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An Allegory from Esther

INTRODUCTION:  An allegory is a story which uses people, things, and events to portray spiritual truths. Paul used an allegory in Galatians 4:22-31.

  • Agar (Hagar) was a type of Mt. Sinai and the covenant of law by Moses
  • The child of Hagar (Ishmael) was born in bondage
  • Sarah was a type of the heavenly Jerusalem and the covenant of promise through Abraham
  • The child of Sarah (Isaac) was born free and was a type of all the children of promise

Allegories are acceptable to use as long as they avoid two special dangers:

  • Allegories must not be used to deny the truth of a literal story. For example, Noahs ark may be a type of salvation, but the story of Noah and the flood are still factual history.
  • Allegories must not be used to teach doctrine which is not plainly taught in other portions of scripture. Throughout Christian history, those who would teach false doctrine have often used allegories to support their doctrine. Allegories can easily be misused to say many contradictory things. Therefore, they must be used for illustration and not for establishing doctrine.

Many years ago, Bible students began to see a connection between the conflict in the book of Esther and the conflict inside each man and woman (Galatians 5:17). The entire book makes for a powerful allegory that demonstrates how we can have victory over the flesh and live in the power of the Spirit.

This allegory is based on the three-part nature of man. According to 1 Thessalonians 5:23 and other passages, man is made up of a spirit, a soul, and a body.

  • Our body is the physical shell in which we dwell on earth.
  • Our soul is the unseen person and includes our mind (thinking ability), our emotions (feeling ability), and our will (decision-making ability). In essence, the soul is the real person.
  • Our spirit is the part of man capable of communicating with God and receiving the life of God. The spirit of a lost man is dead. The spirit of a saved man is made alive by the Spirit of God. At salvation, a person is born of the Spirit (John 3:6). This spiritual birth constitutes the new birth.
    1. King Ahasuerus
      1. Represents the soul
        1. The essence of man (Genesis 2:7; Mark 8:36)
        2. Where decisions are made - will
        3. Where the thinking is done - intellect
        4. Where the feeling occurs emotions
      2. Though he is the king, his true act is to choose who has the authority to run the kingdom (Romans 6:16)
    2. Haman
      1. Represents the flesh
        1. Not specifically the human body, but the fleshly nature of man (Romans 8:3-5, 8-9; Romans 13:14; Galatians 5:16-21)
        2. The part of man that rebels against God
      2. No good thing found in Haman
        1. The flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41)
        2. The flesh profits nothing (John 6:63)
        3. No good thing in the flesh (Romans 7:18)
        4. Cannot please God (Romans 8:8)
        5. Reaps corruption (Galatians 6:8)
        6. Cannot be trusted (Philippians 3:3)
      3. The hatred of Haman
        1. He hated Mordecai (Esther 3:6; Esther 5:9) a picture of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:5-8)
        2. He hated the people of God (Esther 3:6) and is called the Jews enemy (Esther 3:10-13); compare Galatians 4:29
    3. Mordecai
      1. Represents the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9-11)
      2. He will not bow to Haman (Esther 3:1-5; Esther 5:9)
        1. The flesh and the Spirit are diametrically opposed (John 3:6; Romans 8:5; Galatians 3:3; Galatians 6:8)
        2. God Spirit will not give in to the flesh (Galatians 5:16-17)
    4. Esther
      1. Represents the human spirit
      2. She is brought up by Mordecai (Esther 2:7; John 3:6)
      3. She obeys the commands of Mordecai (Esther 2:10, 20; see Romans 8:16)
      4. She received word from Mordecai (Esther 2:22; Esther 4:9; see 1 Corinthians 2:9-14)
      5. She sought answers from Mordecai (Esther 4:5); as in prayer (Romans 8:26)
    5. The Ring
      1. A type of authority given to another
        1. It had the kings seal
        2. It carried the kings authority (Genesis 41:40-44)
      2. Significant by who it is given to
        1. To Haman (Esther 3:10, 12)
        2. To Mordecai (Esther 8:2, 8)
  2. THE PROMOTION OF ESTHER a picture of salvation
    1. Adopted by Mordecai (Esther 2:7); as we are adopted by God (Romans 8:14-15; Galatians 4:4-6)
    2. Wedded to Ahasuerus (Esther 2:16-17); as we are sealed by the Spirit (Ephesians 1:12-14; Ephesians 4:30)
  3. THE PROMOTION OF HAMAN a picture of surrender to the flesh
    1. Promoted above All Princes (Esther 3:1); when the flesh is given charge (1 Corinthians 3:1-3; Romans 7:14)
    2. Plotted to Destroy Mordecai (Esther 3:5-6); as the carnal mind is against God (Romans 8:7)
    3. Preeminent in the Kings Authority (Esther 3:10-11;); as the flesh is in the carnal believer (Romans 6:12-13, 16)
  4. THE PROMOTION OF MORDECAI a picture of surrender to the Spirit
    1. Esther Listened to Mordecai (Esther 4:5); we must be led of the Spirit (Galatians 5:18)
    2. Esther Died to her Own Desires (Esther 4:14-17); we must do the same (Mark 8:35; Romans 8:13; 1 Corinthians 15:31; 2 Corinthians 4:10-12; Galatians 5:24)
    3. Esther Crucified the Flesh Haman (Esther 7:9-10; so Romans 6:6-11)
    4. Esther Lived Unto God (Esther 9:24-25; so Romans 6:11)
    5. The King Gave the Ring to Mordecai (Esther 8:7-8); we must yield to the Spirit (Romans 6:16)

CONCLUSION: The battle of Galatians 5:17 can be won if we will surrender ourselves to the Spirit of God.