The name Ahasuerus is Xerxes in the Greek… both coming from the old Persian language. He factors into one of the greatest dramas in history… one that stars a woman! You’ll want to take a few minutes and look up the Scripture passages to read this story…
I. The Danger to God’s People
– The Divorce of Vashti (Esther 1:1-5,7-12,15-22)
Like many leaders of his time, Xerxes indulged his desires for women. As king, he simply drafted them into his harem. Sometimes they were gifts that sealed political treaties.
Most of us don’t have the means to get everything we want; kings do. Xerxes saw people as things to be used or thrown away… depending on his whim at the time.
– The Discovery of Esther (Esther 2:1-9,12-18)
– The Devotion of Mordecai (Esther 2:21-23)
– The Decree of Haman (Esther 3:1,2,8-15)
Xerxes saw people as objects. So much so, he casually approved a plan to wipe out the whole Jewish people! Devaluing persons was part of his daily routine.
Whether or not we have the means to get whatever we might want in an given moment, we can be just as self-centered as Xerxes. The way we treat others serves as a measure of our character.
* We reveal our self-centeredness by the way we treat others.
II. The Decision of God’s Servant
– Mordecai’s Appeal to Esther (Esther 4:1-14)
– Esther’s Audience with Xerxes (Esther 5:1-8)
– Haman’s Arrogance over Mordecai (Esther 5:9-14)
III. The Deliverance of God’s People
– The Defeat of Haman (Esther 6:1-14; 7:1-10)
– The Decree of Xerxes & Mordecai (Esther 8:1-17)
– The Defeat of the Jews’ Enemies (Esther 9:1-19)
God was still God… and Xerxes could only do what God allowed.
In Ezra 4:6-24, the 2nd temple had been rebuilt… but the city walls were still lying in rubble. As the rebuilding project began, the Jews struggled through 2 temptations:
1) to compromise their standards, and
2) coercion by their own people.
When that didn’t stop the work, their enemies asked King Xerxes to halt the rebuilding project.
– The Message to the King (Ezra 4:6-16)
– The Message from the King (Ezra 4:17-24)
You can read the biblical account of King Xerxes in the book of Esther, and Ezra 4:6-24.