Sermons

Summary: Esther, Pt. 6

A SERIES OF COINCIDENTAL EVENTS (ESTHER 6)

Somerset Maugham, the English writer, once wrote a story about a janitor at St. Peter’s Church in London. One day a young vicar discovered that the janitor was illiterate and fired him. Jobless, the man invested his meager savings in a tiny shop, where he prospered, bought another, expanded, and ended up with a chain of stores worth several hundred thousand dollars. One day the man’s banker said, “You’ve done well for an illiterate, but where would you be if you could read and write?” “Well,” replied the man, “I’d be janitor of St. Peter’s Church in Neville Square” (From Bits and Pieces, June 24, 1993, p. 23).

If you were to tell me when I was young that I would be a pastor when I grow up, I would have laughed and say, “You are crazy.” And if you were to tell me that I would be a pastor for at least 20 years in ministry, and along with that to study theology for another seven years full-time and several more years in continuing education, I would say, “You need to go to see a doctor.” If you were to tell me then that I would leave the church I love and live thousands of miles away from my birthplace, I would say, “You must be admitted to an insane asylum.” If you were to tell me I would marry a Hong Kong girl with a doctorate, I would say, “That’s it. No more joking around.”

We cannot see God’s existence but we can see His hand at work and His imprint everywhere. God’s existence is often challenged and ridiculed, but it requires more faith to see life without rhyme or reason, as a random chain of events or an accident waiting to happen. Christians sees God in the big picture and the details of life. Nothing catches Him slacking off, gives Him a heart attack and makes Him throws His hand up. In fact, He will always triumph, His way is the best way, and He saves the best for the last.

What does God think of those who oppose His words, works and ways? How is man’s pride the means to accomplish God’s purposes?

God Stalls the Proud from Their Success

6:1 That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him. 2 It was found recorded there that Mordecai had exposed Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, who had conspired to assassinate King Xerxes. 3 “What honor and recognition has Mordecai received for this?” the king asked. “Nothing has been done for him,” his attendants answered. 4 The king said, “Who is in the court?” Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the palace to speak to the king about hanging Mordecai on the gallows he had erected for him. 5 His attendants answered, “Haman is standing in the court.” “Bring him in,” the king ordered. 6 When Haman entered, the king asked him, “What should be done for the man the king delights to honor?” Now Haman thought to himself, “Who is there that the king would rather honor than me?” (Est 6:1-5)

One day a six-year old girl was sitting in a classroom. The teacher was going to explain evolution to the children.

Teacher: Tommy do you see the tree outside?

Tommy: Yes.

Teacher: Tommy, do you see the grass outside?

Tommy: Yes.

Teacher: Go outside and look up and see if you can see the sky.

Tommy: Okay. Yes, I saw the sky.

Teacher: Did you see God?

Tommy: No.

Teacher: That’s my point. We can’t see God because he isn’t there. He just

doesn’t exist.

A little girl spoke up and wanted to ask the boy some questions. The teacher agreed and the little girl asked the boy:

Little Girl: Tommy, do you see the tree outside?

Tommy: Yes.

Little Girl: Tommy do you see the grass outside?

Tommy: Yessssss!

Little Girl: Did you see the sky?

Tommy: Yessssss!

Little Girl: Tommy, do you see the teacher?

Tommy: Yes

Little Girl: Do you see her brain?

Tommy: No

Little Girl: Then according to what we were taught today in school, she must not have one!

God works in mysterious ways. When the king could not sleep, he did not ask for the court jester, a night snack or the queen’s company. He unexpectedly and blandly asked for a book to read, probably to induce sleep! Further, the king’s book of choice was not a fascinating storybook to begin with, but a boring court document and a palace record.

The next coincidence was that the king did not find the passage by himself. Of the many cases in the book, the attendants happened to choose and read the account of Mordecai’s astuteness, bravery and sacrifice. The attendants, eunuchs or officers (all similar words in Hebrew) were a controversial and powerful bunch. They were indirectly involved in Vashti’s dismissal (Est 1:15), directly involved in Esther’s selection (Est 2:14, 2:15) and were even responsible for the attempted assassination of the king (Est 2:21). While the attendants had no choice but to read something, how bizaarre and unlikely was it for them to find and read such an account (v 2), especially the account of a Jewish hero (v 10) foiling the plot of one of their own? If I were them, I would not hint that those of my status were the bad guys implicated in a plot to kill the king.

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