Summary: Seeking revenge ends up hurting us more than anyone. Look at how that truth is discovered in Haman’s situation.
A. When I was growing up, my favorite cartoons were the Warner Bros “Looney Tunes.”
1. There was Bugs Bunny “What’s Up Doc?”, Daffy Duck, and Elmer Fud.
2. There was Tweety Bird “I taught I saw a Puty Tat”, Sylvester the Cat, and Granny.
3. There was Pepe Le Pew, Marty Martian, and the Tasmanian Devil.
4. There was Foghorn Leghorn, Speedy Gonzales, and Porky Pig “That’s All Folks.”
B. But as I got to thinking about our topic for today, I immediately thought of Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner.
1. As one person described it, “It’s an eternal battle of need verses speed, aggravation verses acceleration.
2. The luckless Wile E. comes up with increasingly elaborate and seemingly foolproof schemes to snag Road Runner who, oblivious to the danger, always eludes the pathetic coyote’s plans.
3. Do you remember how Wile E. always ordered the things he needed for his schemes from the Acme Company? Here are some of the products he used:
a. Anvils, Axle Grease, Bed springs, Bird seed, Bombs, Female Road Runner costume, Giant mouse trap, Glue, Invisible Paint, Iron pellets, Jet propelled pogo sticks, Nitroglycerin, Roller skates, Roller skis, and TNT.
4. And so, everything Wile E. Coyote tried to do to get Road Runner, ended up backfiring and harming himself.
5. Bombs set for Road Runner didn’t go off, until Wile E got there. Anvils that were supposed to fall on Road Runner always fell on him. So many times he learned about gravity the hard way.
6. That’s how it is with trying to bring about the demise of someone else.
7. Trying to get revenge usually ends up hurting you more than the person you are trying to hurt.
C. All this reminds me of one of my favorite Proverbs.
1. Proverbs 26:27, “If a man digs a pit, he will fall into it; if a man rolls a stone, it will roll back on him.”
2. The Message has a simple rendering of that verse: “Malice backfires, spite boomerangs.”
D. As we continue our series – Avoiding Life’s Biggest Mistakes, today we are going to talk about avoiding the mistake of REVENGE.
1. Our good/bad example comes out of the Old Testament book of Esther.
2. It is the story of a man called Haman.
3. It is a powerful story about the danger of seeking revenge.
I. The Story
A. The story begins with King Xerxes needing to find a new Queen.
1. And so they searched the kingdom for the most beautiful virgins and invited them to come for a beauty pageant.
2. You talk about a reality program with a big prize. This one out does the Bachelor, the Apprentice and American Idol.
3. The winner of this pageant would be the Queen!
B. One girl, known as Esther was “lovely in form and feature.” (2:7)
1. She was Jewish, and her parents had died, so she was being raised by her cousin, Mordecai, who was a Jew from the tribe of Benjamin.
2. Mordecai had counseled Esther not to reveal her nationality and family background.
3. All of the girls chosen for the competition received 12 months of beauty treatments.
4. When the competition took place, Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her.
5. The king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any other, and so he set a royal crown on her head. She became Queen!
C. Not long after that, Mordecai, Queen Esther’s cousin, discovered a plot that two of the king’s officers had concocted to assassinate King Xerxes.
1. Mordecai immediately told Esther about it, and Esther immediately told her husband, the King about it, being sure to give credit to Mordecai for uncovering the plot the King’s life.
2. An investigation took place, Mordecai’s report was found to be true, and the two officials were hanged on the gallows.
3. All of this was recorded in the book of the annals in the presence of the king.
D. After these events, King Xerxes honored a man named Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite.
1. The King elevated him giving him a seat of honor higher than that of all the other nobles.
2. All the royal officials at the king’s gate bowed down and paid honor to Haman, but Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor.
3. When Haman saw that Mordecai would not kneel down, he was enraged.
4. Having learned who Mordecai’s people were, he scorned the idea of killing only Mordecai.
5. Instead, he looked for a way to kill all the Jews.
E. There is some debate about the ancestry of Haman.
1. The title “Agagite” could refer to some relative, or more likely, it refers to Agag, king of Amalek (1 Sa. 15:20)/