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Esther - The Fearful Heroine (5 of 5)
As you're turning to Esther 4 this morning, I want to give you a little background to the story we'll be reading. Nearly 500 years before Christ, and about 50 years after Ezra had led the Jews back to Jerusalem from their captivity in Babylon (they'd been sent into captivity due their sinful and unrepentant hearts) many of the Jewish people still live the land of Persia under the reign of a King named Xerxes (NIV) or Ahasuerus (KJV). Now, Xerxes was a pagan who was known to be a cruel and capricious man, driven by sensual desires. We're introduced to him at the beginning of the book of Esther where he has staged a grand festival designed to exhibit the power and wealth of Kingdom that lasted for over 6 months. And at the end of that festival he held a 7 day feast filled with food and drink. Too much drink obviously, because on the 7th day of that feast the King and become quite drunk, and in his drunkenness he called for his beautiful queen, Queen Vashti, to come and parade before guests. She is offended by his request and promptly refuses. This in turn enrages the King… and he deposes her. After he has had time to reconsider his anger he seeks to find a replacement for Vashti. His counselors advised him to hold a beauty contest and from amongst the most beautiful women of the land, to choose a new queen. And that's how Esther became the Queen of Persia.
Shortly thereafter, we're introduced to the villain of the story. He's an ambitious and arrogant noble by the name of Haman. Haman was a favorite of the King and he has apparently done something that has allowed him to be placed in a position of high honor. The King passes a decree that commands all his officials must bow down and honor Haman whenever he passed.
But there was one man in the city who refused to do this. Esther's uncle Mordecai Mordecai was a righteous man, and he wasn't going to bow to anyone other than God. E ...
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