Get Ready, Get Set, Fight
The book of Esther presents an outstanding example of biblical victory for the individual believer. The victory found then by God’s earthly people Israel can be found now by all who belong to him by faith in Israel’s Messiah. It is God’s will for his people today to learn to be victorious in a spiritual manner. Too long has the enemy of our souls been the victor while the people of God have been the vanquished.
Consider the events in the book of Esther. It was a sad day for the Jews; it looked like the end of their history. Haman, furious because one strong-minded Jew who feared God more than man would not bow to him, wanted to get rid of all the Jews. Haman devised a plan that led to the signing of a law that would result in the earliest recorded holocaust” for the Jewish people. His evil plan worked, and the law was written and signed by King Ahasuerus (Xerxes). All the Jews were slated for execution. Everything was legal. Furthermore, it was an unbreakable law of the Medes and Persians. Once signed, the decree could not be broken. That, too, was the law.
The only hope for the Jewish people lay in an appeal to the king, and that appeal rested ultimately with Queen Esther, the winner of what may have been the world’s first beauty contest. Nevertheless, however beautiful and greatly favored by the king Esther was, even she had her limitations. She had not been summoned by her husband for 30 days. To attempt to see him uninvited would result in her death unless he were to extend to her his gold sceptre as a sign of pardon. Esther’s cousin, Mordecai, persuaded her that she must try to speak to the king. She agreed, requesting that all the Jews participate in spiritual preparation by fasting for three days.
In the events that followed, Esther did gain an audience with the king. The evil Haman was exposed and punished; but there remained a serious problem. The Jews were still slated for execution because the first law could not be abrogated. It was, after all, an unbreakable edict and must be fulfilled. Fortunately, however, there was a way out. Although King Ahasuerus could not stop the law that already had been set in motion, he could write a new law to supersede the old one. He gave Mordecai the right to formulate that new edict. This Mordecai did. The new law signed by the king gave the Jews the right and privilege to defend themselves and even to attack those who would attack them. Taking full advantage of the new law, the Jews were saved from genocide.
We have a similar situation at work today in the spiritual realm. God’s holy law proclaims, “…the soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4). The punishment for sin (the falling short of God’s law) is death. This law is non-prejudicial. It encompasses everyone both physically and spiritually. The first human, Adam, has passed on the terrible legacy of sin to our entire race, and our holy God has never abolished the law that brings death to every law-breaker. The law of sin and death is still in effect, and everyone who sins suffers the consequences of that law. Its awful price must be paid.
Fortunately, as in Esther’s time there was a way to avoid destruction; today, too, there is a way to avoid the penalty of the law of sin and death. God has provided the way for the fulfillment of the old law and for an escape from its death penalty. He has sent the Sin Bearer, the Messiah, to take upon himself the penalty of the law. A new law is in effect—the law of the spirit of life in and through the Messiah Yeshua—that sets humanity free from the first law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).
Deliverance from the first law has come for all who become true believers in Jesus as Messiah. Still the enemy of our souls does not give up. If he cannot kill the souls of the believers, he will do everything possible to defeat us in our spiritual lives. Satan does not always use the same method. His attacks may come in the physical or the spiritual realm—upon the flesh or upon the soul. But though the attacks may vary, the goal is the same: the defeat of God’s people.
All too often the enemy succeeds. Too many believers find themselves bogged down in discouragement and living defeated lives. But praise God, it doesn’t need to be that way. In the book of Esther, God has given us a lesson that can be applied in the daily battles of life. Despite the law of sin and death that would destroy, there is another law, the law of the spirit of life. Through this new law, God has made provision for his people to find victory.
The new law gives eternal life to God’s people. Through faith in Christ, they have a new relationship with the Creator. In the Messiah, they become new creations. This is a glorious experience.
This new law of the spirit of life also makes victorious life available to God’s people. In the story of Esther the Jewish people had to realize that they were not helpless in the face of imminent destruction. They could defend themselves and defeat the enemy by applying the king’s new law—the one written by Mordecai. Even so, believers in Jesus the Messiah must learn to apply the law of the spirit of life. This new law makes abundant life available to every believer. This is not applying the law by rote; it is new life in the Messiah.
How, then, does the believer gain the spiritual victory? First by knowing and believing that it’s possible; then by faithfully applying the truth of God’s word in everyday life; by seeking to live in the revealed will of God; by being strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. Then there will be victory instead of defeat, as there was for the ancient Jews in Esther’s time.
As a believer in Jesus the Messiah, the victory is yours. But you must know that and you must appropriate it. There is another promise of victory in another book of the Bible that was given to God’s people Israel about three centuries before the book of Esther was written. The prophet Isaiah wrote, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper” (Isa. 54:17). Wasn’t that exactly what happened with Haman’s wicked plan? In the spiritual battle for victory today, cannot we who are God’s people by faith claim that verse, too? So get ready, get set, fight the fight of faith!