Sermon:
-Remarks to God & Bishop (brief)
-Prayer/Reading of scripture/Seating of ppl
I. Introduction
-This particular text excites me on many levels, and is pregnant with possibility. We see in the text that King Xerxes, Hamam, and Esther are all dining together at a banquet requested by Esther the Queen. And the King asks, “What is your request? I will grant it unto you even up to half of the land.” Esther goes on in the text to begin to reveal some things that were previously hidden, from the fact that she was a Jew all the way up to the decree that was put out by the King that all the Jews were to be destroyed. The King now asks her “Who could or would do such a thing?” And she goes on to expose Haman, calling him out for everything he was and had done. Haman as a result of all of this and realizing his now imminent demise begins to plead Esther for his life as the King gets up in a rage and goes out into the palace courtyard. We see beyond this text that Haman is hung, the decree against the Jews is reversed, Esther gets Haman’s estate, his children die, and the Jews party like never before.
In order to grasp the totality of this message there was much that led up to the text at hand, and for a brief moment I’d like to take a historical trip back and bring us all up to speed, as I begin to lay the framework for this assignment. In short and for the sake of time the book of Esther opens up with the former Queen Vashti being deposed of her position as Queen due to her disobedience to the King’s command for her to dance for him. A search then initiates to find a new Queen, and that is when we learn of this young orphan Jew girl Esther, who spends an entire year preparing to go before the King. The search for a new Queen ultimately culminates as the King finds Esther attractive, gives her his favor, and makes Esther the Queen. In chapter 3 we also find that the King promotes a fellow by the name of Haman to the office of Prime Minister.
Moredacai, who is Esther’s cousin, refuses to bow down to Haman in his new position. This enrages Haman so much so that he goes to the King and has a decree made to not just kill Moredacai, but all of his people the Jews too. Upon hearing of this Moredacai goes and asks Esther for help, and initially she feels helpless. Esther ultimately makes up her mind to have her and her people fast for three days, and then regardless of the consequence, approach the King on her own. The King we find in chapter 5 finds favor with Esther and when she approaches him, he asks her what her request is. She proceeds to ask for a banquet for her, the King, and Haman, and the text says that as they dine at the banquet the king asks her again what her request is and she astonishingly enough asks for yet another banquet. Haman in the process is infuriated a second time at Moredacai not bowing, and as we get to chapter 6 en route to our text Haman has conspired with his people and had a gallows built on his very land to have Moredaci hung.