Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Book of Esther and End times

The story in the book of Esther in the Old Testament is set approximately in 480 BC. King Ahasuerus reigns a kingdom that stretches from India in the east all the way to Ethiopia. He reigns from "Susa, the citadel" in Persia, almost the equivalent of today's Iran.

In the Kingdom of Ahasuerus lives many different people, and among these many Jews, scattered at the time of the Babylonian captivity. Even in Susa there is a Jewish colony. Ahasuerus, reigns as King of Kings and his word is law. 

The story of Esther is a piece of Jewish history, which is remembered by jews every year, at the Purim feast. But the book of Esther is also largely prophetic, with an important message right into the very end times that we are facing today. And the message concerns the christians responsibility for the Jewish people and for Israel.

Queen Vasti had for some time showed contempt for King Ahasuerus. At last the King deposes her and start looking for a new Queen. Ester is one of the chosen maidens who go before the King. She is Jewish, and raised by Mordecai, her stepfather. The King is very fond of Esther, she becomes bride and the new Queen. Her Jewish identity remains secret.
The King's new servant Haman becomes angry at Mordecai because Mordecai does not bow to him in the gate, and Haman is told that Mordecai is a Jew. A hate is growing within Haman, he conspires against all Jews in the Kingdom. He goes before Ahasuerus, and tells of a people who do not obey the King's laws. Haman receives the King's authority to do whatever he finds for good with the Jews.
Mordecai gets knowledge about the threat against his people, in despair he sends a messenger to Esther; She has to go before the King, and seek mercy for their people. Esther hesitates, it is associated with death threat to go before the King without being called. Mordecai then send a new urgent message to Esther:
“Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”(Esther 4:13-14)
Esther is challenged. Her people are in danger, even Mordecai, who has been her "educator" into the grace she now stands in. Ester is in a unique position to be able to plead for the Jews before the King. Will she evade responsibility, out of fear - or convenience, deny her origin? What will then happen to her - she is also a jew?
After a period of fasting Esther "on the third day" goes before the King, and she "receives grace". She reveals of her Jewish ancestry and tell the king about Hamans evil plans against her people. The King becomes angry. Haman, who accused Mordecai for not keeping the law, are hung up on the stake he prepared for Mordecai. Mordecai, who only refused to bow to Haman, is freed.
The Book of Esther is a burning message in a very late time. Over Jews in the diaspora rests threatening clouds. The state of Israel is attacked from all sides. Evil tongues forge plans, misinforms, trying to use laws - in the belief that they can prevent the ways of God.
The Christian church, the King's bride, is called to affirm its origins, and to stand up for the people of Israel and the land of Israel and to plead before the King. So Esther saved her life.

/Björn Hellman

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