In the first two blogs of this series, we looked at moments where God demonstrated that He is the God of All Gods who can do all things. In the final blog we hope to bring you full circle after exploring stories about Zechariah, Hezekiah, Esther, and Elijah. Let's continue in "Zhee is for Zeal."
If you read the text leading up to the start of The Book of Esther, depending on your bible... you'll be warned that the story never mentions God. This is quite interesting as we've enjoyed the presence of God by use of angels and prophecy in Blog Z and Blog H. After reading of King Hezekiah who never responded to his enemy; this is also becoming a symbol of power.
In the two previous blogs we saw God's use of Prayer paired with Prophecy as well as Prayer paired with Subordination. In this Blog, we will see God's use of Beauty and Sacrifice. We begin with the portion of the story found in Esther 1:16-18.
It reads, "Queen Vashti has done wrong, not only against the king but also against all the nobles and the peoples of all the provinces of King Xerxes. For the queen's conduct will become known to all the women, and so they will despise their husbands and say, 'King Xerxes commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, but she would not come.' This very day the Persian and Median women of the nobility who have heard about the queen's conduct will respond to all the kings's nobles in the same way. There will be no end of disrespect and discord.
With the upset of Queen Vashti the King then begins a search for a Queen in which Esther becomes after much deliberation. Esther is an orphan and has been reared by her cousin Mordecai who instructed her not to make her background known. Therefore the king nor his men are aware that she is a Jew. The bible describes Esther as having a lovely figure and being beautiful. It also states that Esther won the favor of all who saw her. You may read the full story which is contained within the Book of Esther and is only a few pages long.
I will go back and forth between Esther and her cousin Mordecai as I point at my observations, as they both play a definite role in the story. One might even ask, did Mordecai save the Jews in Susa or did Esther. Still one might say Mordecai was the reason dispatches were sent the all the king's provinces to annihilate the Jews. But how about God to pair the non virtuous with the virtuous, and to display the strength of a two strand chord. So much so that throughout the story, Esther and Mordecai reflect each other and demonstrate a single mind.
It was Mordecai's refusal to bow down and pay honor to the king's men that got the attention of Haman one of the king's leading men. In Esther 3:8 Haman says, "There's a certain people dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom who keep themselves separate. Their customs are different from those of all other people, and they do not obey the king's laws; it is not in the king's best interest to tolerate them." With that, the kings authorizes Haman to do with the Jews as he pleases. Mordecai becomes aware of the edict and begins to weep and mourn publicly; specifically at the king's gate. In fact this is where Mordecai spends much of his time, and where he overheard two of the king's guards plotting to kill him. A scheme he reported which saved the king's life. However, Mordecai is unknown to the king and has received no reward. Now he is in danger of being killed for being a Jew.
Let's stop and examine Mordecai's positioning. Esther 2:21 says he was sitting at the king's gate and the two men were guarding the doorway. As already stated, there are no prophecies in this book of the bible, yet.. Mordecai takes up his position at the king's gate. Now let's look at the spiritual warfare. Mordecai naturally and truthfully defeats his enemy who is guarding the doorway to the king's palace where he is not welcomed as a Jewish exile. However Mordecai's actions or instincts shows that he is consciously unaware but spiritually aware of his fate. Yet, the spiritual warfare is that what should have and could have been an easy road to his destiny (growing in favor with the king after saving the king's life) turns out to nothing as his deed is overlooked, and now his life is being threatened.
Here is where Elohim: God of All Gods makes an appearance. Did you know? that right in the midst of the threat against your life is where God hopes to be God? Now, let's jump back into the story.
Esther becomes aware of Mordecai's mourning and gets word of what is happening. She then instructs him to gather together all of the Jews who are in Susa, and fast. "Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish."
When I first read the Book of Esther the Lord gave me a great revelation of the word; understanding to be exact. It was the understanding between a petition and a request; two words that are now commonly used interchangeably and one might see as having the same meaning. The revelation was that a petition is a desire, but a request is a demand. Now let's look at Queen Esther's petitions and demands. At the end of Esther's fast she approaches the king. The king is please with Esther and allows her to come to him. He then asks her, "What is your petition? It will be given you. And what is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted."
Later in the story after Esther throw a banquet she reveals her petitions and demands to the king. Esther 7:3 reads, "If I have found favor with you, Your Majesty, and if it pleases you, grant me my life-- this is my petition. And spare my people-- this is my request." Here Esther gives a second glimpse into her virtue. This is important to note because the story begins with her becoming Queen because of the king's great attraction to her. Here we see that God used Beauty and Sacrifice. Queen Esther first sacrifice in fasting, and then by demanding that the king spare her people while only petitioning for her own life. This is also the second time Esther sacrifices her life. The first was her approaching the king without being summoned which was against the law.
Notice Esther never manipulated the king, but God's gift to her, baited the king for such a time that he would lay down a law for his chosen people in the land where they where exiled.
Now also notice, the first edict sent out by Haman to annihilate the Jews was written in the king's name and sealed with his ring. However in chapter 8 verse 8, it reads, "Now write another decree in the king's name in behalf of the Jews as seems best to you, and seal it with the king's signet ring-- for no document written in the king's name and sealed with his ring can be revoked." Perhaps another distinction of terms may be necessary here. One might say Haman's decree was being revoked. Still another might say it was being replaced. Whichever it was being... it was unlikely. Yet it was happening. It also just so happened that Esther's request and reveal of Haman's plot to destroy her people came the night before Haman had planned on killing Mordecai. It also just so happened that days before Esther's banquet, the king became aware of Mordecai and how he had saved his life.
Can I say, it just so happened that The God of All Gods had been present.
But we know that one of the ways we can usually identify Elohim: God of All Gods is by his use of angels. Again we look at Mordecai. His spiritual connection is undeniable. Read again the phrase... "he was sitting at the King's gate" and remember how he saved the king's life. This is a sign of a principality; one who guards over cities. But Mordecai behaves like a "Power" (one who possess the power and intelligence that is subordinate only to God). Then we learn of all the power he is then given when Haman's estate is transferred to him. In fact it is Mordecai who writes the new dispatches concerning the Jews and seals them with the king's signet ring. Dispatches which included the demise of ten of Haman's sons. So we're seeing that in the spiritual realm Mordecai may be even higher up. Perhaps even a cherub. I say this because in chapter 4 verse 7, Mordecai reveals to Esther's servants even the amount that Haman had offered to give the Royal Treasury for the destruction of the Jews. This information had been discussed only between the king and Haman. Yet, in the natural realm he was subjected to order, just as we saw King Hezekiah subordinate to the wisdom of Isaiah. In the natural realm he could not attain his rightful position without Esther. But just to show the balanced hand of God.. Mordecai had earned the king's favor on his own, and Esther could not grow a huge ego for giving him Haman's estate because she had been an orphan and Mordecai had raised her as his own daughter.
Now we know that He is the beginning and the end! And in the end, a new conduct of the Queen became known to all the women. It was not one of disrespect but respect, nor was it one of discord, but a might two strand chord.
Coming up in the last Blog of Elohim: God of All Gods, is an exploration of one of the stories concerning Elijah. If you're enjoying the series, please tell someone about it.
And remember to go within that you may never go without. The God within you awaits you. Until our paths collide again... I wish you Peace, Love, Life, and Complete Wholeness in Christ.
NaTisha Renee Williams