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The Contest and the Crown

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
June 21, 2021 12:00 am

The Contest and the Crown

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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June 21, 2021 12:00 am

Esther is the epitome of a prodigal saint. She abandons God to compete for the fleeting pleasures of fame and fortune . . . and she wins, too. But in this message “The Contest and the Crown,” Stephen reminds us what she loses in the process.


I use the clothing for life and how was most all of these women will never get past one night stand with the king, forgot sequestered lives away from everyone for the rest of their life. One commentator called the Kings luck curious distillation process was an orphan named Esther. In some ways Esther appears to be the epitome of a prodigal saint. She joined in the competition for the role that would bring her fame and fortune and she wins.

But in today's message called the contest and the crown Stephen reminds us of what Esther loses in the process were looking at more of Esther's story today on wisdom for the heart are Bible teacher Stephen Devi is going through a series from Esther and he's calling this message the contest and the crown Christian magazine that I strive to recently featured a number of the humerus us of things comments on the subject of love and romance, maybe even identify with a single woman got started looking for Mr. right. I got treated with kindness flowers and gentlemen, displaced and classified with her phone number and simply had written husband wanted to get a dozen calls for women is that you can have mine. I think it was funny either. What messages are kids picking up on love and romance and marriage member in our thoughts at this to be some time ago as we can say about true love Janet a third-grader. That's how true love happens me what you started and she said well no one is really sure how it happens but I think it has something to do with how you smell pretty good. My daughter was 12, my youngest daughter is 38 month when you guys were in the truck and I said many of you ever been kissed and she said no sir. It was a loaded question did what we did not express fantastic. I say one time in first grade Sunday school boy try to kiss me after classes in church and classify the duties that I punched him in the stomach. I said something and Sundays when the client is to address about. The following is a question, how do you make your marriage work.

How do you make your marriage work. Ricky said tell your wife she looked pretty even when she looks like a truck where he learned that question aside to Mary question is one boy said well you gotta find somebody likes the same stuff like if you like sports, she should like to, and she should keep the chips and dip coming all the men said as I got a response that led one little girl answer the question this way, how you decided to Mary she said well no person really decides before they grow up. Mary got decides it all way before and just find out later you're stuck with all the women said breathing. I find it fascinating matter where you go in the world matter what culture things like Gipson and chivalry and flowers and maybe even a little perfume have a part of the culture of romance and it ought not, and our own wedding.

I have one you this study is coming check to in the book of Esther is a graphic portrayal of anything but romance and chivalry and kindness.

If we are to understand this in its proper context. There is no way we will not be able to get past without treating it correctly. That means we cannot sanitize it.

We cannot soften the edges. It's the next act and the drama of God's providence is played out on a stage in ancient Persia in a winter palace of the king when the curtain closed on the first act, which was chapter 1 she goes off to war between chapter 1 and chapter 2 are several years where the king musters the largest army and mustard before any goes off.

The conqueror agrees that his father failed to do. But I will succeed where my father failed, so he marches off her greasy back one inscription that has been excavated, gives us his intentions and it was to conquer Europe from one and to the other Western civilization would not be what it is today had that ancient king of Iran. One battle with the Greeks routed his army demolished most of his Navy even though it hasn't had a much superior Army and Navy and eventually keyboards a remaining ship anytime slinks back in the town, and finally makes it to his palace in Susa is so he is angry he is dispirited, curtain rises, then with the spotlight on the defeated King notice verse one objective. After these things, that is after he returns to Greece or from Greece.

When the anger of King hazards had subsided. He remembered vastly and what she had done and what had been decreed against or not here's what's happening in order to set the scene. You need to understand that Hebrew construction of this text strongly implies that a hazardous is blaming those seven men for the advice they gave him to get rid of that what we do know is that Bastille been wearing the crown.

Now she's gone. Some scholars believe that she was beheaded and you could almost see a hazardous regretting the advice of these seven nobles and maybe sharpening their sword for them and so the circle comes up with this idea. Listen. Okay what I find is take nasties place makes it all the more remarkable is according to Herodotus, the Greek historian who lived just decades, decades if you 2025 years after these events took place. Uniforms is the Persian custom required that the Queen be related to one of the seven noble families.

A concubine can come from anywhere, but one of the queens. One of the wives had to be related to these seven men. These guys who are already in trouble and are not to mention that because that'll be seen obviously is self-serving. Why against all Persian custom and tradition you have now God telling us informing us that in spite of all the intrigue and scheming in the drunkenness and try he is setting the stage so that indeed a common girl can become queen verse three. The plan of the King appoint overseers in all provinces of this kingdom are that stretches from Africa to they may gather here the qualifications every beautiful young virgin to the sit analysis will resort to the Heron in the custody of Haggai the king's unit was in charge of the women electric has been given and then let the young lady. Please the king in place of Vashti and it please the king's press. Listen to the citizens of Persia. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Anybody can apply this talk of every village and every city when the crown thousands would have been waiting for the tenants to arrive and say slipper when the prize is is the crown clothing and food, backbreaking for life palace. Almost all of these women will never get past a one night stand with the king they will live for God sequestered lives away from everyone for the rest of their life.

One commentator called the hair of the Kings luxurious desolation. Esther and Mordecai risk so much give us some clues in the next few verses in verse five you'll notice now. There was at the Citadel in Susa that you his name was Mordecai. Notice the lineages of jeers from Schmieder Kish eventuated been taken from Jerusalem with the captains had been exiled objective. I think Judah Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon.

What this tells us is that Mordecai's family tree actually includes royalty but was revealing the text. Is there kind of lineage or history. His name is simply the transliteration of Mark, that's the name of the chief Babylonian God, why hasn't he returned to Jerusalem, which is been allowed to do all way back to the great-grandfather of a hazardous what you doing here, and even more troubling run around, named after a pagan told there are those, I would agree with the fact that he's from the lineage of the former royal tribe and the keyword is former Jerusalem was a place where his family had lost their bid for power and in fact he noticed one particular Jemima David was running for his life and Absalom.

July was the medicament through Roxette David cursing Solomon the son of David put Schmieder death. All that may answer why Mordecai didn't return to Jerusalem.

Jerusalem was a place where his family had lost their bid for power. Jerusalem represented for their shame and defeat before we get all hot and bothered you know that secrecy and is compromise all that I can help wonder how much of a secret is our own relationship to Jesus Christ in the neighborhood on the campus at work.

Have you thought if God really wants them to know Chris can help get the last notice, nobody usually asks. I can tell you send me over the years, something like you not very good about talking about Christ as a two syllable Hebrew ancient work for that is pronounced, out compound. No one will ever get say by watching faith comes not by watching faith comes by what hearing the word of God.

You have to have communicated to you the gospel of God whereby someone can come to faith in Christ, and of course he is very much the testimony here, the book of Esther until later on anything.

One of the wonderful things about this book is that Mordecai will eventually come to terms with his Jewish heritage and lineage, and I believe trust in the sovereignty of God in their later we get a hurry to get a lot even today main character steps out on stage and verse seven with their he Mordecai was bringing up Hadassah, which is Esther's uncles, daughter, she had no father or mother of the young lady was beautiful foreman face and when her father and her mother died morning I took her as his daughter. This time we have both names with the Hebrew name Havasu, which refers to a flower petals of a flower, and we also have Esther. Evidently Esther was orphaned when her parents died and Mordecai, although only about 15 years older than her, brings her into his family and Mordecai gets wind of this contest is a schemer. Okay understand his bride he will one day be elevated to the CFO of the kingdom's records is namely that appear in inscription excavated centuries later. This is chance to climb the ladder of success. He knows Esther is incredibly beautiful.

He's been beating suitors away from her door now for probably several.

Now he has a chance to fully capitalize on her beauty notice verse eight. So it came about when the Commandant decreed the king were heard and many young ladies were gathered. This is the first to the Citadel of Susa into the custody that Esther was taking the king's palace into the custody of Haggai charge of the women and I can think of at least three good reasons why Esther is not going to win. She's an orphan. In other words, he has no family connections that might impress the royal staff marriages, not concubines but marriages were political alliances, they were ways the king could get a leg up increases my doors well for his power was influenced she could provide him nothing. If she were to wear the crown would mean nothing.

Second of all, the competition is fierce to hear me say 1460 swimming with beautiful women. Esther is not the only girl turn heads. Thirdly, she's a Jew at best.

She would be what you read in verse 10, Esther did not make note for people or for kindred Mordecai had instructed her that she should not make note. She is in full compliance with and Mordecai is effectively saying this if you read between the lines he saying Esther the God of Israel is way over there. He is his past. God may have made you want US and there's nothing you can do about that.

But here we live by our and it's not*just*S and this is nothing could be further from the truth as relates to his perspective, for God is already at work in ways that Mordecai and Esther could never manufacture never back in verse nine Esther pleased Haggai. He is the chief administrator. In this contest is probably 80 life about and she found notice this favor with the word favor is the Hebrew word the same term used throughout the Old Testament covenant fidelity of God's people.

God may be invisible but God is turning all of their hearts toward what ultimately will be his will and notice what happens verse not so he quickly provided her with her cosmetics. In other words, the Avon lady is on standby here just for and food gave her seven Joyce Mason the king's house and transferred her to make the best place in the air. Within a matter hours she's been transferred to her private suite staff seven assignment personally to her for this makeover.

I will look at Mordecai verse 11 every day schemer. Mordecai's walking back and forth in front of the corridor here to learn how Esther was and how she he's biting his nails know is that uses sinful ambition to set up with documents verse 12 on the turn of each young lady came to go in thinking hazards after the end of 12 months under the regulations for the women 12 months before he could meet the king for the days of their beautification were completed as follows six months with oil of her, and six months with spices and cosmetics. One can imagine that you thought you liked going to be ready. This is 12 months at the fact that these contestants stories record press were being schooled in court custom royal etiquette. One author said that they're being taught what to say and how to say to learn the vocabulary of the corridor coming from all different kinds of dialects and languages and in 12 months.

Now you see generally sound alone in 12 months. They have to be transformed from a peasant girl or girls potential candidates to become the queen of Persia is unfortunate as it is. Esther is not heading for her one night stand with the king against her will. She does not have the brakes on. She's got her best outfit she's going fully complying. Verse 16 says so Esther was taken king hazards to his royal palace for 17 king loved Esther more than all the women she found favor and kindness with him more than all the virgins so that he just does brashly, rationally, as before, he set upon her, the royal crown and made her clean instead of Vashti but you know after you understand the context setting.

This victory is now. What follows for me to accurately expound the text test nobody in the flop jumps up and down and says Ron Esther one. She's missed Persia. Isn't that exciting.

She gained the position of Queen which you need to understand. She did not gain a husband for from September 17 king loved Esther more than all the women did you notice he doesn't say the king loved Esther instead of any of the Livermore is trying to master no verse 19 look there. When the virgins were gathered together the second time Mordecai sitting at the gate Wednesday, the second time yes. The second way would you think and say wait Esther's won the crown stop the contest. They had the verb for this indicates that this is a new gathering*regathering of the ones in order to gather this is nothing to do in the contest doing the expanding hair on the king that will continue to expand until about 10 years from now when someone will slip into. Ironically, his bedroom and his point God works his will through faithful people and he works his will, in spite of unfaithful people. Aren't you glad you but I don't step up to guys and I got him faithful. Do your will for me. I will pray that what I sinful. Would you increase use the perspective we understand that his providence is unstoppable. His will will be done. You can either join it with joy and gratitude and obedience in surrender, or you can you can find it and pull away from it will affect your life as well. Have you ever thought about the grace of God and how it meets you, even at your point of sin is gracious. This is the doctrine by the widow spent a lot of time on this. We want to be good people right sin defending or suggesting sin when you understand the doctrine of grace correctly. This is what led people to tell Paul your your your ear off Iraq heard you tell people sin abounds.

Grace abounds more and Paul will come back around and say that's not what I mean that you would Esther to strikes me as Mr. twos drenched yes. Sinful disobedience is also entrenched grace of God as I study this text is grace was the perfume's toward Esther so strong she have you ever thought about what happens if Esther loses me show you what happens to the losers.

Verse 13. Notice the process, the young lady would go into the king. In this way anything that she desired was given her to take with her from the hair the king's power in the evening she would go in the morning she would return to the second hair to the custody of Shasta the Kings unit who was in charge of the concubines she would not go into the king Alaska King delighted in her and she was summoned she goes in a she's referenced as a woman, young lady virgin.

She comes out and she's referenced forever. From that point on as a concubine. She is relegated to life luxurious desolation never to be called upon again as the king remembers her name and Kings were not in the practice of remembering may, they were in the practice of adding name is the grace of God in spite of Esther's disobedience secret and her immorality and faithlessness of the covenant here is the grace of God is the grace of God that God turns the heart of this dirty old man to choose her to be queen wife so she can win the contest so she can wear the crown so she can be missed. Persia how shallow, no so that she could be in her to finally appointed place, according to the providence of God for such a time as this so that a remnant will be spared to the God's covenant promise to keep a people for himself will be fulfilled so that from that people seek your will be born will die on the cross for you and me so we could be redeemed and then one day with him rule and reign in the coming kingdom. This is one piece of the puzzle. This is the grace of want to tell you the life satisfaction and joy will be a life doesn't test providence trusts problems to get out of bed in the morning and says oh Laura will align myself whatever it is you're going to resist found this is my divinely appointed place you for such a time as a response to this kind and gracious God meets us interactive faithfulness still meets us in faithlessness in this province will still be continued if this opportunity after opportunity to align ourselves less response to some amazing race. Amazing what an important challenge God's word today here on wisdom for the heart. Stephen Devi is our Bible teacher for this daily program. The lesson that you just heard is called the contest and the crown. Stephen is also the pastor of the shepherd's church in Cary, North Carolina. In addition, he is the president of shepherd's theological seminary. If you or someone you know is interested in pastoral ministry. I encourage you to consider studying with Steven and the world renowned faculty at shepherd's we have students from all over the country and from other parts of the world and we've trained pastors who are serving all over the world. You can learn more about shepherd's theological seminary at shepherd' here at wisdom international.

We did enjoy the opportunity to hear from you. You can send us an email if you address it to you can also call us. Our number is 86 648 Bible. That's 866-482-4253 were in the office each weekday. Many of our listeners prefer corresponding by mail and were happy to hear from you. That way as well.

Our address is wisdom for the heart PO Box 37297, Raleigh, NC 27627. Once again, that's wisdom for the hearts. PO Box 37297, Raleigh, NC 27627.

Please take a moment and let us know what God's doing in your life would be encouraged to hear from you.

I'm Scott Wiley and I thank you for joining us today will be continuing through Esther. Next time.

So join us for that here on wisdom for the hearts

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