Esther Series Part 1-Background

Ephesians 6:13
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

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Long before the Jewish people were ever taken captive by King Nebuchadnezzar, before there existed terrible danger to God’s people, He was orchestrating events to preserve and protect them.  The story of Esther demonstrates this BETTER than any other!

Warning After Warning.
Over centuries of time, God had warned His people to keep His statutes and to not worship other gods.  Though He sent prophet after prophet and they were oppressed by many of the surrounding nations on and off, they ultimately turned away from the True God.

Here’s why it is so dangerous:  Doing so meant they were no longer offering the right sacrifices to God so He could cover their sins.  If He could not cover their sins, He was unable to bless and protect them.  They never understood this.

Finally, after many years of enslavement to other nations, He allowed them to be led away from their land and into captivity in Babylon.

Yet, even though all their troubles were of their own making, He never left or forsook them, but continued to work behind the scenes on their behalf.

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Code Book.
The Bible is like a code book.  We have the New Testament concealed somewhere in the Old in various places, like an expanded view.  It functions kind of like a “Pictionary,” if you will.  The Apostle Paul was given much of this kind of revelation by none other than Jesus Himself.  In fact, EVERYTHING he said is explained in greater detail somewhere in the Old Testament.

There are also secrets hidden in the Hebrew language itself.  Bear in mind, however, that these things are not new information. THAT WOULD BE FRIGHTENING! It is simply new revelation of things that were hidden there all along by God.

Layers Of Meaning.

Why did God hide these things? Because our enemy, the devil, was working overtime to thwart His plan to send His Champion, Jesus. Since old slimy didn’t know who it was, he tried every trick in the book to try and stop the One Who would come and crush his head.

His plan is hidden in these layers of meaning and in hidden messages.  There are stories within stories; meanings in names, places, numbers, and even the Hebrew letters themselves.

The book of Esther book is no exception!  FYI, pay close attention to any names or words you see in bold print.  At the end of this series, we’ll see a wonderful message from our Abba for us in these last days.

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Background.
King Nebuchadnezzar had come down from the North.  He attacked the Israelites and took many of them away captive to Babylon.  The entire story of Esther takes place during this time.

Esther, along with her parents, were taken along with other notables, like Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Mordecai, the hero of the book of Esther.  At some point, she had lost both her parents, though we are not told what happened to them.  Mordecai, her much older uncle, took her in and cared for her as if she was his own daughter.

Hadassah.
Not her given name, Esther is actually Persian. It means, “Star,” though it also has a meaning in Hebrew. We’ll cover this topic in a later part of this series.
The name given to her by her parents was, “Hadassah,” which means, “Myrtel Tree.”  The Myrtle is a blessing tree that was used in the building of the Tabernacle as well as in the construction of most “Sukkah,” or temporary shelters during the feast of Tabernacles.

Story Line.

Every good story needs a hero, a villain, secrets and plots, a beautiful maiden in distress, and an exciting conclusion.  On a scale of 1-10, the story of Esther delivers on all points!

We have Mordecai, the hero who overheard all of the evil plans and plots behind the scenes.  He was the one who made them known to his niece, who had become Queen at the beginning of the story. Together, they saved both the king and, subsequently, their entire nation from total annihilation.

Then we have Haman, the evil villain, who plotted to destroy the Jewish people out of spite for Mordecai.

Finally, we have our exciting conclusion:  The preservation of the entire Jewish race from total destruction!

Nebuchadnezzar’s Sons.
Nebuchadnezzar was first to reign as king over Babylon, given his authority by God Himself.  Next came his son, “Belshazzar,” who was succeeded by his son, the one we know as, “Good king Darius.  He is also known to us as the “Ahasuerus,” in the story, though historically, he was known as, “Artaxerxes.”  Ahasuerus and Artaxerxes are not actually names; they are titles, like Pharaoh is a title.

Let’ now look at chapter one which opens with the account of Vashti, the first queen, who was very soon be deposed.  Please follow the link below to part 2 as we continue studying this wonderful story:

https://emmausroadministries.wordpress.com/2017/03/09/esther-series-part-2-the-festival-of-wine/

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