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Babylon and the Book of Esther
Nebuchadnezzar II describes Babylon’s city gates as awe-inspiring monuments, designed to be appreciated by all the citizens of, and visitors to, Babylon.
“I filled those gates with splendor for the wonder of all people”—Nebuchadnezzar II (r. 604–562 BCE)
Can the Divine countenance be concealed during the most prophetic significant time in history? Surely there are those who would reveal the grandeur of this moment in history.
Cyrus, the king of Persia gave the order that the House of God was to be rebuilt in Jerusalem. The prophet Isaiah had foretold 200 years before:
So said God to His anointed, to Cyrus… For the sake of My servant Jacob and Israel, My chosen one…he shall build My city and he shall free My captives. Isaiah 45, 1, 4, 4, 13.
It was two years before Ahasuerus became king and over four years before the opening scene of the Scroll (Book) of Esther.
Cyrus, the Persian monarch gave the order that the Jews might go home again, but only 42,000 heeded his call-a remnant, with millions staying behind.
When God hides His face, such are the effects-confusion, hesitation, and fear. What does God want of us? Where and how are we to do His bidding? What is His bidding?
This was the tapestry and stage of history before the actors in the story of the Book of Esther. The Jewish people were splintered and confused.
The reign of Cyrus did not long endure, only two years from the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple. Then an upstart commoner, Ahasuerus, became king of the vast Persian Empire. His queen, Vashti was the granddaughter of Nebuchadnezzar.
There are two prophecies more explicit and imminent than Isaiah’s, and these were the source of confusion at best.
“For thus saith, the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.” Jeremiah 29:10
In the first year of his reign, I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. Daniel 9:2
Perplexities of Concealment
What happens when God's face is hidden in history? We no longer see His guiding hand in history.
Our successes and failures as a people of Jesus were historically and now dependent upon our allegiance to Jesus and His Word. When we are loyal to Jesus the world is in abundance but when we fail to heed Jesus and His Word retribution is not long in coming.
When the countenance of God is concealed, we are at the whims of rulers, mutations of nature, and the vicissitudes of history. By our neglecting our total dependence upon Jesus we created conditions that beclouded, dare I say bedeviled, the Divine Image of Jesus and allowed a barrier to conceal His countenance from us. But He is still here.
Authentic history as seen through the biblical prophets is different than Jeremiah’s prophecy and hung like a sword over the heads of absolute monarchs. From Pharaoh to Sennacherib to the United Nations faith in God is more than a building or assemblage. It represents a philosophy that is dramatically opposed to theirs.
For more than a generation, Jeremiah’s prophecy haunted monarchs and their advisors. The Lord of Host, Adonai Tsavaot, said that Babylon would be ascendant for seventy years and that the ruins of Jerusalem would rot for seventy years. If that prophecy came true, crowns would topple and empires crumble. As long as the prophecy was pending, kings avoided gross acts of disrespect toward God lest they provoke His displeasure. They vacillated between fear and hope that the destruction of the Temple marked the end of God’s ascendancy.
Belshazzar, grandson of and successor of the throne of Nebuchadnezzar watched the days go by with trepidation as the end of the seventy years drew closer. He calculated the end of the seventy years. When he assumed the seventy years were over he rejoiced. He was not content to merely be joyous, he had to show his utter contempt of God Whose power he no longer feared. He prepared a wild orgiastic feast that has become legendary in the literature of excesses. To celebrate he took out the sacred vessels, something so brazen that even his grandfather did not do and used them in his wild drunken revelry. Jeremiah was wrong, Babylon had survived and that was something to celebrate! Judea was a minor province in the world of realpolitik but it was a major spiritual force.
Belshazzar’s audacity was brutally punished that very night as he was murdered by Darius, the Mede, and his son-in-law, Cyrus the Persian. Both reins were short, Darius lasting a year and Cyrus less than three years. Belshazzar had blundered miserably and in his bloody computation, Ahasuerus determined to do better. In his calculation, the seventy years ended with the third year of his reign. He celebrated with the fabulous 180-day feast which opens the Book of Esther. He too profaned the sacred vessels Holy unto the Lord and his calculations were also erroneous.
What can we see?
Does God really hide is countenance or face? Consider:
Now from the sixth hour, there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.
And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elijah. Matthew 27
The word forsaken has been translated to loosen, relinquish, permit, release, set free, forsake, abandon, leave behind, omit or relax. It cannot mean forsaken as we think of the word. Because it is not possible for the Father to forsake Himself. The Father does not mean separate Himself from Jesus, look away and pour forth His wrath upon His Son. Forsaken, is a sand rendering of the text from the Marconi chinking that the Father left Jesus destitute. The Father does not forsake the righteous nor at any time does He forsake His Son. Rather this same verse can be interpreted that Jesus was requesting the Father, “Father, I am ready, why can’t we finish this?” This is a question many of us have inquired to both the Father and to Jesus, “Let it be over.”
“Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man, and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” Revelation 13:18
Christians, as well as pagans, will be calculating the passage above. We need to seek wisdom from the Holy Spirit and not be calculating in the flesh. Lest we are as Belshazzar those who calculate this number who are at enmity with Jesus will meet a fiery fate.
Gate of Feasting
Once again, history is repeating itself. Babylon has come to America. While Babylon’s Ishtar Gate is one of the best-known icons of the ancient world, the gleaming façade of the reconstructed monument often outshines the complex craft processes, potent materials, and ancient alchemy for divine guidance.
Craftspeople were capable of creating artworks that manifested divine powers on earth, and the Ishtar Gate, offering entry into the imperial city, was designed to be one such magically activated monument. Representing the culmination of centuries of religious thought, technological discoveries, and artistic innovations from across the ancient Near East, Babylon's Ishtar Gate is a testament to the transformative powers of materials and making. The monument remains, in the words of Nebuchadnezzar II (r. 604-562 BCE), who commissioned it, a "wonder" to behold.
That in those days, when the king Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the palace,
In the third year of his reign, he made a feast unto all his princes and his servants; the power of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes of the provinces, being before him:
When he shewed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honor of his excellent majesty many days, even a hundred and fourscore days.
And when these days were expired, the king made a feast unto all the people that were present in Shushan the palace, both unto great and small, seven days, in the court of the garden of the king's palace;
Where were white, green, and blue, hangings, fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings and pillars of marble: the beds were of gold and silver, upon a pavement of red, and blue, and white, and black, marble.
And they gave them drink in vessels of gold, (the vessels being diverse one from another,) and royal wine in abundance, according to the state of the king. Esther 1
The elite powers believe that enough time has passed and that Jesus has not and will not return. They are walking in the footsteps of the giants of old, have delighted in the ritual sacrifice of the unborn and newly born infants. In utter defiance against God and His creation, they take the murdered blood and parts and mix them as flavoring and enhancers in our food and drinks. They now talk about using these wee ones in a vaccine to save your life against COVID 19 or SARS CoV-2. Once the food supply has been suitably disrupted and you are starving, these same tricksters will be offering you a feast of “protein outside the sensory experience.” God have mercy upon our souls when we consume those precious babies, holy vessels of the Living God, in a frenzied banquet to quench our pains of starvation. We then shall be slaughtered as lambs with the elite feasting upon delicacies of our human flesh, in all manner of culinary presentations.
These are the days to seek Jesus Christ and wisdom from the Most- High. Never before has it been more critical to be prayed up, in the Word, and rely upon an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit. Each day the Desert of Wickedness gets darker and you need the Light of Jesus to illuminate your path.
More nuggets and insights coming.
May God's richest blessings be upon each one of you,
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Celeste has worked as a contractor for Homeland Security and FEMA. Her training and activations include the infamous day of 911, flood and earthquake operations, mass casualty exercises, and numerous other operations. Celeste is FEMA certified and has completed the Professional Development Emergency Management Series.
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Celeste grew up in military & governmental home with her father working for the Naval Warfare Center, and later as Assistant Director for Public Lands and Natural Resources, in both Washington State and California.
Celeste also has training and expertise in small agricultural lobbying, Integrative/Functional Medicine, asymmetrical and symmetrical warfare, and Organic Farming.
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