Deliberate Plan, Distinct Provision 2

Esther  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  28:12
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Introduction

On the evening of November 9, 1938, an eruption of violence against the Jews accrued. Instigated primarily by Nazi party officials, the Ethnic cleansing occurred throughout Germany, Austria, and a region of Czechoslovakia. The riots became known as Kristallnacht (German: Night of Broken Glass) because of the shattering of the windows of Jewish shops, stores, and homes.
Fires across the country devoured synagogues and Jewish institutions. By the end of the rampage, gangs of Nazi storm troopers had destroyed 7,000 Jewish businesses, set fire to more than 900 synagogues, killed 91 Jews, and deported some 30,000 Jewish men to concentration camps.
Tension had been mounting. The Jewish people had been marginalized for months. Whispers circulated throughout Germany: Jews are different … they’re a threat to the country … they’re in the way of progress.
Himmler echoed the words of Hitler when he said of the Jews, “They do not belong to the same species but only imitate humans—they are as far removed from us as animals are from humans.”
And as Hitler’s troops marched against the Jews, they chanted these unthinkable lyrics:
Sharpen the long knives on the pavement stone;
Sink the knives into Jewish flesh and bone,
Let the blood flow freely.
Davey, Stephen. Esther. Wisdom Commentary Series. Apex, NC: Charity House Publishers, 2012.
Erwin Lutzer. Hitler’s Cross. Moody Press, 1995.
It is almost impossible to think about the events of Hitler when reading this next section. So we are not even going to try.

Esther 3:8-15

Esther 3:8–15 LEB
And Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered and separated among the peoples in all of the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from every other people, and they do not observe the laws of the king; it is not appropriate for the king to tolerate them. If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them, and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to those who do the job, to bring to the treasury of the king.” So the king removed his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. And the king said to Haman, “The money is given to you and to the people to do with it as you see fit. And the king’s secretaries were called in the first month on the thirteenth day, and a decree was issued, according to all that Haman commanded, to the satraps of the king and to the governors who were over all the provinces, and to the officials of all the people, to each province according to its own script and to all people according to their own language; it was written in the name of King Ahasuerus and was sealed with the king’s ring. Letters were sent by couriers to all the provinces of the king to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, women and children, on one day, the thirteenth day of the month, that is Adar, and to plunder their goods. A copy of the edict was presented as law in every province making it known to all the people to be ready for that day. The couriers went out quickly by order of the king, and the law was issued in the citadel of Susa. The king and Haman sat down to drink; and the city of Susa was bewildered.

Manipulation of the King

Haman’s anger towards all Jews boils over when one Jew refused to bow down before him. So Haman approached King Ahasuerus. His proposal in verses 8-9 reflect Haman’s ability to manipulate the foolish King.
First, slight exaggeration: “There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of your kingdom” (v. 8)
Undoubtedly, Jews did not live in every province of the vast Persian empire, but Haman exaggerated their dispersion in order to magnify their threat to the king.
Second, further stretched the truth: “Their laws are different from all other people’s” (v. 8). Certainly some Jewish laws were unique, but many were shared by other ancient people. However, by alleging Jewish strangeness Haman underlined the danger of the Jews to the Persian establishment.
Third, Haman moved from exaggeration to outright deception: “They do not keep the king’s laws” (v. 8). In fact, Mordecai had disobeyed the king’s command to bow before Haman, but the Jewish people in general had done nothing wrong.
It is not fitting for the king to let them remain. A widely-dispersed, foreign, law-breaking people spread throughout the empire would certainly pose a threat to the king.
Esther Haman’s Death Proclamation

Haman obviously knew which buttons to push. Remember that the king was still feeling the pain from Vashti’s rebellion, two military defeats at the hands of the Greeks, and the attempted assassination by two of his trusted officers.13

Esther Haman’s Death Proclamation

But that wasn’t all he proposed to the king. He sweetened the pot even more when he promised to pay the king 10,000 talents of silver (Esther 3:9b) when the genocide was carried out. That’s nearly 400 tons of silver—worth millions in today’s economy.

But where in the world would Haman get that kind of money?

The Jews.

In the same way that the Third Reich amassed wealth during World War II by stripping the Jews of their assets and possessions, Haman would make Persia wealthier by plundering the Jews.

And the decree was sent. the king and Haman sat down to drink, the fools. and the city of Susa was bewildered. The people of the town couldn’t understand why they did this. What was going on.
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King of Darkness

Where does that kind of hatred and violence originate? It didn’t start in the heart of Himmler or Hitler … nor in the heart of Haman or Ahasuerus.
It originated in the heart of the King of Darkness.
Satan is the ultimate Jew-hater. There’s a reason why the pages of history are stained with the blood of the Jew.
While God works in mysterious ways, Satan doesn’t. His message is always the same, and his methods are always predictable.
Why did it happen in Berlin that was avoided here? Maybe Esther never spoke up, or there was no Esther.
But God in Esther was preparing His people to remember that even in Persia, He was sovereign. They would be driven to the point of realizing that there was nothing at all that they could do to save themselves.
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Esther God’s Distinct Provision

We have no more thought of using our own powers to escape the authorities than the apostles of old. No more are we ready to keep silent at man’s request when God commands us to speak. For it is, and must remain, the case that we must obey God rather than man.

Esther God’s Distinct Provision

In June of 1937, a German pastor named Niemoller bravely preached against the atheism of the Third Reich, using these words to his congregation:

We have no more thought of using our own powers to escape the authorities than the apostles of old. No more are we ready to keep silent at man’s request when God commands us to speak. For it is, and must remain, the case that we must obey God rather than man.

Within a few days, Dr. Niemoller was arrested and imprisoned. He was held for seven months in solitary confinement before facing his trial on February 7, 1938. The indictments against him were fourteen pages long. He was accused of speaking against the Reich with malicious and provocative criticism. He had violated the law and was charged with “Abuse of Pulpit.”

That day, a uniformed soldier arrived to escort Niemoller from his cell to the courtroom. As they made their way through the corridors of the prison and a long underground tunnel, this faithful pastor became overwhelmed with thoughts of loneliness and fear.

He knew that his trial held a foregone conclusion. But what he didn’t know was why no one had sent word to him. Where were his family and friends? Where was his church that had stood with him?

He had heard from no one—they had been forbidden to communicate with him while he languished in solitary confinement.

With these thoughts flooding his mind, something remarkable happened. The soldier, whose face had thus far been impassive and who had not uttered a word, began to quietly speak, though still looking straight ahead.

His voice was so soft that Niemoller couldn’t understand his words at first. But as they reverberated over and over along the walls of a tunnel, he was able to make them out: The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe (Proverbs 18:10).

As Niemoller climbed the steps to the courtroom, he gave no sign that he had heard the words. But his fear was gone. A new sense of hope and trust took its place. He was condemned by the Third Reich and sent to a concentration camp for seven years. But he survived and was liberated at the end of the war to tell his story.19

Esther God’s Distinct Provision

the name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe (Proverbs 18:10).

• When everyone else is unjust, He isn’t.

• When everyone else gives up, He doesn’t.

• When no one seems to notice, He does.

• When no one seems to care, He always will.

• Even when God seems distant, He is present.

• Even when God seems removed … He remains sovereign and faithful.

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Next Steps

He alone is their strong tower.
Is this something you need to learn today?
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