Soul of man can do much, but without Christ a man cannot minister. In Esther, King Ahasuerus had trouble leading and got bad counsel. He was soulish and asleep and agreed to a great evil. Esther came as beautiful queen and opened king to God’s mind under the guidance of Mordecai, her uncle. Spirit shows us how to be awake. (Esther; 2 Chronicles 30:26)

Speaker: Thomas Schaller, Roger Robbins IV
Sermon 12702
Date: 2024-04-17
Time: Wed 7:00 pm

P. Roger Robbins –

Good evening everyone. It’s good to be here. I love it when you get a text message when you’re in
the Harbor tunnel coming from work, and it’s so awesome to be here. That was the place I was
planning to come to tonight was this church. It’s so good to be with you guys and to be in God’s
presence.

As a word of introduction, I want to give you guys a word that would just relate to why we’re
here and that word is joy. And maybe tonight is not something we would describe our situation,
our state, but I had something really good to share because we have Bibles. Right? We have
Bibles. It’s amazing. Bibles. And they have words and words that change and heal. (Prayer).
Is it me or is this microphone like super like hot? Like I feel like I’m whispering and if I were to
yell, I would scare you guys.

Okay. Turn in your Bibles to 2 Chronicles 29. I just want to comment on
a couple verses because joy is something that – joy is different than happiness. Okay. Right. We
know that. Why do we know that? Because we are born again. Being born again helps us
understand what is eternal and I really believe joy is something that is eternal. It is a straight
line. It’s like agape love. It is one of the virtues that has been poured out through the Holy Spirit
to us. And because in Ephesians 1:13 we’re sealed with the Spirit, we have joy. Okay. That’s the
baseline.

And in 1 Corinthians 3, our foundation and our cornerstone is Jesus Christ. So, put that in the bag. We
got it. Okay. So, that’s what we have. Now, when joy comes into our life as believers through
Jesus and through the Holy Spirit and through the Word of God and through the Body of Christ,
many things can happen as the days and weeks and years go by. You know we’re all getting
older after all. But the good news is joy stays constant because it is the Holy Spirit. It is not
happiness. Happiness is temporal. Happiness has a partial limit and that’s why actually the devil
has a short time. He has no joy and neither does this world. It’s partial. It’s set in stone and he
knows it and so does this world. And actually, so does our flesh.

But joy through the Holy Spirit, through the Word of God is a consistent straight line that never
changes. Now, here’s the thing that I was thinking about is a word of encouragement to us is
that sometimes joy and I want to give this illustration that joy gets buried. Joy – the most
precious thing in your house, I don’t know. Maybe for a woman it’s China or like you know like a
– no, just like a thing. Maybe for a guy, a young guy, it’s like a medal or MVP, like it’s a trophy
that he has on his desk or on his shelf. It’s the most valuable thing and when he looks at it, he
sees so much joy. So much happiness.

Now, Jesus being that person in us sometimes gets buried. Have you ever grown up and gone
back to the boxes of where your mom collected your stuff and you were like, oh, there’s my
trophy. And I pulled it out and it meant so much to me, but it kind of got buried in all the other stuff of my life. But this was one of the most meaningful things in my life getting this MVP from
coach or something, you know.

But that got buried. And actually, in America, I have seen that this happens to a lot of us in our
culture. And that happens through the things that we attain. The things that we let into our
heart even. The things that we purchase and gather and I would dare say hoard to a place
where joy gets covered up.

Now, in 2 Chronicles 29, a man of God named Hezekiah, it says in vs. 3 of 2 Chronicles 29, it says that
he in the first year of his new life or well, new reign as king, he was going to clean up the
temple of the Lord. And it says in vs. 3-5. Now, because of time if we were to read this chapter,
I want to point out a couple things. Hezekiah saw that the place that brought Israel and the
people of God great joy was the house of the Lord. It was the center. It was what he had done
for them. He had delivered us and them and us out of our Egypt’s and when Hezekiah saw this,
he commanded them to do this the very first month of his reign.

And it goes on to say that he goes to in vs. 15, he tells the priest to take these, basically take the
garbage. And in vs. 16, they carry it out to the brook Kidron. They go and take out all the trash
and they just throw it into the river. It’s such a beautiful picture of like they found something so
precious, so valuable, the most precious, the only eternal thing, and they gathered it and they
carried it out just as the king said.

Now, in the end of the verse – I mean end of the chapter toward the end – in vs. 28 it says the
whole assembly worshipped. They came together and worshipped. Now Hezekiah asked them
to like come together and do what he said to honor God and remember him. And so they did
that. And then at the very last verse of the chapter in chapter 29, it says that “Hezekieh and all
the people rejoiced because God had provided for the people. For the thing came about
suddenly.”

And I love this phrase that it came about suddenly. That joy is like, it’s going to be, it’s going to
be that way when Jesus comes back. It’s going to happen suddenly. That’s how somebody gets
saved. It doesn’t take hours and days and weeks. The moment someone puts their trust in God,
they are translated from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. It happens suddenly.
When the devil will be thrown into the fiery pit, it will happen suddenly. When Jesus comes
back and he rides on that white horse and he carries and he says those names and he carries
that sword, it will happen suddenly.

And I was thinking that like if joy is like this way, it’s like right around the corner. It’s not
something that we have to check off a lot of boxes. Maybe do this and perform, but actually the
Holy Spirit is waiting and willing. And if we were to just brush apart our flesh and brush apart the things that can clutter this amazing, precious thing that is Christ in us, things happen
suddenly.

And in the last part of this next chapter, Hezekiah goes and says – he’s such a great missionary
in this picture – he goes to go tell all the other brothers of Israel. And in half the chapter
through, some people laugh. Some people scorn. Some people mock. But then it says in vs.
11:30 that Zebulon humbled themselves. Asher, Manasseh and Zebulon humbled themselves
and they came to Jerusalem.

Hezekiah wanted to bring all the people back to the house of the Lord. The place where they
cleaned up the holy temple and they wanted to honor God. And it says at the end of the
chapter in chapter 30 and it says in vs. 26 and this is after the people come back just as they
are. All the people come back to Jerusalem, and they all come back and it says in 2 Chronicles
30:26, it says so there was great joy in Jerusalem for since the time of Solomon, the son of
David, King of Israel, there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem. It happens suddenly and
there’s nothing quite like it.

Like God help me. Bring me back to when I first believed. Bring me back to when I first got
saved. Can you do that? Absolutely. I was thinking like how can this joy be kept? You know like
the Holy Spirit is sealed in our heart never to leave us, so if joy is there, it’s just a matter of not
holding on to it but brushing aside and keeping the things that clutter it, that cover it, that
would bury in disguise and shroud the beauty that is Christ. That in moments like these when
we just focus on Christ like on a Wednesday night after work, after school, after all the things.
We get that fresh feeling and understanding and revelation of what joy is.

And so, joy, joy is so I think for us as Christians, it’s the one thing that we can testify to the
world that doesn’t need words. It doesn’t need words. It’s a life. It’s a straight line. Everything
else has to be written down and drawn and described in this world. But that wasn’t Jesus. You
know, he wasn’t this flashy person. He was joy. He was of no comeliness, no guile. He just was
him. He was Christ.

And so, I think when we think about joy and we thing about this church and what the Lord does
through us, let us not shroud or let the things of this world cover up what is in my heart, what
God has given us as a church, as a ministry to go into all the world. To love the people in our
neighborhood. It’s amazing what we’re doing.

And I think about this. When the shrouding happens, I can lose the sense of joy. But as a
Christian, joy is always there. It’s just a matter of unearthing it and just taken out some of the
things that maybe are in our life that have kept us from seeing that beautiful light, that
beautiful voice, those beautiful eyes of Jesus. Those beautiful hands and feet, right. We think of all the things that make that joy come alive. That joy comes alive through people and through
our book and though many of the things that we see here today.

So, tonight as a church, I encourage you to think about joy as something both we have and
something that we don’t have to keep it but actually we have to just keep it at the center. Like
we hold it at the center. Let nothing cover it. Let nothing come over it. Let it be held up high.
Amen.

P. Schaller –

Were you following that song with the Song of Solomon by chance? Yeah. Nobody.
Song of Solomon. You want to put that on the screen just for a second just cuz the words were
precious and beautiful. That portion where “If I were a wall”. Chapter 8. Song of Solomon 8:9-
10. Beautiful. Thank you so much for that song and the ministry of the Spirit here tonight. Boy.
P. Roger, than you for the word on joy. Wasn’t that good?

My takeaway from his word was the temple needed to be cleaned out. The inner part. And
once it got cleared out and they threw it away, they got rid of the filth, then the Spirit came and
there was joy and singing and revival. Sometimes in our lives I got to get all the garbage out and
then the light comes. The encouragement comes.

What do you do – I have a couple thoughts here but this won’t be long – what do you do when
a person is so depressed that they lose motivation? They’re not motivated. They’re depressed.
So, there’s a darkness with a Christian and the depression is heavy on their soul. They can’t
listen. They can’t really pray. They are so discouraged. We are counselors and we help people
and we study it. We think about it and we really want to help people find the spiritual life what
Roger said, P. Roger said so well. The joy is ours. Why can’t I find that? Or Jesus is real and how
is it I don’t really know that that well?

Just a couple points about it. One side point is I talk to people and they come here and they say
when I come in, I leave, I end up leaving my stuff at the door. And I just find myself entering
into worship. And I just say, you know, I’m so glad I came. Almost I didn’t come but I came and
I’m actually surprised at how I feel about being here and the joy and the life and the love. Just
to see people worshipping God like we do, and how good that is and for the Spirit to minister to
us.

So, there’s a lot of things to say about this depressed person. But I want you to see #1, it
happens. It happens to people. If it happens to you, just realize there’s a way out. And be very
patient and realize the darkness can go and the heaviness and lack of motivation and the lack of
interest. The lack of engagement. People get real numb. They get real numb and they get real
tired and they check out. They can sleep all day. They just are discouraged. They can hardly get
a positive thought out of their hearts and in their minds and they feel very guilty about it. But it
can change. It can change but it takes effort. But a certain kind. Not in the flesh, but a certain kind of surrender and of trust and just realizing it.

That’s all that I want to say about it I think is that don’t give up. Don’t give up. Wait upon God and become a listener and the Lord will minister to you because he is that way. He is the minister. He is the Savior. He is the high priest.
He is the one that cares about you. And your light can come out, right out of the morning. Your
light can break like right out of the – Luke 1:78. He gives light to those that sit in darkness. I
mean it’s amazing what can happen because he is the light of the world. He is the way, the
truth, the life.

Now the problems that we can ingest and the problems that we can have and we can carry
around can wear us down. And you’re not made to be ground down. You are not. You are made
to be lighthearted. You know. This is really to be ministered to. You are made to be like a child.
To be child – lighthearted like a child. You’re made to be bouncing around having a good time in
life. You might say, wow. No, you and I are made to have a good time in this life and P. Roger is
saying about joy. And how that is a very real thing, a steady line.

So, let’s now go to the message. This is from the book of Esther. And I’m kind of – this is the
way the message – I had one, two, three things here. But it’ll be another message. So, just –
that’s a little bit of a teaser maybe. I don’t mean it in a bad way but there’s much to say about
it. This is relating but it’s not that.

So, Esther. Let me get my watch ready because I don’t want to keep you. Here it goes. (Prayer).
In the high school today, I taught a lesson with the students and one of the students said, could
you tell us about the book of Esther? And so I called her over to me and I just took time and I let
the others do their things. I talked to that student and as I was speaking, I realized this is such a
beautiful story and I feel like maybe I should share it tonight. And it’s very simple. We read the
book of Esther. It’s ten chapters and you can read it and pull things out of it and understand it.
There was a preacher that visited us many years ago, Ian Thomas, who wrote a book about it. P.
Stevens also taught about it this way.

These are just types and provoking us to think about the book and what it means. Bear with me when we come to types and metaphors. Bear with me. I don’t want to spend a lot of time and read a lot of verses. I just want to paraphrase it and
package it real simple and draw some conclusions about it.

Okay. First of all, it’s a big country. I’ll draw it this way. From India to Ethiopia, 127 provinces or
states. Multi-lingual nation or empire. A lot of people. The Jews are scattered around in the
territory probably mostly living in the Babylonian section. The Persians defeated the
Babylonians and the King Ahasuerus became the king of the territory. I’ll draw his picture like
this. I’ll put a crown on him like this. He’s a king. Not a good crown but it’s okay.

He has a wife, Vashti. And he also has a big party. The party lasted 180 days and the
decorations and the hangings. It would have made Scotty Dubay envious. How decorated the meeting halls, the marble, all the polished furnishings, the hanging linens and velvets and colors
and it was a beautiful and huge feast and festival like a world fair.
And he called his princes and the governors and everyone to the party.

They were celebrating eating and drinking and so on. And then, he has a problem with his wife Vashti. He wants her to
come to present herself because she’s very beautiful, but she refuses to do it. This becomes a
crisis in his government because she is disobeying her husband, disobeying the king.
And so, he has a major problem. In the story as it unfolds, you see different elements. One is
that one that he can’t solve a relationship problem with his wife. He decides to get rid of her.
They actually counsel her. Get rid of her.

That’s one way you can solve your problems. You can get rid of people. This would be a picture of if you make an analogy of the way people are, you could say the soul of man without Christ is like this. The soul of man can govern but he can’t minister. The soul of man can have authority and run gas stations and companies and countries,
but he can’t solve the most important problems that he has in life. He can’t solve relationship
problems. He can’t minister.

And if you think about Christ, Christ is this way that he’s the Christ of the universe. And the
thing about him is that he loves us. And he in our situations cares about us. He touches us. He
ministers to us. He doesn’t throw us away. He saves us. He sent the Spirit into our world so
that we could know God.

But this king doesn’t really have God in the sense. Actually, interesting thing. The word “God” is
not mentioned one time in the book of Esther. Therefore, the rabbis had a big question if it
should be in their canon of Scripture, but they made a great decision because it’s all about God
and the Jewish people. Okay.

This man goes to his counselors and they say you can’t have her as a wife. She’s disqualified
because she didn’t do what you asked. Oh, you don’t do what I asked you to do and so you’re
cut off? Yes. That’s the way the world is. That’s the way we are without God in our life. Cause’
when God is in your life, you realize he doesn’t cut you off. He loves you. He serves you. He
washes your feet. Prays for you. Intercedes for you. Talks to you. Ministers to you. Heals you.
Gives you grace. Cares about us. Visits us in the morning. Helps us out. Loves us more than
anything in the whole universe. He loves us. We are the objects of his love.

He is God. So, in the story, there’s a guy that comes into the picture, that comes a little – so, I’ll go
chronologically in the story. He gets another wife. So, let’s put it this way. She has a little crown.
She becomes the queen and she is the new queen and her name is Esther. What does she
represent in the story? Who is she? She’s feminine. She’s a woman who is praying, who is
caring, who has been chosen, who he fell in love with. Who he realized like this woman, that’s
the woman. That she was beautiful. Very attractive to him and he took her as his wife.

He doesn’t realize it but she’s very important to him as the king because she’s able to give counsel.
She’s able to help him. She’s able to be part of it. To be part of what he needs because in a
sense, left along, King Ahasuerus is prone to mess up things just like you and me. That’s a good
point. I am prone to mess up. I’m prone to break up relationships that should be valuable to
me. I am prone to make a bad decision. I’m prone to have a guy come into my government who
is actually an evil man. And that is what happened in the story. An evil man comes in. Snidely
Whiplash with a big mustache. He comes into the picture and he becomes the counselor for the
king.

And by the way, I think you realize this that if a demon had a choice of being in control of a drug
addict in the streets of Baltimore of if a demon had a choice to be in charge of a leader, a
general, a king, a president, a prime minister, the head of an organization, what would the
demon want? What if you were a demon, who would you like to be communicating with? Who
would you like to influence? The higher up. The more honor that is for me. The more
destructive I can be. How much I can lie. How much I can deceive. How much I can mislead
people.

If I could be the head of a television company or a social platform company? I could be in
charge of a country or a publishing house or a Hollywood movie industry. I could be in there
and I could choose what is going on and I can affect millions of people, where would the demon
want to be? Next to the boss. They gravitate to the bosses. And there was a guy that did that in
this case. And his name was Haman.

Haman counseled the king this way. He said king, there’s a people in your empire, they are not
a good people for you. We need to get rid of them. Their laws are different. They are different
and we need to destroy them. We can pick a certain day and on that day turn people against
them and genocide and get rid of all the Jews in the whole empire of 127 provinces.

And guess what the king said? Okay. Let’s do it. And Haman said I will pay for it out of my own
money and it’s millions and millions. I think it might even be billions of dollars. I did the number
but we won’t, I won’t, I’m just provoking you to do it yourself. It’s there. Ten thousand talents.
A talent is 75 pounds of silver. Like what was the value of 75 pounds of silver times 10,000. It’s
a huge number. Where Haman got that money I don’t know, but he gave it to the treasury so
this thing would be paid for. And the king signed it and that was good.

Here’s the lesson. If you and I are sleeping, if we are soulish, our soul will get attached to things
and we will be blind to what is really important. We might become part of some evil thing
without realizing it. If we are sleeping and I mean spiritually, if we are indifferent, if we are
more occupied with our vacation than we are occupied with God’s heart. Vacations are fine but
what’s God’s heart? You know how it is. I don’t know. What can we say? Am I more occupied
with my garden? I have to have a garden? I have a garden. I have a little fish pond. You should come and see it sometimes. I have a little fish pond. And I have a little garden.

You can have all that. I’m not saying that, but I’m saying a soulish man doesn’t know how to control his
appetites. He doesn’t know what’s important. He doesn’t know when evil is sitting on the couch
next to him. He doesn’t know when evil is being propagated in our culture and we are not
recognizing what is really happening until Esther shows up.

Now in your life, Esther came. Christ came into your life. She’s related to the guy over here
whose name is Mordecai. He’s the hero in the story. He is a picture, a type of Christ. Christ is
not bowing to Haman. Christ wakes up. Christ sends Esther to the king and Esther is saying like
there’s something about us in our free will. There’s something about us to protect ourselves. I
can’t go to the king. I cannot. I don’t have the permission. I don’t. If it’s not done right, I could
get killed.

And Mordecai is saying, do you think you’re going to escape this thing? Do you think? You’re a
Jew. And I’m the brother of your dad and your dad passed but I’m in charge. And I’m telling you
that you’re not going to escape if this plan goes on. You’re going to die, too.

And so, she said give me three days for prayer and fasting and tell people to pray and fast and
I’ll make my decision. And she said I’m going. What a big decision. I’m going for it. And if I
perish, I perish. Now that spirit is in you. That’s the Spirit of God that is in us.

And there’s something about that that shows up like in our mission work where you might say,
no. We got a lot of reason to stay home, but then there are people that say I’m going in. I want
to go. There’s something in my heart. I want to go. We can go. We can do this. It’s like a joy,
isn’t it? Or why don’t we say it this way? Why don’t we say, listen. I know you got a problem
with your wife Vashti, but you have the Spirit of God. Why don’t you have a talk with her. You
know what she might have said? He could just sit with her. He goes now this is difficult because
you disobeyed but I need to know why. What’s the problem?

I didn’t want to show off in front of people or I felt you’re using me as a tool or I felt abused or I
felt that it wasn’t right. I don’t know why. I had a stomach ache that day. I don’t know what. I
mean just talk. Just talk. Can you be honest with somebody that cares about you? But not
power play. But somebody that loves you.

That’s how Jesus opens our hearts. That he cares about us and if the king cares about his wife
but he couldn’t do it because he didn’t have the Spirit of God. But you have the Spirit of God.
You and I care about our country. You and I care about what’s happening. We’re not checking
out. We’re not like falling asleep and saying there’s no problem here. There’s evil at the door
and they already made the decision way down the road, far away from where you think. You
think everything is fine. It is not.

There’s already the day planned for the genocide to happen with the Jewish people and
Ahasuerus says, what? I think of a person waking up. What? What happened? Yeah. On your
watch, king, there’s a genocide that’s going to happen on the 12 th month and the 13 th day and
you signed the order and that’s what Esther in effect said to him. And he woke up and he just
really didn’t even know what was happening.

Okay. Last point. Because Esther went to the king, and he said what do you want? And she said
I just want to meet with you tomorrow and he said okay. Then, in that meeting, he said what do
you want? She said, I want to meet with you and Haman tomorrow. And he said, okay. And this
was like she’s like, she has his favor. He’s listening to her. That’s where the life changes. Your
life and my life changes.

I want to encourage you in that. Our lives changes because we have somebody in our life that
can talk to our hearts and open up our hearts and speak to us and it’s not in the story this way
but I just want for dramatic and for emphasis just say Esther, who are you getting your orders
from? And she said, my uncle. Who is he? He will not bow down to Haman. He is very angry
about this. He is very engaged. He is very awake. He is at the city gates with sackcloth and he’s
screaming and yelling about how wrong it is.

Well, Esther, you’re not screaming and yelling. No, I’m not screaming and yelling but I’m in the
game. It’s in my heart. I’m talking to the king. I want to help him. I want this thing to turn
around. And so Esther, you are like the beautiful woman who opens up the heart of the man
who needs the help. And if that’s not a beautiful picture of life for us, I don’t know what is. Cause’
your heart cannot open up by power. You know, muscles and stuff and guns and muscles and
arguing and yelling and shouting. It doesn’t work in a family. It doesn’t work in a church. It
doesn’t work in our friendship. We need another – we need a spiritual approach.

And this woman, she’s there and it’s a message to us. That this is how my depression leaves.
This is how my relationships like endure. This is how evil is dealt with in my life. And um and
remember when Haman is kind of caught and the king looks at him and he goes, what’s going
on? And then one of the attendants said, well, the gallows that Haman built for Mordecai are all
ready to go. And the king said hang him on it, right? Wow.

So, how come the king changed? I don’t know but we can say, we can say, well we know but we
can say when Jesus comes into your life, there are changes that happened. and they are
beautiful. And when we just say, no. I can’t. That can’t, I don’t agree with that. I just can’t
accept that. That’s wrong. I just can’t do that and the world is saying what’s going on? Why
not? This is the way it it is. The king said, the king said, he said what are we going to do because
the order already went out and the counsel was make another order that the Jews could
protect themselves. Make another order that the Jews can fight against their enemies. And the
king said, yes. Okay.

 

So, the bad order had gone out and now comes this order for the Jews to be given the authority
to defend themselves and fight. Amen. And in a way, we can say that we know the world is bad.
That order is already out there. That order is already out there. That’s already happened. But
we have the privilege of being on the inside with Jesus Christ and for us to be here doing
something that is against the evil. To have words. To have love. To vote. To have an opinion. To
be in the public square and say I don’t know about you but that’s ridiculous. I don’t accept that.
I am, I am and they go, oh! You are with Esther. You are with Mordecai and so on and of course
we say that is correct. We are. That’s it. Would you pray with me. (Prayer)

 

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