Esther’s Greatest Power – Part 1

The Power of Grace in Marriage

How to Manage Stubborn Husbands

Esther 2-7

June 21, 2015 AM   Father’s Day

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I.       Introduction (Romans 15:4)


A.    Happy Father’s Day everyone!


1.      Son: Dad, do you know the difference between a pack of cookies and a pack of elephants?

2.      Dad: No.

3.      Son: Then it’s a good thing Mom does the grocery shopping!

4.      Someone asked, "What is a father?" Immediately an older man answered, "A father carries pictures where his money used to be."

5.      “A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty.” — Unknown

6.      A father is a man who expects his children to be as good as he meant to be.~ Carol Coats

7.      The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. ~ Henry Ward Beecher or Anjaneth Garcia Untalan, (not sure)

8.      “By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong.” — Charles Wadsworth

9.      “Any man can be a Father but it takes someone special to be a dad.” — Anne Geddes

10.  The greatest gift I ever had came from God; I call him Dad!


B.     The Book of Esther is one of the neglected books of the Bible.


1.      Most people have never heard a sermon, or a series of sermons, on the book of Esther.

2.      And for good reason – it is very pointed, very clear in its truth about handling hard hearted, stubborn, selfish men.

3.      And how to let something more powerful than anger change your home – GRACE!


C.    It is mainly about a woman – named ESTHER


1.      If you have read this book of Esther, then you already know it is an intriguing and fascinating story of human love and palace-intrigue.

2.      It covers a time of Israel’s history when they were spiritually away from God, and physically away from their land.

3.      The Jewish people so ignored and rejected God’s ways of living that they had harshly reaped the consequences of their choices and watched their entire country burned to the ground, and Jerusalem reduced to a pile of burnt rubble, as they and all their children were taken away as slaves and captives to a far away empire called Babylon!

4.      And that is where this Book picks up the story – with the people of Israel in captivity, away from God and from their land, and about to be utterly destroyed by an enemy named Haman, that you would think was Adolf Hitler’s twin brother!


D.    The Apostle Paul, in Romans 15:4 reminds us that all the things that happened to Israel happened as examples for us. They teach us about Israel, but they also very clearly teach us about OURSELVES!


II.    Review (Esther 1:1-9)


A.    We Have Already Met, Ahasuerus the King


1.      Ahasuerus is a title, like Pharaoh, Caesar, and Taoiseach

2.      His real name was Xerxes – lived about 500 years before the birth of Jesus

3.      Pretty ruthless man


B.     We learned About the Kingdom of Media and Persia


1.      Vast empire - 127 provinces under the dominion of one empire (Ireland only has 4 provinces, Munster, Leinster, Ulster and Connacht). 3,000 miles from Egypt to India! As big in size as Europe!

2.      When the Book of Esther begins, Ahasuerus wasn’t finished expanding his empire

3.      He set his sights on Greece and Europe itself!

4.      And the great feast of Esther chapter 1 was a part of the preparation for the organization of his upcoming campaign against Greece

5.      He miserably failed

6.      That’s where chapter 2 comes in.


C.    We Then Met, Vashti the Queen


1.      Queen Vashti of Media ruled this empire along-side her husband, Ahasuerus

2.      A descendent of Queen Nefertiti of Egypt, and related to Cyrus the Great

3.      She takes her place as the first official feminist in history, as you will see


D.    They Were having a Huge Celebration


1.      180 days (1/2 a year) of partying and revelling in preparation for their invasion of Greece


a.       The empire was getting ready to go to war, so they were living it up before they potentially died!

b.      The Persians of that day were known for being soft, and pleasure seekers


2.      At the end of the 180 days, a special one week feast is held for everyone great and small


E.     A major marital spat, and we learned the wrong way to handle a hard husband!


1.      Ahasuerus’ Drunken Command (Esther 1:10,11)


a.       Ahasuerus was a Drunkard, Partier, Megalomaniac

b.      In a mood of showing off

c.       So, he COMMANDS his wife. Commands that she be brought before him and that she present herself before the whole city as another one of his beautiful possessions

d.      This was a slam to Vashti – a public embarrassment for her

e.       Rude, disrespectful, demeaning, controlling, uncaring, and the list goes on and on

f.       How do you respond to a man like that?


2.      Vashti’s Feminist Response (Esther 1:12)


a.       She knew his command/request was wrong. Anyone would have known that was wrong – and last week we talked about why

b.      Vashti had three options: Ignore him, Fight him, or Divorce him.

c.       She is no saint – a partier too, and a rebel, selfish, spoiled…

d.      Vashti chooses to fight him – head to head, toe to toe, eye to eye


1)      Plainly REFUSED his command – publically hurt him

2)      There. They were now even.

3)      Ahasuerus should just get over it, and get on with life

4)      He will just have to learn that he cannot just boss her around

5)      And then she went back to her own party


e.       That should have been the end of it.

f.       But, oh no! This was a fight she didn’t think would go as far as it did


3.      The Consequences of Vashti’s Actions (Esther 1:12, 19-22)


a.       She brought out fierce and dangerous anger in Ahasuerus

b.      Ahasuerus quickly divorces his queen. Vashti could not have stopped it!

c.       Vashti loses everything

d.      And Ahasuerus just went on with life

e.       And the kingdom learned its lesson – that men will win every time! “Might” will make right

f.       But was it the best lesson?

g.      Again, I don’t believe Vashti thought this would go as far as it did. But it did! Whew!


4.      And that was the end of chapter 1! But thankfully there are more chapters – and a better way to handle stupid, stubborn, childish, pig-headed, arrogant, angry, rude men! (Did I miss anybody?)


F.      This Bible is not a Book of religious sayings, or prayers, but of the telling of the stories of the lives of real people (like Esther), and how the Grace of God saved them and their marriages, or helped them, or restored them from ruin.

G.    Now. You may be looking for a whole lot more information than what I am about to show you…


1.      But don’t be so picky and particular about all the problems with your husband, or your wife that you miss the foundational things, the main things you need to be doing before you can try and fix things not illustrated in this lesson this morning!

2.      Remember, there is a whole lot of Bible, with a whole lot of help

3.      But if you reject the help God is going to give you this morning from this amazing Book of Esther, then you probably will reject all the other helps in the rest of the word of God! Don’t do that!


III. The Story Continues… (Esther Chapters 2 – 5)


A.    Ahasuerus Sought Another Wife (2:1-4)


1.      Did not want the best kind of a wife…

2.      But the most beautiful – remember Vashti?

3.      The most attractive

4.      He is still interested in an object, a possession

5.      If you haven’t figured it out yet, Most men are still only selfish creatures that want a great looking girl to be by his side! To show off.

6.      Tell me that is not the case with all the scummy guys hanging off of knock out doll-girls!!!


B.     Meet Hadassah / Esther (2:5-10)


1.      A Jewess

2.      Part of the captivity of Israel to Babylon and Persia about 70 years earlier

3.      Lost her parents

4.      Raised by her older cousin, Mordecai


C.    The Competition (2:8,9)


1.      Like a beauty contest

2.      It has always been intense

3.      Never fair

4.      You had better set your course – your character – your limits

5.      Don’t compete – God is in charge

6.      You take care of the life God gave you, and look forward to marriage and family and your own home

7.      But leave the picking and choosing to God!


D.    The Qualities She Had


1.      Outwardly, Fair and beautiful – pleasing to the eye, and attractive

2.      Inwardly, Submitted – to Mordecai – trusted him – obeyed him


a.       Hid her nationality

b.      Not ashamed of it

c.       By discrete

d.      Not make it an issue

e.       Sometimes people make their colour, or their gender the issue

f.       Jesus didn’t


1)      He could have pushed the point of Him being GOD in the flesh

2)      That he could have called down 12 legions of angels


3.      Pleased Others – Hegai

4.      Earned Respect – earned the favour, praise of Hegai AND of all the other women (that’s hard)

5.      They are all why she was chosen, and even preferred ahead of the others – because she had many layers of beauty!


E.     Mordecai’s Deep Concern (2:11)


1.      If there is someone to learn from, about being a godly DAD, it would be from MORDECAI, who wasn’t even a DAD!

2.      He had done his best to raise her right – God fearing, she knew how to walk with God herself, and to be a godly woman

3.      He had protected her – from being cheated, deceived, robbed of her best

4.      But now she is out of his care and protection!

5.      What would happen to her? Ahasuerus was not someone to toy with. Esther was in real danger!

6.      Esther was out of his care… But not out of his PRAYER!

7.      Mordecai is a good friend – oh that we men protected ladies, especially young ladies!

8.      Are you the brother of a sister? Do you pray for her and protect her?

9.      1Ti 5:1,2 Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.


F.     The King Chooses Esther – Makes her Queen (2:12-18)


1.      Here we have modern man- doing what modern men do – lining up girls and “trying them before buying!” What an amazingly up-to-date book the Bible is!


a.       Nothing has changed

b.      Men still won’t commit to one woman for life by faith

c.       Always has to be by FLESH!


2.      So, like cattle, one after another, the young ladies of the kingdom are brought to the king, to spend the night with him, and like a spoiled brat, he dismisses them, always finding some fault – none were just right

3.      That was, until Esther appeared – see Cinderella!

4.      No further search once he met her

5.      He Crowns her - Like Miss Universe!

6.      Has a celebration (it seems to be his favourite thing to do) and calls it Esther’s Feast (2:18)

7.      Should have stopped the story right there

8.      “And they lived Happily Ever After!”

9.      Ah, no! This is not a fairy tale book!

10.  God shows us extreme examples, and then shows us how to deal with them

11.  So that we can adjust and apply what we learn to OUR mundane, not so extreme home and marriage problems! Amen!


G.    Not Everything is Honkey-Dorey! (3:7-15)


1.      There was a problem brewing that neither Esther nor Ahasuerus was aware of

2.      There was an enemy – Haman


a.       And not even HE was the real enemy

b.      There was an enemy BEHIND the enemy – Satan (remember Job?)


3.      Haman was carrying out an age-old vengeance against the Jewish people


a.       Wanted them ALL dead

b.      And that would include Esther herself, and any future children she might have


4.      And without hardly any effort, the ruin was sealed

5.      It was only a matter of time before Esther, and all the Jewish people were exterminated – about 11 months

6.      What a way to start a family!


H.    What Went Wrong?


1.      Ahasuerus Did Not Know Esther


a.       Never knew where she came from, her culture, her likes, her dislikes!

b.      Never cared to ask

c.       Just got married and got free legal sex!

d.      The Bible commands that every married man gets to know his wife – understand her, or at least TRY to understand her, and her needs, and her background, and her likes and dislikes! (1Peter 3:7) “according to knowledge)


2.      Ahasuerus Wasn’t Close to Esther


a.       Would go weeks and even months without spending any time with her

b.      Too busy in his own affairs

c.       Always on business

d.      Always away from the home – not his palace, but his place by her side in the core of his home!


3.      Ahasuerus Allowed a Problem to INTO His home


a.       HE was ultimately responsible for this threat actually taking shape

b.      A threat to his very marriage

c.       A threat to his future children

d.      And never was aware of it


4.      Ahasuerus was actually a PART of the problem


a.       Actually signed the death warrant with his own ring and name

b.      HE would be to blame for the genocide of the Jews


5.      Esther Thought She Could Do Nothing


a.       At first was ignorant of what was going on

b.      Then when she was made aware of the danger, she had no clue what to do

c.       She had no power against such a plot

d.      She had no rule over her husband

e.       What could SHE do?

f.       She just accepted things


1)      Esther Thought everything was “normal” – just how things had to be!

2)      Many a woman finds herself extremely frustrated and bitter for no clear reason – but it is because what they see as normal, and what they have just always put up with, was serious and they don’t know how to deal with it!


g.      That is until Mordecai taught her about the power of GRACE. Not the toleration of wrong, but the changing of what is wrong using grace!


I.       Next Week - How Esther Approached Her Husband and Changed Him for the Better


IV. Conclusion


A.    Gentlemen, none of us deserve such a woman as Esther! None of us deserve such careful respect

B.     We are all-too-often like Ahasuerus

C.    And we wonder why our wives and our homes are so disconnected, so cold, so hurt!

D.    It is because MOST of us have never understood GRACE

E.     We take kindness for granted

F.     We especially take GOD’S kindness and grace for granted

G.    If we want our homes to survive…


1.      Ladies, you need to learn what Esther is going to show us

2.      And men, you need to learn what GRACE can do in your home, in your fights, in your children, and in your own heart


H.    Ephesians 2:8,9