The Glory of Intercession
Esther 5:1-14
Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king's house…

I. THE BOWED FORM OF THE SUPPLIANT QUEEN. To bend the knees for others is the noblest attitude possible for the children of men. What shall be said of the selfish pietist who prays, "Forgive us our trespasses," and gives no heed to the multitudes who lie in darkness and the shadow of death? What shall be said of those Christians who "don't believe in missions"? When the ship Algona went down and the captain made off with one of the boats, leaving forty-eight passengers to drown, the whole world stood in horror of him. It is far better to sing "Rescue the perishing" than to make too much of "When I can read my title clear." A glorious award awaits those who in self-forgetfulness have adventured all in behalf of their fellow-men.

II. THE OUTSTRETCHED SCEPTRE. It means to us that the great King is ever ready to hear intercessory prayer. In the rabbinical legend of Sandalphon an angel is represented as standing at the uttermost gates of heaven, one foot on a ladder of light. He is listening for a mother's appeal, the sob of a burdened heart, the cry "God be merciful to him!" On hearing these voices of intercession he bears them aloft, and they turn to garlands as he lays them before the feet of God. It stands in the nature of the case that God should be most willing to hear unselfish prayers.

III. THE SEQUEL. The Jews were saved and the Feast of Purim instituted in recognition of this deliverance. The world waits to be won by Christian intercession. When General Grant was languishing on his bed of pain, no message of sympathy touched him more than that from an aged quaker: "Friend Grant, I am a stranger to thee. I would not intrude upon thy suffering, but I am anxious for thy soul. Trust in Jesus; He will not fail thee." The abundant entrance into heaven is for those who by prayer and its supplementary effort have wrought deliverance for others. At the close of the American Civil War, when Lincoln went down to Richmond, the freedmen loosed the horses from his carriage and dragged it through the streets, shouting, "God bless Master Lincoln!" He had broken their chains, and this was a slight expression of their gratitude. In the apportionment of the honours of heaven there is nothing comparable with this, "He hath saved a soul from death!"

(D. J. Burrell, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king's house, over against the king's house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house.

WEB: Now it happened on the third day that Esther put on her royal clothing, and stood in the inner court of the king's house, next to the king's house. The king sat on his royal throne in the royal house, next to the entrance of the house.

The Gifts of the Heavenly King
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