When the virgins were gathered together the second time, Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate. Now Esther had not made known her kindred or her people, as Mordecai had charged her; for Esther obeyed Mordecai just as when she was brought up by him. And in those days, as Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs, who guarded the threshold, become angry and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. And this come to the knowledge of Mordecai, and he told it to Queen Esther and Esther told the king in the name of Mordecai. When the affair was investigated and found to be so, the men were both hanged on the gallows. And it was recorded in the Book of the Chronicles in the presence of the king. (Est 2:19-23 RSV)
The chapter closes with an account of how the entrance of Mordecai and Esther into the life of this king involved also deliverance from a plot which threatened the very life of the king:
Here the life of the king is at stake — here is the first hint of the existence of an evil force which is at work to destroy and to capture the mind, emotions, and will of man, to pervert these to it’s own uses, and to oppose the glory of God’s purpose in man’s life.
You know that force well. It is at work in your own kingdom, and the life of the king is at stake. The soul of man is the prize in this great warfare, carried on within the soul of each of us. The enemy tries to strike, but Mordecai (who is now sitting in the gate as a judge in the city for he has not yet full access to the palace) discovers the plot, and the adversaries are taken out and publicly “nailed to a tree”. This is literally what it says, “hanged on the gallows” is an interpretation. The literal Hebrew is that they were “impaled, or nailed to a tree.”
In Colossians we read:
And you, who were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh [you who were men and women in whom the Spirit had fallen into disuse and unresponsiveness, who had nothing beyond the life of a soul], God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, having canceled the bond which stood against us with its legal demands; this he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the principalities and powers and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in him [that is, in the cross]. (Col 2:13-15 RSV)
“Triumphing over them in him” — this is what we find represented in this graphic account in the Old Testament: that there is in our lives an evil force which threatens to overcome us. The end of the story is not yet — but the enemy is known, and his doom is certain. All this, we are told, was recorded in a book that is available to the king. It was recorded in the Book of Chronicles of the Medes and Persians. The king does not yet realize all that it means.
So God has recorded all that he has done for us in a book, and when we begin to understand what that book says about the deliverance that has been wrought for us, and realize what has been nailed to the tree and made a public example for us, we will begin to experience the deliverance that God intends for your life and mine.
Is this not where God has brought many of us today? We are Christians. We have known the restlessness of living without God. We have been engaged in a great search for something to satisfy. We have tried everything and have come at last to see that only in Jesus Christ is there satisfaction for the deep need of our hearts. We have received him and discovered that life began again. We look back with delight to that day and we look onward to the certain and sure promise that we shall be with him in glory.
Ah, but what about in between? Conversion is just the beginning of the story. Did you think this was all there was to a Christian life? To know Christ and to look on to heaven some day and try to struggle through the best you can till then? Oh, no! This is just the beginning of the story of Esther. These first chapters merely set the stage for the deliverance which God intends to work in the life of the king in this kingdom, just as he wants to work a similar deliverance in your life in the kingdom of your own heart.