Bible Studies in the Book of Esther
Esther Chapter 9 & 10: A Victory to Win & A Day to Celebrate
by I Gordon
 ↩ As an example, here is an email that I got while I was preparing to write this study. It was sent out from 'The Berean Call' and has yet another call from Iran (Persia) for the destruction of Israel:
'The Iranian government, through a website proxy, has laid out the legal and religious justification for the destruction of Israel and the slaughter of its people. The doctrine includes wiping out Israeli assets and Jewish people worldwide. Calling Israel a danger to Islam, the conservative website Alef, with ties to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said the opportunity must not be lost to remove "this corrupting material. It is a "'jurisprudential justification" to kill all the Jews and annihilate Israel, and in that, the Islamic government of Iran must take the helm."
On Friday, in a major speech at prayers, Khamenei announced that Iran will support any nation or group that attacks the "cancerous tumor" of Israel.'
So it seems that times change in the Middle East but hearts do not. Not unless they are touched by the kings of kings. This thankfully is happening more and more throughout this region. I am currently reading Joel Rosenberg's book 'Inside the revolution'. It is a very good read! In it he notes the revival that is going on in many of the Middle Eastern countries where many are coming to Christ through dreams and visions as well as conventional evangelism. One such example is from Iran. In the book, Taheer, one of the nation's leading evangelists, says 'It's ironic that when the Ayatollah Khomeini took power in Iran with his style if Islamic Shiite extremism that the true face of Islam was finally exposed... Before 1979, the demand for Bibles in Iran was never that great. Today, Iranians can't get enough of the Bible or biblical teaching.' Another Iranian Pastor reported that 'In the last 20 years, more Iranians have come to Christ than in the last 14 centuries... We've never seen such phenomenal thirst... I believe this phenomenon will snowball into a major avalanche.' Some of the testimonies in this book are simply fantastic with Jesus appearing to Muslims and calling them to follow Him!
 ↩ Just as a reminder of the principalities assigned over different areas, when the angel Gabriel was sent to Daniel with an important message you may remember that Gabriel was obstructed for 21 days by the 'prince of Persia'. It wasn't until the archangel Michael came to help that Gabriel was able to prevail and get through to Daniel. An amazing scene really and one of which we know too little. The Bible Knowledge Commentary notes:
God has arranged the angelic realm in differing ranks referred to as 'rule, authority, power, and dominion' (Eph 1:21). Gabriel and Michael have been assigned authority over angels who administer God's affairs for the nation Israel (cf. Michael in Dan 10:21; Dan 12:1; Jud 1:9). In imitation Satan has also apparently assigned high-ranking demons to positions of authority over each kingdom. The prince of the Persian kingdom was a satanic representative assigned to Persia. To seek to prevent Gabriel's message from getting to Daniel, the demonic prince attacked Gabriel as he embarked on his mission. This gives insight into the nature of the warfare fought in the heavenlies between God's angels and Satan's demons to which Paul referred (Eph_ :12): 'Our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of the dark world, and against spiritual forces of evil in heavenly realms.'
 ↩ Where do I start with examples of this? The Bible is littered with them. The children of Israel faced sure death at the Red Sea before God turned the tables and gained victory for them and defeat for the enemy. Gideon, with only 300 men, some clay jars and a trumpet or two, had to face an entire Midian army! Unbelievable odds... Yet they won (because of God!). All of Israel was shaking at the prospect of facing Goliath. So who does God use? A small shepherd boy. Sure defeat was turned into an unbelievable victory! We could talk about the vast army that came against Jehoshaphat when he sent out his 'singers' against them! Or the overwhelming odds that Hezekiah and Elisha faced. So many examples. Satan thought he had won the ultimate victory by killing the Son of God! Unbelievable. You can see the Devil hardly able to contain himself. And yet the tables were turned and his so-called victory became his total and utter defeat! Come the end of this age and the whole world, under the evil rule of the Antichrist, will hate the Jews and desire to wipe them off the map. With sure defeat again looming, the remnant of Israel will cry out for the Messiah... And Messiah will come! The tables again will be turned and the enemy will have victory wrenched from his hands once again!
 ↩ Ray Stedman writes about the meaning of the names of the 10 sons. I should note that I haven't been able to verify this however and the meanings are different to what I find. But if correct, they are interesting in relation to the different aspects of the fleshly nature so I'll include it for your further study if interested. He writes:
'I found that in the Hebrew the names of the ten sons are given in a very peculiar fashion: To each one of these names the Hebrew word self is attached. The names are written in a parallel column and on the opposite column the word self is repeated after each name. I tried to discover the meaning of these names -- for this is always worthwhile with Hebrew names -- and I was able to find eight of them, though two of them I could never trace down fully. But let me give you the names of the eight, in relationship to this word self:
Parshandatha means "curious-self," that is nosiness, a desire to pry into other people's matters. Dalphon means "weeping-self," self-pity, in other words. Aspatha I could not find. Poratha means "generous-self," or, in the bad sense intended here, "spend-thriftiness." Adalia I could not find. Aridatha means "strong-self," i.e. assertiveness. Parsashta means "preeminent-self," ambition. Arisai means "bold-self," which would be impudence. Aridai is "dignified-self," that is pride. And vaizatha means "pure-self," pure while everyone else is polluted.
Now in this interesting account all these were put to death, or, in terms of Romans 7, they were put in the place of death. Victory meant that all these manifestations of self-turned-awry, distorted, were put in the place where God puts them, the place of death and refused any right to live. Anything less than this is defeat!
 ↩ Major Ian Thomas, in his book 'If I Perish, I Perish' is very good on these 10 sons and what it means for us. Here you go:
'I wonder if, as you have been reading these pages, some such thoughts as these have been passing through your mind -"I understand the picture quite clearly. Just as Haman was hanged upon the gallows, so in the purpose of God my old sinful nature was nailed to the cross with the Lord Jesus Christ -executed and buried. Now that Haman is hanged, however, is that the last that will ever be heard of him? "Does this mean that my old, sinful nature is wholly eradicated the moment I claim by faith my identity with Christ in death? Is the new Israel that Christ creates in me, never to be troubled again by the old Jacob; and is Peter never again to be confronted by Simon?" If this is what you have been thinking, then these are good questions, and I believe the answer is to be found quite easily... That's the answer! Haman had ten sons!
You may die today to your own ability to put Haman into the place of death, thus allowing the Holy Spirit to celebrate in you the victory of the Lord Jesus, putting Haman on the cross - but this will not do for tomorrow! You will discover that Haman has ten sons. That is not all, for the Haman of your own heart not only has ten sons, but everyone of these ten sons has ten sons more! There is no climactic experience by which the evil influence of the flesh may be eradicated once and for all, though the flesh itself in its subtlety would like you to believe it - in the interests of its own self-preservation! Only be persuaded that the flesh no longer exists, and you are not likely to cause it any further inconvenience as it perpetuates its wicked activities in your soul. Nothing could please the devil more than that! Appropriation of the victory of Christ demands more than just one act of faith -it requires an attitude of faith. It is a moment-by- moment reckoning, and your reckoning for this moment is never adequate for the next. "Walk in the spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh" (Galatians 5: 16,17). Walking in the Spirit is a continuous process, one step at a time. It means that for every new situation into which every new step brings you, you must reckon positively with the Holy Spirit, to keep the flesh in the place of death. I want to emphasize the need to reckon positively, for we are not only to reckon ourselves "to be dead indeed unto sin," but we are to reckon ourselves "alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6: 11). It is our enjoyment of the resurrection life of the Lord Jesus Christ, through reckoning positively with His presence, which sets us free from the law of sin and death. The surest way of reckoning yourself to be dead to sin (that old Adamic nature), is to reckon yourself alive in Jesus Christ and be utterly dependent upon Him. He then will take care of the consequences.'
 ↩ Bible Knowledge Commentary states: 'The Feast of Purim was not established by the Mosaic Law. It was commanded by Mordecai (Est_9:20-28) and by Esther (Est_9:29-32). The two-day feast was for remembering the goodness of God working through a number of circumstances to protect His people from extinction. Mordecai wrote a proclamation that the Jews were to celebrate the event annually with eating, rejoicing (cf. Est_8:17), giving... food, and sharing with the poor.
The feast was called Purim (Est_9:26) because of Haman's use of the pur... the lot to determine the time of the execution (Est_3:7). The pur became a symbol of God's using circumstances to deliver His own.'
 ↩ Just for a personal example, at home group lately we have been reading about this 'rest' from Hebrews chapter 4. At the end of one night I prayed that God would teach us more about the rest. Later that night I thought to myself 'that can be a dangerous prayer because God's rest normally only comes when things are far from at rest in the natural.' So I wondered to myself whether I would be tested in this. Now, it may have been coincidence, maybe it wasn't... but I didn't have to wait long for my own personal 'storm'. The next night I was lying on my bed when I started getting bad abdominal pains. I ended up in hospital where I was in full-on pain right through the night (till finally falling asleep at 5am with, according to the nurse, enough morphine to put a horse to sleep). I was later told that there was a 25% chance of death. Oooops. The interesting thing is that while being in extreme pain right throughout the night, I wasn't frightened. That's not to say I am brave. Far from it! : ) But I had an awareness that only that which God allowed could actually happen to me. So I was able to be at 'rest' - even in the midst of the uncertainty and pain throughout the night. So praise God. (And I'm fine now btw... Thanks for asking!)
 ↩ It is interesting to note that Esther is the only book in the Bible where God is not mentioned. Yet we see His hand in so many areas working behind the scenes for His people. David Guzik lists the following incidents (there is no doubt many more!):
- God arranged for the noble Queen Vashti to lose her place.
- God arranged for a competition to replace Queen Vashti.
- God arranged for Esther to enter the competition.
- God arranged special favor for Esther among the other women.
- God arranged for Mordecai to have access to both Esther and the affairs of the kingdom.
- God arranged the lot that was cast to give 11 months warning before the evil event (Est_3:12-13).
- God arranged that the decree command that the Jews be killed by private hands, instead of by the army of Persia - which would have been much more difficult to stop.
- God arranged that Haman restrain his anger and not kill Mordecai immediately (Est_5:10).
- God arranged for Esther to delay her request; first asking for a banquet with the king and then another banquet.
- God arranged for Haman's anger to come to a peak on one particular day.
- God arranged for Ahasuerus to have a sleepless night.
- God arranged for Ahasuerus to pick up a certain book in his sleepless night.
- God arranged for Ahasuerus to read the passage about Mordecai in that particular book.