If you’d like to join us in our journey reading all the way through the Bible this year, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll be glad to email back a copy of the reading plan we are using.
You’re listening to Through the Word in 2020 – and I’m your host Reid Ferguson.
Some days – like today, our readings are so full and rich, choosing which to meditate on seems impossible.
Key instructions on how the Church and ministers are to be ordered in 1 Timothy 4:6–6:2. A plea for inward transformation so as to live pleasing to God in Psalm 119:33–40. Jesus’ exposing the hypocrisy of the Jewish leaders of His day while manifesting His kingdom in Luke 11:14–26, And then this exciting account of the Jews in captivity in Esther 6:14–9:32. Each deserves so much attention.
But I’d like to suggest to you that what we have in Esther is one of the most sweeping overviews of the story of salvation – why we need it and how it was accomplished – to be found anywhere in the Bible. It is an amazing picture painted for us in the real life events of that small but powerful book. You could almost see it as a play in 6 acts.
Consider these amazing parallels to redemptive history in terms of some types and shadows. Indulge my imagination a bit. Remember, these are just shadows. Hints at the realities.
Think of King Ahasuerus as the God type figure.
Queen Vashti as representing humanity back in the Garden, before the Fall.
The Banquet as the scene in Eden – Man created to reflect the glory of God. A rightful display of created beauty.
Then Vashti’s refusal as mankind refusing to remain in our created glory.
Council = The Human response to sin. We make laws and commands to reign in all. An attempt to produce righteousness by mere rote obedience.
Mordecai enters as a Christ figure. In the likeness of fallen man, as a Jew in captivity because of our collective sin.
Esther then takes on the cast of the New man / The Bride and Queen in Christ. The redeemed.
Haman is easily the Satan figure
And Haman’s plot is what Satan’s has always been, an attempt to destroy God’s “Queen” for personal vanity.
Haman’s “decree.” Satan uses God’s own law to condemns us. Even though we are now married to the King.
In Esther’s time of prayer and fasting we see how we are to seek the Lord’s judgment on the enemy. We cannot do it ourselves.
Then the King makes a decree which unfolds how grace overrides the Law without repealing it. The heart of the book and redemption is found here. It is the most profound, graphic illustration of
Romans 8:2 – “For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”
Haman’s death portends Satan’s defeat.
The Jew’s response to the new law shows our part in the destruction of the enemy and his machinations. That not only is Satan defeated, all that he has set in motion is also reversed.
And as the Jews gain victory but take none of the spoils, so in Christ, we gain the victory over Satan and sin, but not to obtain any of this World’s goods – but to have an eternal inheritance in the heavenlies.
So here’s a summary:
Act 1 – Ch. 1-2 / The Fall. Adam in rebellion, and a new “bride” sought. The Church secured.
Act 2 – Ch. 3-5 / The jealousy and evil opposition of Satan. And Christ’s interposition in and through His saints.
Act 3 – Ch. 6 / The exaltation of Christ and the humiliation of Satan.
Act 4 – Ch. 7 / Satan trampled underneath the feet of the Church.
Act 5 – Ch. 8-9 / The triumph of grace over the Law.
Act 6 – Ch. 10 / The glory of Christ in the history of man, and His love and intercession for His people.
Muse on that all a bit today.
God willing, we’ll be back tomorrow.