Friday, March 9, 2012

Esther Bible Study - Chapter 3

Today we're continuing with chapter three. In order to get the best results from the study I suggest that you turn to each of the scriptures referenced in the study and read them in their full context. Keep a pen ready and make notes on things that you notice as well as things that you'll want to remember from this study.

Meaning of names in this chapter: 

Haman: Persian word Hamayun meaning "illustrious." (Wikipedia)

Esther 3:1-4

In Esther chapter three we are introduced to Haman the “Agagite.” It is important to note that he is an Agagite in understanding the rest of the chapter as this will explain why Mordecai refused to bow down to him. And why there was bad blood between the two.

Many of us will remember the story from Exodus chapter 17 of Moses, Aaron, and Hur who went up to the top of the hill while the Israelites were in battle with the Amalekites below. When Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, they lost strength. And so we are told that when his hands got heavy, Aaron and Hur held them up.

In verse 16 of that chapter (Ex.17) we are told, “The Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”

So how does this relate to Haman? Haman was a descendant of Agag, who we see from 1 Samuel 15:8 was king of the Amalekites.

If you’ve been following the symbolism in Esther you will begin to notice that Haman is a type of Satan as he is at war with the Jews.

Read Isaiah 14:12-14. From this scripture, what do we know about the fall of Satan?

Mordecai refused to bow down to Haman, which could give some people the impression that we don’t need to obey the laws of our land or that we as believers are somehow above them.

However, we are clearly instructed in scripture to submit to authorities:

Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.~ 1 Peter 2:13&14, KJV

If Vashti was rebellious when she refused to submit to the King in chapter one, how then was it okay for Mordecai to refuse? Read Acts 5:27-29. What do you deduct from the example of Peter and the apostles?

Esther 3:6-7

Haman begins to devise his plan to annihilate the Jews. This hatred illustrates the power that unchecked anger can have on a person. If left to fester, it will usually grow.

What does Proverbs 16:32 tell us about anger?

In verse 7 we see the use of the word “Pur,” when it says, “they cast Pur…” This is where the word Purim comes from. As I mentioned in the introduction to chapter one, the feast of Purim is a Jewish feast that is still celebrated today. The full text of Esther is read aloud twice during the feast each year—once in the evening and again in the morning.

In biblical times they would often cast lots to determine decisions. Although it’s unclear what method was used, it would compare to our drawing straws, throwing dice, or flipping coins. In this case they cast lots to determine when the Jews would be destroyed.

Esther 3:8-11

Here we see that the King was deceived by Haman. He told the King that the Jewish people didn’t keep his laws. However, in chapter 2:21-23 we learned how Mordecai saved the king’s life. He was loyal to the king, but he wasn’t loyal to the Amalekites which fueled Haman’s anger toward all Jewish people.

I’m reminded of the scripture in Job 1:9-12 where we read that Satan has access to God. He’s a tattle-tale of sorts, who puts God’s people in the worst possible light to discredit our faith as he seeks to tempt and destroy all believers.

But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he [Job] hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. ~ Job 1:11, KJV

Although God allows us to be tempted, He understands the benefits that trials bring to each believer. This is an example of God’s wisdom exceeding that of man, and His power ruling over evil.

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: ~ 1 Peter 1:7

Esther 3:12-15

It’s interesting to note that Haman and Mordecai represent the flesh at war with the spirit in a believer’s life. Mordecai looks out for the best interest of Esther, while Haman is taking steps to destroy her. As long as we’re still in the flesh we will continue to struggle with this until the return of our Lord when Satan is destroyed for once and for all.

Look at the way that Paul describes it:

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. ~ Romans 7:18, KJV

Sound familiar? Have you ever set out to do good and lost your temper? Have you ever tried to change a bad habit and failed? This is the spirit and the flesh at war within you.

Consider your life. What things do you struggle with, i.e. temptation, addiction, lying, laziness, overeating, etc.? What areas of your life would you like to improve?

In verse twelve we see that letters were sent out informing the people that on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, all of the Jewish people were to be destroyed--men, women and children.
These letters of condemnation represent the law (Old Testament ordinances) that condemns all men to death.

Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. ~ Romans 3:19-20, KJV

In other words nobody other than Jesus Christ has been without sin. If we think that we’ll go to heaven because we’re a good person, we can simply take one look at the Ten Commandments to see how often we fail and fail again.

Sin separates us from God, and therefore we are in need of a Savior who reconciles us with the Father.

In the following chapters of Esther we will uncover a beautiful story of grace and redemption as Esther struggles against Haman who seeks to destroy her.

Until then be on the lookout for temptation in your life. Struggle against he who seeks to destroy you.

Come back on Monday for chapter four!

Find the other chapters here:

Esther Chapter 6

If you are studying along with us this week, you are welcome to leave a link to your site in the Linky tool below. But rather than linking up with a graphic from your blog like we usually do, it would be nice if you could post your profile photo so we can all see each other. If you don't have one--not a problem, another graphic will do. The Linky tool is just a way for all of us to get to know each other, it's not necessary to write a corresponding post.

I'm also posting the button code to the Bible study in hopes that you can add it to your post or sidebar.

And don't forget, tomorrow is Titus 2sdays, so if you're a blogger, come back and link up with your post on marriage, parenting, housekeeping or recipes.

You are loved by an almighty God,


If you'd like to leave a comment, visit Time-Warp Wife on facebook: Click here

If you would like to have Time-Warp Wife delivered to your inbox daily, simply click here: Subscribe to Time-Warp Wife


Post a Comment

Popular Posts

Blog Archive