Esther Lesson 9: Our Time to Stand Up and Stand Out :: By Sean Gooding

Chapter 4:4-17

So, Esther’s maids and eunuchs came and told her, and the queen was deeply distressed. Then she sent garments to clothe Mordecai and take his sackcloth away from him, but he would not accept them. 5 Then Esther called Hathach, one of the king’s eunuchs whom he had appointed to attend her, and she gave him a command concerning Mordecai, to learn what and why this was.

6 So Hathach went out to Mordecai in the city square that was in front of the king’s gate. 7 And Mordecai told him all that had happened to him, and the sum of money that Haman had promised to pay into the king’s treasuries to destroy the Jews. 8 He also gave him a copy of the written decree for their destruction, which was given at Shushan, that he might show it to Esther and explain it to her, and that he might command her to go into the king to make supplication to him and plead before him for her people.

9 So Hathach returned and told Esther the words of Mordecai. 10 Then Esther spoke to Hathach, and gave him a command for Mordecai: 11 All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that any man or woman who goes into the inner court to the king, who has not been called, he has but one law: put all to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter, that he may live. Yet I myself have not been called to go into the king these thirty days.

12 So they told Mordecai Esther’s words. 13 And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. 14 For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

15 Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: 16 Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so, I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish! 17 So Mordecai went his way and did according to all that Esther commanded him.

Last week we talked about the need for God’s people to run away from the ‘woke’ church thing. This is so important. The desire to be just like the world in the Lord’s churches is killing us. We are to stand up and stand out. We are called cities on a hill, we are called lights, and we are called salt by Jesus in the New Testament. The idea of blending in was never in Jesus’ thoughts as He taught during His earthly ministry. Christians who blend in and never stand out for the Lord are not doing what we are called to do. There are many who claim to be Christians who support abortion, are okay with same-sex marriages, and have the idea that God is love so He is okay with all of our sinfulness. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

God hates sin, and in Romans 1: 18-32, God lays out the very sinfulness that we see today. I want to be clear that this is nothing new.

The Roman Empire that Paul was writing about was just as eaten up with homosexuality and the same kind of debauchery that we see today. It is just that we see it on TV, and maybe since there is a larger population, it seems that we have an avalanche of sexual sins, but it is no different than it was in Paul’s day. They were just as open as we see it today; the rise of effeminate men and other perversions was there for all to see. Paul, via the Holy Spirit, wrote about these things in Romans 1. This kind of defiance of God and His ways is the root of the attack on Christians in Paul’s day. The same defiance is fueling the attack today. These people know that there is a God, a true and living God to whom they will answer, and they are defying Him to His face and have no sense of shame or fear of the Living God.

Our freedoms and our very lives and the lives of our children are at stake, and someone needs to stand and do something.

We find ourselves in a dire situation, much like the situation here in our account of Esther. We have political enemies that have bargained for our demise. The recent laws that have been enacted by the US Congress are attacks on the very foundation of Christianity. Laws like HR5 and others in places like Australia limit what we can say about transgender and homosexual lifestyles, making some verses of the Bible illegal to say and preach from. In the case of Australia, one is not allowed to counsel an individual against a sex change or the like.

A new law that is being proposed in California will make it illegal for stores like Walmart to have boy’s and girl’s toys or clothing sections. All the toys and clothes must be in one section. In some cases, like in HR5, they are trying to make it so that no places can have male and female washrooms at all; even gyms where the showers will not have male and female restrictions, for instance. In these new laws are grave penalties of jail and financial burdens in the form of fines that will cripple most churches.

There is coming a day to make a stand; we will either have to stand up or become obsolete and forgo our call to preach the truth of God, the whole truth of God.

  • Esther did not know what was happening, verses 4-9

Much like Esther, many Christians do not know what is going on. They are blissfully ignorant and love being so. They are of the idea that this stuff just brings them down and spoils their mojo. People like me who try to inform others about the goings-on around us are called fear mongers, causing anxiety and stress. The Bible teaches that God’s people should be wise to the world around us and that we should be armed and ready for battle (Ephesian 6:10-18). In teaching on the armour of God, one will soon discover that there is no protection for the back of the soldier; we are to be moving forward and engaged in the battle. One of the most important parts of being engaged is knowing your enemy. In the military world, this is called Intelligence; this is knowing what your enemy will do or where he will be before he even does it.

Our sword is the Word of God. It is powerful and sharp according to Hebrews 4:12, able to get right down the thoughts and intents of the heart.

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

When we do not know the Word of God and we fail to read and study it, we find ourselves at a disadvantage in the war we are fighting.

Esther did not know why Mordecai was mourning, and she tried to clothe him and cover his concern. She only saw the fruit of the problem and not the problem itself. The same is true in our world today; we see the fruit and often fail to dig deeper into the problem. The root of homosexuality and the like is a hatred for God and all of His ways (see Romans 1:21). These defiant people ‘knew God’ but were not thankful. In Romans 1:25, they changed God’s truth into a lie. In Romans 1:28, they did not retain God in their knowledge. And in Romans 1:30, they hated God.

People like my Prime Minister simply hate God. Others like this hate God, and they hate you and me as His children. Haman hated the Jews, and in reality, he hated God, and he was going to destroy the Jews in defiance of God. He would stop at nothing to hurt God, and the best way to do that was to kill His people. We are in the same boat; these politicians, many, not all, simply hate God and are defying Him by attacking us.

Mordecai made Esther aware of what was going on; he told her about the financial reward being paid to kill all of the Jews in the 127 provinces that Ahasuerus ruled and that she, a Jew, would not escape even living undercover like she was, and that eventually they would kill Mordecai and put 2+2 together and figure out she was a Jew and kill her as well.

All of us are targets in the war right now. All Christians are serious targets in the war that is being fought against us and the Truth. You and I will not be allowed to be undercover Christians for much longer. Somewhere, somehow, you and I will be called to stand and opt-in or opt-out of the new normal based on what the Bible says. Your secret Christianity will come out.

  • Esther; God’s tool, verses 10-17

God is good!!! He is so far ahead of the enemy that it is mind-boggling sometimes. We can go all the way back to Joseph being sold into slavery by his brothers in the book of Genesis and see how God was way ahead of things that would threaten His people. From Joseph all the way to Moses, to Gideon, to Jeremiah and on, God always has someone in place. Someone that He put there to be used at the right time to give God the glory and effect the change necessary to save His people. Did God’s people go through tough times? Yes! But God had a plan and a purpose and a person.

Esther was that person, and she did not even know it. God put a Jewish girl at the top of the political pyramid in the empire, and He did something even more amazing; God sent a girl that Ahasuerus would love (Esther 2:17). This was very rare. Many political marriages were just that: political — no love, just sex and grandkids to preserve the peace between two rival empires. But God put Esther in the palace, and Ahasuerus loved her. This gave her more power than anyone else in the palace to influence the king, and it would provide the opportunity to save the Jews. God was so far ahead of Haman that it is sad, really. Arrogance always proceeds a great fall, and Haman was about to fall. In fact, he was already falling; he just could not feel it.

Esther was God’s tool; she had been honed and prepared for this time, and Mordecai had a big part in this.

Parents, are you preparing your children to be used by God? Have you set the example of being a vessel for God? Have you instilled in them the idea that God has them where they are for His purpose and His plan? Mordecai did this for Esther, and she was in the right place, set there by God for His use. Instill in yourselves and your children that obedience is the highest form of worship. We have become enamored today with singers and bands; they lead worship with songs, and there is nothing wrong with that. But what has happened is that the experience has become more important than the execution. What is the point of singing about how good God is if you have no plan to obey Him? If there is no obedience, then there is no worship; it is just a ritual.

Are you ready to stand up? Esther had to risk her life to do so. What about you and me? Are we ready to risk our lives, our jobs, and our earthly security to be obedient to the Lord?

I will tell you that I have been praying and asking God to help me to stand when the time comes. I feel like Gideon, me a warrior? No Lord, you’ve got the wrong guy; I am just a lowly preacher and salesman. I am no one. I am just a broken man saved by grace, no one special and no one at all. But inside I feel that the time will soon come when like Esther, we will be called to step up and step out for the Truth of God’s word and Jesus’ Gospel. We may have to risk life and security for the Truth and for the sake of our fellow man if we are to be salt and light to a lost and dying world.

Will you and I be like Isaiah and say, “Here am I, Lord, send me.” Or will we hide and let someone else do the heavy lifting? Are we as pastors preparing the Lord’s people and churches to stand in the war and fight, or are we just coddling them until Jesus comes? Oh Lord, have mercy on us.

You and I are God’s tools to be used for His glory and purposes, and sometimes those goals are served in our pain and even our deaths. The apostles rejoiced that they were considered worthy by God to suffer for Him; may we have the same idea, and may the Holy Spirit grant us the strength to suffer and die if necessary for the Lord’s plan to be enacted and fulfilled. If you are not serving the Lord in peaceful and secure times, serving Him at the risk of life and limb will be very, very difficult.

God bless you,

Dr. Sean Gooding

Pastor of Mississauga Missionary Baptist Church

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