PURPOSE:TRAINING TO REIGN
The purpose of this book is to give a picture of Esther as the bride being trained and prepared to reign. It’s different from Ruth; it’s different from Rebekah. The emphasis of Esther as a picture is the bride being prepared to reign with the king in victory. That’s the unique emphasis of this book in terms of the bridal revelation: the bride being prepared to reign in victory and triumph in full partnership with the king.
This training to reign, and the actual reign, involves tremendous persecution and conflict. It’s very different from the bride as depicted in Eve, and Rebekah, and Ruth. This one has spiritual conflict. There’s tremendous persecution, and tremendous emphasis on spiritual warfare and intercession. Those kinds of things are paramount in this book, but not like in other bridal books. The emphasis in Ruth is a poor, hopeless, widowed Gentile who is brought from the ash heap of hopelessness and called into the place of great wealth instantaneously. The real emphasis of the book of Ruth is the fact that a person who had nothing and was going nowhere, who had no hope or thought of deliverance, was suddenly and instantaneously brought into the position of being heir to great wealth.
That’s not exactly the emphasis in Esther. Esther is about reigning next to a king, and overcoming the conflicts, spiritual warfare, and persecution in order to reign effectively. When the bride is pictured in Rebekah, there’s not really conflict or hopelessness. With Rebekah, it’s a really neat one, because it emphasizes the Holy Spirit’s role in empowering and endowing the bride with gifts. The great theme of Genesis 24 is how the Holy Spirit led Rebekah with supernatural intervention in the unfolding of her destiny. Lots of gifts were given to her on several occasions. It’s the Holy Spirit’s empowering and gifting of the bride’s life and her journey.
This portrait of Esther is unique, because of the conflict, the reigning, and the setting of a king with a kingdom. King Ahasuerus is looking for a bride. This book is very suspenseful. It may make a great movie in Hollywood if they really got hold of this. There’s tremendous drama, surprising twists, and all kinds of intrigue going on. It’s a true story. It’s an historical story. It’s just that we’re looking at it allegorically, which means through the lens of spiritual symbolism, for the mystery of God, which is the Church and the new covenant as the Bride of Christ.
THE DRAMATIS PERSONAE OF THE BOOK OF ESTHER
There are four main characters in the book of Esther.
First, there’s King Ahasuerus. In the way that we’re viewing this, He speaks of God the Father.
There’s Mordecai, and you’ll have all these written down throughout the notes here. He speaks of the Holy Spirit.
Esther is obviously the bride, the redeemed, the Church who is a bride.
Haman is the principle of evil, whether it’s Satan, or sin, or the flesh; and maybe in the last generation it’s the embodiment of evil in the person of the Antichrist. It really doesn’t matter which way you take it. It’s the presence of evil that’s reigning with intensity in a specific season. We know that sin has reigned all through human history, but there are seasons where it really intensifies, and the conflict really does pick up during times of persecution. Haman is that spirit of the Antichrist, or that sin and death that’s reigning in the human experience.
ALLEGORY IS ALWAYS ROOTED IN NEW TESTAMENT REVELATION
I am laying out its allegoriacal interpretation here. There are two main allegorical interpretations. First, I have to say this again, just because we don’t want to. You can’t say it too much. We don’t build on allegory that’s not rooted in New Testament revelation. Allegories, or types, are typically people or events in the Old Testament that reveal New Testament truth. It’s a truth that was present in the mind of God and is revealed by the apostles or by Jesus in the New Testament. Typically it’s after the resurrection and the anointing on the apostles. These truths were hidden in the Old Testament and embodied in the people and the events. It was really God’s mind to do this. It’s not an accident. We don’t say, “Wow!
That’s really neat. That really worked out.”
God is kind of saying in a way, “No, I purposely led it that way.” There are a number of passages in the New Testament where God mentioned that He was intentionally leading and guiding to give illustrations of New Testament truth. Again, one more thing: we don’t try to fit every detail in. In an allegory or a type or a shadow, you can’t fit every detail. The Lord never arranged it that way. We’re dealing with fallen human beings, and there are other things going on. The principle actions speak together, and they tell a very, very clear New Testament story. It has to be main and plain in the New Testament. It’s not a little side doctrine; it has to be main and plain in the New Testament or it’s not saved around for allegories. I just wanted to make that really clear again. There are two main interpretations that I’ve studied of the book of Esther.
I became familiar with it through the work of a man from England named Ian Thomas. It’s a book you can’t get very easily. It’s called, If I Perish, I Perish. Our youth group was really big on that one twenty years ago, so we all read it. Actually, about ten of us taught it to our Bible study groups. It’s a very marvelous picture of the body, soul, and spirit. Then the Holy Spirit comes in and overpowers Haman, who is the flesh. It’s a really excellent picture of how redemption works in the life of an individual.
Again, I haven’t seen this book in a bookstore for years and years. It’s a little book, but it’s really fascinating. I’m convinced that it’s a very accurate portrayal of the book of Esther.
The second way to interpret this, which is the way that we’re focusing on, isn’t individual redemption, but rather the corporate Bride of Christ. There’s only one book I know that has that that line in it, and it touches the bridal theme, but there are many dimensions included that aren’t about the bride. It’s a book by Fuchsia Pickett. She’s a Pentecostal preacher, and it’s excellent. It’s called For Such a Time as This. That gives more of a picture. It’s not a very in-depth book, but it gives some overviews of principles on the bride.
The power of it doesn’t begin in the first two chapters, although the first two chapters are very fascinating. Again, King Ahasuerus speaks of God in His majesty and splendor. First, the book begins with the revelation of the most powerful king sitting on the throne in the largest kingdom in history. Again, it’s only 127 provinces, but the fact is it’s the largest empire in history up to that time. It’s unique in how big it is, and the power of the king. It’s a picture of God the Father looking down over His creation.
“In those days when King Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the citadel”—or you can put palace—“that in the third year of his reign. . .” (Esth. 1:2-3).
You might circle the word third, because there are about four passages that give us the timing of this ten-year period. It starts off in the third year of his reign, because when Esther actually becomes betrothed to him and is in the position of being the bride, it’s the seventh year of his reign. Four years go by in just a single chapter. You say, “Whoa! What happened here?” Four years go by, and I think that’s in chapter 2:16-17. It’s in his seventh year when she’s introduced as the queen. Then another five years goes by before Haman does his evil things. I just wanted to point out the chronology as we’re going.
THE KING SHOWS THE EXCELLENCE OF HIS MAJESTY AND SPLENDOR
“He made a feast for all his officials and servants—the powers of Persia and Media, the nobles, and the princes of the provinces being before him—when he showed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the splendor of his excellent majesty for many days, one hundred and eighty days in all” (Esth. 1:3-4).
Here’s what he’s doing: he’s having this big feast. We have King Ahasuerus at the very beginning. He’s in a garden. He’s having a feast. He’s looking over the biggest kingdom in history, having the biggest feast in history, as far as we know. He’s showing the excellence of his majesty and splendor.
It says in verse 4, “for many days.” It’s the Lord in the eternal councils in heaven, looking down over all of His creation. He’s beginning to act. He has a plan that’s on His heart. His kingdom is vast beyond any comparison. It has no equal in terms of the 127 provinces; that’s the point. It has no equal in its size. That’s the picture of the Father’s kingdom. He’s reigning over all creation. It speaks of the heavenly realm and the earthly realm. He’s looking over the angels, the archangels. He’s looking over the whole human race. It’s not just human or redeemed history. He’s looking over everything. It’s the vast unparalleled kingdom in which He’s displaying His splendor. The angels are with Him and He’s going to reveal His plan. The angels shout for joy (Job 38:7).
The angels, the sons of God, are so happy as God begins to unfold His creative power before them. This is during the third year of his reign. Again, in 3:7 we read that it was in the twelfth year of his reign that Haman does his evil thing, and I want you to know that there’s a nine-year difference. I just want you to catch some of those things. I’ll point them out as we’re going, but I want you to catch the chronology.
The king sat on his throne in his citadel, his fortified palace. In Revelation 4, He’s seated on a vast throne overlooking a kingdom that has no equal, no comparison, beyond anything that has ever been seen.
HISTORY BEGINS AND ENDS WITH A FEAST AND A GARDEN
What he does from this position on his throne is to make a feast for all of his officials for 180 days. There might be all kinds of deeper symbolism in it. Again, you don’t want to get too carried away with the details. The point is, it’s the longest, and it’s unique in its length. A 180-day banquet is unusually long; that’s the point. It’s speaking of eternity. There’s no precedent for anything like this. There’s no precedent for the feast. Everything that God does, He does around a feast in the midst of a garden. He starts in eternity past and there’s a feast, and He’s feasting in the fellowship of the Trinity. Again, in Job 38:4-7, He’s talking to Job. He says, “Job, where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?”
Job said, “Huh, well, do you really want an answer?”
He says, “Where were you when I set its bases and foundations, and the angels were full of joy when I was
doing all this” (Job 38:4, 7, paraphrased)?
The feast of God begins even before man is created. God is in His own garden. That garden is revealed in Revelation 21. History begins with a feast in a garden. There are a number of key feasts throughout history—the communion was one of the great ones of history—and it ends in a great wedding feast.
God’s plan from His throne always has to do with feasting, gardens, and gathering all of those whom He has created. I picture Him in eternity with this plan upon His heart. This is the way that I imagine what God is saying. It’s even bigger than human history.
“In the garden of the king’s palace.” Again, there’s a heavenly garden in Revelation 21. Then there’s the earthly garden in Genesis 2 when He begins the human race. There’s a garden in both arenas. He has a group, or a host, a royal host, in both places. Don’t limit God to His plan on the earth. He shows the riches of His glory for 180 days, for an unprecedented, uniquely-long period of time. Again, the Lord can speak on five levels. I see this as Genesis 1 and Genesis 2, as He’s unfolding the splendor of everything that He’s doing. He’s making the heavens and the earth. The angels are participating and engaged in the process with joy every step of the way.
There are, again, a number of verses to this. He’s showing His splendor for many days. That speaks of eternity. He’s creating the heaven and He’s creating the earth. The whole story begins with a majestic king in His splendor revealing the power of his splendor. There’s no greater way He’s done that than in the very beginning, than in creating the heavens and the earth and the human race and the angelic realm.
We have been introduced to a king who is revealing his splendor in a unique and unprecedented way. He’s going to have another feast. The first feast he had for all the nobles over his kingdom. I think of that more as the angels. He’s going to have a second feast, and this is for all the people who live in the capital city there. This feast only goes on for seven days. This is a part of the big feast. Of course, I think of the seven days of creation, when God is spreading His table called planet earth and Adam is totally getting excited. But this is just a little sub-feast to the big feast.
This is describing what happened after the first four verses. “And when these days were completed, the king made a feast lasting seven days for all the people who were present in Shushan the citadel, from great to small, in the court of the garden of the king’s palace” (Esth. 1:5).
This feast wasn’t just for the nobles; I think of the nobles as the angels and the archangels. This is for all the common folks now who were present in Shushan the citadel, the palace of the great city, from the great to the small, in the court of the garden.
PAVEMENTS OF MARBLE, GOBLETS OF WINE
Here we are again: a seven-day feast for everyone with the great king at a garden. It sounds just like Genesis 2 and 3 to me. Look at verse 6: “There were white and blue curtains. There were cords and silver rods and marble pillars and couches and a pavement of marble” (Esth. 1:6, paraphrased).
“Then all these common people were drinking in gold vessels, each vessel being different from the other with royal wine in abundance” (Esth. 1:7, paraphrased). This is God fellowshipping with Adam in the cool of the day in the power of the Holy Spirit. Things are really happening. “This was all according to the generosity of the king” (ibid). “In accordance with the law”—the Word of God, the justice of God, the logos of God—“the drinking was not compulsory” (Esth. 1:8). God wanted voluntary response. He wasn’t demanding anyone to say yes to Him if they didn’t have it in their heart to do it.
There was a great garden with golden vessels, and plenty of royal wine. “For so the king had ordered all the officers of his household, that they should do according to each man’s pleasure” (Esth. 1:8). In other words, “Act according to what’s in your heart.” Free will is what’s happening here. “I want you to do what’s in your heart.” That’s how this thing works. Again, I understand this to be talking about Genesis 1-3.
Then there’s a queen that comes on the scene. She has a feast for the women in the royal palace that belongs to King Ahasuerus (Esth. 1:9). The king made a feast for all the people. This isn’t the officials of verse 3, which speak of the heavenly realm. This is the common people of the earth—the seven days of creation and God’s rest.
Shushan, or Susa, literally means, “The lily city.” This was the actual capital of Persia at that time. It was the home of the bride, and her king lived in Shushan. It’s the lily city. In Revelation 21, it’s called “the eternal city.” Song of Solomon calls it “the mountain of spices” (Song 8:14). Here it’s called “the lily city” in the figurative language of God; it’s the Church in the world, depending on which train of thought we decide to go with. You can go along with both trains of thought, with either a focus on the natural or the supernatural arena. In both arenas, the truths are the same.
“I AM THE ROSE OF SHARON, AND THE LILY OF THE VALLEYS”
I think it’s interesting that God pictures His people, especially His bride, as a lily. That’s very prominent in the book of Song of Solomon. “I am . . . the lily of the valleys”—that’s what her confession is in Song of Solomon 2:1 (NKJV). Then the Lord calls her the lily among the thorns (Song 2:2).
Now, you may know that Hosea is the main prophetic book about the bride. Hosea tells us that the bride is like a lily in blossom (Hos. 14:4-5). That’s how the prophet looks at the people. One little side thought I want to give here is that Jesus speaks about the lily in Matthew 6:28-30; you all know the passage well. He says, “Consider the lilies of the field. They neither toil nor spin, because they are arrayed or clothed by God” (Mt. 6:28, paraphrased). That’s the point. He looks at them and says, “Look at these lilies. Look at them. I want you to consider. I want you to think about these lilies.” Jesus is always saying stuff out of eternity in time, and then when we get up there we’ll say, “Oh my goodness!” He’ll say, “Yes, I understood that even then.
You didn’t get it, but I did everything it took for Me not to tell you the whole thing.” That’s how I imagine some of our conversations with this infinitely glad and happy God we have called Jesus Christ and His Father. Anyway, when Jesus said, “You are the light of the world” (Mt. 5:14), He meant, “You really will be the light of the world. You’re a light in this age, but it’s really going to pick up in the age to come. You’ll see when you get there.” He says this: “Look at the lilies. God has clothed them. Look at Solomon in all of his glory” (Mt. 6:28-30, paraphrased). Solomon and all of his glory. There were millions, millions, untold millions of dollars of gold and precious jewels in the temple of Solomon. He says, “Even Solomon, with all his glory, with all his millions of dollars of gold and all the precious jewels, didn’t array himself like God clothes the lilies.” He says, “It’s far greater than what Solomon had.”
Then we read that at the marriage supper, God arrays us (Rev. 19:7). We’re arrayed far greater than Solomon’s temple. We have the raiment, the garment, with which God arrays His bride. Jesus says in Matthew 6, “God is the One who clothes the lilies.” He says, “You’re the lilies, and you have far more wealth than Solomon’s temple, but you don’t get that yet.” Not only did He array the lilies of the valley, though He really did do that. I believe in Jesus’ heart He’s saying, “He arrayed you with garments far more precious than those of Solomon’s temple, with all its gold. So get your mind off the gold. You’ve been arrayed by God Himself, in a manner far more precious than this.”
The lilies speak of God’s city. Shushan is “the lily city.” The lily city is the setting of the divine drama. Whether in eternity or on earth, it’s the redeemed, the Church. The Old Testament and the New Testament church are both referred to as lilies while on the earth. That’s the setting for the divine drama, the lily city. It’s in the king’s garden. I’ll just give you those seven things there. Silver rods speaks of redemption. The couches where we rest are made of gold and silver. This pavement of marble is red, blue, white, and black. It’s just a little picture of the pavement of transparent streets like gold that we’ll have in the age to come. All of these are pictures of God’s city that He’s calling His people. There’s no sin whatsoever in the original garden. They’re all drinking royal wine. It speaks of us and the Holy Spirit. There was wine in abundance, and full fellowship with God in the cool of the day. According to the King’s generosity, the Father is so. He has a plan to end this thing in a garden. It starts in a garden. He wants the free will to be engaged. That’s why God lets the serpent into the garden. He wants a choice to be made, because love isn’t love without a choice and He wants the choice to be made. It’s a purposeful thing that God allowed.
DIFFICULTY ARISES IN THE MIDST OF THE CELEBRATION
In the historical setting, Queen Vashti has a feast. In the culture of that day, the women and the men didn’t feast together. The queen has her feast and the king has his feast. What we know is that the first queen, the first lady of the human race, Eve, is having a feast in the garden when this whole thing begins. Everyone is happy. Everyone is full of gladness and the splendor has been revealed in the seven-day feast where there’s rest and gladness. The wine is flowing and the garden is filled with excitement. Suddenly the queen disobeys. Suddenly difficulty arises at the king’s celebration in his garden. Difficulty suddenly arises in the midst of the king’s celebration, his seven-day feast. There’s a difficulty that arises in his garden. “On the seventh day. . .” You can put Genesis 2:2. That’s when the Lord was finished with His natural creation. “The heart of the king was merry.” The King is in the midst of a celebration.
He’s saying to Adam, “It’s so good, what I’ve done! Look at this, Adam. It’s good! Look at this. It’s good! Look at this. It’s good!” He says, “It’s not good that you’re alone.” Then when He makes Eve, He says, “It’s very good.” It’s safe to say the king was merry on that day. He’s full of celebration. He’s about to give a commandment in just a few moments in the midst of this great celebration. The seven eunuchs that served in the presence of the king are all listed there. He says, “Here’s what I want you to do.” He gives the command in verses 10-11. He says, “I want you to bring Queen Vashti before me. I want the royal crown. I want her beauty to be seen, for she is beautiful to behold” (Esth. 1:10, paraphrased).
LIVING BEFORE THE KING IN THE FULL AWARENESS OF OUR BEAUTY
“But the queen refused the king’s command. Therefore the king was furious, and his anger burned within him” (Esth. 1:11).
Again, it’s in the context of a garden and a celebration. The command was given in Genesis 2:17. He says, “You can eat anything you want because of My kindness. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat” (Gen. 2:17, paraphrased). There was a command. He gave a command to Adam and to Eve. His whole idea was that they would live before the King. They would live before God in the beauty that He gave them. God’s whole desire was that they would live freely before Him in the full awareness of their beauty.
The queen was beautiful. Eve was innocent, made in God’s image, filled with divine beauty. The king wants her beauty to really be shown forth. In order for the beauty of love to be shown forth, there has to be the option not to love. Love isn’t strong or beautiful until it’s in the presence of the choice not to love. That’s when love is strong. That’s when love is made beautiful. That’s when we’re made most beautiful, when we say no in the presence of sin. I love resting on the couch with nothing hassling me, and the Lord enjoys that; that’s part of His plan for our lives, but when we’re standing in the presence of the temptation of anger, bitterness, pride, lust, greed, and all those things and we say no to it, our beauty is revealed like never before in the midst of free choice when the command of God is before us. She refused to obey the king. So trouble begins in the garden at the king’s celebration.
The first queen doesn’t work out. It’s the idea of the one who was chosen by God and adorned with beauty. That’s the first queen. I can think of three different ways to view the queen that was adorned by God with beauty. She said no and it caused trouble and disruption. The first one is Eve. Again, I call her the first lady of the human race. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the clearest fulfillment.
The second one is Old Testament Israel. God calls Old Testament Israel and actually says, “I had to give her a certificate of divorce because she said no to Me.” The next one would be the New Testament Church—the New Testament people throughout history in the dark ages when the vast majority of the Church said no to God. In every dispensation in time, the people who were chosen and made beautiful said no. I don’t want to get into all the in-depth theology of whether when they said no, it means yes, and is yes really no, and all that. The point is, they were adorned with beauty and the Lord said, “I have to do something other than what’s taking place now.” He began to declare in a very short amount of time His plan to bring forth a bride, a new bride, one that would replace Eve. This would be a corporate, redeemed, Holy Spirit-filled bride that in the presence of sin would choose God under the power of the Holy Spirit. Again, it’s Eve, the first lady of the human race. Israel, under the first covenant, the old covenant, God gave a certificate of divorce, but under the new covenant He’ll bring them back if they will say yes to Him under the shed blood of Jesus.
“THEREFORE THE KING WAS FURIOUS, AND HIS ANGER BURNED WITHIN HIM”
The king’s wrath. It says in the actual text that he was furious and his anger burned. The divine justice demands judgment. There had to be a payment of this rebellion. They couldn’t go along with business as usual. The king’s wrath had to be appeased. Of course, we know it’s appeased in the redemption of Christ Jesus. The first beautiful woman to God was Eve placed in the garden before the King in full fellowship. The King’s heart was full of joy and He was merry and she said no to Him. Then the Lord had to replace her. The reign of sin and death began at that time. Then a new plan was set into motion.
There were two different groups of seven that were around the king: eunuchs and wise men. The point is this: the names all mean something and it’s easy to find out the names. There are so many resources. There are dozens of books, and none of these books actually disagree, but they are based in the same general flow. You can go and research those out and really spend an hour on those fourteen names. The point of it is, in the presence of the king there were seven eunuchs. Some versions call them “the chamberlains,” but most of them call them “the seven eunuchs who served in the king’s presence.”
THE REVELATION OF THE SPIRIT AND THE MIGHT OF THE KING
Oh, by the way, Ahasuerus’s name means, “the mighty one.” It’s very clear that he’s the Lord. Mordecai’s name—means, “God enlightens.” Of course, he speaks of the Holy Spirit. He’s the one that brings light, the enlightenment, the revelation of God. “God’s revelation,” or, “God’s enlightenment”: that’s what Mordecai means. He’s a picture of the Holy Spirit.
A LIGHT THAT SHINES IN DARKNESS
Esther means light or star. It means a star. She’s the bright star that the real, one Star lit from His own light. Esther is the light of the world. She’s a star in a time of darkness in human history, which speaks of the Bride of Christ in this age. Ahasuerus is the mighty one. When you think of the eunuchs, the eunuchs were those who served in the presence of the king. They were very important to a king’s harem. Their goal was to prepare and protect the bride, not to seduce the bride. The reason the eunuchs were brought in was so that there would be no chance of seducing and taking the heart of the bride from the king. That’s why the eunuchs were there. There are seven eunuchs in the king’s presence whose hearts have no desire to try to seduce the bride’s heart away from the king. They are totally loyal to the king. That’s the presence of the eunuchs. The seven wise men: you might think of Isaiah 11:2-3, the seven spirits of God. Again, I’ve done just a minimal amount of research on the names. There are all kinds of ways to develop that. That will take a lengthy period of time, but I just want to give you a hint there.
THE PENALTY FOR DISOBEDIENCE
The penalty for disobedience. Vashti said no. “What shall we do to Queen Vashti, according to law” (Esth. 1:15)—according to the justice of God? That’s what’s going on, because she didn’t obey the command of the king.
One of the eunuchs answered and said, ‘Queen Vashti has not only wronged the king, but she has wronged all of the princes and all the people in the whole empire” (Esth. 1:16, paraphrased). In other words, the consequences of this will spread to everyone. Everyone in creation will be affected in some way by this. Then they give their historical reason, which to me doesn’t have an application in terms of the allegorical interpretation. They said, “When the people see that the queen defied the king and nothing happened, then all the other nobles’ wives will defy them. Then there will be chaos everywhere before it’s over” (Esth. 1:17, paraphrased). In other words, “There will be disruption everywhere.” That’s the historical point. Allegorically, the queen has not only wronged the king, but the consequences will affect all creation. That’s the point.
HOW WILL GOD RESCUE HIS PEOPLE FROM HIS BURNING WRATH?
Look at the end of verse 18: “Thus there will be excessive contempt and wrath” (Esth. 1:18) all through the kingdom because of her act. His advisers say, “If it pleases the king, let a royal decree go forth” (v. 19, paraphrased).
As some of you know, a decree of the Medes and the Persians, a decree from a Persian king, could never, ever be revoked. It could not. It was impossible. If he got in a bad mood and said something, it had to happen until the end. It burned a lot of bridges. It saved a whole lot of time. I have no idea who gave that rule. Remember when Daniel was thrown in the lion’s den? The king said, “Anyone who doesn’t pray to me, wipe him out.” They were setting him up, because the king liked Daniel, and he said, “Oh no, Daniel. I didn’t mean you. Even I can’t revoke my own law.” Again, it speaks of the justice of the law, the permanence of this law, which speaks of the Word of God in the allegorical sense. The wrath of God has subsided. In the heart of God, He knows of the plan for Jesus to take away His wrath. We’re moving to the place in the story where God has figured out the way. He has planned and decreed a way where the wrath can be removed. This book isn’t spending chapters on that point. This book is talking about the response of a bride taking the place of the one who sinned.
THE KING THROUGHOUT ALL HISTORY IS SEARCHING FOR A BRIDE
The King is going to look for the virgins within all creation, in order to find the bride in the midst of these virgins. He’s looking for beautiful, young virgins. When you think of it historically, this is a crazy, out-ofcontrol, reckless, egomaniacal king, but anyway, that’s not how we’re looking at him. The King is looking throughout all of His creation to find the virgins from which His bride will come forth. That’s what’s happening. When He looks over His vast kingdom, He’s not looking at the angels. He’s not looking at the devils. He’s not saying, “Oh, I’ll patch the devils up.” He’s not looking at unbelievers in the sense of those whom He knows will say no to Him.
He’s looking for those who will say yes; those who will be made virgins before Him because His wrath has subsided. The implication is that God has dealt through the cross with the tremendous dilemma of His wrath on the people He loved. He put His wrath on His Son. He’s not looking at the angels, the devils, or those who refuse to say yes to Him. It’s not the humans who refuse Him, but the virgins of those who have said yes. He has a plan. Out of the virgins He’s going to bring forth a bride. The first thing to which He will call the virgins is Himself. They will be called to the King. That’s the first call: the call of the bride. We’re not the bride yet. We’re betrothed; we’re legally engaged. We’re the virgins of this age. We’re only the bride in the full sense in the age to come, at the wedding supper. That’s when the wedding is consummated.
We’re legally brides now, but we’re only fully consummated as brides when we see Him face to face and His splendor is unveiled in the age to come. He’s calling us forth. Again, you don’t want to get overly-detailed on this and try to figure out eschatology, the unfolding of end-time events. This is what was going on: Esther is one of the virgins who has the bride’s heart. That’s the point. She’s one who said yes to the Spirit of God wooing her to this identity. When you read some of these books, some people try to make Esther the bride, and the virgins believers who don’t become the bride. I see Esther as the one who’s responding to the king in a bridal response. I might be wrong, but I believe that all the saints in eternity are part of the Bride of Christ. I have a strong conviction about this, but that doesn’t mean it’s right, because the Lord can take care of all that stuff Himself. I just want to give you that.
To be continued