We turn out attention again this week to the Book of Esther. This is the only book in the Bible where God’s name is never mentioned. We found in our previous study that this is an allegorical story. It is a story in which each character is a symbol or type of a greater thought and they are used to tell a story that teaches truth. The four characters introduced thus far are King Ahasuerus, (a picture of the god of this world), Queen Vashti, (our old nature), Esther, (picture of the new nature), and Mordecai (a picture of faith).
In our last study we looked at ‘The Beauty Of Providence’. We came to the conclusion through this study of this definition of providence which is ‘It is the unseen hand of God reaching into the glove of my history to tell ‘His Story’.
I want to look this week at ‘The Battle Of Providence’. If there were any sub themes to this book they would be ‘good versus evil’, ‘flesh versus spirit’, or the ‘old nature versus the new nature’.
This is an inward battle and not an outward battle. It is not a battle of doing but done. In fighting this battle you must find out where you are. Ron Dunn, the great evangelist of yesterday, went to a dinner at the Dallas, Texas Coliseum. He and his wife walked the circle for a while until his wife commented that they had been there before. He noticed a ‘Directory’ with a big red circle that said, ‘You Are Here’. He came to this conclusion that you cannot get to where you need to be until you find our where you are. He came to the conclusion that those who claim to be saved are not as far along as they think they are.
I begin this week in Chapter 1 and look at the thought of ‘A Fleshly Queen And Ungodly King’. Vashti mentioned in verse 12 is a picture of the ‘old nature’. We are born with but one nature. It is stubborn and will not choose God. The natural man receiveth not the things of God. Vashti, the fleshly old nature, and King Ahasuerus are wonderful illustrations of what we were like before God found us.
In verses 3 and 4 we find ‘Pride Of The Flesh’. In verse 4 we are told the King threw a party that lasted 180 days and 7 extra days to boot. There were three reasons why this celebration was given and all of them smell of pride. One of the reasons was to ‘shew his riches’. The little phrase means to unveil what has been accumulated by ones self. The second reason was to ‘shew his glorious kingdom’ which means to let others see ones assent and sitting procedure upon his throne. The third was ‘the honour of his excellent majesty’. This phrase has the idea of boasting in one’s mighty acts and deeds. Pride is seeing ones self as somebody when we are nothing. Pride always goes before a fall. I wonder if there is an overwhelming sense in the Church that we are not as far along the humility road as we think we are. If you think you are a humble person there is a good chance you are not.
In verse 5-8 of Chapter 1 we find ‘The Pleasure Of The Flesh’. During this 187 days of partying the Queen Vashti was called to dance before the King. I feel like she was to dance naked and with nothing but her crown on. She refuses to come. Flesh doesn’t want to be exposed though God says in Hebrews that we are all naked and open before God.
In Chapter 1 and verse 15 we find ‘The Perception Of The Flesh’. They attempt to bring Vashti, the old nature, under control of the law. Paul said that when the law enters the transgressions abound. Flesh will not control flesh. You can educate it, moralize it, and bring it under the law, but it is still just flesh. There must be a new queen, a new nature to sit upon the throne of our hearts if we are to conquer in this battle. May our cry be to the God of Providence to reach His unseen hand into our life and place His divine nature on the throne of our hearts.