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The Curtain Rises

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
June 18, 2021 12:00 am

The Curtain Rises

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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June 18, 2021 12:00 am

On the surface, Esther’s life is a real Cinderella story. But as Stephen takes us behind the trappings of her new-found royalty, we’ll discover that things aren’t nearly as good as they seem. Join him now in part two of his message “The Curtain Rises” to discover what’s really been going on behind the scenes.

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No matter how untimely were difficult events of your life, which are played out on stage your own experience.

Don't miss the very practical truth right now parading across version.inspecting his written script. His hand is in the glove of history. Listen, it's in the glove of your on the surface. Esther's life is a real Cinderella story. She moves from obscurity and the humble position to the position of Queen.

But, as Stephen takes us behind the trappings of her newfound royalty will discover that things aren't nearly as good as they seem. That's often the case is in it. When you look a little deeper into the lives and cultures. There's usually some pain and hardship even in the best stories. This is wisdom for the heart. Keep listening as Steven David opens God's word to Esther in this message. Called the curtain rises for many centuries. In the book of Esther has caused a great deal of heartburn in the church. That's because God is never mentioned one time in this entire drama Martin Luther, the reformer didn't like the book of Esther at all matter-of-fact. He said it included and I quote too many. He then on that generalities. It does by the way John Calvin.

The reformer never preached a sermon from the book of Esther, nor did he included in his commentaries back for the first 700 years of church history, not one commentary was produced on the book of Esther, the Jewish people on the other hand, revered the book. As you can well understand and imagine for centuries.

We've understood that the absence of God's name in the book of Esther is is one of the major points of the book. The point is this even in the shadows, you discover that he is the shadow side of Esther.

Factors become one of the greatest revelations of the providence of God in Scripture that God fulfills his purposes as he manages the events of world history J. Vernon McGee used to say it this way that providence is the hand of God in the glove like now. I just think as we begin today I want to think of Esther as the retelling of God's providence sorted in the form of a play a dramatic play maybe think of it is as if you're attending a major musical production at about human life and I enjoy plays we don't see nearly as many as we would like because of time but but maybe you been to a play or musical. One of the last one is my wife and I enjoyed was our daughter's senior play that way Christian Academy last year. Charity landed a role in the production.

Little orphan Annie, and of all the characters she codified of all the characters she could have played.

My daughter played rather un-sanctified sassy brazen young woman who, with her boyfriend tried to get a hold of the ransom promised by claiming to be the long-lost parents of Annie so the curtain rises and my daughter comes out on stage and high heels and fishnet stockings smacking or chewing gum. In talking with his sassy New York accident people collective edible matters like Terry like that before either he said, wow, what a great idea that I don't know if you come some season restrict to good for me. Maybe you've attended play and in the surehanded you the playbill. So while you're waiting while the orchestra tuning up your reading over the introduction you're reading the bio of the actors in the play, you read over the summary of each seem to get a feel for where this and in the house like curtain right as the curtain rises in Esther chapter 1 you're immediately struck as you would be a play with setting and what setting is given to us here would just call this scene number one and entitled a lavish reception. Look at verse three. Where we left off in the third year of his reign as a hazardous Greek king Xerxes remember a hazardous is a throne name like Pharaoh Orsi. He gave the banquets for all his princes and attendance.

The Army officers of Persia and media all the nobles and the princes of his provinces being in his presence and he displayed the riches of his royal glory and the splendor of his great majesty for many days. As a matter fact for 180. This is a six month banquet.

He had to have a lot of money. He was rich in paying for this reception wasn't nearly as difficult for him as you paying for your daughter's wedding reception lasted an hour right. Only the best for your daughters right right I have anything the Smithfield barbecue is the best.

Okay, let in on the menu here. Becky, you need to know that this is not some kind of extravagant banquet just to eat food. The third year of the rain the other hazardous corresponds historically to the great war Council of 483 BC held at the palace of Susa. It was at this Council, where the king met with the leaders of his vast empire to convince them that they could all successfully march upon and defeat the Grecian Empire, Greece and Persia are the two superpowers of this generation and so this banquet is intended to prove any shadow of a doubt to his subjects that that he was everything he boasted he was the king of all the earth, so one inscription.

So after 180 days of putting on the dog.

Xerxes now throws open the doors to include everybody else in the palace look at verse five when these days were completed.

The King gave a banquet lasting seven days a week for all the people who were present at the Citadel in Susa is the interior palace from the greatest of the least, and it took place in the courts of the garden of the king's palace. All the administrative staff is Chief of Staff's family, his friends are all invited to this final climactic week seven days where he rolls it all out. This is the finale back some of the details are given to us of his wealth and in his and the luxury of this setting the scene. Look at verse six and there were hangings of fine white violet linen held by cords of fine purple linen on the silver rings and marble columns. We uncovered the fact that these columns came from Solomons Temple because I wanted to talk of couches of gold and silver. The Hebrew construction indicates. These are not plated with gold or silver. These couches are solid gold and solid silver sitting out in the courtyard on this mosaic of precious gems that are listed here by the way you want to know that the Persian word for garden is part The Greeks took that word transliterated it for themselves. And it would be pronounced paradise. We've taken that word from the Greeks and transliterated it and pronounce it paradise. This was paradise.

And if you had any doubt Lazarus is the king of paradise. So this is this is the banquet of the sensory and anybody who is anybody got an invitation he has gathered all the dignitaries, the leaders all the generals all the admirals all powerfully connected movers and shakers in his kingdom.

By the way, which stretches from Africa to India if you were an outsider looking on a hazardous seems every bit the undefeatable powerful commanding sovereign debt could defeat Greece and any other Empire on the planet. Certainly he can command the greatest Army the world is ever known. Then, with subtle iron you discovered this great king cannot command his wife so as we leave the lavish reception of scene one scene two opens with global simply entitled a lascivious request would you notice the comment by the way first. Back in verse nine that informs us that mean Vashti also gave a banquet for the women in the palace which belonged to King hazardous of somewhere else on that incredible palace grounds. She's holding a banquet now. The reception then of Xerxes would have been.

According to the custom here for men only. Historians believe that she was giving this banquet for the household staff and also all of the wives of the king and his concubines.

He had 360. The word Vashti means desirable. There are some Hebrew scholars that believe it was a pet name. It was an honorary title for one of his favor wide.

Now watch what happens on the last day of all this feasting.

Verse 10 informs us when the heart of the king was Mary with wine. He commands the seven UNIX server in verse 11 to bring clean Vashti before the king with her royal crown in order to display her beauty to the people and the princes, for she was beautiful and now we know from history that the Persian women were not required to cover their faces with veiled as the Queen. One of the queens. Perhaps the favored queen of the kingdom. She's already appeared in public more than likely at some point in time.

During the six-month reception as well as other state functions. People have seen her, they would already have recognized the beautiful face of this favored wife. So what's going on, the Jewish mid rash. It's a common thread. It was only back to the second century explains that the Queen was being commanded to actually arrive unclothed decorated only by the crown jewels.

Now I'm embarrassed to have to tell you that was actually going on at aggregate to be embarrassed to get a few times in the book of Esther as we take it at face value is no way to sanitize my verse 10, by the way, gives us the added insight. This happens the king request this when his heart was Mary with wine. That's a long way of saying when the king was drunk and we can be fairly confident that that most if not all of his guests were drunk along with him. Herodotus writes this about the Persian culture. He said it was so promiscuous that it was common for powerful and influential men to parade their wives and their concubines unclothed in order to show them off to one another, compete in this manner you say how wicked is ladies and gentlemen were not very far away. This is Daytona Beach during spring break.

This is Mardi Gras this is this is tied up with the promise that whatever you say and do in Vegas stays this is the local gentlemen's club where everyone but I gentlemen will go this is the billion dollar pornography industry.

This is the bachelor party. You should've walked away from the spirit of a hazardous is alive and well known position just the way back there in Persia. Frankly, you might expect a hazardous demand.

We just demanded this culture's pagan part of his three and 60 concubines and several wives order rent, you would expect that from this kind of man he wants his guests to envy and admire everything about his life and so he's selected this to be the grand finale. What you do not expect is bus clean. Vashti refused to come at the king's command delivered by the UNIX love that the main attraction is that you, she refuses to come out on stage and everybody just sort of you know wiser watch.

Not sure what's going to happen all of a sudden you have the supreme commander showing off her six-month sitting commanding empires of the world and in his moaning and commands like verse 12 continues, then the king became very angry and his wrath burned within an upper tenure in the audio on there's a commotion backstage you hear loud whispering or moving your whispering something going on something obviously wrong and in the messenger who left to go out to bring the Queen back. He comes back and without her.

You can you imagine the messenger going over to the king and leaning down and whispering in his ear. She's not coming. His face turns red and then purple.

He has been that I wait a second.

I am the king of all the earth.

I love to see the Queen in the other room is saying anything that happened were presented Persian. I don't know your dreaming Alexander white the 19th century Scottish pastor who wrote wonderful character studies of both old and New Testament character said this of Queen Vashti the sacred writer makes us respect the Queen made all her disgusting surrounding the brave Queen refused to obey the royal order. Her beauty was around their husbands is not for open show among hundreds of half drunk. We need to just stop and admire this this one at this moment she is displaying unusual care. She standing up to a man is not is not that history is being brutal but but she's also risking everything out on the pop and the glitz and glamour in paradise. She's willing to walk away from paradise rather than become a sexual pawn for a little insecure man. She's willing to sacrifice her crown for the sake of her character and were going to be introduced next time. To a woman who is willing to sacrifice her character in order to win the crown so early on in in this dramatic presentation you're faced with the question what your character work can you be bought. How far are you willing to go to win praise be part of the crowd ever lost anything for doing something right and you passing grade. Maybe a sales contract. Maybe a relationship maybe a job I want you to take heart from this dramatic presentation played out on the stage of history. It will cost Vashti Everett. She will disappear from the annals of history back to the story a week we got a problem. King has a actually he's got a big problem on his hands. He supposedly able to command the greatest empire on the planet. He supposedly able to command the greatest army on the face of the earth. He's just been slamdunk by his wife in front of all the dignitaries in front of all the admirals and all commanders and all the generals all the leaders that he's been trying for six months to convince them to follow him in the battle that what he should have done is order a big pot of coffee and drink it all sober up and go apologize but he did see number three opens and will call it a ludicrous reaction of seven men come on stage. Verse 13 tells us these are the wise men who know though the law is and understand the times were told of the end of verse 14. These are the seven princes of the king. They had access to the king's presence and set in the first place in the kingdom. These are his closest confidant to see what's happening. He gets up unique excuses himself and believes anything to try to make it look like it's something to do with law. Let me take you to verse 16. This is the first thing to do here is they butter up the king's wounded ego. Notice the exaggeration in the presence of the king of the other princes menu can that's one of the seven Wiseman. He said Queen Vashti is wrong not only decaying but also all the princes and all the peoples who are in all the provinces of King, a hazardous menaces world why notice for the Queen's conduct will become known to all the women causing them to look with contempt on their husbands by saying well, taking a hazardous commanded Queen Baxley to be brought and was present but she did not, nevermind what yesterday so verse 18, the ladies of Persia and media who have heard of the Queen's conduct will speak in the same way that all the kings, princes, and there will be plenty of contempt and others were all in trouble.

Our lives here about this skill to be flying laundry pilot dishes in the same way you so we gotta pass a law. Please pass the needed passage quickly. We gotta stop this national disaster before it gets here is their brilliant advice.

Verse 19 let a royal edict be issued. Let it be written in the laws of Persia and media can be revealed that Vashti notice he's dropped the word Queen already that Vashti may no longer coming to the president of King hazardous let the king give a royal position to another who is more worthy than she. When the king's edict, which he will make is heard throughout all the kingdom great as it is, then all women will give honor to their husbands great and small company you guys think it is a great idea. I like this book.

While the king even further clarifies eagerly. Verse 22 that every man is edict that every man should be the master of his own the house is and I get this in the mail.

This is what it been meeting. This is what I've been missing you see them taping it up on the window by the kitchen sink and and then then then one on the living room wall and then put one on the dash of the minivan and anytime the little line disagreed memorizes money. This is crazy. You guys are still same shot that will frame it, though you've been married longer than two days, you don't get open verses of her other thorough, though the apartment submit, but no legislate honor you earn king wants respect from a woman he doesn't respect he wants honor from a woman he has just dishonored these as you know it is skip all that stuff to make it an edict.

I wanted now in the edict of the King way only backfires these seven guys in the kingdom want to contain this embarrassing situation. But guess what, by sending out the edict video royal mail.

The pony express which they invented the king does nothing more than publicizing throughout the king. They're all afraid that all the women of the kingdom to stop obeying their husbands as soon as they hear about nasties disobedience yet my sending out this royal edict they actually ensure that every woman hears about these guys are really a first-class job right. One of the Jews throughout the ages of how with laughter at the foolishness of this king in these other insecure men who must still be under the influence of the king's wine no noted sobered up by now but but they are and I want you to get this. They are under the influence of the King of Kings will God is moving history along no matter how untimely or difficult events of your life become, which are played out on the stage of your own experience. Don't miss the very practical truths right now parading across the Persian stage got his backstage effect is written, the script, his hand is in the glove of history. But listen, it's in the glove of your history to, no matter how helpless you might feel as your own drama unfolds, God is managing every scene he might be hidden in the shadows backstage.

He might not have published playbill that explains what the scene is all about punctuation. We did, but is running the show's his show. One author writes don't fall into the trap of thinking that God is asleep even when it comes to nation that he sits in heaven wringing his hands when it comes to some godless rulers makes rash or even foolish decision.

This is the wonder of God's providence working behind the scenes, bringing out of even the most carnal pagan secular setting a decision that will set is perfect plan place.

You know what Esther chapter 1 is all about Esther chapter 1 simply shows us how God arranges for a position to be opened up in the greatest position that's going to be filled in just 16 versus an orphan named Esther a girl who will become Queen will influence king order to rescue God thanks for joining us today here on wisdom for the heart.

Stephen Davey is working through a series on the book of Esther. Today's message is called the curtain rises.

You can learn more about our ministry on our website which is wisdom online.org you'll notice that we've posted the complete archive of Stephen's 35 years of Bible teaching. We also post each of these daily broadcasts.

So if you ever miss it on the radio. You can go to our website to keep caught up.

The archive of Stephen's teaching is available on that site free of charge and you can access it anytime@wisdomonline.org in addition to equipping you with these daily Bible lessons. We also have a magazine that includes articles written by Stephen to help you grow in your walk with God.

We focused on things like the rapture and the tribulation. A biblical perspective on pain issues related to the family and many more.

The magazine also has a theologically rich daily devotional which will help you spend time in God's word every day. We send heart-to-heart magazine to all of our wisdom partners but we be happy to send you the next three issues. If you'd like to see it for yourself.

You can sign up for it on our website or you can call us today our number is 86 648 Bible. That's 866-482-4253. Thanks again for joining us today. Be with us for our next Bible lesson next time here on wisdom for the horns


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