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Flight EST01
Esther 1-10
Skip Heitzig

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Esther 1 (NKJV™)
1 Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus (this was the Ahasuerus who reigned over one hundred and twenty-seven provinces, from India to Ethiopia),
2 in those days when King Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the citadel,
3 that in the third year of his reign 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--
4 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.
5 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.
6 There were white and blue linen curtains fastened with cords of fine linen and purple on silver rods and marble pillars; and the couches were of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of alabaster, turquoise, and white and black marble.
7 And they served drinks in golden vessels, each vessel being different from the other, with royal wine in abundance, according to the generosity of the king.
8 In accordance with the law, the drinking was not compulsory; for so the king had ordered all the officers of his household, that they should do according to each man's pleasure.
9 Queen Vashti also made a feast for the women in the royal palace which belonged to King Ahasuerus.
10 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, seven eunuchs who served in the presence of King Ahasuerus,
11 to bring Queen Vashti before the king, wearing her royal crown, in order to show her beauty to the people and the officials, for she was beautiful to behold.
12 But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king's command brought by his eunuchs; therefore the king was furious, and his anger burned within him.
13 Then the king said to the wise men who understood the times (for this was the king's manner toward all who knew law and justice,
14 those closest to him being Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, who had access to the king's presence, and who ranked highest in the kingdom):
15 "What shall we do to Queen Vashti, according to law, because she did not obey the command of King Ahasuerus brought to her by the eunuchs?"
16 And Memucan answered before the king and the princes: "Queen Vashti has not only wronged the king, but also all the princes, and all the people who are in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus.
17 "For the queen's behavior will become known to all women, so that they will despise their husbands in their eyes, when they report, 'King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought in before him, but she did not come.'
18 "This very day the noble ladies of Persia and Media will say to all the king's officials that they have heard of the behavior of the queen. Thus there will be excessive contempt and wrath.
19 "If it pleases the king, let a royal decree go out from him, and let it be recorded in the laws of the Persians and the Medes, so that it will not be altered, that Vashti shall come no more before King Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal position to another who is better than she.
20 "When the king's decree which he will make is proclaimed throughout all his empire (for it is great), all wives will honor their husbands, both great and small."
21 And the reply pleased the king and the princes, and the king did according to the word of Memucan.
22 Then he sent letters to all the king's provinces, to each province in its own script, and to every people in their own language, that each man should be master in his own house, and speak in the language of his own people.
Esther 2 (NKJV™)
1 After these things, when the wrath of King Ahasuerus subsided, he remembered Vashti, what she had done, and what had been decreed against her.
2 Then the king's servants who attended him said: "Let beautiful young virgins be sought for the king;
3 "and let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather all the beautiful young virgins to Shushan the citadel, into the women's quarters, under the custody of Hegai the king's eunuch, custodian of the women. And let beauty preparations be given them.
4 "Then let the young woman who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti." This thing pleased the king, and he did so.
5 In Shushan the citadel there was a certain Jew whose name was Mordecai the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite.
6 Kish had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captives who had been captured with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away.
7 And Mordecai had brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle's daughter, for she had neither father nor mother. The young woman was lovely and beautiful. When her father and mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter.
8 So it was, when the king's command and decree were heard, and when many young women were gathered at Shushan the citadel, under the custody of Hegai, that Esther also was taken to the king's palace, into the care of Hegai the custodian of the women.
9 Now the young woman pleased him, and she obtained his favor; so he readily gave beauty preparations to her, besides her allowance. Then seven choice maidservants were provided for her from the king's palace, and he moved her and her maidservants to the best place in the house of the women.
10 Esther had not revealed her people or family, for Mordecai had charged her not to reveal it.
11 And every day Mordecai paced in front of the court of the women's quarters, to learn of Esther's welfare and what was happening to her.
12 Each young woman's turn came to go in to King Ahasuerus after she had completed twelve months' preparation, according to the regulations for the women, for thus were the days of their preparation apportioned: six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with perfumes and preparations for beautifying women.
13 Thus prepared, each young woman went to the king, and she was given whatever she desired to take with her from the women's quarters to the king's palace.
14 In the evening she went, and in the morning she returned to the second house of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king's eunuch who kept the concubines. She would not go in to the king again unless the king delighted in her and called for her by name.
15 Now when the turn came for Esther the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her as his daughter, to go in to the king, she requested nothing but what Hegai the king's eunuch, the custodian of the women, advised. And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all who saw her.
16 So Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus, into his royal palace, in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.
17 The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.
18 Then the king made a great feast, the Feast of Esther, for all his officials and servants; and he proclaimed a holiday in the provinces and gave gifts according to the generosity of a king.
19 When virgins were gathered together a second time, Mordecai sat within the king's gate.
20 Now Esther had not revealed her family and her people, just as Mordecai had charged her, for Esther obeyed the command of Mordecai as when she was brought up by him.
21 In those days, while Mordecai sat within the king's gate, two of the king's eunuchs, Bigthan and Teresh, doorkeepers, became furious and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus.
22 So the matter became known to Mordecai, who told Queen Esther, and Esther informed the king in Mordecai's name.
23 And when an inquiry was made into the matter, it was confirmed, and both were hanged on a gallows; and it was written in the book of the chronicles in the presence of the king.
Esther 3 (NKJV™)
1 After these things King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him and set his seat above all the princes who were with him.
2 And all the king's servants who were within the king's gate bowed and paid homage to Haman, for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai would not bow or pay homage.
3 Then the king's servants who were within the king's gate said to Mordecai, "Why do you transgress the king's command?"
4 Now it happened, when they spoke to him daily and he would not listen to them, that they told it to Haman, to see whether Mordecai's words would stand; for Mordecai had told them that he was a Jew.
5 When Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow or pay him homage, Haman was filled with wrath.
6 But he disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone, for they had told him of the people of Mordecai. Instead, Haman sought to destroy all the Jews who were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus--the people of Mordecai.
7 In the first month, which is the month of Nisan, in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, they cast Pur (that is, the lot), before Haman to determine the day and the month, until it fell on the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar.
8 Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, "There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from all other people's, and they do not keep the king's laws. Therefore it is not fitting for the king to let them remain.
9 "If it pleases the king, let a decree be written that they be destroyed, and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver into the hands of those who do the work, to bring it into the king's treasuries."
10 So the king took his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews.
11 And the king said to Haman, "The money and the people are given to you, to do with them as seems good to you."
12 Then the king's scribes were called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and a decree was written according to all that Haman commanded--to the king's satraps, to the governors who were over each province, to the officials of all people, to every province according to its script, and to every people in their language. In the name of King Ahasuerus it was written, and sealed with the king's signet ring.
13 And the letters were sent by couriers into all the king's provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and to plunder their possessions.
14 A copy of the document was to be issued as law in every province, being published for all people, that they should be ready for that day.
15 The couriers went out, hastened by the king's command; and the decree was proclaimed in Shushan the citadel. So the king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Shushan was perplexed.
Esther 4 (NKJV™)
1 When Mordecai learned all that had happened, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city. He cried out with a loud and bitter cry.
2 He went as far as the front of the king's gate, for no one might enter the king's gate clothed with sackcloth.
3 And in every province where the king's command and decree arrived, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes.
4 So Esther's maids and eunuchs came and told her, and the queen was deeply distressed. Then she sent garments to clothe Mordecai and take his sackcloth away from him, but he would not accept them.
5 Then Esther called Hathach, one of the king's eunuchs whom he had appointed to attend her, and she gave him a command concerning Mordecai, to learn what and why this was.
6 So Hathach went out to Mordecai in the city square that was in front of the king's gate.
7 And Mordecai told him all that had happened to him, and the sum of money that Haman had promised to pay into the king's treasuries to destroy the Jews.
8 He also gave him a copy of the written decree for their destruction, which was given at Shushan, that he might show it to Esther and explain it to her, and that he might command her to go in to the king to make supplication to him and plead before him for her people.
9 So Hathach returned and told Esther the words of Mordecai.
10 Then Esther spoke to Hathach, and gave him a command for Mordecai:
11 "All the king's servants and the people of the king's provinces know that any man or woman who goes into the inner court to the king, who has not been called, he has but one law: put all to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter, that he may live. Yet I myself have not been called to go in to the king these thirty days."
12 So they told Mordecai Esther's words.
13 And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: "Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king's palace any more than all the other Jews.
14 "For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"
15 Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai:
16 "Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!"
17 So Mordecai went his way and did according to all that Esther commanded him.
Esther 5 (NKJV™)
1 Now it happened on the third day that Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king's palace, across from the king's house, while the king sat on his royal throne in the royal house, facing the entrance of the house.
2 So it was, when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, that she found favor in his sight, and the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther went near and touched the top of the scepter.
3 And the king said to her, "What do you wish, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given to you--up to half the kingdom!"
4 So Esther answered, "If it pleases the king, let the king and Haman come today to the banquet that I have prepared for him."
5 Then the king said, "Bring Haman quickly, that he may do as Esther has said." So the king and Haman went to the banquet that Esther had prepared.
6 At the banquet of wine the king said to Esther, "What is your petition? It shall be granted you. What is your request, up to half the kingdom? It shall be done!"
7 Then Esther answered and said, "My petition and request is this:
8 "If I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, then let the king and Haman come to the banquet which I will prepare for them, and tomorrow I will do as the king has said."
9 So Haman went out that day joyful and with a glad heart; but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king's gate, and that he did not stand or tremble before him, he was filled with indignation against Mordecai.
10 Nevertheless Haman restrained himself and went home, and he sent and called for his friends and his wife Zeresh.
11 Then Haman told them of his great riches, the multitude of his children, everything in which the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the officials and servants of the king.
12 Moreover Haman said, "Besides, Queen Esther invited no one but me to come in with the king to the banquet that she prepared; and tomorrow I am again invited by her, along with the king.
13 "Yet all this avails me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate."
14 Then his wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, "Let a gallows be made, fifty cubits high, and in the morning suggest to the king that Mordecai be hanged on it; then go merrily with the king to the banquet." And the thing pleased Haman; so he had the gallows made.
Esther 6 (NKJV™)
1 That night the king could not sleep. So one was commanded to bring the book of the records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king.
2 And it was found written that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's eunuchs, the doorkeepers who had sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus.
3 Then the king said, "What honor or dignity has been bestowed on Mordecai for this?" And the king's servants who attended him said, "Nothing has been done for him."
4 So the king said, "Who is in the court?" Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the king's palace to suggest that the king hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him.
5 The king's servants said to him, "Haman is there, standing in the court." And the king said, "Let him come in."
6 So Haman came in, and the king asked him, "What shall be done for the man whom the king delights to honor?" Now Haman thought in his heart, "Whom would the king delight to honor more than me?"
7 And Haman answered the king, "For the man whom the king delights to honor,
8 "let a royal robe be brought which the king has worn, and a horse on which the king has ridden, which has a royal crest placed on its head.
9 "Then let this robe and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king's most noble princes, that he may array the man whom the king delights to honor. Then parade him on horseback through the city square, and proclaim before him: 'Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!'"
10 Then the king said to Haman, "Hurry, take the robe and the horse, as you have suggested, and do so for Mordecai the Jew who sits within the king's gate! Leave nothing undone of all that you have spoken."
11 So Haman took the robe and the horse, arrayed Mordecai and led him on horseback through the city square, and proclaimed before him, "Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!"
12 Afterward Mordecai went back to the king's gate. But Haman hurried to his house, mourning and with his head covered.
13 When Haman told his wife Zeresh and all his friends everything that had happened to him, his wise men and his wife Zeresh said to him, "If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of Jewish descent, you will not prevail against him but will surely fall before him."
14 While they were still talking with him, the king's eunuchs came, and hastened to bring Haman to the banquet which Esther had prepared.
Esther 7 (NKJV™)
1 So the king and Haman went to dine with Queen Esther.
2 And on the second day, at the banquet of wine, the king again said to Esther, "What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request, up to half the kingdom? It shall be done!"
3 Then Queen Esther answered and said, "If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request.
4 "For we have been sold, my people and I, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. Had we been sold as male and female slaves, I would have held my tongue, although the enemy could never compensate for the king's loss."
5 So King Ahasuerus answered and said to Queen Esther, "Who is he, and where is he, who would dare presume in his heart to do such a thing?"
6 And Esther said, "The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman!" So Haman was terrified before the king and queen.
7 Then the king arose in his wrath from the banquet of wine and went into the palace garden; but Haman stood before Queen Esther, pleading for his life, for he saw that evil was determined against him by the king.
8 When the king returned from the palace garden to the place of the banquet of wine, Haman had fallen across the couch where Esther was. Then the king said, "Will he also assault the queen while I am in the house?" As the word left the king's mouth, they covered Haman's face.
9 Now Harbonah, one of the eunuchs, said to the king, "Look! The gallows, fifty cubits high, which Haman made for Mordecai, who spoke good on the king's behalf, is standing at the house of Haman." Then the king said, "Hang him on it!"
10 So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the king's wrath subsided.
Esther 8 (NKJV™)
1 On that day King Ahasuerus gave Queen Esther the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came before the king, for Esther had told how he was related to her.
2 So the king took off his signet ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai; and Esther appointed Mordecai over the house of Haman.
3 Now Esther spoke again to the king, fell down at his feet, and implored him with tears to counteract the evil of Haman the Agagite, and the scheme which he had devised against the Jews.
4 And the king held out the golden scepter toward Esther. So Esther arose and stood before the king,
5 and said, "If it pleases the king, and if I have found favor in his sight and the thing seems right to the king and I am pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to revoke the letters devised by Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to annihilate the Jews who are in all the king's provinces.
6 "For how can I endure to see the evil that will come to my people? Or how can I endure to see the destruction of my countrymen?"
7 Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and Mordecai the Jew, "Indeed, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and they have hanged him on the gallows because he tried to lay his hand on the Jews.
8 "You yourselves write a decree concerning the Jews, as you please, in the king's name, and seal it with the king's signet ring; for whatever is written in the king's name and sealed with the king's signet ring no one can revoke."
9 So the king's scribes were called at that time, in the third month, which is the month of Sivan, on the twenty-third day; and it was written, according to all that Mordecai commanded, to the Jews, the satraps, the governors, and the princes of the provinces from India to Ethiopia, one hundred and twenty-seven provinces in all, to every province in its own script, to every people in their own language, and to the Jews in their own script and language.
10 And he wrote in the name of King Ahasuerus, sealed it with the king's signet ring, and sent letters by couriers on horseback, riding on royal horses bred from swift steeds.
11 By these letters the king permitted the Jews who were in every city to gather together and protect their lives--to destroy, kill, and annihilate all the forces of any people or province that would assault them, both little children and women, and to plunder their possessions,
12 on one day in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar.
13 A copy of the document was to be issued as a decree in every province and published for all people, so that the Jews would be ready on that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.
14 The couriers who rode on royal horses went out, hastened and pressed on by the king's command. And the decree was issued in Shushan the citadel.
15 So Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, with a great crown of gold and a garment of fine linen and purple; and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad.
16 The Jews had light and gladness, joy and honor.
17 And in every province and city, wherever the king's command and decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a holiday. Then many of the people of the land became Jews, because fear of the Jews fell upon them.
Esther 9 (NKJV™)
1 Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month of Adar, on the thirteenth day, the time came for the king's command and his decree to be executed. On the day that the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, the opposite occurred, in that the Jews themselves overpowered those who hated them.
2 The Jews gathered together in their cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus to lay hands on those who sought their harm. And no one could withstand them, because fear of them fell upon all people.
3 And all the officials of the provinces, the satraps, the governors, and all those doing the king's work, helped the Jews, because the fear of Mordecai fell upon them.
4 For Mordecai was great in the king's palace, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces; for this man Mordecai became increasingly prominent.
5 Thus the Jews defeated all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, with slaughter and destruction, and did what they pleased with those who hated them.
6 And in Shushan the citadel the Jews killed and destroyed five hundred men.
7 Also Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha,
8 Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha,
9 Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vajezatha--
10 the ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews--they killed; but they did not lay a hand on the plunder.
11 On that day the number of those who were killed in Shushan the citadel was brought to the king.
12 And the king said to Queen Esther, "The Jews have killed and destroyed five hundred men in Shushan the citadel, and the ten sons of Haman. What have they done in the rest of the king's provinces? Now what is your petition? It shall be granted to you. Or what is your further request? It shall be done."
13 Then Esther said, "If it pleases the king, let it be granted to the Jews who are in Shushan to do again tomorrow according to today's decree, and let Haman's ten sons be hanged on the gallows."
14 So the king commanded this to be done; the decree was issued in Shushan, and they hanged Haman's ten sons.
15 And the Jews who were in Shushan gathered together again on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar and killed three hundred men at Shushan; but they did not lay a hand on the plunder.
16 The remainder of the Jews in the king's provinces gathered together and protected their lives, had rest from their enemies, and killed seventy-five thousand of their enemies; but they did not lay a hand on the plunder.
17 This was on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar. And on the fourteenth day of the month they rested and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
18 But the Jews who were at Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth day, as well as on the fourteenth; and on the fifteenth of the month they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
19 Therefore the Jews of the villages who dwelt in the unwalled towns celebrated the fourteenth day of the month of Adar with gladness and feasting, as a holiday, and for sending presents to one another.
20 And Mordecai wrote these things and sent letters to all the Jews, near and far, who were in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus,
21 to establish among them that they should celebrate yearly the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar,
22 as the days on which the Jews had rest from their enemies, as the month which was turned from sorrow to joy for them, and from mourning to a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and joy, of sending presents to one another and gifts to the poor.
23 So the Jews accepted the custom which they had begun, as Mordecai had written to them,
24 because Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to annihilate them, and had cast Pur (that is, the lot), to consume them and destroy them;
25 but when Esther came before the king, he commanded by letter that this wicked plot which Haman had devised against the Jews should return on his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.
26 So they called these days Purim, after the name Pur. Therefore, because of all the words of this letter, what they had seen concerning this matter, and what had happened to them,
27 the Jews established and imposed it upon themselves and their descendants and all who would join them, that without fail they should celebrate these two days every year, according to the written instructions and according to the prescribed time,
28 that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city, that these days of Purim should not fail to be observed among the Jews, and that the memory of them should not perish among their descendants.
29 Then Queen Esther, the daughter of Abihail, with Mordecai the Jew, wrote with full authority to confirm this second letter about Purim.
30 And Mordecai sent letters to all the Jews, to the one hundred and twenty-seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, with words of peace and truth,
31 to confirm these days of Purim at their appointed time, as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had prescribed for them, and as they had decreed for themselves and their descendants concerning matters of their fasting and lamenting.
32 So the decree of Esther confirmed these matters of Purim, and it was written in the book.
Esther 10 (NKJV™)
1 And King Ahasuerus imposed tribute on the land and on the islands of the sea.
2 Now all the acts of his power and his might, and the account of the greatness of Mordecai, to which the king advanced him, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia?
3 For Mordecai the Jew was second to King Ahasuerus, and was great among the Jews and well received by the multitude of his brethren, seeking the good of his people and speaking peace to all his countrymen.

New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Bible from 30,000 Feet - 2018, The

Esther reads almost like a fairy tale: A Jewish maiden becomes queen of Persia. The villain launches an attack to destroy the Jews. In the end, his plot is thwarted by the hero and the brave maiden, who risks her life to save her people. Though the name of God isn't mentioned once in this short book, we clearly see God's providence and faithfulness in dealing with His people.

Take your knowledge of the full scope of Scripture to soaring heights with The Bible from 30,000 Feet. In this series, Skip Heitzig pilots you through all sixty-six books of the Bible, revealing major themes, principles, people, and events from Genesis to Revelation. Fasten your seatbelt and open your Bible for this sweeping panorama of Scripture that will increase your faith in God's plan for the world-and for you. Buy series

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Esther 1-10 - The Bible from 30,000 Feet - Skip Heitzig - Flight EST01

[MUSIC PLAYING]

The Bible from 30,000 Feet, soaring through the Scripture from Genesis to Revelation.

Father, we thank You tonight. We have so much fun worshipping You and these great truths that we sang. They are life-transforming truths. They wouldn't be if we were just singing positive things into the air. Were there not a God behind those truths answering prayers, intervening in lives, it would be senseless and powerless.

But because You are the same yesterday, today, and forever and because You're the God of the Word and we're studying the Word of God written by You, we believe, inspired by Your spirit, we pray, Lord, that You would break the bread of life to us. Even though we're doing an overview of a book, I pray that You would bring out the lessons that we need to learn and that our lives would grow because of it. In Jesus' name, we ask. Amen.

Amen.

One of my favorite Spanish words-- not that I'm great at Spanish, though I do love the language. But one of my favorite words in Spanish is the word [SPANISH]. And it's "star." And I love it because, first of all, it just sounds good. It's got this sweet sound. It rolls off the tongue-- [SPANISH]. I love that.

That is the name of the book that we are studying. It is the Book of [SPANISH]. Esther means star. Her Hebrew name was the name Hadassah, which means myrtle, myrtle tree. And you go, I don't get it-- star, myrtle?

Well, her Jewish name, Hadassah, is the myrtle tree, and the myrtle tree that was native to Babylonians that is now transplanted in the land of Israel, that species puts out a flower that is like a starburst. So some think that there is a relation between those two names. But she really is the star of this book.

Her name is mentioned right off the bat at the top of the page. Like the Book of Ruth, she is the star of the story. She is the main character. And one of the refreshing things we have seen-- and we'll see as we go on-- is that at critical, crucial times in history, God raises up unique women who relentlessly hear God's voice and pursue His will.

People like Ruth, people like Esther, people like Deborah, who was one of the judges in Israel during the Judges. A woman by the name of Yael or Jael, you may know her as, very bold warrior in the book of Judges. A prophetess named Huldah. And in the New Testament, a gal by the name of Priscilla, who, as you know, is the wife of--

Aquila.

--Aquila. So they'd never forget their names because they rhymed. So these were very unique women who followed God's will. Esther is the star of this book. Now, you might say, no, she's not. God is the star of this book. Well, of course God is the star of every book in Scripture. But interestingly, the name of God does not appear in this book even once.

And because of that, you might think God is absent from the book because the covenant names, the typical names, the variety of ways God is described in name in the Old Testament is not found in this book. Also, what's not in this book is there's no reference to prayer, no reference to faith, no reference to the law of Moses. No New Testament writer ever quoted this book.

It is not found among the biblical scrolls of the Dead Sea Scrolls that were uncovered in Israel. Martin Luther wished this book had never been written, he said. Now don't take Martin Luther too seriously. He said that about a few books in the Scripture. He didn't like James either, didn't care much for the Book of Revelation as well.

To me, this is the beauty of the book. God is in the book. He's just not overtly in the book. He's not apparently in the book. Oh, but He is in the book. Not in a miraculous way. Not in an audible way. Not in a part the Red Sea kind of a way or manna come from heaven kind of a way. But God, like John Nelson Darby-- my favorite quote of his, he said, God's ways are behind the scenes, but He is-- "God's ways are behind the scenes, but He moves all the scenes that He is behind."

So God is in the book, but you won't find His name. But you will find a characteristic of God in this book, the characteristic of providence, providence, a very important thing. God's providence is different than His miraculous, where you definitely see God intervening in human affairs. It's a miracle. It doesn't happen, but it happened.

The water parted. Manna came from heaven, et cetera, et cetera. A miracle-- God overrides, overturns the laws of nature and does something miraculous. In providence, God takes the natural and uses it supernaturally. God is moving supernaturally naturally. That's providence.

He takes the affairs of normal everyday human life, decisions that people make, laws that politicians pass, accidents that seem to happen, and He moves in those things so that all things work together for good-- Romans 8:28-- to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.

So Matthew Henry said about this book, God's name is not in it, but God's hand is certainly in it. You see His fingers all over the narrative, all over the story. And here's the truth, baby Ruth.

[LAUGHTER]

God does not owe you an explanation. Or He doesn't have to report to you when He does things a certain way, when He operates a certain way. He can work through something that seems even ungodly and unholy. But God can work His magic through it, so to speak. Ephesians 4-- Paul said, "God works all things according to the counsel of His will."

Now I see value in the Book of Esther. For those of you who might think of your life as a mundane life, an average ordinary life, and you look at your life and you go, I'm in the workplace. I don't know if my life has real purpose or much significance. I'm a plumber. I'm an engineer. I'm a lawyer. I work in a medical office. I just have a regular job. It's not all that dramatic. It's not all that wow of an occupation.

This is the story of a girl, a Jewish girl who gets elevated to princess and queen in a pagan court, but God has her there for a very specific season and for a very particular reason. She doesn't know it until the story unfolds. But she will discover in the normal occurrences of life what God wanted her to do.

Now, Esther, though it is found where it is found in your Old Testament, in the Hebrew Scriptures, it is in a little section toward the end of their Bible called the Ketuvim. The Ketuvim are the writings. And a portion of the writings in the Jewish Bible, the Hebrew Bible, is known as the Megilloth.

I'll spell it for you if you're taking notes. I only see a few of you taking notes. So for those of you who are, Megilloth, M-E-G-I-L-O-T-H. Megilloth means the Five Scrolls. And the Five Scrolls in the Hebrew Bible comprised of the Song of Solomon, the Book of Ruth, the Book of Lamentations, the Book of Ecclesiastes, and the Book of Esther.

All of these little books, all of these scrolls in the Megilloth, the Five Scrolls, are recited at different celebrations or commemorations in the Jewish calendar. So for example, the Song of Solomon is read every Passover. The Book of Ruth is read every Pentecost, the Feast of Pentecost.

The Book of Lamentations, which describes the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, is read in a special commemoration called Tisha B'Av or the ninth of Av. That's a date in the Jewish calendar when the temple fell. It is read every Tisha B'Av.

The Book of Ecclesiastes read during the Feast of Tabernacles. And the Book of Esther is read during a Jewish feast known as the Feast of Purim. Now, if you just know the first five books of Moses, if you know your Old Testament up to that place, you're thinking, what is the Feast of Purim? I never read that in the Law of Moses. And you're correct.

But you will read about that feast starting here. It is a Jewish feast. It is not one of the Levitical feasts in the Law of Moses. But it was initiated and inaugurated in Persia, and it has been kept ever since. Without the Book of Esther, we would not know what life was like for the Jews who were left behind in Babylon.

Remember I told you Israel was-- or Judah was taken captive by the Babylonians. And then the Babylonians were overtaken by the Medes and the Persians. And then the decree went back for the Jews to return to their homeland, and a very few went back. Only 50,000 or so went back from Persia to Jerusalem to rebuild.

So 50,000 returned. Over one million stayed. So we know what life was like for those who came back to rebuild under Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah. We've read already about that. But we might be wondering, well, what was life like back in Persia? Though I can't tell you all of what life was like, although they probably had it pretty good, the Jews did because a million of them wanted to stay, didn't want to go back. So life is pretty good.

We get insight into a crisis and how the crisis is met, the overriding of this crisis. So we're going to be introduced quickly to a crisis by the time we get to chapter 2, and the plot thickens in chapter 3, et cetera. But what we're going to discover is that God is the God of the crisis as well as the God of the calm.

When things are calm, we go, oh, this is so peaceful, man. This is the Lord. But when we get a crisis, where's God? He didn't leave. He's right here. You may feel distressed. God doesn't panic. He's good. He's the God of the calm as well as the God of the crisis. So whether you have peace or you're in a predicament, God is present.

The Book of Esther divides up into three sections. Chapters 1 and 2, the first section is supernatural providence. This is where God moves behind the scenes to set things up. Chapter 3 through 5, the plot thickens, and so it's satanic plottings. And the last part of the book, chapter 6 through 10, sovereign protection. Let's consider the first as we get into Esther chapter 1 verse 1.

Let's look at the Providence of God. Now the book opens with a party. "It came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus-- this was the Ahasuerus who reigned over 127 provinces from India to Ethiopia." Ahasuerus is better known in history by his Greek name Xerxes spelled with an X. Xerxes' dad was Artaxerxes, who let Nehemiah, his cupbearer, go back to Jerusalem.

So the book of Esther is a book that transpires between the Book of Ezra chapter 6 and Ezra chapter 7. Artaxerxes becomes the king in the Book of Nehemiah. This is now his son, Xerxes, or we call it here Ahasuerus.

"In those days"-- verse 2-- "when King Ahasuerus"-- now Ahasuerus means mighty or mighty man or even lion in the Akkadian language. So his name means lion. He's king. So this is the first lion king. He's not Simba, though. This is Ahasuerus.

So the lion king sat on the throne of his kingdom, which is in Susa or, translated in my translation, Shushan the citadel, one of those four kingdoms, cities in the Persian Empire, the spring residence. It says "that in the third year of his reign, he made a feast for all of his officials and his 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, 180 days in all."

This is one long party. This is a six-month party paid for by the government. Talk about government wasting your taxes.

[LAUGHTER]

A six-month party. Now, the year that this is happening is 483 BC. What is happening? Out west, there's a king that is on the rise named Philip of Macedon. And it is the rise of the Grecian Empire, which will soon take over the world. So this six-month feast bringing in these different governors of city-states that are under his control.

But he still has to manage them, and he has to do it delicately. It is believed by scholars the reason for a long feast was to sell them a war plan. They need to go to war. He needs to get an army. He has to fight this incursion of the Greeks. Now eventually, he's going to lose because the Greeks are going to overthrow the world, right?

Philip of Macedon will have a son named Alexander, who thought he was really great. And he was. He was Alexander the Great. And he takes over the world, takes over the Persian Empire so that the first world-governing empire was Babylon, the second Medo-Persia. The third was Greece.

Alexander will quickly take over the world. He will put pockets of Greek culture all around the world. He will build a road system that will later on be expanded on by the Romans so that by the time of the New Testament, the world speaks a common language and the Gospel can travel on this network of roads built by the Romans, started by the Greeks. And the Gospel can travel in the most precise language ever, the Greek language.

So we're starting to see behind the scenes God setting up just the perfect events for the New Testament to happen. Galatians chapter 4, verse 4-- "In the fullness of the time, God sent forth his Son, born of a virgin, born under the law." When? In the fullness of the time. When the time was ripe, plump, just right.

So six-month feast followed by-- verses 5 through 7-- another feast. This is a seven-day feast. And it seems that the king is thanking all of his palace officials for helping him put on the first feast. That's the background. Verse 9-- "Queen Vashti"-- that's his wife-- "Queen Vashti also made a feast for the women in the royal palace, which belonged to King Ahasuerus."

Now social custom is that men and women didn't eat together. It is still that custom in the East in many places. I remember the first time I went to Thailand for a pastors conference, and it was time for dinner. And we were served by a group of women who prepared the food, and they served the men. And then they went to another place to eat themselves or to eat the food for themselves.

And I remember when the women came by with the food, I got up out of my seat and offered it to one of the gals. And I was reprimanded by one of the leaders. You do not do that in our culture. The men eat alone. The women eat separately. Such was the policy in the kingdom of Persia. So they had their own meal times. They had their own festivities.

And so the King, Ahasuerus, commands his wife, Vashti, to be brought in to his feast with all of those provincial rulers coming. I think he wanted to showcase his wife. She was probably a trophy wife. And it's like, hey, check out my woman, and parade her before the men. We don't know if it was lewd. It probably was rated PG, not R. I think it was probably OK.

But here's a note. She refuses to come. But history tells us that Vashti the queen was the granddaughter of somebody very famous, King Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian emperor who had preceded the Persian Empire. This was the granddaughter now married to King Ahasuerus. So she's probably a bit spoiled. And Hasi, her husband-- she probably called him that, Ahasuerus. Hasi wants me to come in. I'm not going. She puts up a fight.

Verse 12-- "But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king's command brought by his eunuchs. Therefore, the king was furious." Now it doesn't end there. It says, "He was furious, and his anger burned within him." The author wants you to know this guy went on a tirade. He wasn't just miffed. He was angry, and the anger boiled within him.

I think the author did this because King Ahasuerus was known, had a reputation for his fierce anger. Example-- at one point in history, King Ahasuerus had a bridge built over the Hellespont, a river out in the Western Empire in Greece. The bridge was built by 300 men.

The bridge was destroyed by a huge storm that came from the sea, wiped out the bridge, and destroyed several of his ships. He was so angry that he waded out from the shore into the sea and started striking, beating, hitting the ocean.

[LAUGHTER]

Like that would do a whole lot of good, right? But this is the kind of temper that he had. He started beating the waves, beating-- you bad ocean. I'm going to get you back.

[LAUGHTER]

But then he took the 300 men that built the bridge and had them all beheaded. So maybe he thought they didn't do a great job. That's why it got destroyed. So this is the kind of temper that he had. So he gets angry, and his anger boils within him. Why? Because his wife just said no. This king had never faced feminism before.

[LAUGHTER]

He didn't know what to do with the wife who said no to his command from the king. So he consults with his staff. One of his chiefs of staff by the name of Memucan mentioned in the text advises that the king depose her from her throne and send out a decree that all the women in the Persian Empire, you better obey your husbands.

So he does that. Now, between chapter 1 and 2-- and we'll speed up. Trust me. Between chapter 1 and 2, a very important thing takes place in history, not mentioned in the Bible. But historically, we know what takes place. There is a battle out west called the Battle of Thermopylae.

Some of you don't know about that battle. But some of you do know of the movie called the 300. And the movie was based upon the historical Battle of Thermopylae when the Spartan leader Leonidas takes his 300 Spartan men along with a cohort of other armies from Greece, and they fight the Persians.

It was a fierce battle. King Ahasuerus, though eventually he's going to outflank them and technically win the battle, he retreats from the battle, goes back home in very low spirits. They underestimated the Greeks. Now, the Greeks are going to take over the world soon. They're going to be in charge of the world.

And what the Persians discovered, though they came at the Greeks with a massive army and the Greeks had a few men in comparison to the large army, they started realizing that though they had many men in the Persian army, the Greeks emphasized the individual man, the individual soldier. They trained each soldier well, equipped him well strategically.

So there was a saying that one Greek soldier was worth 10 Persian soldiers. And eventually, the Greeks, though much smaller, they're more rapid. They're fleet of foot. They can travel great distances. They will take over the world. So Ahasuerus comes home. He's in low spirits. He turns to his harem for comfort. Remember his wife is gone. And all the while, God is lurking in the shadows.

Chapter 2, verse 1-- "After these things, when the wrath of King Ahasuerus subsided, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what had been decreed against her. Then the king's servants who attended him"-- they saw this king in low spirits. He's going, I miss my woman. I know I've got a harem of all these women, but I miss my wife, the queen.

"So the king's servants who attended him said, 'Let beautiful young virgins be sought for the king.'" So this is the first beauty contest. Why? So the king could pick a new queen, a replacement for Vashti. There's a man in the court named Mordecai who hears about this. Mordecai is the cousin of Esther, Hadassah. He hears of it.

Verse 7-- "And Mordecai had brought up Hadassah"-- her name means Myrtle-- "that is Esther,"-- name means star-- "his uncle's daughter, for she had neither father nor mother. The young woman was lovely and beautiful. When her father and mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter."

Now, the name Mordecai is not a Hebrew name, even though a lot of Jewish people today will go by the name of Mordecai or call their sons Mordecai. It's a Persian name, an Akkadian name. And it is related to the false god Marduk. Think of it-- Mardukai. That's Mordecai. Just like Esther is related to the Babylonian goddess of love Ishtar, also represented by the star or Venus, so is Mordecai.

Now, something's going on here. Mordecai hears of this, and he goes oh, I'm going to take my cousin Esther and put her in this beauty contest. Now, first of all, he's Jewish. She's Jewish. The Law of Moses, that is not mentioned here.

But if they knew it, it all forbids marrying pagans. So this is against the Law of Moses. And if she loses the contest, he knows, Mordecai knows that she will end up just in the harem as a sex slave, a sexual slave for the pleasure of King Ahasuerus. So this is a great risk he is taking.

And here's a little bit of insight into the Jews who are left back in the kingdom of Persia, that they are far enough away from God that I think we could say they're in a backslidden state. He's not doing what God commanded them to do. He's putting her at great risk. And yet, and yet here's where providence comes in. God is still in control. God is still going to move behind the scenes.

If you know the book, you know the outcome. According to Josephus, the historian, the Jewish historian who wrote during the time of Christ for the Romans, he said, "Esther surpassed all women in beauty in the entire habitable world." That's a direct quote from Josephus.

Now, we don't know if that's true or not. That's sort of hearsay. Josephus didn't lived during that time. It could have just been passed on as folklore. But nonetheless, she was a girl, I think we can presume, who was quite a looker. She was beautiful.

Verse 12-- "Each young woman's turn came to go in to King Ahasuerus after she had completed 12 months' preparation"-- Think of it, gals. 12 months of beauty treatments. "--according to the regulations for women, for thus were the days of their preparation apportioned-- six months with oil of myrrh, six months with perfumes and preparations for beautifying women." Men--

[LAUGHTER]

--can I just speak to you frankly?

[LAUGHTER]

Don't get upset if your wife spends a few hours at a beauty salon. Come on. This is 12 months. Or if she spends a little longer than you'd like in the beauty supplies of the department store. Now, women, think of what this means. Think of what it would be like to be in her spot.

No job. No cooking. No cleaning. No laundry. No errands. No budget to worry about. You can have whatever you want. You can have whatever beauty supplies you want. Unlimited, 12 months, they just keep pouring in. Talk about being pampered.

Something you need to know-- the Bible does allow for physical beauty, certainly acknowledges physical beauty, is not down on physical beauty. But don't get so hung up on physical beauty that you neglect spiritual beauty. It's OK to be beautiful. It's OK to do the best with whatever you got, right? Men and women, right?

But not to the neglect of the inner man, the inner person, the spiritual person. Peter writes, "Do not let adornment be merely outward-- arranging of the hair and wearing of gold, putting on fine apparel. Let it be of the inner hidden person of the heart."

I have discovered just a trait that is, I think, human nature. Most humans don't like their appearance. Most people don't like their appearance. Some of us do. We don't care. But most people don't. And some people don't care because they just think, why bother?

But of all the polls I've ever read and discussions I've read about this in articles, most people want to change their appearance. I've had the same guy who cut my hair for years. And I said, let me ask you just a question. A lot of people come. What do you notice-- what is the one thing-- of all the people you've ever cut their hair or colored their hair, what have you noticed?

He goes, bottom line, nobody's happy. People with straight hair want wavy hair. People with curly hair want straight hair. People with blond hair want dark hair. People with dark hair want blond hair or red hair or purple, whatever. Everybody wants a different color or a different look. And it's like they want the opposite of what God gave them. That's just human nature, it seems. But in Babylon, come on, 12 months, all expense paid.

So verse 16-- "Ester was taken to King Ahasuerus into his royal palace"-- I'm reading verse 16-- "in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth in the seventh year of his reign." And it says, "The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins. So he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti."

She is Jewish. She has not told the king of her Jewish background, nor did uncle or cousin Mordecai reveal that he is Jewish. Now, that will come up soon enough. It seems that she uses her position as the new queen of the empire to get Mordecai, her cousin, a raise, a position in the courtroom a little bit closer.

Because at the end of this chapter, verses 21 to 23-- actually, verse 19 down-- he is in the gate. He is sitting in the gate. So he is probably a judge in the royal court. While he is there in the royal court, he hears of a coup to kill King Ahasuerus. He hears of it.

He uncovers it. He gives the names of the guys who are trying to kill the king. That plan is thwarted. But Mordecai is not recognized for it. He's not rewarded yet. That's the operative word, yet. This is where providence will come in. He will be rewarded but not yet.

I hope that word comforts you in this sense. Whenever you seek to do good or live justly or live selflessly, you won't get rewarded immediately. You won't be noticed yet. You might not ever be noticed on this Earth. But you will have a reward in heaven. And Jesus said, "Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moth cannot destroy, rust cannot corrupt."

So he uncovers it. Nobody notices. He doesn't get rewarded yet. But as we said in previous books, big doors swing on small hinges. So this patriotic act, though not rewarded, is written down. It is recorded. It is placed into the historical chronicles of the kingdom of Persia. We'll see it.

Chapter 3, we get to phase two of the Book of Esther. And that is after the supernatural providence comes this satanic plotting. Verse 1 of chapter 3-- "After these things, King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite." That's a hard word to say. I hate to have to tell people. Well, what's your nationality? I'm an Agagite.

[LAUGHTER]

I gag just saying Agagite.

[LAUGHTER]

But it says it right here. Not only was he the son of Hammedatha, which is a hard name, but he's an Agagite. "--and advanced him and set his seat above all the princes who were with him. And all the king's servants who were within the king's gate bowed and paid homage to Haman, for the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai would not bow or pay homage."

I have an odd question. Who cares if he's an Agagite? Why does the Holy Spirit bother to place that in the text so that I have to read it and say that weird name? Agagite. Why does the Holy Spirit think it important to give you the information of his background?

I believe for this reason. The Holy Spirit wants the reader, you and I, to know how far reaching is the cost of disobedience. You say, Skip, I don't understand. What you mean? Well, way back in 1 Samuel chapter 15, King Saul was given a command to fight the Amalekite army and destroy the Amalekites because of what they had done to almost completely annihilate the Jews at a previous episode. Annihilate them. Kill them.

And King Saul thought, oh, yeah, I don't know if he means that literally or if I should just like kill a few bad guys. But he brings some of the animals for himself, and he spares King Agag. Agag was the King of the Amalekite. He spares the king.

He comes back, and he says to Samuel, I've done all that God wanted me to do. And Saul goes, really? Why do I hear sheep bleating and cows mooing? And who is Agag? Why do you have Agag here?

[LAUGHTER]

He goes, well, I've done this to sacrifice to the Lord. He goes, the Lord didn't need your sacrifices. To obey is better than sacrifice. To heed is better than the fat of rams. Then Samuel the prophet took out a sword, and it says he hacked Agag in pieces. Don't mess with Sam.

[LAUGHTER]

Sam, Samuel the prophet. So some of the Agagites, some of the Amalekites escaped. And you might think, well, God is sure harsh to command the annihilation of all the Amalekites. Had the Amalekites been destroyed, this threat to annihilate the entire Jewish population in Persia would not have come up.

It did. That disobedience was far reaching. And probably Haman remembered that from his history. And maybe he wanted revenge. So he decides to act, and he acts in the worst possible way. Verse 6-- "But he disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone, for they had told him of the people of Mordecai.

Instead, Haman sought to destroy all the Jews who were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, the people of Mordecai." That's a million people, a complete genocide of the Jewish nation.

Verse 9-- Haman said, "If it pleases the king, let a decree be written that they be destroyed, and I will pay 10,000 talents of silver." Now 10,000 talents of silver was about a third of the entire revenue of the Persian Empire. Where is he going to get that kind of money?

Well, if you kill a million Jews and you take all of their plunder, you'll have that. So he thought, I'll kill them and take the money and put it back into the treasuries of this nation. I'll show you why that's important in a minute. "--to bring it all into the king's treasuries."

Now the Persians had just suffered militarily by all these battles in fighting the Greeks, right? The Greeks were threatening them, Philip of Macedon. Alexander the Great will eventually take over. So they're having this problem on the western front of the empire.

So they are low financially. Their morale is down. They have been defeated in war. If you can eliminate this group of people and use their resources, you can build up the kingdom again. So Haman sends letters with the king's signet ring put on it or his authority to the 127 provinces that on a certain date, all the Jews will be eliminated.

This sounds suspiciously like what happened in the early 1940s in Germany when Hitler and his henchmen decided, we have to solve the-- they called it the Jewish problem. Let's eliminate the race altogether. Let's demonize them. Let's say that they are subhuman.

Let's give them a derogatory name, [GERMAN] in German. And let's make them wear a Star of David and mock them and tear their businesses away from them and their families and put them in concentration camps. Let's solve the Jewish problem.

Haman thought, I don't like the Jewish people. There was an ongoing anti-Semitism at that time. Let's just destroy the Jewish people. So now you have anti-Semitism legalized. Now, remember the premise that I gave you in weeks past and in years past if you've been a part of this church. Think of the satanic strategy.

If God promised that through the seed of a woman, one is going to be born who is going to crush the head of the serpent that is Satan, now you have to determine, who is that seed of the woman? Where's that seed coming from? How can I destroy the people so I can destroy the promise of God in sending the deliverer?

So here's the premise. If God's plan of redemption requires the existence of a nation and the continuance of that nation, if you can destroy that nation, you can thwart God's purpose. That's why you see all the anti-Semitic attacks through history, including biblical history and post-biblical history. It's part of Satan's attempt to overturn the promises of God.

Chapter 4, verse 1-- "When Mordecai learned of all that had happened, he tore his clothes, put sackcloth and ashes on his head, went out into the midst of the city. He cried out with a loud and bitter cry." He is reactive emotionally. But he is proactive strategically.

He goes and tells the plan to his cousin Esther, informs her of the decree through a group of translators, a group of people who worked for her as servants in the court. Verse 13, chapter 4-- "And Mordecai told them"-- that is, the servants of the queen-- "to answer Esther, 'Do not think in your heart that you will escape the king's palace any more than all the other Jews.

For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place." That's a significant statement. "But you and your father's house will perish." Best verse, best phrase in the whole book is right here. "Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"

Now God is not mentioned in this book. But I believe in this verse, He is certainly implied. How is He implied? Well, Queen Esther, if you don't do anything, just know this. You're going to die, but there will come deliverance from somewhere. How could he say that?

I believe those are words of faith of a Jewish man, backslidden though he may be, who understood the covenant that God gave to Abraham. Genesis, chapter 12-- "I will bless those who bless you. I will curse those who curse you." Genesis 15-- "I will make your descendants like the stars of heaven, like the sand of the earth."

He knew that God made a covenant with these people, and he was convinced by faith that God somewhere from some place would send deliverance. But I love this. "Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" Maybe the whole reason you're the queen of this kingdom is to be an instrument to save the Jews.

So number one, the plan of God is not thwarted. He believed that. Deliverance will come from another place. And number two, he is saying, I don't believe that your appointment as queen is accidental but providential. It's by God. Though He's not mentioned, He is certainly implied. God is behind the scene. He's saying, cousin, this could be your finest hour.

Now, the response to Mordecai, verse 16-- she says, "Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me." Notice she didn't say pray and fast, but prayer and fasting often went together. And we might imply that when you fast, you are probably praying to your God.

So she's saying, let the Jews do this? Why not just get all your friends to do it? Because she probably realized that the Jews were the covenant people and had a special connection with the covenant God. And so fasting could imply prayer and fasting.

"Gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan. Fast for me. Neither either eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law." And I love this phrase, too. "And if I perish, I perish."

Now, why does she say it's against the law? The Greek historian Herodotus said that Persian kings, Persian and Median kings, Medo-Persian kings isolated themselves and would not allow anybody to enter their courts for a couple of reasons-- number one, for protection.

I don't know if you know this or not. But in the days of Abraham Lincoln, anybody could walk in the White House unannounced. They had people sleeping in the halls of the White House just off the street. So there was no protection.

But back in antiquity, because of the threats that were very prevalent in those cultures, kings would isolate themselves. Nobody was allowed admittance unannounced. So to protect themselves. And also, they thought it would enhance the dignity of the king to not allow anybody in except by invitation. That was the law of the Medes and the Persians.

If you came in and the king did not like it, you would die. Probably be beheaded. She thinks logically, right? She goes, what do I have to lose? I'm a Jew. If I say nothing, I'm going to die. The decree has gone out. It's eventually going to be discovered that I'm Jewish. I'm dead.

If I go in to the king and say, hey, king, I may die. But I might not. So if I die, I die. But if I do nothing, I'm going to die. So I'm going to go for it. Very logical. She's going to die either way, but she might not if the king is favorable.

Now this is where providence is kicked in. This is a normal set of circumstances. This is real history. It really happened. God is not mentioned, but providentially, He's working things out. And when there is a problem, God answers the problem with providence.

Example-- how do you get a Jewish couple living in Nazareth to go to Bethlehem? Because the prophecy said that the Messiah will be born in Bethlehem-- Micah chapter 5, verse 2. Well, for God, no problem. Providence.

God will move the heart of the king to make people go back to their ancestral tribal towns and get registered, which forces Joseph and Mary to leave Nazareth and go to Bethlehem. The problem is answered by Providence.

Or another problem-- how do you get a preacher to the heart of the Roman Empire to spread the Gospel from Rome outward to the rest of the world and speak to the ruler? Easy.

Have him born a Jew but also born a Roman citizen, having the ability to appeal to Caesar, which he does. Put him on a Roman grains ship. Get him sent to Rome as a prisoner, and he stands before Nero. God answers the problem with providence.

Here's another problem. How do you get Jews protected during a time of famine and kept alive so they can thrive and grow and eventually inherit their own land? Answer-- get a boy named Joseph sold as a slave to Potiphar.

Let him interpret dreams for the king, which will make him prime minister of Egypt. And your answer will be-- or your problem will be solved by God's providence, the overruling hand of God. So that's providence. God moves naturally supernaturally, supernaturally naturally.

Chapter 5, Ester goes in. Verse 2-- it says she found favor in his sight. He holds out his golden scepter. That was his little gesture of I'm not going to cut your head off, sweetie. It's OK.

Verse 3-- "The king said to her, 'What do you wish, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given to you, up to half the kingdom." Well, that's pretty generous, right? Not only is she not getting her head cut off, but she can kind of have anything she wants.

"So Esther answered, 'If it pleases the king, let the king and Haman come today to the banquet that I have prepared for him.' What can I do for you, sweetheart? I want to have a party. OK. Who do you want to invite? You and Haman. Why? I'll tell you later.

[LAUGHTER]

Haman hears this, feels very special. Persian kings were typically protective of their wives, didn't bring them out except the time he was drunk and wanted Vashti to come out. So it was an honor, nonetheless, to be invited to a banquet with the queen.

So he leaves. He's all stoked. Man, I'm going to a party with Esther the queen and the king. As he's leaving, though, he sees Mordecai, his hated enemy who will not bowed before him at the king's gate. Verse 9-- "So Haman went out that day joyful with a glad heart.

But when Haman saw Mordecai in the king's gate and that he did not stand or tremble before him, he was filled with indignation against Mordecai." He goes home fuming. Everything is good, but Mordecai, hate him. Tells his wife. His wife says, this is an easy fix. You make a gallows 75 feet high. You hang him on it. And then you go party.

[LAUGHTER]

And he's thinking, why didn't I think of that? Verse 14-- "Then his wife Zeresh and all of his friends said to him, 'Let a gallows be made 50 cubits high." By the way, the Acropolis where the palace was built was 75 feet higher than the rest of the lower city on the outside. So it's not like you have to have a gallows or a pole 75 feet high. You just have to stick anything at all on top of the wall.

"'Let a gallows be made 50 cubits high and in the morning suggest to the king that Mordecai be hanged on it. Then go merrily with the king to the banquet.' And the thing pleased Haman. So he had the gallows made."

The word gallows is translated in a more modern translation a pole. That is the literal translation of the word gallows, a pole. Don't think of a hangman's noose necessarily. The Persians would often impale people on vertical poles.

Now, remember, it was the Persians who will later on invent crucifixion. Or actually, in their history, they have invented crucifixion, raising a person on a pole. But sometimes they would impale them or parade them after they die atop of a building or on a pole.

So the plan is in place. Mordecai goes to the king to announce his plan. He's going to go to be honored at the feast. But there's a plot twist. Chapter 6, verse 1 initiates the third phase of the book. This is sovereign protection. And I love it. God uses insomnia for His glory.

[LAUGHTER]

The king can't sleep. Verse 1-- "That night, the king could not sleep. So one was commanded to bring the book of the records of the chronicles, and they were read before the king." If you want to cure your insomnia, you read books like this. You read legal briefs or records of Congress, these thick voluminous pages of the accounts of the kingdom, the board minutes.

And verse 2-- "It was found written that Mordecai had told Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's eunuchs, the doorkeepers who had sought to lay hands on Ahasuerus." So they read, and the king discovers that Mordecai uncovered this plot, but he had never been rewarded for it.

So he wonders, how can I reward this guy? This guy Mordecai's a great guy. How can I reward him? And he's thinking, how can I reward him? And he thinks, I know. The first guy that walks into my palace in the morning, I'm going to ask him how I should reward him.

Well, the first guy that walks in is Haman. And Haman is about to say, I want to kill Mordecai. I built this 75-foot high gallows. Can I just kill him? And before he can get the words out, "Haman came in"-- verse 6-- "and the king asked him, 'What shall be done for the man whom the king delights to honor?' Now Haman thought in his heart, whom would the king delight to honor more than me?"

[LAUGHTER]

He's totally unaware that he's referring to-- the king is referring to Mordecai. And so Haman says, "Let the royal robe be brought on which the king has worn and a horse on which the king has ridden, which has a royal crest placed on its head.

And let this robe and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the King's most noble princes, that he may array the man whom the king delights to honor. Then parade him on horseback through the city square and proclaim before him, 'Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor.'

Then the king said to Haman, 'Hurry. Take the robe and the horse, as you have suggested, and do that for Mordecai the Jew who sits in the king's gate.'" Gulp.

[LAUGHTER]

"Leave nothing undone of all that you have spoken." He goes, great idea. I want you to parade him around town.

[LAUGHTER]

Now it's time for the feast. Esther has not told the king what she wants yet. In chapter 2-- or 7, verse 2, he says, ask anything you want. The king does not know that she is Jewish yet. Haman does not know that she is Jewish yet. So now she drops the bomb.

Chapter 7, verse 3-- "Then Queen Esther answered and said, 'If I've found favor in your sight, O king, if it pleases the king, let my life be given me at my petition. Let my people at my request-- and my people at my request.

For we have been sold, my people and I, to be destroyed, to be killed, to be annihilated. Had we been sold as male and female slaves, I would have held my tongue, although the enemy could never compensate for the king's loss.'

So King Ahasuerus answered and said to Queen Esther, 'Who is he, and where is he who would dare presume in his heart to do such a thing?' And Esther said, 'The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman.' Now, again, double gulp.

"So Haman was terrified before the king and queen." This is like a real live game of chess. It's like God and Satan are playing chess with real live kings and queens. And so Satan moves the king to make an edict to kill the Jews, and Satan goes, check. And God moves the queen to reveal to the king that it's the Jews, and she's is one of them. And God says, checkmate. It's like a real live game of chess.

Well, the king hears this. He goes out of the room for a minute, goes into the garden to process all this. He comes back. And Haman, when he comes back, is collapsed on the couch, like on Esther or leaning toward Esther. And he's thinking, is this dude, like, making a pass at my woman?

[LAUGHTER]

So has him arrested. Verse 10-- "So they"-- after they arrested him-- "hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. And the King's wrath was subsided." So they hanged him or they hung him or they impaled him, right? He was a pain in the neck, anyway. So they got rid of him, gave him a pain in the neck.

They still have a major problem. And that is fixed in chapters 8, 9, and the three verses. You can see-- did you just see chapter 10 only as three verses? So it is solved in this last set of chapters. Here's the problem.

The king has made an edict to kill the Jews. The problem with that is that when Persian kings made edicts, for some reason, their law said it's irrevocable. The law of the Medes and the Persians is irrevocable. So this is like the first time he revokes an edict, but he does it by allowing the Jews to defend themselves before the anti-Semitic peoples who want to destroy them under Haman's law would do it.

So the second decree is so that the Jews can defend themselves. Chapter 8, verse 17-- "And in every province and city, wherever the king's command and decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a holiday. Then many of the people of the land became Jews."

So there's a conversion of sorts from Gentiles to Judaism, that they can't change their nationality. They can only change their religion. If they're becoming Jews, they have to proselyte into Judaism. It's changing their religion. So I might argue God is in this book. Because to convert to Judaism, you have to acknowledge the God of Israel.

Amen.

Let's skip to chapter 9, verse 20. "Mordecai wrote these things--" this is the letter to Jewish people everywhere-- "to establish"-- verse 21-- "to establish among them that they should celebrate yearly the 14th and 15th day of the month of Adar and the days on which the Jews had rest from their enemies, as the month which was turned from sorrow to joy for them, from morning to a holiday, that they should make days of feasting and joy, of sending presents to one another and gifts to the poor."

Verse 26-- "So they called these days Purim after the name Pur," which means a lot in the Persian language. "Therefore, because of all the words of this letter, what they had seen concerning this matter and what had happened to them from-- happened to them."

Chapter 10, verse 3-- "For Mordecai the Jew was second to King Ahasuerus." He is promoted like Joseph. He's promoted like Daniel. He was second to King Ahasuerus "and was great among the Jews and well received by the multitude of his brethren, seeking the good of his people and speaking peace to all his countrymen."

The first time I ever went to Israel was 1978. Israel was 30 years old as a nation. Now it's 70 years old as a nation. When I hit the ground and went to the kibbutz, I happened to be there on the day after Purim.

And I walked into the dining hall. And there were kind of these ugly pictures of Haman that people would poke fun of and throw darts at. There were gifts that had been given to one another. There was tinsel and all these decorations sort of like our Christmas.

And there's this great cookie, this amazing dessert that comes out. Now the Jews just celebrated Purim not long ago. So you may be able to still find these in bakeries. They're called hamantaschen. And hamantaschen means Haman's ears.

[LAUGHTER]

So they're kind of triangular shaped, sort of like an ear. And it's like a cookie dough. And inside is this kind of jelly paste with crushed up dates and poppy seeds and nuts. Just amazing. Sort of like a Fig Newton. So anyway, go look for the hamantaschen.

[LAUGHTER]

So we have in this book the providence of God. But I think we also have a picture of God. What do I mean a picture of God? You could not enter the king's palace unless he raised the scepter to you. You and I are separated from a holy God. You can't just run into the throne room of God as a human being anytime you want.

But true Christ, because of the cross, because of the bloodline, God has raised his scepter and said, what would you like? You're royalty. You have access. So we have the providence of God. But I think even in this king, in Christ, we have a picture of God.

Father, we thank You that the cross has become for us the golden scepter that gives us admittance into the very place of royalty, the very throne of the king so, that as the writer of Hebrew, said we can come boldly before the throne of grace to receive help in time of need.

I pray, Lord, in this last song as we close if we have some great need, some worrisome problem, we would just entrust them to Your providential care. Solve our problem by Your providence. In Jesus' name, Amen.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

We hope you enjoyed this message from Skip Heitzig of Calvary Church. For more resources, visit CalvaryNM.church. Thank you for joining us for this teaching from The Bible from 30,000 Feet.

Additional Messages in this Series

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8/8/2018
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Flight GEN01
Genesis 1-11
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We're going back to the beginning in this first flight. Written by Moses and inspired by God Himself, Genesis means origin. From the formation of all created things and the fall of man to the flood and the fallout of man's rebellion, Genesis 1-11 chronicles the beginning of everything. It all starts here.
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8/15/2018
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Flight GEN02
Genesis 12-50
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This flight takes us through the biographical part of Genesis and God's response to man's rebellion. Four men are prominent in the formation of the nation of Israel: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. Through this lineage, God would fulfill His promise of salvation for humanity.
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8/22/2018
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Flight EXO01
Exodus 1-18
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The central event in this flight through Exodus is the redemption of God's people, the Israelites, from their bondage in Egypt. We fly over Egypt and the wilderness where Israel wandered for forty years. The plight of the Israelites, their disobedience, and God's deliverance all foreshadow Jesus Christ.
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9/5/2018
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Flight EXO02
Exodus 19-40
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The Sinai Peninsula is the backdrop for this flight to Exodus, where God gave Moses the Ten Commandments along with detailed instructions for how He was to be worshiped. Miraculous signs of God's absolute power abound, along with the revelation from God that would define Israel's national identity.
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9/12/2018
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Flight LEV01
Leviticus 1-27
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Leviticus describes the worship life of the nation of Israel. We discover how the Israelites were instructed to make atonement for their sin through sacrifice. The overarching theme of this book can be summed up in one word: holiness. After centuries of captivity in Egypt, the Israelites needed a reminder of who God is, His absolute holiness, and how they were to live set apart for Him.
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10/10/2018
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Flight NUM01
Numbers 1-36
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Numbers contains two censuses of the Hebrew people. The first is of the generation that left Egypt, including how they were organized, their journey in the wilderness, and their refusal to enter the Promised Land. Due to their disobedience, the first generation of Israelites failed to enter the land God had promised; however, God remained faithful by leading a new generation into the Promised Land.
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10/17/2018
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Flight DEU01
Deuteronomy 1-34
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After forty years of wandering, the Israelites were finally ready to enter the Promised Land. The book of Deuteronomy can be organized around three messages Moses gave while the Israelites waited to enter the land. With the key word of this book being covenant, Deuteronomy speaks of the special relationship God established with His people.
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10/24/2018
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Flight JOS01
Joshua 1-24
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In this flight over the book of Joshua, we get to know its namesake, who shared in all the events since Exodus and held the place of military commander under Moses' leadership. We'll also get a tour of the Promised Land and follow Israel's conquest of Canaan, after which Joshua divided the land among the twelve tribes.
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11/7/2018
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Flight JUD01
Judges 1-21
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The Israelites experienced a period of victorious conquests in Canaan after Joshua's death. But as their obedience to God's laws and their faith in God's promises diminished, Israel became entrenched in the sin cycle. God divinely appointed Judges to provide leadership and deliverance during this chaotic time. Sadly, God's people repeatedly did what was right in their own eyes.
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11/28/2018
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Flight RUT01
Ruth 1-4
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In this flight, we'll see the godly love and courage of two very different women from very different backgrounds. And we'll meet Boaz, who became Ruth's kinsman-redeemer, a type of Christ. Although the book of Ruth is short, it is prophetically important in terms of the genealogy of Jesus Christ. Ruth's story of romantic grace places love at the center of each of its four chapters.
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12/5/2018
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Flight 1SAM1
1 Samuel 1-31
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In this flight, we find the nation of Israel in desperate need of direction and leadership. We will meet the man whose good looks, physical stature, and success in war made him an obvious choice from a human perspective, but Israel's first king had a tragic flaw: pride. From the ashes of King Saul's calamitous reign, God raised up an unlikely man who would become Israel's next king, a man after His own heart.
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1/16/2019
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Flight 2SAM1
2 Samuel 1-24
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David went from shepherding livestock to serving as God's sovereign king in Israel. His faith and obedience assured him military and political victory as one by one he defeated Israel's enemies. In this flight, we both celebrate David's successes and identify with his failures as we get to know this man whom God called, "a man after My own heart."
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1/23/2019
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Flight 1KIN1
1 Kings 1-22
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After years of being a powerful unified nation under King David, Israel, because of their disobedience, became a divided nation under many different kings. This book reveals a story of good kings and bad kings, true prophets and false prophets, and faithfulness and disobedience to God.
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2/6/2019
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Flight 2KIN1
2 Kings 1-25
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Despite the many kings who took control of Israel, the nation still lacked true leadership. Second Kings continues the history of a divided Israel, and we see what happens when a nation passes from affluence and influence to poverty and paralysis.
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2/13/2019
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Flight 1CHR1
1 Chronicles 1-29
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The book of 1 Chronicles recounts the lineage of King David as well as God's promise that He would establish His reign on earth through this man after His own heart. As we see how God fulfilled His promises to David, we discover how that presents a witness of His faithfulness to us today.
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3/6/2019
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Flight 2CHR1
2 Chronicles 1-36
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After King Solomon's reign and death, the nation of Israel went on a spiritual roller coaster ride that ended with the division of the kingdom and the people's exile. From the temple's building to its decline and destruction, we see a parallel to 1 and 2 Kings from a spiritual viewpoint.
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3/27/2019
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Flight EZR01
Ezra 1-10
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The book of Ezra begins with King Cyrus' decree for the children of Israel to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem. Ezra tells of two different returns: the first led by Zerubbabel to rebuild the temple, and the second by Ezra to bring reformation to the people. In this flight, we see God's faithfulness in keeping His promise to return His people to their homeland.
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4/3/2019
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Flight NEH01
Nehemiah 1-13
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At the end of Ezra, the temple in Jerusalem had been rebuilt and dedicated, but the city walls were still in ruins. After gaining permission from the king of Persia, Nehemiah led a group to repair and rebuild the walls. Though he was met with hostility and conflict, we see how Nehemiah gathered his spiritual strength from God during trialing times.
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4/24/2019
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Flight JOB01
Job 1-42
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The book of Job opens in the throne room of heaven with a conversation between God and Satan regarding the faithfulness of a man named Job. God allowed Satan to test Job, and Satan caused Job to lose his health, wealth, and even his beloved family. But in the midst of Job's tragic circumstances, God revealed His sovereignty and faithfulness, and Job's steadfast faith prevailed.
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5/1/2019
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Flight PSA01
Psalms 1-150
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The book of Psalms is a collection of songs, prayers, and poetry that express the deepest of human emotions. These artistic masterpieces were compiled over a period of roughly 1,000 years from the time of Moses to the time of Ezra and the return from the Babylonian exile. As we fly over the Psalms, we'll see beautiful writings of gladness and grief, pleading and prayers, and reverence and worship—all with one overarching theme: a complete dependence on the love and power of God.
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5/8/2019
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Flight PRO01
Proverbs 1-31
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Known for the wisdom it contains, the book of Proverbs reveals how to deal with everyday situations. But more than just good advice, it is God's words of wisdom, which we need in order to live righteously. These proverbs are universal principles that apply to all people for all times, because they speak of the character of God and the nature of man—both of which remain constant.
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5/15/2019
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Flight ECC01
Ecclesiastes 1- 12
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The book of Ecclesiastes records King Solomon's intense search to find meaning and fulfillment in life. In this flight, we discover some significant truths—namely, that all worldly things are empty and that life's pursuits only lead to frustration. After tasting all that this world has to offer, Solomon ultimately concluded that life without God is meaningless.
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5/22/2019
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Flight SON01
Song of Solomon 1-8
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The Song of Solomon portrays a moving love story between King Solomon and a shepherdess. The story reveals the intimacy, love, and passion that a bridegroom and his bride share in a marriage relationship. Even more than the fulfillment found in the love between a husband and wife, we'll discover that the spiritual life finds its greatest joy in the love God has for His people and Christ has for His church.
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5/29/2019
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Flight ISA01
Isaiah 1-27
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The prophet Isaiah's ministry lasted around fifty years and spanned the reigns of four kings in Judah. His prophecies are quoted in the New Testament more often than any other prophet's. In this first flight over Isaiah, we focus on his prophecies of condemnation that pulled no punches and pointed out Israel's need for God.
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6/26/2019
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Flight ISA02
Isaiah 28-66
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Of all the Old Testament prophets, Isaiah is thought by many to be the greatest, in part because of his clear prophecies about the Messiah. In this second flight over his book, we see his continued work and how God used his prophecies of both condemnation and comfort to generate change in the individuals he encountered.
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7/3/2019
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Flight JER01
Jeremiah 1-20
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The book of Jeremiah is a series of oracles written in the southern kingdom of Judah over a period of fifty-plus years. It speaks of judgment, the promise of restoration, and the protective hand of God over those He loves. In this flight, we catch a glimpse of the man behind the prophecies as he allowed God to speak through him in unusual ways to open the eyes of the people of Israel.
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7/10/2019
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Flight JLA01
Jeremiah 21-52; Lamentations 1-5
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The prophet Jeremiah allowed God to speak through him in unusual ways to open the eyes of the people of Israel. As we complete our flight over his book, we find the prophet reinvigorated by God's promises as he continued to prophesy Babylon's impending invasions and, ultimately, Judah's captivity. Then our flight continues over the poetic book of Lamentations, which Jeremiah wrote as he wept and grieved over Jerusalem's destruction, ending the book with a prayer for Israel's restoration from captivity.
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7/17/2019
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Flight EZE01
Ezekiel 1-48
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Written by Ezekiel the priest, this book takes place during the second Babylonian captivity and documents the fulfillment of several prophecies from previous Old Testament books. In this flight, we see God continue to offer promises of restoration through Ezekiel, bringing the nation hope despite their tribulations.
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7/24/2019
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Flight DAN01
Daniel 1-8
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Chronologically, the book of Daniel links the time of the kings in 2 Chronicles to the restoration of Jerusalem in the book of Ezra. It begins with the first Babylonian captivity and ends with Daniel's vision of seventy weeks. In it, we witness both prophetic history and the four prophetic visions of Daniel, as well as powerful stories that reveal a faithful man of God who was unwilling to compromise his beliefs.
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7/31/2019
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Flight DAN02
Daniel 9-12
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Midway through the book of Daniel, the focus shifts from the historic to the prophetic. Daniel's four prophetic visions reveal the stunning accuracy of biblical prophecy, as well as Daniel's uncompromising faith in God's fulfillment. From the rise and fall of human kingdoms to the Messiah and the day of judgment, Daniel's visions drove him to his knees in fervent prayer for the people of Israel.
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8/7/2019
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Flight HOS01
Hosea 1-14
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Hosea prophesied to the northern kingdom of Israel during the reign of King Jeroboam II, and he had a clear message to deliver: Israel had rejected God, so they would be sent into exile and become wanderers in other nations. On this flight, we see a clear parallel between Hosea's adulterous wife—whom God had instructed Hosea to marry—and Israel's unfaithfulness. But even as Hosea endured a rocky marriage, he continued to share God's plan that He would bring His people back to Himself.
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8/14/2019
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Flight JAO01
Joel 1-3; Amos 1-9; Obadiah
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Through three ordinary men—Joel, Amos, and Obadiah—God delivered extraordinary messages to His people, warning them against greed, injustice, false worship, and self-righteousness. On this flight, we witness God's patience and love for Israel, and we see how He stands ready to forgive and restore all who turn away from their sin.
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8/21/2019
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Flight JON01
Jonah 1-4
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Rather than focusing on prophecy, the book of Jonah narrates a prophet's story. Jonah was blatantly disobedient to God's call, but despite his defiance, God redirected his path through a unique situation. The resulting revival in Nineveh shows us that God's grace reaches beyond the boundaries of Israel to embrace all nations.
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8/28/2019
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Flight MNH01
Micah 1-7; Nahum 1-3; Habakkuk 1-3
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God used three prophets—Micah, Nahum, and Habakkuk—to criticize, comfort, and inspire: Micah encouraged social justice and the authentic worship of God. Nahum prophesied against the Assyrians for returning to their evil practices. And though Habakkuk didn't address Israel directly, his message assured them that evil does not endure forever. Through these prophets, God's people confessed their sins and grew confident in His salvation.
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9/4/2019
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Flight ZHA01
Zephaniah 1-3; Haggai 1-2
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The prophet Zephaniah addressed the social injustice and moral decay of Judah and her neighbors, proclaiming the coming day of the Lord and His wrath upon the nations—both an immediate judgment and a future end-times judgment. God sent Haggai the prophet to preach to the restored community of Jews in Jerusalem after their return from exile in Babylonia. Haggai encouraged the nation to set aside their selfishness and finish rebuilding the temple, an act of obedience that would align their desire with God's desire.
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9/18/2019
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Flight ZMA01
Zechariah 1-14; Malachi 1-4
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As we fly over the last books of the Old Testament, we first look at the expanded message of rebuilding the temple when Zechariah encouraged Israel to anticipate their ultimate deliverance and the Messiah's future reign. One hundred years after the temple was rebuilt, the book of Malachi revealed that God's chosen people had once again slid back into their sinful practices. Malachi declared God's promise of a coming messenger, John the Baptist, and a coming Messiah.
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10/2/2019
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Flight INT01
Intertestamental Period
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In between the Old and New Testaments lies 400 years of history. During this intertestamental period, God chose not to speak to His people through prophets as He orchestrated people, politics, and events in preparation of the coming Messiah. Scholars have come to call these four centuries the silent years. Remarkably, the silence would be broken by a newborn baby's cry in Bethlehem.
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10/9/2019
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Flight MML01
Matthew 1-28; Mark 1-16; Luke 1-24
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These three Synoptic Gospels give us our first glimpses of Jesus' life and death here on earth. Matthew, Mark, and Luke present Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah, the Servant of the Lord, and the Son of Man, respectively. On this flight, we'll see the service, sermons, sacrifices, and sovereignty of Jesus as we witness the fulfillment of many Old Testament prophecies.
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10/16/2019
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Flight JOH01
John 1-21
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The spiritual depth of John sets it apart from the other Gospels, with one-third of its content dedicated to the last week of Jesus' life. Rather than focusing on what Jesus did, John focused on who Jesus is, presenting Him as God incarnate and highlighting His deity. On this flight, we'll see seven miraculous signs of Jesus, as well as seven statements that He used to identify Himself as God.
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10/23/2019
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Flight ACT01
Acts 1-28
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The book of Acts presents the history of a dynamic, growing community of believers that started in Jerusalem and went on to spread the gospel throughout the known world. In this book, the gospel writer Luke also recorded how the early church received the Holy Spirit, who enabled them to witness, love, and serve with boldness and courage, even when faced with persecution.
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10/30/2019
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Flight ROM01
Romans 1-16
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The book of Romans is the apostle Paul's letter to the church in Rome, and it focuses on God's plan of salvation for all humankind. Romans is the most systematic of Paul's letters, reading more like an elaborate theological essay rather than a letter. On this flight, we look at Paul's strong emphasis on Christian doctrine as well as his concern for Israel.
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11/13/2019
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Flight 1COR1
1 Corinthians 1-16
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In 1 Corinthians, Paul confronted the problems that had infiltrated the influential church at Corinth and defended his position as an apostle of Christ. He later rejoiced over their repentance and acceptance of his God-given authority. On this flight, we discover the power of a new life in Jesus as we see how Paul shared the heart of the gospel with his fellow believers.
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11/20/2019
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Flight 2COR1
2 Corinthians 1-13
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After Paul wrote 1 Corinthians, false teachers began spreading opposition to him in the Corinthian church. Paul sent Titus as his representative to deal with them, and most of the church repented. Paul wrote this epistle to express his joy at the turnaround and to appeal to them to accept his authority, which was confirmed by the many hardships he suffered for the gospel. On this flight, we find beautiful truths to carry with us through our own times of suffering.
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12/4/2019
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Flight GAL01
Galatians 1-6
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Galatians is a firm statement of the doctrine of justification by grace through faith. When Paul wrote this letter, the false doctrine of legalism and faith by works had infiltrated the church throughout Galatia. As a result, believers had traded their freedom in Christ for bondage to the old Jewish law that had been fulfilled by Jesus. On this flight, we discover the differences between law and grace as well as the practical application and results of the proper doctrine of grace.
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There are 44 additional messages in this series.