book of Esther, besides being of high
interest historically, seems to contain latent type-teachings which ought not
to escape our notice. The Persian Jews as a whole are here used
as a type of the worldly among the Lord’s people. The voice of Jehovah to His people rang
throughout the Persian empire.
Here was the divine recall of the Jews
to Jerusalem and Judea.
There could be no mistaking it. It bore a supernatural seal. First the release had been predicted; and now
it had been effected. Not a Jew ought to have remained in Persia. The people, without exception, should have
flocked back to Zion
with thanksgiving. Yet the unhappy truth
is that only a remnant returned. The
rest were content to stay on in Persia.
Of course they were ready to applaud
those who were returning, and to say how splendid it
was of them to undertake the rebuilding of Judah’s ruined cities and Jehovah’s
temple; but they themselves did not find it convenient at the time to break
away from their Persian connections. In
truth, they were selfishly indisposed to
leave the plenty of Persia
for the leanness of desolated Judea, even
though that was the place of covenant blessing. They believed in Jehovah, and acknowledged Him
as the one true God; but their hearts
were set on the things of this world*.
[* Christ, on His return, will be seen
at first only by those looking. “Unto them that look for him shall he appear
the second time” (Heb. 9: 28). It is an extraordinary statement that our Lord
appears to them that look for Him if, as a matter of fact, He appears equally
to them that do not look for His return: it is meaningless. The
worldly disciple, whose heart is set on the things of this age, has no time to
square his life in hope of attaining the next.
“Be ye also ready”; that is, ‘rediness’
is something other and more than ‘looking‘ or ‘watching.’ It is
all life squared to the Second Advent. Death can be sudden, but it nearly always
throws out warning symptoms: there will be no warning symptoms here:
sudden as an avalanche, swift as the lightening, irrevocable as death - one
flash, and the watchful will be gone, and the Great Tribulation will be here. Are you ready?
famous ruby was offered for sale to the English government. The report of the crown jeweller was that it
was the finest he had ever seen or heard of; but that one of the “facets,” one of the little cuttings of the face, was
slightly fractured. The result was that
that almost invisible flaw reduced its value by thousands of pounds, and it was
rejected from the regalia of England.
There are fractions in the ruby of Christian character and conduct
(Gal. 5: 19) which exclude from the coming Regalia of Christ: “of the which I forewarn you,
even as I did forewarn you, that they which practise such things shall not
inherit the kingdom
of God.” Whatever may have been our failures, we
remember Napoleon‘s word, after a great defeat:-
“There is time to win a victory before
the sun goes down.”]
these Jews are types of the worldly among the Lord's people today. They are the figures of those who profess
faith in Christ but who love the world and the flesh too well to make
renunciation for Christ's sake. They
want to be numbered with the redeemed of the Lord; but they also want to enjoy
the pleasures of the world for a season.
what of these worldly believers, these modern correspondents of the old-time
Jews who stayed on in Persia?
Well, just this - God will not allow His name to be bound up with them any more
than He allowed His name to be associated with the Jews who stayed on in Persia.
God watched over these Persia-loving
Jews, and remained faithful to them even though they had slighted Him. In their trouble they cried to Him, and He
delivered them; but He would not allow His name to be bound up with them. His deliverance of them, in the Esther
episode, was so recorded that the striking circumstances unmistakably
demonstrated His providential care over them; yet His name must not be
once mentioned in the account.
Let the absence of God's name from
the book of Esther burn this
truth into our minds:
God will not associate His name with the worldly among His professing people
today, any more than He would associate it with those old-time Jews in Persia.
Through the centuries, God is developing
His purpose for the earth’s salvation; and, in the end, those who have “... [fled] ” from the Babylon
of this world, to “be separate” unto Him, will shine as stars in the millennial
kingdom: but those who have said “Lord, Lord,”
without renouncing the world, will not be known in that “day”. Their
record will not shine on high. They may
be saved, as by fire; but they will never hear the King of kings say to them: “Come, ye blessed of my Father; inherit the kingdom.” Our Lord's promise to the overcomer is: “I will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving him that receiveth it”; but there
will be no such 'secret of the Lord' for the worldly disciple. The final description of the glorified saints
says that the very name of God shall be “written on
their foreheads”; but God’s name
will never be imprinted on those who have loved self and the world in
preference to sanctification. It is
possible to be saved from ‘gehenna’,* the final doom of
the lost (as the Jews in Esther's day were saved from massacre) and yet to miss
that “eternal weight of
glory” which God has prepared for them that love Him with all their
[* Better to say - It is possible to be saved
from the 'lake of fire', the final doom of the lost (as the Jews in Ester's day were
saved from massacre) and yet to miss that 'age-lasting
weight of glory' which God has prepared for
them that love Him with all their heart. – Ed]