The Lord’s Message: God is at Work:  Esther Becomes Queen

The Lord’s Message: God is at Work:  Esther Becomes Queen
Date:  July 2, 2023
Where:  Tilghman UMC
Scripture Reference: 

            Has something ever happened to you, and you have thought, “That was a coincidence.”  Such as the time that I asked JoAnn out for a date, and she had other plans for the evening.  I went to the video store to rent a movie.  As I was coming out of the store, she was walking in.  We met and decided to go to the movies to see “Pretty Woman.”  She is still the prettiest woman that I have ever seen.  Was that a coincidence?  We do not think that it was.  It was God working on our behalf.  God is always at work.  The Bible tells us in Romans 8:28. I would suggest that we stop thinking of situations as “coincidences” and start thinking of them as “Godincidences.” 

            Let us pray.

            We are going to start a new sermon series in the Book of Esther entitled God at Work. The setting of this book is in Persia.  We are not told the author of this book, but they must have been very familiar with the customs of the government in Persia.  King Xerxes was king of the Medes and Persian empire from 485 to 464 BC.  We discovered in verse 1 his kingdom is made up of 127 provinces stretching from India to Ethiopia.  You might recall that it was the Medes and Persian empire which brought down the Babylonia empire under King Darius.  It was brought down because God was at work.   In Daniel 5:1-6, 22-28, 30, God shows Belshazzar who is boss.  God at work!

We have another king, this time King Xerxes, who wants to show off his empire which he received from God. He starts off this grand display with a tour which lasts 180 days.  The people that are invited on this tour are all his nobles and officials, military leaders, princes, and nobles of all the provinces.  At the end of this tour there is a celebration banquet.  The celebration banquet lasts 7 days.  No expense is spared.  There are golden goblets created for each person to drink wine.  Each goblet is designed differently.  No two goblets are alike.  The guests are not restricted from which wine to consume or how much wine.  After seven days, the king and the other men are thoroughly drunk.  At this point, the king decides the eunuchs should bring in Queen Vashti.  Look at Esther chapter 1 verse 12.  She refuses.  I understand exactly why she would refuse.  Would you want to be in a group of drunk men?  In Ephesians 5:18, Paul warns us about getting drunk on wine.  Husbands, we should never put our wives in a compromising situation and the same goes for the wives with their husbands.  In Ephesians 5:21-33, Paul uses the example of the marriage covenant to describe the relationship between Jesus and the church.  Husbands and wives should love and have respect for each other. 

            The king is furious with the queen for not coming, and for disregarding his authority.  Instead, King Xerxes should be upset with himself for placing his wife in a compromising situation.  Of course, the king consults with “experts” of law and justice.   The king will not take responsibility for his action, so he uses his lawyers to invalidate the action of the queen.  Look at verses 16-20.  Respect is not given.  It is earned.  God is at work. 

            So, Queen Vashti is deposed.  In Esther 2:2-4, there isa search for virgins for a beauty pageant.   We now learn of one particular woman named Esther in verses 5-7.  Esther was selected because God is at work. 

            Esther is brought into the king’s palace and is under the direction of king’s eunuch, Hegai.  Listen to the procedure that Esther is going through, verses 8-9.  In verse 12, she is going to have to complete 12 months of beauty treatment. 

            In verses 10-11, Mordecai is wondering what is happening to her, but God is at work.  Esther is made into the most beautiful of women and she is also the smartest of women.  Esther listens to those around her, first Mordecai and then Hegai.  God has placed these people in her life.  How many times has God placed people in our lives?  Their time with us may be short or may be long.  It might only be for a brief encounter.  God is at work.  God brings people into our lives when we need the support.  God brings us into other peoples lives to support them.  God is at work. 

            Listening and following the people that God has brought into her life, pays off for Esther.  Look at verses 15-17.  God is at work.  We will find out later on why it is important that Esther is queen.  Nowhere in this book in the name of God mentioned, but we know that God is at work.  God removed the Babylonians and allowed the Medes and Persians to conquer them.  God is at work.  Esther was listening and following the people that God brought into her life, Mordecai and Hegai.  God is at work.  God removed Queen Vashti and has replaced her with Esther as queen of the Medes and Persians. 

            I would like for you this week to take time and think about how God is at work in your life.  Then, I suggest that you pray, thanking God for the people that God has brought into your life.  Thanking God for working in your life.  If you are able, reach out and thank the individuals that have made a difference in your life.   Amen. 

July 2, 2023 12:31 pm