THE SCEPTRE OF GRACE, THE BANQUET AND THE GALLOWS
ESTHER CHAPTER FIVE
SUGGESTED TEACHING OBJECTIVES:
1. To teach that the approach to God's throne is a serious matter. Vs. 1.
2. To teach that individuals who come to God desiring an offer of grace will receive it if they come with reverential trust. Vs. 2.
3. To teach that individuals who accept God's offer of Grace shall become joint or co-owners with Him in the Universe. Vs. 3.
4. To show that God wants to continually do things for those who have accepted His Son (His offer of Grace) Vs. 4-6.
5. To show that God is pleased by our doing things that include Him. Vs. 7-8.
6. To show how pride manifests itself. Vs. 9-12.
7. To show the true nature of the natural man's heart and what can occur if its desire's are allowed to go unrestrained. Vs. 14.
INTRODUCTION: In our previous lessons we have seen Esther crowned Queen, Haman (the Jew's enemy) exalted to a very prominent position, the decree sent forth by Pony Express to have all the Jews slain, and the plan of Mordecai and Esther to effect the Jews deliverance. The last chapter closed with Esther requesting prayer and fasting for three days and then she would go in before the King and seek the Jews' deliverance. Today we will study about Esther's going in before the King and how she was received.
Vs. 1-- After the fasting (which included prayer) for three days Esther embarked on her mission. The term "Royal" used so much in this verse suggests some thoughts concerning the throne of the "King of Kings".
1. God must be approached with reverence. Isaiah 45:22.
2. God must be approached with confidence. Hebrews 11:6; Romans 10:13; John 3:14-16.
3. God must be approached by us with the attitude that we are sinners. Luke 18:9-14.
Vs. 2-- This verse pictures the mind of God toward sinners who come to Him in the manner that Esther did. She obtained favor. God wants us to be saved. John 3:16 & I John 3:1.
The Golden Sceptre being held out to Esther by the King pictures God offering His Son (Deity) to sinners for Salvation. Notice that Esther touched it, which was an acknowledgement that she was gratefully accepting this offer of Grace. So must we likewise accept God's Son as our Saviour. Ephesians 2:8,9; John 1:11,12; I John 5:11-13; Revelation 3:20.
Vs. 3-- Esther's acceptance of the King's offer of Grace so touched the King's heart that he was willing to give her one-half of his possessions. When we accept Christ, He makes us His children and we automatically become half owners in all He possesses. Galatians 3:26; John 1:23; I John 3:1; Romans 8:26, 17.
Vs. 4-- Why Esther did not boldly at this time make the request that she intended to make we do not know. She evidently did not feel it was the right time yet to do it. Matthew 10:16.
Vs. 5-- Esther included Haman for she did not want to give away her plan as yet.
Vs. 6-- Again the King, even though he had done as formerly requested, was still willing and desirous of blessing Esther abundantly and so reminds us that God desires to continually do for us irregardless of how much He may have done for us in the past. I Chronicles 21:13; Psalm 108:4; 138:8
Vs. 7 & 8-- The King enjoyed the company of and fellowship with Esther and when she wanted to extend her time with him and labor for him, he was pleased. So, our Lord is pleased for us to include Him in our future plans and for us to walk with Him and fellowship with Him and enjoy His presence. Galatians 5:16; Genesis 3:8; 5:24.
Vs. 9-- Haman was happy for it was most unusual for an outsider to be invited to a banquet prepared by the Queen for her King. But Haman's thorn in the flesh (Mordecai) seemed to be always present to remind him that he wasn't all that he thought he was.
Vs. 10-12-- We are seeing how pride manifests itself:
1. By showing anger at belittling of an individual's person as Mordecai had done. Vs. 9
2. By wanting to tell friends of personal gain (bragging). II Corinthians 11:16-21; 12:11.
Vs. 13-14-- Haman's hatred of Mordecai became unrestrained and he desired to have Mordecai killed and so planned now to have it done before the previously appointed time. Matthew 6:24; James 1:14,15.
CONCLUSION: In this chapter we have seen the Sceptre of Grace extended, a Banquet held, and the Gallows prepared. These things suggest some eternal and sobering truths. Today God offers to sinners, Grace, so that they might be saved and then attend the banquet or supper that He is preparing. Revelation 19:7-9. Those who will not accept God's Son in this life can only look forward to an eternity of separation (death) from Him. Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:11-15.