We welcomed Andy Millership who preached from Esther chapter 8. So few sermons are preached on this chapter, yet it is so wonderful. It is the only scripture where God is not mentioned by name. The conversation in this chapter took place around 473 B.C. between Esther and King Ahasuerus. The King tried to assimilate Greece into his empire but was defeated. This was something new to him and he sought comfort in his harem. His number one wife disobeyed him, so he got rid of her. He then launched a competition to find the world’s most beautiful woman and make her his wife. He found her – Esther. She was a Jew, an exile, in Babylon. Some exiles in Babylon had a deep-rooted racial aggrievance against Jews. Haman hated them with a passion. He was found out and executed. Esther was aware there was an on-going issue. Here, in chapter 8, Esther pleads emotionally with Ahasuerus for her own safety and the safety of her people.
Esther’s first argument was ‘if it pleases the king.’ Ahasuerus was Esther’s husband. The clothes, crown and sceptre signified a great man, the most powerful man on the face of the planet. Kingdoms cowered at his presence. A word from him and borders would be changed. He was a mighty, mighty man. Some criticised Esther for marrying him, yet she had no choice – he was sovereign over all. Esther’s opening argument, ‘If you are willing,’ shows that if Ahasuerus wasn’t willing, then nothing would happen. If he wouldn’t save the people, they were lost.
‘If this thing seems right before the king.’ Esther saw a need for safety today and for future safety. Ahasuerus could be unstable and unpredictable. Esther could not afford to leave the security of her people just for today. Esther pleads for the security of Israel.
Esther shines a light n herself and her own security, ‘If I am pleasing in the King’s eyes.’ She was pleasing in Ahasuerus’ eyes. He had seen her and he had chosen her.
When presented with all these arguments, how could he refuse? The Jews had light and gladness and joy and honour. The security of them as a people was certain, nothing could overturn that.
Why are we here? Why do we gather here in chapel week after week? May be we are reassuring ourselves that we are OK. We are here because we understand we are unable to sort ourselves out, we cannot secure our own future. In order to be saved we need to approach the King. Without His interaction, what hope do we have? What about you? Do you understand? Are you familiar with the light and joy? Are you saved? Do you know a fixed anchor that is immovable in the midst of chaos?
There is joy in knowing a Saviour who loves you and cares for you. The truth of the gospel is what we are here for. We have done nothing to deserve this. If you are to know what it is to be safe and secure, take your plea to the King. He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth. All power and authority is in His hands. Is He willing to save you? ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.’(John 3:16). He gave His own Son on your behalf. It pleased the Lord to bruise Him. Is He willing? More than you can ever imagine!
If we are to approach God and His sovereignty, then what is right and just is our condemnation and for Him to turn His back on us. We need to be careful if we approach God on the grounds of justice. He sees our rebellion, our self-centredness. God cannot brush over anything because He is just. There is nothing pleasing. We have a problem. But remember just how willing He is to save you. There is one who is pleasing in His eyes. Remember, ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.’(John 3:16). His Son is the one who finds favour in His eyes. In His Son, justice is satisfied. We are lost unless the King Himself wants to save us. There is no hope outside Him. All the willingness of God to save us is seen in His Son Jesus Christ. All the justice was met in His broken body on the cross. Do you know light and gladness and honour? It all rests on Christ. Bring you pleas to the King, you have no other hope. Know He is willing to save you.