Esther 2:19-26 Now when the virgins were gathered together the second time, Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate. 20 Esther had not made known her kindred or her people, as Mordecai had commanded her, for Esther obeyed Mordecai just as when she was brought up by him. 21 In those days, as Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs, who guarded the threshold, became angry and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. 22 And this came to the knowledge of Mordecai, and he told it to Queen Esther, and Esther told the king in the name of Mordecai. 23 When the affair was investigated and found to be so, the men were both hanged on the gallows. And it was recorded in the book of the chronicles in the presence of the king.
We are aware of Xerxes’ idolatry. He does not worship the one true God.
We are aware of Xerxes’ domination. He is the ruler of the middle eastern world. At this point, he is “The Man.”
We are aware of Xerxes’ wealth. He pillages the nations and receives more than his fair share of tax dollars. He is so rich.
We are aware of Xerxes’ hedonism. He is fast and furious. In chapter one, he is seen throwing the party of the decade.
We are aware of Xerxes’ narcissism. He expects everyone and everything to point to his glory, honor, and worship.
We are aware of Xerxes’ abuse.
- He is abusive in expanding his kingdom; there are no rules of war as far as he is concerned.
- He is abusive in ripping families apart. Dads are killed, moms are used, and children are collected for the empire.
- He is abusive in protecting his throne. If he thinks you are suspicious, even if you are family, he’ll take you out.
- He is abusive in his view of the Jews. As will be seen, he will allow them to be annihilated based on a lie.
- He is abusive in protecting his image. Remember, he got rid of Vashti because she made him look bad.
- He is abusive in building his harem and satisfying his loins; the best of virgins are brought to his bedroom.
We are aware of Esther’s pain.
- He kidnaps her.
- He takes her into his chamber.
- He has his way with her.
- He promises her the moon.
- He makes her his queen.
- But then … the virgins are gathered together for a second time. (vs. 19)
- Is the king giving the other harem girls another chance?
- Is the king interested in filling his harem again, even though he already has a new wife?
- Who knows? But Esther has not been called in for 30 days. The King is now preoccupied with other women
- Either way, the king is not that interested in Esther.
- Esther must surely have questions:
- Where is God?
- Why is he allowing the wicked to prosper?
- What of the promises he made to his people, his assembly, his nation, his church?
- Why does he sit on his hands?
- Why does he hate me so?
- What good can possibly come from this?
- How can God be good?
- What use is my life?
- Why continue?
We are beginning to see how God is supremely powerful; he has a plan; he performs it perfectly; it is often filled with pain; and it is never wasted as he works it out for the prosperity of his glory and his people.
We find Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate. (vs. 19)
- Some believe he is there because of his relationship to Esther.
- Some believe he has received a place in the king’s court.
- I am not sure this is the case. He was there in the days of her harem experience. He does not seem to have direct access to the king.
We find Esther keeping a secret. She had not made known her Jewishness.
- The fact that it is “not yet known” indicates to the reader that this situation is bound to change.
We find Esther being respectful. She was doing as Mordecai had commanded, as she always had done. (vs. 20)
Mordecai, at the gate, overhears two trusted and close servants plotting to assassinate the king.
- They were Bigthan and Teresh
- They had proximity and opportunity.
Mordecai relays this information to Queen Esther.
Queen Esther relays this information to the king.
The plot was found to be true.
Bigthan and Teresh were publicly hanged on the gallows.
- Probably impaled on long poles.
Xerxes instructs the royal scribes to record this information and the informant in the royal chronicles.
- Herodotus refers to an official list recorded in the Persian archives naming the king’s “benefactors.”
Mordecai is forgotten.
We are becoming aware that God has a plan, and perfectly performs his plan, and it is full of pain, but it is for profit.
- Esther is being set up by God.
- Mordecai is being set up by God.
- Haman is being set up by God.
- God, and his glory, and his people’s good, are being set up by God.
God has a plan, and perfectly performs his plan, and it is full of pain, but it is for profit.
- God used the pain of Adam and Eve for God’s profit.
- God used the pain of Job for God’s profit.
- God used the pain of Sarah for God’s profit.
- God used the pain of Joseph for God’s profit.
- God used the pain of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego for God’s profit.
- God used the pain of Peter for God’s profit.
- God used the pain of Chuck Colson for God’s profit.
- God used the pain of Joe Franks for God’s profit.
- Your birth defects
- Your family upbringing
- Your accidents
- Your sin
- Your addictions
- Your criminal record
- Your sickness
- Your deterioration and dementia
- Your divorce
- Your affair
- Your business woes
- Your bankruptcy
- Your church disfunction
- Your national decline
- Your children’s struggles
- Your abuse
- Your being overlooked and underappreciated
Therefore … cry … think … trust … pray … wait … do the next right thing … persevere … and see how he uses the pain
One day, a young daughter came in the house. She had just returned from school and was so distraught. Her mother said, “Sweetheart, what’s wrong?” The young girl then went through her list, “I ripped my shirt; I forgot my lunch; I’m failing algebra, and Jimmy broke up with me.” She then collapsed, in tears, in her mother’s arms. Her mom was tempted to say, “Don’t worry Ann, all things work out for good for them that love God,” but she knew that wasn’t the best thing to do at that time. So, she listened patiently, and then at the right time said, “I’ve made a dessert for dinner, would you like some?” The girl sheepishly grinned and said, “Sure, Mom. I love your cake.” The mom smiled and then gave her some cooking oil? The daughter looked surprised at the offer and responded with a loud “Yuk!” The mom then went to the counter and returned with a couple raw eggs? With a look of confusion, the daughter said, “Mom?” Continuing to smile, the mother offered her some flour and then a cup of baking soda, but Ann was not impressed. She responded, “Mom, those things are gross!” The mother then found her moist chocolate cake and put a piece on a plate for her daughter. As she delivered the homemade dessert to her girl she said, “Sweetheart, all of those things seem bad when you eat them by themselves, but in the end, when they are put together in the right way by the one who loves you, they end up becoming a delicious cake.”
Friends, this is what God is doing. God often works the same way. We sometimes wonder why He allows us to go through such difficult times, but when God puts those hard times together as only He can, they work out for our good. We just have to trust Him to do so and wait for the day when we finally get to enjoy his cake.