Esther 4:1 “When Mordecai learned of all that had been done, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the city, wailing loudly and bitterly.”
What exactly had been done? Let’s look back and see.
Esther 3: 13-14 “Dispatches were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces with the order to destroy, kill, and annulate all the Jews – young and old, woman and little children – on a single day…A copy of the text…was issued as law in every province and made known to the people…so they would be ready for that day.”
Mordecai tears his clothes and walks the streets of the city wailing loudly and bitterly. He’s mourning. His heart is breaking because of what Haman is planning to do.
Like the city of Susa in Chapter 3, the world today is frightened; it’s confused and bewildered by the devil’s plans. People are anxious, depressed. They’re either in denial or in despair. Like Mordecai right now, the Lord is walking the streets of every city, every town, every village, and every hut, weeping loudly and bitterly.
Esther 4:2 “But he only went as far as the king’s gate, because no one clothed in sackcloth was allowed to enter it..”
It’s impossible to fully understand what the Book of Esther is all about unless we understand the significance and the importance of “the king’s gate.” We don’t know the Book of Esther if we don’t know about the gate. It’s where all the action takes place. It’s where everything begins.
The king’s gate is the passageway between two different worlds; two different realities. Inside that gate, you have King Xerxes, the leader of a very large and powerful nation. At least he still likes to think of himself as the leader of a large and powerful nation.
As I pointed out last week, the real leader right now is Haman, a deceiver, a liar and a manipulator who has been elevated to the role of second in command, next to Xerxes. Last week, Haman lied to Xerxes by telling them that the Jews were troublemakers who refused to obey the laws. Haman managed to convince Xerxes that the Jews should all be destroyed.
The king believed that lie, took off his signet ring that represented all the power and authority that goes along with being the king and he told Haman to do whatever he wanted to do with those people. Haman managed to get King Xerxes to believe that destroying the Jews was actually Xerxes own idea. It was all done, by Haman, in Xerxes’ name. That’s how demonically clever and evil Haman is.
Esther is also inside the gate. Esther is the Queen; Xerxes’ wife. But we see Esther as the Church, the Bride of Christ. Today with Esther living inside the gate, we can also see Esther as the Church living in the world. We can also see her as individual believers in the world; repentant believers who are living in the world, but trying not to become a part of it; trying not to become pressured by the thinking or the standards of their world; a Church of believers who are trying to maintain their unique and special identity; their convictions; their purpose in the world.
Mordecai sits outside the gate. Mordecai represents the Holy Spirit at work. He has been Esther’s guardian, her counselor, her comforter and her protector since she was a child. We see Mordecai as the Spirit of Truth.
“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him because He lives with you and will be in you..”
(John 16: 13-14)
Truth, God’s truth about what is “yet to come” is forced to stay outside the gate. Mordecai can’t just open the gate and walk in. The gate only opens from the inside. The gate is always locked and guarded. Everyone one of us has a gate that determines who or what comes and goes in and out of our lives. It also only opens from the inside and we tend to keep that gate pretty well locked and guarded.
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me.” (Rev. 3:20)
Like Xerxes and Haman, our sinful nature wants to keep Jesus locked out of our lives Mordecai, the Spirit of Truth, is outside the gate. He’s not wanted; he is not welcome in the king’s world.
Let’s break here for now and, Lord willing, we’ll continue next Tuesday. Thanks for being in God’s Word with pastor Buj.