Tuesday, May 9, 2017

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 re-
membered 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. Esther 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 sends 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 plan against her
people. The King becomes angry. Haman, who accused
Mordecai for not keeping the law, are hung up on the very same
stake that he had prepared for Mordecai. Mordecai, who only
had refused to bow down 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, mis-
informs, tries 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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