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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Smith :: Esther - The Study of Providence

Don Smith :: The Study of Providence - Esther 5

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Exposition of Esther - Chapter Five

How Was God’s Providence at Work in Setting Up “The Tree”?

  1. In God’s providence after Queen Esther and the Jews prayed, she found favor before King Ahashuerus.
    1. Esther 5:1-8
      • She put on her royal attire to be recognized, as she came unbidden before the King.
      • Once the King was aware of her presence, rather than have her killed, he welcomed her by holding out his golden scepter, a symbol of sovereign power and acceptance.
      • The king asked what she desired and promised to grant her up to half of his kingdom.
      • Biblical history recalls another instance in Mark 6:14-28 with King Herod.
      • King Herod offered Herodias’s daughter the same privilege.
      • After consulting her vengeful mother, she asked Herod for the head of John the Baptist.
      • In God’s providence the man John, called to prepare the way for Christ, fulfilled his call.
      • After John’s death, Jesus’ ministry was headed for the Cross.
      • Esther’s request of the king will also mark God’s providence, heading for a Tree.
      • Before making her request, Esther planned to find a way to her man’s heart through his stomach.
      • With wisdom gained from three days of prayer and female intuition, she invited the king and Haman to join her for a banquet of wine, after which she planned to make her request known.
      • The king liked Esther’s demonstration of personal attention and ordered his servants to bring Haman to join the celebration.
        1. In God’s providence Esther requested holding another banquet the next day before making her request known.
          • Some say Esther choked under fear and pressure.
          • Others suggest it was Esther’s feminine intuition that told her the king was not ready to hear her request to rescind the law calling for the death of all Jews.
          • This much can be certain, God in His providence ordained the death of Haman.
          • He used Haman’s hatred and pride to become his own destruction.
          • “The Tree” was a foreshadowing of the cross, ordained by God for His Son’s death.
          • Acts 2:22-25 – “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know—Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.”
          • Acts 4:27-29 – “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.”
  2. In God’s providence, He used Haman’s envy of “the Jew” to be his own downfall.
    1. Esther 5:9-14
      • Haman’s euphoria for the unexpected privilege of another banquet alone with the king and queen gave him unrealistic hope for more power and possessions.
      • Haman’s enmity stirred hot when walking through the gates to notice Mordecai did not stand in honor or tremble in fear.
      • All his dreams of success meant nothing if he couldn’t have “the Jew” show him honor and respect.
      • His joy was consumed with hatred.
      • Mordecai’s refusal to honor Haman is like Christ’s refusal to bow and honor the devil.
      • Read about Satan’s temptations of Christ (Luke 4:5-13).
      • Haman returned home where family and friends awaited him.
      • A few “high-fives” where celebrated after he gave them details of his recent honors.
      • When he vented his frustration at Mordecai’s refusal to acknowledge him; his wife Zeresh reacted with spousal defense and anger.
      • She and the party strongly recommended a 75-foot gallow (tree) be made so that in the early morning Mordecai could be killed before any opposition to this scheme could be formed.
      • They plotted Mordecai’s death into the early morning hours.
      • They agreed to have gallows (tree) be quickly built during the night.
      • In the morning, he was to go merrily to the king and request Mordecai be “impaled” or “hung” on the tree. (Matthew 27:1)
      • On the night Jesus was taken captive in Gethsemane, His enemies plotted His death.
      • They agreed to go early in the morning to Pilot and ask for Jesus to be crucified.
      • The serpent and the serpent’s enmity has been used by God throughout history to accomplish their own defeat!

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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