there is no more mystery or questioning about why this book is included in Your Holy Scriptures.
Thank You for helping us recognize none of this would fit together apart from the inclusion of Your Anointed One, Messiah Jesus. It is through Him that we have been given our new nature and Your Holy Spirit; thank You for making it possible to know this truth. We praise You for the great joy it is for us to know Messiah Jesus regardless of those who attempt to keep us from Him.
In Messiah's name we pray. Amen.
Esther 1:1-2:23, ANY REASON FOR A BANQUET
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