Pride vs. Providence

July 25, 2013 at 9:58 am | Posted in Esther | 7 Comments
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In his pride Haman rejoiced with his family and friends, unknowingly bragging about the preparation for his own downfall and death.

Nevertheless Haman refrained himself: and when he came home, he sent and called for his friends, and Zeresh his wife. And Haman told them of the glory of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and all the things wherein the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the princes and servants of the king. Haman said moreover, Yea, Esther the queen did let no man come in with the king unto the banquet that she had prepared but myself; and to morrow am I invited unto her also with the king. Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate.

Esther 5:10-13

Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood.

Psalm 7:14

Haman was “pregnant” with wickedness and evil plans. Therefore, he gave birth to a “child” which brought evil upon its own “father.”

He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made.

Psalm 7:15

Haman had “made his own bed,” and would now have to lie in it.

His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.

Psalm 7:16

On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king.

Esther 6:1

Why couldn’t the king sleep that night? Perhaps he was worried, wondering about Esther’s request. Perhaps he was kept awake by the racket caused by the building of the gallows outside. God, in His providence, may intervene supernaturally in obvious ways into the affairs of men, but often He works through what seem to be perfectly natural circumstances. The king could have chosen any manner of entertainment, but he chose to read a book, and not just any old book, but the book of the chronicles. Some historical chronicles are boring enough to put anybody to sleep! The servant picked out which of the chronicles to bring, and God’s providence worked to bring Haman to the king’s gate early that day. Haman’s plan for the day was to see Mordecai hanging all day, but instead he would have to spend all day seeing Mordecai honored!

Could this have been arranged by God to offer Haman a chance to repent? If so, Haman certainly did not seize the opportunity.

And Mordecai came again to the king’s gate. But Haman hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered.

Esther 6:12

Despite being celebrated and honored all day, Mordecai did not fall into the trap of pride. When the festivities were over he humbly returned to his place. We must not let pride settle down and make itself at home in our hearts.

Motivation for Evil

May 30, 2013 at 11:05 am | Posted in Esther | 2 Comments
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Esther Chapter 3 introduces us to Haman. He was an Agagite, which probably means he was descended from Agag, king of the Amalekites, the long-time enemy of the Jews (I Samuel 15:8). God had declared war on the Amalekites and wanted their name wiped from the face of the earth because the Amalekites had attacked the weary followers of Moses who marched in the rear of the people (Deuteronomy 25:17-19). Saul had disobeyed God in failing to annihilate the Amalekites, and he lost his crown because of it. The Amalekites were descended from Esau (like the Edomites). Haman is one of the most despicable characters in the Bible. The more you learn about him, the less you like him. At Purim, the Jews have a feast to celebrate the account of Esther, and every time Haman is mentioned they stamp their feet and shout, “May his name be blotted out!”

Mordecai wouldn’t bow to Haman, and Haman devised a plot to kill him and all the Jewish people.

In the first month, that is, the month Nisan, in the twelfth year of king Ahasuerus, they cast Pur, that is, the lot, before Haman from day to day, and from month to month, to the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar.

Esther 3:7

Pur is the Babylonian word for “lot.” The providence of God gave the Jewish people a year to prepare for this horrifying event.

Perhaps some Haman-apologist out there could try to draw a parallel or revenge scenario with God’s decree against the Amalekites and Haman’s decree against the Jewish exiles.

Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.

I Samuel 15:3

And the letters were sent by posts into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey.

Esther 3:13

However, we can see one big difference is that God’s people were prohibited from taking the spoils. Haman’s followers were commanded to take the spoils. This is an indication that the devil was involved (killing); the “world” was involved (profit); and the flesh was involved (Haman, and King Ahasuerus’s, pride).

And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king’s laws: therefore it is not for the king’s profit to suffer them. If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed: and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king’s treasuries. And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews’ enemy. And the king said unto Haman, The silver is given to thee, the people also, to do with them as it seemeth good to thee.

Esther 3:8-11

The posts went out, being hastened by the king’s commandment, and the decree was given in Shushan the palace. And the king and Haman sat down to drink; but the city Shushan was perplexed.

Esther 3:15

Mordecai’s behavior, actions, and appearance showed that he publicly stood for what was right, and that he had an attitude of repentance. We need this attitude today.

When Mordecai perceived all that was done, Mordecai rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and a bitter cry;

Esther 4:1

He was able to get a message to Queen Esther. She wanted to send him some new clothes before inquiring as to why his clothes were torn and dirty. We must be careful of this when dealing with the needy. As Christians we should be quick to offer assistance without unrighteous judgment, but many times, failing to inquire about the cause for the need leads to enablement rather than true help.

Also he gave him the copy of the writing of the decree that was given at Shushan to destroy them, to shew it unto Esther, and to declare it unto her, and to charge her that she should go in unto the king, to make supplication unto him, and to make request before him for her people. And Hatach came and told Esther the words of Mordecai.

Esther 4:8-9


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