(Note: The article which appeared in this rubric on February 1, entitled “A Tragically Worthless Success,” should have come after this article. Our apologies to our readers, and especially to Rev. Heys, for this disruption in the sequence of articles in this series.)
There are many reasons why people “fall in love.” A man may fall in love with a pretty face, and fall in love at first sight. A woman’s soul may be stirred by athletic prowess, fleshly charisma, and she may quickly fall in love with one of the world’s heroes. Beauty, it is said, is in the beholder’s eye. That being the case, what is attractive to one may be utterly unattractive to another. What is beautiful to one may cause another to question the eyesight of his neighbor.
But tragic it is in the church when a woman is loved because she shows enmity towards the living God. Disappointing, but also pathetic, it is when a young man falls in love with a young woman who charms him because of her worldly, unsanctified walk of life. The world sees the beauty that God gives the daughters of Zion; and there is nothing strange about it when the world desires to get acquainted with these daughters, to date them and establish friendly relationships with them. Neither is it strange that the young men in the church see the physical beauty of the women in the world. But both the young women and the young men in the church have one powerful weapon to fend off and keep away the unbelieving men and women of the world. Let them display their faith in God. Let them show a walk of love toward the living God; and the world has no interest in them any more. Sad to say, this weapon is not used; and young women and young men in the church end up with a life wherein, if indeed they are children of God, they are greatly hindered in their walk of faith with a life’s mate that will not help them in their spiritual life and cannot comfort them in their trials and afflictions.
The world will love you, if you will only walk as they do in a life that shows no love toward God. And how serious and important it is to emulate the psalmist who in Psalm 119:63 writes, “I am a companion of all them that fear Thee and of them that keep Thy commandments.” How necessary that we heed what Paul wrote in II Corinthians 6:14-17: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” And Jesus gave the rule in His sermon on the kingdom: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and its righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). If we do not see the kingdom of God in a person, we must not seek that one’s hand in marriage! The all-controlling thing to find in a life’s mate is faith in God, righteousness, a love of God and His kingdom.
THAT Esther did not do, and THAT Mordecai did not want her to do! As I pointed out last time, she was commanded not to show in any way at any time any faith in God, or love of righteousness. And Esther willingly went along and kept Mordecai’s command without complaint or objection of any kind. Mordecai’s command, not God’s, was her rule for life. Being yoked to a godless man, living a life of adultery with him, throwing away the first table of His law, as well as the second table thereof, she went after that which would give joy and pleasure to her flesh. She, as well as Mordecai, was not doing all this in the interest of God’s church, but for self and for the nation of Israel. Not the church of God which was in the nation of Israel at that time concerned her, but the nation of Israel at the expense of the faith and life of the church in the nation. Not the kingdom of God and its righteousness came first in her life, but the fleshly seed of Abraham. She pushed all the things of the kingdom of God aside, and this she did in order to conquer the world, to be the wife of a godless king, and to be queen in a world power. Do not say that she and Mordecai were looking far ahead and for influence to get Israel back into the land of Canaan. Israel had returned already. Make her a heroine of faith—like those in Hebrews 11 —but why did not the Spirit move the author of this epistle to include her then in the list? Besides, can you find anywhere in Scripture, or in church history, that a person hid his or her faith in order to further the cause of Christ? Is it not always the other way? Does one not exactly fight with spiritual weapons to protect and defend the church? Come! Come! Let the Word of God, that deliberately shows us that neither Esther nor Mordecai used God’s name in—as we hope to point out later in this series—times when it had to be mentioned, and reveals unbelief when it is omitted, explain Esther’s actions.
Yes, Esther was a submissive daughter. And that is amazing for such an earthly beauty. She obeyed Mordecai before this beauty contest. Now that she is queen, we find in later chapters, she again obeys him. She not only kept his commandment not to reveal that she belonged to a nation that feared Jehovah, the one and only true God, but also when he insisted on it that she go in to speak to the king.
Now women with exceptional beauty in the world are almost always vain and proud. They seek to get their way by virtue of their beauty. They use their beauty as a power over men. And having later on also attained to the place of power and honour, by being chosen by the king, Esther still submits to Mordecai. Not once do we read that she sent servants to go out and to tell him to leave her alone or else . . . .
We also read in verse 15 that she submitted to Hege. This was, of course, for her own good. It was not to keep the fifth commandment in its basic meaning of honoring all in authority. Hege knew the king better than she did. And to win the contest she had better get the best help that she could. Materialistic goals drove her to this, not spiritual considerations. She was wise enough in the ways of the world not to say to Hege, “I’ll do it my way. I’ll beguile him by my beauty.” No, she submitted because there was so much at stake as far as the things of this world were concerned.
All this submissiveness, however, was not pleasing in God’s sight. It was not in His eyes seeking the kingdom of God and its righteousness. If you have a wicked goal, you cannot properly use righteous means. If your motive is carnal, you cannot use the things of God’s kingdom properly to get that for which your flesh craves. And certainly failure to use spiritual weapons and to confess the God of heaven and earth will never make a wicked motive right in God’s sight.
The whole point is that Esther did not submit to God! How could she be submitting to God by denying Him? We read in Isaiah 43:21, “This people have I formed for myself, they shall show forth my praise.” And in I Peter 2:9we have the same idea. The believers are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a peculiar people, an holy nation that is brought into being to show forth the praises of Him Who called them out of darkness into His marvelous light. And you cannot do that by not using His name. You will fail in that glorious work when you fail to show that you are His people, as Esther at Mordecai’s command failed to do. The question is not whether a work looks good to man, or outwardly resembles a work performed by a believer. The question is whether it looks good to God Who reads the heart.
And to fail to show love toward God is an act of hatred towards Him. Failure to confess Him is to deny Him. And to deceive men, by keeping back an important truth that they must know, is walking contrary to God’s law, and thus is performing an act of hatred against Him.
Esther was loved because she walked in hatred against God. And if you disagree with this, come with something, just one thing in the book that does display one act of faith. Show where she stood up for the cause of God. Point out a passage that teaches that she showed forth the praises of God. Show where she even attempts to fight for God’s cause and to oppose sin and the lie. A Christian, and an Old Testament believer, cannot condone evil, keep silent when unbelievers ascribe God’s praises to idols.
Let us beware lest we fall in love with Esther who showed nothing but hatred against God. There is nothing in her life, as presented in this book, that any believing parent would want to recommend to his child. There is so much in her life that a sincere, covenant parent would want to warn his children against, as we hope to see.
Jesus said it, “If a man love Me, he will keep My words” (John 14:23). And John wrote it in I John 5:3, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.” Did Esther do that? Is there in the whole book one work of love toward God recorded?
As already pointed out, had she shown one work of love to God, she would not have found favor in the eyes of the keeper of the women. Had she showed this when she was ushered in before the king that night, when she was put to the test by this ungodly king, he would have driven her away. He was not looking for faith in her. He was not interviewing her so that he could be told what Jehovah said about putting away a wife, and about adultery being the only reason Moses gave (not God) for the Israelites to live separately, if adultery bothered the one mate so much that living with the other was psychologically impossible. He was not ready to hear God’s law proclaimed; and had she begun to witness of Jehovah, she would have been driven out before she got very far. Jesus said that, “If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20). Had Esther revealed Christ during those months of preparation, and then before the king, she would have been persecuted, not chosen to be queen.
But no, she manifested herself as one of the world. She walked as one who hated Jehovah and bowed before the king’s idols. Such the king can and did love. And she was loved as one who is an enemy of God.
How could it be otherwise? For she was loved and chosen by an enemy of God to be his wife. And enemies of God can only choose and love those who are enemies of God. One who hates God cannot love one who loves God. Do not take my word for it. Listen to what the Holy Spirit says about this in that passage I quoted from II Corinthians 6. There through Paul He states unequivocally that righteousness has no fellowship with unrighteousness; light has no communion with darkness; Christ has no concord with Belial; the temple of God has no agreement with idols; and the believer has no part with infidels. The opposite is therefore also true that the unrighteous, darkness, Belial, the infidel, and idols want nothing to do with the righteousness, spiritual light, Christ, believers, and the temple of God.
And since Esther did seek close fellowship, communion, concord, and an intimate part with this infidel, who was a friend of Belial and full of unrighteousness and spiritual darkness, she is revealed in Scripture to be an unbeliever. There is a reason why not one positive act of faith in God is related concerning her. Listen to what God says; but take note also of what He omits and yet speaks volumes about this beautiful but wicked descendant of Abraham.