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Esther Chapter 7

Esther Chapter 7

Sermon Transcript

Are you fearful or fierce? God has placed us where we are for a reason. Join Dr. Marty Baker as he takes us through Esther chapter 7 and challenges us to stand up and be used by God for His purposes.

Raised in communist Romania, Virginia Prodan experienced the ruthless rulership of Nicolae Ceausescu.  When she applied to law school, authorities performed a background check to ensure her views aligned with the government's.  They desired to know three things: whether her parents had ever organized a revolt against the government, whether her parents had ever disclosed the anti-government activities of their children, and whether her parents were followers of Jesus Christ.  Since the family didn’t check any of these boxes, Virginia secured a law degree because she walked lock-step with the totalitarian government.

It didn’t take long for her to become disillusioned as she sought truth in defending Romanians from government harassment, intimidation, and possible incarceration.  At her lowest emotional and ideological point, she just happened to encounter a Christian.  The joy and peace he exuded left her dumbfounded and desiring more.  Wanting what he had, she started attending church with him.  At church, she discovered that the source of his peace rested on Jesus Christ, who was the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).  That one enlightening verse eventually convinced her to trust Jesus as her Savior and Lord.

Not only did this faith commitment change her standing before God, but it also impacted how she practiced law. Like Esther of old, she realized she had a divine calling to defend Christians and human rights cases. So, she bravely pushed forward to seek truth and expose lies. Her new, energized approach didn’t sit well with the Ceausescu regime, so they did what communists do.  They arrested and beat her to either silence or bring her into ideological submission to the State.

When they couldn’t achieve these two goals, they hired an assassin to silence her voice of truth forever.  He met her under the ruse he was a lawyer with some legal questions.  Within short order, she realized his true intention when he pulled out a pistol and pointed it at her head.  When she asked why he took this government assignment, he replied that he would be honored to be No. 1 in the dictator’s rank.

With knees shaking in fear and her heart pounding, Virginia said she heard the voice of the unseen God whisper to her, “Share the gospel.”  So she did.  When she finished, the assassin relaxed his shoulders, dropped the muzzle of the gun from her head, placed the weapon on the table, and bowed in faith at the feet of Jesus.  After praying for the Lord’s forgiveness and salvation, he said, “Virginia, I will come to your church, but I will come as a secret police. But I am going to be your brother in Christ.”

As she recounted this story in a speech in February 2024 before the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville, she concluded with these moving, instructive words:

“So why I am telling you this?” she asks. “Because I want you to be confident that when you see only the evil one screaming at you, threatening you that he will take your job or will take your kids or will put you to jail or whatever they will threaten you [with], remember that God is working behind the scene. We’re supposed to walk by faith, not by sight. One day you will find out. Remain faithful . . . We are conquerors in Christ,” she says, paraphrasing Romans 8:37. “He changed Romania through me and he wants to change America through each one of us.” [1]

Eventually, President Reagan secured her release, and Ceausescu’s totalitarian government fell because of the courage of people like Virginia.  Don’t tell me God doesn’t strategically place us to be courageous at the right time to push evil back. Don’t tell me righteous reversals cannot come through the bravery of one lone saint.  Virginia Prodan is a case in point, and long before her, a young Persian queen named Esther became the model of how to seize a moment to advance justice, righteousness, and life.

In her quest to thwart the legal scheme of Haman, the number two man in the country, to eliminate the Jews from the land, Esther first risked her life to approach her husband and king without an invitation.  He welcomed her advance and asked her what she desired.  Shrewdly, she asked Haman to be invited to a special dinner party with her and the king. This way, Haman’s pride would swell to untold proportions so God could lower him back down to earth.  The king agreed, and the dinner party commenced, leaving Haman feeling more prideful and powerful than ever.

Later that evening, when the king couldn’t sleep, he just happened to have his aids read him the government annals.  In this reading, he just happened to learn how one Jewish man named Mordecai had saved his life years before by uncovering an impending assassination plot.  Since Haman arrived in the wee hours of the morning, just as the king wondered how best to repay Mordecai, Xerxes asked for his advice on what should be done. Arrogantly thinking the king desired to honor him, Haman waxed eloquently concerning the reward.  As you know, God worked behind this sordid scene to not only elevate Mordecai, but He utterly humiliated Haman by having him guide Mordecai through the city streets as he sat on the king’s horse and dressed in the king’s clothing.  Also, he had to verbally state how blessed Mordecai was because of his brave actions (Esther 6).

No sooner had Haman returned home to lick his wounds from the significant reversal than the king's eunuchs knocked at his door.  What did they want? He needed to get together and hurry to Esther’s second lavish dinner party.  It is at this party that the great unseen God will work through the courage of one Christian woman to silence this anti-semitic, murderous man forever.  Yes, one more time, Esther will be faced with a decision: Stand up for truth and faith or stoop in fear.  You can guess what she did.  The question is, What will you do when God positions you in a situation where truth is on the line and evil is attempting to advance?

Once again, God teaches us how to live like Virginia or Esther as we read the historical record of what happened in Esther’s case.

The Request (Esther 7:1-2)

Divinely orchestrated irony is woven throughout this dinner party. It unfolds as Haman and King Xerxes show up for Esther’s second dinner. After the first dinner, Haman was riding high. At the close of this dinner, he will be riding low, per God’s design.

1 Now the king and Haman came to drink wine with Esther the queen. (Esther 7)

Literally, the Hebrew text labels this “the banquet of wine.” Grammatically, the phrase is built off an infinitive clause denoting purpose.  They showed up for the purpose of drinking

( לִשְׁתּ֖וֹת ). The ellipsis of the word “wine” underscores the drinkfest nature of this particular dinner.  I’m sure the Chardonnay, Merlot, and Riesling wines flowed. I’m equally sure the antioxidant in the wine, resveratrol, served to lower Haman's stress and anxiety levels.  With each drink, he must have thought, “I still must be in the good graces of the king and queen despite what happened yesterday with Mordecai.”  His prideful swagger was about to be interrupted by the inebriated king's conversation with the queen.

Note to your prideful self:  Don’t assume God isn’t working to get your attention if things seem relaxed, normal, and easy.  On the contrary, He, who loves justice and truth, is always at work to bring about a righteous reversal. Isaiah puts this truth in perspective:

15 Woe to those who deeply hide their plans from the LORD, And whose deeds are done in a dark place, And they say, "Who sees us?" or "Who knows us?" (Isa. 29:15 NAS).

Godless plans never catch God off guard, and he constantly works to deal definitively with those who devise and execute wickedness.

God set up the definitive judgment of Haman here with some familiar husband and wife talk:

2 And the king said to Esther on the second day also as they drank their wine at the banquet, "What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to half of the kingdom it shall be done" (Esther 7).

King Xerxes had asked these same questions at the first banquet (Esther 5:6), but he didn’t receive a satisfactory answer from his clever wife. So he posed them again. For Haman, the conversation had deja vu written all over it.  He must have thought, “Why does Xerxes keep asking her what she wants? Can’t he move on so we can enjoy the party?”

With the tension at a high point, Esther finally told the king and her husband what she wanted.  She spoke up because now she felt God’s timing for dealing with Haman was perfect.  Never move out when you don’t have an inner peace from the Lord that now is the time to get moving.  When Esther had that peace, she moved out with boldness.

The Reply (Esther 7:3-4)

First, let’s read the verses and then offer some salient, practical observations:

3 Then Queen Esther answered and said, "If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me as my petition, and my people as my request; 4 for we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed and to be annihilated. Now if we had only been sold as slaves, men and women, I would have remained silent, for the trouble would not be commensurate with the annoyance to the king." (Esther 7)

Esther did possess favor with her husband, or she would have never pulled off two dinner parties with him and Haman.  But what did she want? Once again, Esther stood at a crossroads. Would she courageously tell the truth with Haman, the perpetrator, sitting near her, or would she make some innocuous statement? She chose the former, as you should when God sovereignly places you in a position to speak up and out for justice, righteousness, and truth.

With each word, I’m sure Xerxes couldn’t believe what he heard.  By equating herself with the Jews, whom Xerxes had placed under a national genocidal ban based on the prompting of wicked Haman, Esther revealed she was a Jew, not a Persian.  Bodly, she stated the facts. The government had created a twisted, unfounded law to destroy, kill, and annihilate all Jews because they were lawless and posed a threat to the security of the nation (Esther 3:8).

Had Xerxes bothered to check out the veracity of Haman’s initial reason for the genocide, he would have discovered it was nothing but a lie.  But such is the nature of propaganda. As Dr. Erwin Lutzer observes, “Keep in mind that the purpose of propaganda is to reshape people’s view of reality by reimaging reality, appealing to human desires, and using covert deception . . . The ultimate goal is to make them [the people] obedient to the leader's dictates or the elites who tell us they are committed to ‘what is best for the people.’ Eventually, people will be willing to suspend their judgment, set aside what they know to be true, and join in with the masses.”[2] And where a lie has been employed to demonize a people, like the Jews collectively, the propaganda can be used to motivate people to carry out unbelievable acts to safeguard the country from the likes of such people.

Esther was some saint because she took the propaganda of Haman head-on, exposing it as pure, unadulterated evil that would be directed even against her, the Queen of Persia. Had slavery been the issue, Esther said she would have remained quiet.  Why did she say this? Because she had learned from being a slave how God worked in this to advance, bless, and care for His chosen people, Israel.  However, with genocide on the horizon, she could not hold her tongue, and she didn’t.  The nature of the evil shouted for her to say and do something, so she did.

What will you do when God gives you a pivotal moment?

  • Will you speak up against sex trafficking?
  • Will you speak up against the demonization of Christians by wrongly labeling them as Christian Nationalists, as if they/we are some kind of political party concerned about this earthly kingdom as opposed to the Lord’s kingdom?
  • Will you speak up against those who sexualize innocent children?
  • Will you speak up against those who pervert democracy and then demonize those who genuinely support democracy that was created with a healthy fear of the living God?
  • Will you speak up against the corruption you see in your office?
  • Will you speak up and out against those who push for a gender-neutral society, one which defies how God created us?
  • Will you speak up in favor of the moral and spiritual truths recorded in the Word of God, which are under constant attack?

Esther, along with Virginia, is a model for us all. Esther spoke, and look what transpired.

The Revelation (Esther 7:5-7)

Xerxes, who had a hot temper anyway, exploded all over this new information:

5 Then King Ahasuerus asked Queen Esther, "Who is he, and where is he, who would presume to do thus?" (Esther 7)

Anger is written all over the king's questions: “Who is this man who’d dare threaten my queen and her people? Who would devise such a diabolical plan? Let me at him.”

The reply of Xerxes shows you just how out of touch he was with the politicians below him.  How could he NOT know who the man was, after all, he had recently permitted Haman to use his signet ring to put his royal stamp of approval on a genocidal plan.  No one is more dangerous than a politician who doesn’t know what’s happening in his administration. Unscrupulous people who rule and reign with him will use his clueless nature to pass laws that will threaten targeted people groups while also devising clever new laws to advance the power of the State.  This is precisely what Haman did.  He never called the lawless problem people in the empire, Jews.  He just classified them as “a certain people” (Esther 3:8). Only after he created a legal document did he reveal the new government target for extermination was the Jews (Esther 3:13). This is just an example of clever propaganda, say, one thing and do another. Yes, hide your end-game from those who might be able to stop it.  Haman had propaganda techniques down pat, leaving the unsuspecting king out of the proverbial loop. This is all why Xerxes didn’t know what was happening in his kingdom.

Esther courageously clued in her clueless husband:

6 And Esther said, "A foe and an enemy, is this wicked Haman!" Then Haman became terrified before the king and queen. (Esther 7)

At that precise moment, Esther exposed the bully, Haman. He was a wicked foe and enemy. The Lord waits to see how you will perform when you get your Esther moment.  Will you expose the bully of truth, justice, life, and peace?

I’m convinced that Haman’s blood drained from his face at this precise moment.  Parading Mordecai around the capital and shouting his praises was humiliating and humbling, but this was quite another.  This was terrifying because Queen Esther accused him openly and directly to  Xerxes.

What happened next?  Read on and see.

7 And the king arose in his anger from drinking wine and went into the palace garden; but Haman stayed to beg for his life from Queen Esther, for he saw that harm had been determined against him by the king. (Esther 7)

Xerxes was so mad his number two man had duped him that he had to rush out into the palace garden to cool off and collect his thoughts.  What did Haman do? He made THE biggest mistake of his life.  He not only begged Queen Esther for his life, he was, as we see in verse 8, on the couch with her.  In Persian life, a man couldn’t get a couple of feet from a queen without there being an issue.  Haman broke the unspoken rule as he begged before Esther, a Jew.  All of this is so divinely ironic. The powerful man who wanted a Jew to bow before him now bows before a powerful Jew. The powerful man who wasn’t going to show any mercy to Jewish men, women, and children in the coming pogrom now slobbers all over Esther’s feet as he seeks mercy.

What happened next puts the finishing touch on the divine irony woven into this historical story.

The Reversal (Esther 7:8-10)

After the king calmed down, he came back into the room.  He didn’t like what he saw:

8 Now when the king returned from the palace garden into the place where they were drinking wine, Haman was falling on the couch where Esther was. 

As a man, all he could think was Haman attempted to make a sexual move on his wife.

Then the king said, "Will he even assault the queen with me in the house?" As the word went out of the king's mouth, they covered Haman's face. 

Haman, the perverted, brutal anti-Semite, had now gone too far.  Had he left the room with the king, his life would have been possibly prolonged.  However, the couch episode sealed his fate using a quick execution.

The staff of King Xerxes were privy to the fact that Haman had constructed a massive gallows in the middle of the night near his home.  Again, the king was clueless, but his people weren’t, so one of them stepped forward with an idea:

 9 Then Harbonah, one of the eunuchs who were before the king said, "Behold indeed, the gallows standing at Haman's house fifty cubits high, which Haman made for Mordecai who spoke good on behalf of the king!" And the king said, "Hang him on it." 10 So they hanged Haman on the gallows which he had prepared for Mordecai, and the king's anger subsided. (Esther 7)

The divine irony is written all over this.  This Scripture is clear that God will ultimately protect His chosen people (Gen. 12:1-3).  It is equally clear that a person will reap what they sow.

14 A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his words, And the deeds of a man's hands will return to him. (Prov. 12)

14 "I, the LORD, have spoken; it is coming and I shall act. I shall not relent, and I shall not pity, and I shall not be sorry; according to your ways and according to your deeds I shall judge you," declares the Lord God.'" (Ezek. 24)

6 who will render to every man according to his deeds: (Rom. 2)

Haman sowed racism, hatred, and murder; therefore, he reaped his death at the hands of the very Jews he sought to erase from his culture.  Their gallows became his gallows. Haman-types in today's world should sit up and take notice. God has not changed.  The anti-Semitism that flourishes today will culminate in one last quest to wipe the Jews out in the Tribulation (Rev. 13); however, the Lord, the ultimate Jew, will appear and destroy the destroyers. After that, He will establish His worldwide kingdom of peace (Isa. 2:1-4; 9:1-6).  If you sow seeds of anti-Semitism today, know you will not prevail. The Lord will prevail when the great reversal comes.

In the meantime, how should we live in our collapsing culture as saints of the Lord? We should live courageously, knowing the Lord will bless us for sowing seeds of truth. Like Virginia and Esther, we should be willing to put our lives on the line for God’s truth. Will you? We should rest in the fact that God’s sowing and reaping motif will be fulfilled in His time. This means it will be fulfilled in the here and now (Ezek. 36:17-19) or in the hereafter (Rev. 14:15).  So rest and move out.

[1]Tyler O’Neil, “Christian Who Survived Assassination Attempt in Communist Romania Issues Dire Warning About Erosion of Parental Rights in the US,” The Daily Signal, (March 06, 2024), accessed March 7, 2024,

[2] Erwin W. Lutzer, No Reason To Hide: Standing for Christ in a Collapsing Culture (Eugene: Harvest House, 2022), 140.