Stepping In and Putting On
When we left off last time, at the end of chapter four, Esther calls for a three day fast before approaching the king to plead for her people. Chapter 5 opens as Queen Esther dresses in her royal robes. She is stepping in and putting on her identity as queen. Chapter 5 is the first time she is called, Queen Esther.
Here is Today’s Printable for you.
On the third day, a very weak and hungry Queen approaches the inner court of the palace. Esther is dressed in her royal robes; she faces the King seated on his throne. I imagine Esther, not able to breathe, wondering what her fate will be.
No one is allowed to approach the King; not even the queen. And a guard stands ready to cut down anyone seen as a threat. Esther’s one hope is that the king will extend the Golden scepter, pardoning her approach.
Approaching the King
The King sees Queen Esther and extends the scepter — she steps forward and touches the tip, releasing her breath and lifting the curtain of tension that has hovered over the last three days.
I find this the most powerful moment in our study, for in this act of favor we see a glimpse of God’s grace to us. Like Esther, we are unable to approach a holy God seated on his heavenly throne. But God created a way for us to find favor through Jesus Christ, the scepter of Judah. When we step forward and touch the tip of that scepter, we can approach our holy God and find favor in His presence.
[Tweet This] Like Esther, we are unable to approach a holy God
Contrasting Humility and Pride
This chapter contrasts the humility of Queen Esther and the pride of Haman. Where Esther doesn’t expect any favor from the King, Haman imagines nothing else. Esther’s invitation for the King and Haman to attend a private banquet goes straight to Haman’s head. As we will soon see, the pedestal is beginning to totter as Haman climbs higher and higher in his estimation of himself.
When the king asks Esther for her request, she invites them to attend another banquet the following day. What a contrast to the King’s pace — in verse five he commands Haman to be brought quickly. But, Esther takes her time, realizing the gravity of the situation. After all, how can she charge Haman and expose his plot when the King gave him the power and permission to carry it out?
Haman’s Pride Goes to His Head
Haman is preening from all this attention. He boasts to his friends and family about everything he has attained:
The glory of his riches
The number of his sons
Every instance of how he’s been magnified by the King
And he’s tickled that the Queen has sought his company over all others to attend another banquet.
Yet, discontentment over Mordecai’s dismissal of bowing to his authority has clouded his view. Nothing satisfies him because of it.
Do you hear Haman’s pedestal creaking? [Tweet This]
Like the King’s princes who didn’t reveal the truth of the King’s actions in chapter two, Haman’s family encourages him to build a gallows to be rid of Mordecai once and for all, and to do it before the banquet so he can enjoy himself. Unwise counsel can be a contributor to our downfall. We’re about to see the cracks in Haman’s pedestal give way.
What aspect of Christ do you need to clothe yourself with today?
How can you step into the identity you have in Jesus Christ?
Join me next time when a restless night clarifies things.
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Cracked Foundation meme created with a Morguefile image, crafted at Canva.com by Jeanne Doyon