Sunday, April 24, 2011
Esther Chapter 6
THE PLOT THICKENS
- We left off with Haman plotting to kill all the Jews. Now I said God had other plans... and here we go...
- The night after they ate with Esther, the king had trouble sleeping. Something was troubling him. Maybe he was plagued with remembering another queen who he had denied... maybe it was wondering what Esther was planning, wondering if she was going to ask for something he couldn't do.
- Whatever the reason, the king couldn't sleep... so he had an attendant bring the book of the history of his reign in to read it to him. During the reading, they got to the part about Mordecai exposing the plot of the two eunuchs to kill the king.
- footnote- “...This seems coincidental, but God is ALWAYS at work. God has been working quietly and patiently throughout your life as well. The events that have come together for good are not mere coincidence; they are the result of God's sovereign control over the course of people's lives (Romans 8:28).”
- How could you see that as coincidence? The night before Esther is going to ask the king to save the lives of all the Jews, he just happens to not be able to sleep... and so he happens to think about his reign and has somebody come read about it to him... and then they just happen to land on the story about a JEW! Saving the king's life. Hmm... Coincidence? I think not...
- God has a way of preparing the heart to accept what He's getting ready to do. Here, He was preparing the king's heart to listen to the cry of his queen Esther.
- Ever felt like that? Felt like there were just too many things happening to be coincidence? Felt like you were being prepared for something harder, or bigger?
- Do you ever feel like running from it? Or have you ever run from it? Man I know I have... for both... But what if Esther had just turned and said... “God this is just asking too much of me.” What would life had been like for her... or the Jews...
- If we look at every hard thing in our lives as preparation for something harder or something bigger... it won't make it any easier... but it may make it more... bearable. Or easier to accept as something you have to deal with and work through.
- Isaiah 14:24-27; 8:9-17
- Micah 4:6-13
- Ephesians 1:3-14
- Proverbs 21:30
- Romans 8:28-39
- “So what reward or recognition did we give this man for his actions anyway?”
- “Um.... nothing?”
- “Hmm... who's here today?” Well Haman was in the outer court. He had just arrived to ask the king about impaling Mordecai on his pole. Wouldn't that have just been a great request to have blurted out after the king's reading... That would have been a nice end to the story...
- But no such luck... Instead, the king called Haman in and poses a question “What should I do to honor a man who truly pleases me?”
- And here goes Haman's ego. “Whom would the king wish to honor more than me?” Haman starts thinking about himself and all the things he'd just love to see done for himself.
- “If the king wishes to honor someone, he should bring out one of the king's own royal robes, as well as a horse that the king himself has ridden—one with a royal emblem on its head. Let the robes and the horse be handed over to one of the king's most noble officials. And let him see that the man whom the king wishes to honor is dressed in the king's robes and led through the city square on the king's horse. Have the official shout as they go, “This is what the king does for someone he wishes to honor!”
- “Excellent! Quick! Take the robes and my horse, and do just as you have said for Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the gate of the palace. Leave out nothing you have suggested.”
- Can you see his face? Turn from his mischievous, conniving look to ashen shock. Makes me want to do the cartoon evil laugh... mwahahahaha.
- Doesn't God just have a great sense of humor? He let Satan get Haman all riled up and ready to have his ego stroked... only to humble him completely. His entire family knows about the stake and about the plan to kill the Jews and most especially Mordecai... and now here's Haman (I mean he's the king's most noble official after all...) getting ready to lead Mordecai through the streets dressed in the king's robes on the king's horse... and HAMAN has to cry out “This is what the king does for someone he wishes to honor!”
- But it's the king's order... can't back out... as much as you want to... Saying “no” to the king would mean instant death...
- So Haman has to swallow his pride for a moment and go get Mordecai. He does all that he told the king would be a good idea... when it was going to be him who was honored...
- Haman led Mordecai through the city square, shouting out that this was who the king wished to honor. Probably a good thing that Haman didn't say that the man needed to be led around for 3 hours or anything... He probably took one swipe around and called it quits. Lol
- After they had gone around the square, Mordecai returned to his place at the gate... but Haman went home completely humiliated.
- When he gets home, he tells his wife and his friends how Mordecai has humiliated him. His supporters in every way... His fellow schemers in the plan for the pole... now say “Since Mordecai—this man who has humiliated you—is of Jewish birth, you will never succeed in your plans against him. It will be fatal to continue opposing him.”
- Wait. Yesterday, they were right there urging him to go for it all. Win big. Now, they're telling him to turn tail and run away from the whole situation.
- Isn't that how Satan works? Coerces you into situations and then backs out going, “Oh, I don't know why you did that... it was never going to work...” Then he can sit back and rub failure in your face on top of everything else. It's like giving a two year old candy and getting them all hyped up... and then turning them loose on their parents in a public place. “But the kid asked for a piece of candy! So... I gave them 10... what's the difference?”
- While Haman's still talking with the wife and friends, the palace eunuchs show up to take Haman to queen Esther's banquet. Still a little bit of solace left in life right? Might still be able to pull some sort of good out of this... Or so he thinks...
- Psalm 64
- Proverbs 11:17-21
- II Thessalonians 2:9-12
- II Corinthians 2:5-11; 11:12-15
- Romans 16:17-20