The Jewish roots of Christianity

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Bible teaching with an emphasis on Israel, prophecy and the Jewish roots of Christianity

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Series: “Esther (2017)”
For Such A Time As This
The Book of Esther is one of the Jewish people’s favorites. In this eight-program television series, Dr. Jeffrey Seif explains its details, and points out that, like Esther herself, we Believers may be alive for such a time as this.
Episode: “Beautiful Inside and Out”
Does God use women? Yes, He does! We begin by considering Esther’s rise and wicked Queen Vashti’s demise, and note how God elevates individuals to places of influence—then as now.

Caption transcript for Esther (2017): “Beautiful Inside and Out” (1/8)

  • 00:05 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel
  • 00:09 is that they might be saved
  • 00:12 for there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek
  • 00:15 for the same Lord over all
  • 00:17 is rich unto all that call upon Him.
  • 00:40 Welcome to Zola Levitt Presents.
  • 00:42 I'm Kirsten Hart.
  • 00:43 And I'm David Hart
  • 00:44 We're so glad you've joined us
  • 00:46 for this encore presentation of
  • 00:48 "Esther, for Such a Time as This".
  • 00:51 It was originally aired back in 2010
  • 00:53 with our good friend Dr. Jeffrey Seif.
  • 00:56 I also think that you and I have been
  • 00:58 doing pretty well with our Hebrew.
  • 00:59 We're working on it.
  • 01:00 We're going to have a lesson today.
  • 01:02 And we'll have a guest analyst
  • 01:03 for every program in this series,
  • 01:05 Ted Pearce, who is a musician.
  • 01:08 I can't wait to hear him sing.
  • 01:10 We have a very special dramatic reenactment.
  • 01:14 Here's the story of Esther.
  • 01:20 It all happened in the days of King Ahasuerus, also called Xerxes.
  • 01:27 Having overthrown the Babylonian Empire
  • 01:31 he ruled over 127 provinces
  • 01:34 from India to Ethiopia.
  • 01:37 And the king ruled from his magnificent palace in Shushan.
  • 01:45 In the third year of his reign
  • 01:47 the king made a feast for all his princes and servants
  • 01:50 wherein he displayed the wealth of his royal glory
  • 01:53 and the majesty of his greatness.
  • 02:15 All were amazed at the great wealth
  • 02:17 except for one...
  • 02:19 who refused to attend.
  • 02:23 Queen Vashti would hold her own feast
  • 02:27 sending a message to the king
  • 02:28 that she would not attend his feast.
  • 02:31 The king's rage would shake the very empire
  • 02:35 and his trusted advisors were swift to bring judgment.
  • 03:07 Dr. Seif - An insult led to a divorce
  • 03:09 that a king would come to regret.
  • 03:12 and the divorce would lead to a marriage
  • 03:14 that the world would never forget.
  • 03:17 And this friends, is the basis for the opening of a drama,
  • 03:22 a fascinating drama
  • 03:23 known in the Hebrew Bible as the book of Esther.
  • 03:29 This story is played out against the backdrop of a rise of a King Xerxes who
  • 03:35 puts a big feast together for all of his 127 provincial leaders.
  • 03:41 The kingdom's divided up an enormous empire 2 million square miles
  • 03:48 extending on the east all the way to India,
  • 03:51 to the west all the way to Ethiopia.
  • 03:53 And he gathers together his governors
  • 03:56 to prepare for his invasion of the west.
  • 03:59 he's drinking a little bit.
  • 04:01 Well more than a little bit actually.
  • 04:04 The Persians for that matter were known for their
  • 04:08 mega-feasts replete with wining and dining.
  • 04:13 The gold vessels were fascinating.
  • 04:16 The tableware for these feasts was known to the Greeks.
  • 04:20 Herodotus the historian talks about it as do others.
  • 04:24 Well the biblical author of Esther talks about this story and notes how a
  • 04:29 drunken King Xerxes wants his Queen Vashti to come and present herself as
  • 04:36 something of a beauty queen to show herself in front of his drunken guests.
  • 04:41 She refuses.
  • 04:44 He is on the outs with her as a result.
  • 04:46 And he is going to look for another queen.
  • 04:50 In Esther chapter 1, in verse 19 were told..."
  • 04:55 [Speaking Hebrew]
  • 05:10 And what does he do?
  • 05:12 He goes on the hunt for someone else.
  • 05:16 There's a story here of demented thinking,
  • 05:19 drunken kings,
  • 05:21 there's an orgy of power,
  • 05:24 there's preparation for war,
  • 05:26 there's a woman who's "thrown under the bus"
  • 05:29 because she doesn't want to subject herself to indignities.
  • 05:33 What else is happening in this story is there's a God at work.
  • 05:38 Providence is playing providence's hand and why is that?
  • 05:43 it's not introduced into the narrative yet but there's a world that's
  • 05:46 going to turn on the Jewish people.
  • 05:51 Emerging later in the narrative is a fellow Haman hell bent on
  • 05:55 destruction of the Jews.
  • 05:58 Then as now there are those bent on killing the Hebrew people.
  • 06:06 And then as now God raises up miracle, victory; raises up individuals
  • 06:15 "For Such a Time as This" to hold back the tide of destruction.
  • 06:21 And here I'm coming to you from a fortification overlooking Syria.
  • 06:28 Battles were fought here as Jews dug in to
  • 06:32 hold back the forces of anarchy and decay.
  • 06:35 Today as yesterday the story continues.
  • 06:39 A story that we'll look at as we consider
  • 06:42 "For Such a Time as This".
  • 06:46 Back in 2010 when this series originally aired
  • 06:49 Syria was peaceful and quiet.
  • 06:51 But now it's really a mess over there.
  • 06:55 It is.
  • 06:56 It's just another country that's against the Jewish people
  • 06:59 just as in ancient Persia with Esther.
  • 07:02 Now let's continue back to our dramatic reenactment.
  • 07:09 Mordecai, Esther's cousin was among the captive Jews in Shusan.
  • 07:14 When Esther's parents had died Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter
  • 07:20 and raised her, caring for her deeply.
  • 07:56 And so it was that Esther was taken before Hegai,
  • 08:00 the guardian of the king's harem.
  • 08:03 And she was pleasing to him.
  • 08:07 It would take 12 months of preparation
  • 08:09 before Esther would appear before the king.
  • 08:14 Attended to by 7 maidens
  • 08:17 she would receive 6 months treatment with oil of Myrrh
  • 08:21 and then another 6 months treatment with perfumes and cosmetics.
  • 08:29 Esther had never looked so lovely.
  • 08:40 Our heroine Esther has made her way into the palace
  • 08:44 at Mordecai's bidding
  • 08:46 in the hopes of not just making it into the palace
  • 08:49 but making it into the head and into the heart
  • 08:52 of the man who runs the place...
  • 08:54 Xerxes.
  • 08:56 In order to facilitate that she's pampered to be sure.
  • 08:59 Not only is she given a gloss with the finest of ointments
  • 09:03 but she's given a fine piece of advice,
  • 09:05 or so it's construed in the biblical text, by Mordecai
  • 09:09 who tells her something that to me is striking
  • 09:12 because at one level it's so very pathetic.
  • 09:14 In Esther Chapter 2 in verse 10 were told,
  • 09:19 [Speaking in Hebrew]
  • 09:27 It seems that the word from Mordecai to her was
  • 09:31 "Shhhh. Don't let them know that you're a Jew".
  • 09:37 Because somehow by virtue of her being Jewish
  • 09:40 that would be construed as a deficit.
  • 09:45 The fact that there's problems associated with being Jews,
  • 09:48 I'm reminded of that as I am here in this bunker
  • 09:52 that speaks of troubles with the Jews of days not so long ago.
  • 09:58 On the one side is Syria, on the other side is Israel.
  • 10:03 Here in the Golan Heights
  • 10:04 there's a barrier between the two.
  • 10:07 A barrier that is sacred to the Jewish people
  • 10:11 to be defended at all costs.
  • 10:13 And why is that?
  • 10:15 To have a strategic point to hold back the forces of destruction
  • 10:21 that are alive today...here,
  • 10:25 just as they were yesterday...here.
  • 10:29 Why is that?
  • 10:31 When we look in biblical history as modern history
  • 10:34 we discover that individuals bent
  • 10:37 on the destruction of the Jews raise their hoary heads.
  • 10:43 Kingdoms have done it and they have risen and they have fallen.
  • 10:48 The Egyptians held the Israelites in their clutches
  • 10:51 in the days of Exodus.
  • 10:53 And where is Egypt today?
  • 10:56 The Babylonians did, the Romans did in their day;
  • 10:59 different peoples have come and gone
  • 11:03 but the Jew in some sense is immortal.
  • 11:06 And why is that?
  • 11:08 Well to play off a song you might have heard,
  • 11:11 here as I'm reminded of Esther's being told
  • 11:13 "Shhhhh - don't' let them know you're a Jew",
  • 11:18 if you'll permit a little play on words with a song.
  • 11:20 You might of heard it.
  • 11:22 It goes like this...
  • 11:23 "Amazing grace how sweet the sound"
  • 11:27 [ The following lyrics are not of original hymn ]
  • 11:29 that has preserved God's people the Jews
  • 11:31 for we've been hated, often berated
  • 11:34 and still we're castigated.
  • 11:37 You can bet we have paid our dues.
  • 11:40 we've been put through many dangers, toils and snares
  • 11:45 for reasons which we have not deserved.
  • 11:48 But in spite of men's attempts to kill us off,
  • 11:53 by the grace of God we have been preserved.
  • 11:57 Now we the Jews have been here for thousands of years
  • 12:01 and like the sun we've been shining in our place.
  • 12:05 And in case you're wondering why it is the Jews don't seem to die,
  • 12:10 The answer's clear it's cause of God's amazing grace.
  • 12:25 Are Gentile believers meant to adopt the Mosaic Law?
  • 12:28 Is there a separate salvation covenant for Israel
  • 12:31 that removes the necessity of faith in Yeshua?
  • 12:34 Eitan Shishkoff tackles these questions and more in today's resource
  • 12:38 "What About Us?"
  • 12:40 In this book Eitan uncovers concrete scriptural evidence
  • 12:43 of God's original plan for Jews and Gentles
  • 12:46 to become One in Messiah
  • 12:49 and work together for salvation of National Israel.
  • 12:52 Learn the importance of how the Gentile church
  • 12:54 should relate to the remarkable Messianic movement
  • 12:57 of Jews accepting Jesus.
  • 12:59 An important read for believers of all walks of life.
  • 13:02 Please call us.
  • 13:02 Or go on line
  • 13:04 and ask for the resource
  • 13:05 "What About Us?"
  • 13:08 We'll return to the program in just a moment.
  • 13:10 But first I wanted to ask if you've
  • 13:12 every thought about what it takes
  • 13:14 to put this program together.
  • 13:16 I can assure it's a lot more than just
  • 13:18 "lights, camera, action".
  • 13:20 There's a lot of prayer and planning.
  • 13:23 Our family is a lot like yours.
  • 13:25 We pray and we plan.
  • 13:27 And we hope that you'll be praying for us
  • 13:30 and planning to help support us too.
  • 13:45 The wonders of the Bible
  • 13:47 can only be experienced in Israel.
  • 13:50 Zola Tours invites you
  • 13:52 to join a dream vacation you will never forget.
  • 14:17 Every year our ministry takes 2 Tours to Israel.
  • 14:21 One in the Fall and one in the Spring.
  • 14:23 Go to our website levitt.com
  • 14:25 Click on the tour page
  • 14:26 and find out more information.
  • 14:28 We'd love to have you go with us.
  • 14:30 Now, let's go to our weekly Hebrew Lesson.
  • 14:37 Shalom Havarim .
  • 14:38 "Hello Friends".
  • 14:40 For Purim we also remember
  • 14:41 Ta'anit Ester
  • 14:43 "The Fast of Esther"
  • 14:44 Before Esther went unto the King
  • 14:47 She proclaimed a fast for everyone to keep with her
  • 14:50 before she would go to the king
  • 14:52 because it was very dangerous
  • 14:55 for her to go to the king before she was summoned.
  • 14:58 And she went before she was summoned.
  • 15:00 to plead the cause of the Jewish people that were in danger.
  • 15:04 Thank you Deanna.
  • 15:06 Not only is she our teacher
  • 15:08 but she's also the wife of Chaim Malespin
  • 15:12 who's been a part of our ministry for awhile now.
  • 15:14 We love him.
  • 15:15 He's on all our social media sites.
  • 15:17 And he does great videos.
  • 15:19 But now we welcome Deanna to the family.
  • 15:21 And she taught us "The Fast of Esther"
  • 15:24 is Ta'anit Ester
  • 15:27 Let's try it.
  • 15:28 Ta'anit Ester
  • 15:30 The " er " is different
  • 15:32 because usually in our American English
  • 15:35 we say "errr"
  • 15:37 And we have so many people that say "Esterrr"
  • 15:39 The Feast of "Esterrr"
  • 15:40 But the "r" is different.
  • 15:42 So it's Ta'anit Es -" tair "
  • 15:44 Now let's go to our dramatic reenactment
  • 15:46 where Esther is crowned Queen
  • 16:37 It's every girl's dream isn't it?
  • 16:39 To be chosen.
  • 16:41 It's a rags to riches story.
  • 16:45 It's a story about a great girl who made good.
  • 16:50 And what is that?
  • 16:51 You may well know the story.
  • 16:53 We're told in the book of Esther,
  • 16:55 chapter 2, verse 17,
  • 17:07 And the net result as he's processed who the next queen's going to be,
  • 17:11 we're told,
  • 17:25 What a story it is...again,
  • 17:27 this local girl who's made good.
  • 17:31 I want to raise the question rhetorically:
  • 17:34 What is it that facilitated her rise?
  • 17:38 We're told right before this,
  • 17:41 And I think this is significant I should say
  • 17:43 Particularly to offset the fantasy about Jews.
  • 17:47 You know how Jews are depicted as greedy,
  • 17:51 covetous, after everyone's money?
  • 17:56 That's the myth.
  • 17:58 What's interesting is the women that were begging the king's affections were
  • 18:04 given the opportunity to wear anything and everything they wanted.
  • 18:08 And so the ladies were choosing the gold and the silver
  • 18:12 and the diamonds and all the finery.
  • 18:14 Esther, however, is distinct from all of that, went modest.
  • 18:20 And it was who she was that shined more than any diamond.
  • 18:24 And what happened is Xerxes conceived that she was different.
  • 18:29 This girl was no "Gold Digger".
  • 18:31 Literally, she didn't even want to adorn herself with all of that.
  • 18:35 And It's not just that, by the way, we're told specifically in the text
  • 18:40 how she wasn't given to that kind of arrangement.
  • 18:43 Mordecai, her Patron who's going to be elevated later
  • 18:48 and receive large sums of money,
  • 18:51 he himself with the money is given to largesse,
  • 18:56 to benevolence, to giving to the needs of others
  • 18:59 rather than being particularly greedy himself.
  • 19:04 It's a great story in part I think because Jews are
  • 19:07 so often depicted in a whole other light that is absolute fantasy.
  • 19:14 Jews are good people, a decent people, a kind people.
  • 19:18 Even here in Israel the Jews aren't interested
  • 19:21 in gobbling up other people's real estate.
  • 19:26 Well this is a story of a woman who has come into her own.
  • 19:30 we're not talking about "real" estate as much as "regal" estate.
  • 19:35 It's a story about a woman, Esther, who's come into her own
  • 19:39 "For Such a Time as This".
  • 19:42 And this Esther is going to in affect stand as a savior of the Jewish people,
  • 19:47 for when the forces of hell are bent on their demise
  • 19:52 Esther is there to take a stand and stand she does.
  • 19:59 (Esther singing in Hebrew)
  • 22:00 That is such an amazing story through song.
  • 22:02 And if you weren't moved by that
  • 22:04 I think there's something wrong with you.
  • 22:06 Also today we have another wonderful singer
  • 22:10 whose been with us before, many of you will
  • 22:12 recognize, Ted Pearce.
  • 22:14 We're so glad you're at this desk with us for this series.
  • 22:18 Thank you, very much.
  • 22:20 I'm really excited.
  • 22:21 I've been waking up to you music for the last few days.
  • 22:24 And it's been encouraging.
  • 22:27 It's joyful.
  • 22:29 Spirit filled.
  • 22:30 And I'm really thrilled that you're with us.
  • 22:32 I'm just glad to hear it's not putting you to sleep.
  • 22:34 [Laughing]
  • 22:36 It woke him up, that's good!
  • 22:38 Thrilled to be here.
  • 22:39 It's great to see the new hosts here at the Zola Levitt show
  • 22:42 and I'm glad to be a part of it.
  • 22:44 Tell us what you're doing these days.
  • 22:45 Well, I've been basically living on the road for 17 years.
  • 22:49 And I've just come off the road.
  • 22:51 I'm now going to be a stationary worship leader
  • 22:53 in Asheville, North Carolina.
  • 22:55 We're working on a lot of other projects there besides that.
  • 22:59 But that's pretty much of what I'm doing.
  • 23:00 Coming off the road, take some time
  • 23:02 to build a band, write some songs,
  • 23:05 Get back into a schedule of being
  • 23:06 accountable to a local community.
  • 23:08 How many songs do you think you've written?
  • 23:11 Do you know?
  • 23:12 Well' I've written a lot more than I have recorded but
  • 23:15 just recorded I've got about 85.
  • 23:18 WOW
  • 23:20 So, hundreds of songs.
  • 23:23 How many times have you been to Israel?
  • 23:25 Ten times.
  • 23:27 And do you do concerts in Israel?
  • 23:30 I travel around visiting my friends.
  • 23:32 I don't really do things like everybody else does concerts.
  • 23:35 I just go around visiting my friends.
  • 23:37 I go wherever I'm invited
  • 23:39 and I just go for an offering
  • 23:40 and I go visit my friends.
  • 23:42 That's the way I see it.
  • 23:43 Some people call it concerts
  • 23:45 but...so yeah, when I go to Israel
  • 23:48 I travel around visiting my friends
  • 23:50 and if they ask me to come play I'm glad to do it.
  • 23:52 We've been asked this question.
  • 23:53 It's a hard question.
  • 23:55 Do you have a favorite spot in Israel?
  • 23:58 Hmmm - that's really...
  • 24:00 That's really a tough one.
  • 24:02 Yeah, I'd have to think about that.
  • 24:04 Ummm... well I love them all.
  • 24:08 Well maybe En Gedi
  • 24:10 That's really awesome out there.
  • 24:12 But yeah I love being up in the Galilee too.
  • 24:14 It's so peaceful up there, I mean,
  • 24:16 it's so weird...
  • 24:19 If you're staying up in the Galilee you turn on the news and
  • 24:21 you see all this trouble going on in Israel.
  • 24:24 It's like, gee, I don't see it.
  • 24:26 Where is it happening?
  • 24:27 It's quiet and calm.
  • 24:28 Yeah, it's really funny how you find out
  • 24:29 how much trouble is going on in Israel after you leave
  • 24:31 and you look at the newspaper.
  • 24:32 WOW, that happened when I was there?
  • 24:34 I didn't see it.
  • 24:36 Esther...
  • 24:37 We're studying about Esther this whole series.
  • 24:39 And tell us really quick
  • 24:41 what does Esther mean to you in your heart?
  • 24:44 I know that's a hard one to do fast.
  • 24:47 Well here's this young girl who's raised up
  • 24:51 to a pretty high position being the wife of the king.
  • 24:55 But that was different in those days of course.
  • 24:59 But she could have just remained quiet and saved her own neck
  • 25:05 but her uncle Mordecai made sure that she
  • 25:09 understood that it's her responsibility.
  • 25:13 The fate of her people is her responsibility.
  • 25:16 And that's a really important lesson for all of us.
  • 25:18 None of us live on an island.
  • 25:21 Especially like today, Christians are being persecuted in other lands.
  • 25:26 If we remain quiet about that then their blood could be on our heads.
  • 25:32 So Esther took responsibility for helping her people.
  • 25:36 That's right.
  • 25:37 We're going to hear so much more from Ted.
  • 25:40 But right now I'm excited to hear a song from Ted Pearce.
  • 25:46 ♪[Instruments]♪
  • 26:11 ♪ Oh, He Himself will redeem you from all your sins ♪
  • 26:20 ♪ The Lord Himself will redeem Israel from all their sins ♪
  • 26:28 ♪ Yes, He Himself will redeem you from all your sins ♪
  • 26:35 ♪ The Lord Himself will redeem Israel from all their sins ♪
  • 26:44 ♪ from all their sins ♪
  • 26:48 ♪ Put your hope in the Lord ♪♪
  • 26:59 Thank you Ted Pearce.
  • 27:01 He will be singing through this whole series.
  • 27:03 But we always love to end this program with this prayer,
  • 27:05 Sha'alu Shalom Yerushalayim
  • 27:07 Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem
  • 27:12 Our monthly newsletter the Levitt Letter is free
  • 27:15 and full of insightful articles and news commentary from a Messianic perspective.
  • 27:19 Visit levitt.com to find our newsletter
  • 27:22 along with current and past programs,
  • 27:25 our television schedule and much more.
  • 27:28 Don't forget to order this week's resource
  • 27:30 by calling 1-800-WONDERS
  • 27:33 Or you can purchase it from our store at levitt.com
  • 27:37 Your donations to Zola Levitt Ministries
  • 27:39 help these organizations bless Israel.

Episodes in this series

  1. Beautiful Inside and Out
  2. Chosen for a Purpose
  3. Called to be Courageous
  4. Undone by a Woman
  5. God Rewards the Righteous
  6. Justice at Last!
  7. Fight We Must!
  8. The Triumph of God in Human History

Related Episodes

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