|ESTHER CHAPTER FOUR|
Esther Chapter Four
When Mordecai perceived all that was done, Mordecai rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and a bitter cry; And came even before the king's gate: for none might enter into the king's gate clothed with sackcloth. And in every province, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes.
This chapter opens by saying, “When Mordecai perceived all that was done…”
Therefore he knew that the day was coming when he and his people would be put to death. His reaction to this was humility. We are told that Mordecai, “rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes.”
Wearing sackcloth and ashes was an ancient custom that is often synonymous with repentance. It signifies being broken and humble before the Lord.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. ~ Psalm 51:17, KJV
Mordecai was in need of a savior. This is the same attitude that unbelievers would have if they only accepted that that they are in danger of judgement and condemnation without the atoning blood of Jesus Christ.
1. Examine your life to see if you are in the faith?
2. Have you accepted Jesus as your personal savior?
3. Have you come to a place in your life where you understand that sin leads to death, and repentance leads to life?
So Esther's maids and her chamberlains came and told it her. Then was the queen exceedingly grieved; and she sent raiment to clothe Mordecai, and to take away his sackcloth from him: but he received it not. Then called Esther for Hatach, one of the king's chamberlains, whom he had appointed to attend upon her, and gave him a commandment to Mordecai, to know what it was, and why it was. So Hatach went forth to Mordecai unto the street of the city, which was before the king's gate. And Mordecai told him of all that had happened unto him, and of the sum of the money that Haman had promised to pay to the king's treasuries for the Jews, to destroy them.
It’s obvious from verse 8 that Esther wasn’t aware of the pending doom. She didn’t understand why Mordecai was in sackcloth and ashes. I find this portion of scripture very interesting given that Mordecai represents the Spirit that is given to each believer.
We are told in John chapter 16 that, “when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:” (v.8) The Holy Spirit is that voice inside us that convicts us of sin, while encouraging us to do
1. Is there anything in your life that you’ve recently been convicted of or encouraged to improve upon?
2. What is your plan of action?
Also he gave him the copy of the writing of the decree that was given at Shushan to destroy them, to shew it unto Esther, and to declare it unto her, and to charge her that she should go in unto the king, to make supplication unto him, and to make request before him for her people. And Hatach came and told Esther the words of Mordecai. Again Esther spake unto Hatach, and gave him commandment unto Mordecai; All the king's servants, and the people of the king's provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or women, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days.
In verse eight we see Mordecai urging Esther to go to the King, ”Charge her that she should go in unto the king, to make supplication unto him, and to make request before him for her people.”
Esther replies, “Do know, that whosoever, whether man or women, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days. (v.11)
Compare this with Matthew 16:24-6,
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
1. What instruction does this offer to believers today?
In much the same way, the Holy Spirit guides us toward paths of righteousness. We aren’t called to do the easy thing, we’re called to do the right thing. This goes against the modern mindset which will tell you, “If it feels good, it must be right.”
"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." ~ 1 Peter 4:12-13, KJV
1. What are some difficult things that you’ve endured for the sake of Christ?
2. Looking back, can you see how you’ve been sharpened and matured by the trials?
3. Is there are trial in your life right now?
4. Can you find a way to rejoice in them?
Esther 4: 12-14
And they told to Mordecai Esther's words. Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews. For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
I love how Mordecai expresses wisdom to Esther here. He tells her that God can bring deliverance for His people from another place. But he points out that when God gives us an opportunity to serve Him we must take it. It is an honor and a privilege to serve God.
With that said, I have to point out that he didn’t actually use the word, “God.” He said that “deliverance” would arise for the Jews. In fact the word, “God” doesn’t appear at all in the book of Esther. It’s the only book of the Bible that doesn’t use the word, with Song of Solomon coming in at a close second.
This is the most popular verse in the book of Esther:
“For such a time as this.”
These words suggest to Esther that this was her purpose and the very reason she was in the Kings palace.
Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer, Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish. So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.
Understanding her call, Esther is obedient to the faith and takes a step toward salvation. She asks that all of the Jews, including herself and her maidens fast for three days and three nights at which time she will approach the king. She ends her plea by saying, “If I perish, I perish.”
Compare her attitude to Philippians 3:8,
“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.”
At the end of this chapter we see a change in Esther’s heart as she is ready and willing to lose her life to gain her salvation.
1. What do you think affected her decision most?