Sermons

Summary: Help for healing heartache.

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Do you remember where you were when you first heard about the terrorist attacks on 9-11?

Furthermore, do you remember how you felt?

Most Americans felt a lot of sorrow, anger and heartache, not only for the victims of the terrorist attacks and their families, but also for our entire nation, because we saw a raw example of how some people on this planet want to see nothing less than the annihilation of America.

Think of how we felt on 9-11 as a small indication of how Esther and her people, the Jews, felt in ancient Persia about four or five years after she became queen.

We’re in the series "Divine Destiny, How God is at Work in My Life."

Last time in this series we learned that lovely Esther, who was as beautiful on the inside as she was outside, became the new Queen of ancient Persia. You might mistake what happened to Esther as a Cinderella ending, if that were indeed the end of the story. Turns out it was only the beginning.

As is the case in all of our lives, the sun doesn’t shine every day. The storm clouds that begin to appear on the horizon in chapter 3 of Esther look very ominous for her and her people the Jews. A wicked officer in the court of King Xerxes named Haman becomes upset with Mordecai, Esther’s adoptive father, because Mordecai won’t kneel down and pay honor to him.

Haman had bribed and blustered his way into the king’s favor and had become a V.I.P. in Persia. But it was mostly smoke and mirrors. He was an insecure man who needed constant affirmation, even if it meant the king passing a law that called for everyone to bow down to him.

Nothing wrong with receiving affirmation every once in a while but when you need constant affirmation it’s a sure sign of serious insecurity. You need to get help. Haman needed help. But instead of asking for help, he sought approval in the wrong way.

Haman’s mantra was, "Every time I walk by I want everyone to bow down to me!"

As a conscientious Jew, Mordecai refused to bow to Haman. He refused to play his silly game. Consequently, Haman hated Mordecai. Then, when he found out about Mordecai being Jewish his hate-filled mind and heart decides to plot, not only for Mordecai’s death, but also for the death of all the Jews in the Persian Empire. We pick up the story in chapter 3 of Esther.

8 Then Haman said to King Xerxes, "There is a certain group of people scattered among the other people in all the states of your kingdom. Their customs are different from those of all the other people, and they do not obey the king’s laws. It is not right for you to allow them to continue living in your kingdom. 9 If it pleases the king, let an order be given to destroy those people. Then I will pay seven hundred fifty thousand pounds of silver to those who do the king’s business, and they will put it into the royal treasury." Esther 3:8-9 (NCV)

King Xerxes, so easily manipulated by money and baseless argument, agrees to Haman’s wicked plan. He didn’t even investigate Haman¡¦s claims. He didn’t even try to understand the other side of the story.

10 So the king took his signet ring off and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of the Jewish people.11 Then the king said to Haman, "The money and the people are yours. Do with them as you please."

12 On the thirteenth day of the first month, the royal secretaries were called, and they wrote out all of Haman’s orders. They wrote to the king’s governors and to the captains of the soldiers in each state and to the important men of each group of people. The orders were written in the writing of each state and in the language of each people. They were written in the name of King Xerxes and sealed with his signet ring. 13 Letters were sent by messengers to all the king’s empire ordering them to destroy, kill, and completely wipe out all the Jewish people. That meant young and old, women and little children, too. It was to happen on a single day - the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which was Adar. And they could take everything the Jewish people owned. 14 A copy of the order was given out as a law in every state so all the people would be ready for that day.

15 The messengers set out, hurried by the king’s command, as soon as the order was given in the palace at Susa. The king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Susa was in confusion. Esther 3:10-15 (NCV)

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