Summary: Though God is never mentioned in this book, his fingerprints are all over the story of the heroic Esther and Mordecai. Study along as we discuss the ins and outs of living for God in a godless culture.
LIVING FOR GOD IN A GODLESS CULTURE
HUMILITY OR HUMILIATION - Esther 6:1-13
-Hook: Ever have a week you aren’t too proud of?
-A week where you weren’t patient enough with your kids?
-Or you weren’t kind enough to your wife?
-Ever had a week where you just didn’t get all the things done you that you wanted to?
-You had to apologize for saying something stupid?
-Where you meant to exercise one day and ate chips instead?
-Where you ruined a load of laundry because you didn’t check the pockets like your wife has told you to do 100 times?
-Ever had a week you weren’t too proud of?
-And then you realized that you’re preaching on humility?
-This passage makes my week make more sense. Talking about…
• Mordecai crossed Haman.
• Haman issued a decree to kill all the Jews.
• Mordecai and all the Jews are in mourning.
• Esther prepares to ask the King for mercy.
-Throws a feast and the king asks what do you really want…
-She chickens out…and says let’s have dinner again tomorrow.
-On the way out Haman sees Mordecai and is furious
-His friends say, “Why not just have him killed?”
-Great idea, sharpen a 75 foot pole and tomorrow Mordecai dies!
-Our story picks up back at the palace with King Xerxes
VS 6:1 That night the king had trouble sleeping, so he ordered an attendant to bring the book of the history of his reign so it could be read to him. 2 In those records he discovered an account of how Mordecai had exposed the plot of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the eunuchs who guarded the door to the king’s private quarters. They had plotted to assassinate King Xerxes.
-I like to read at bedtime…it helps me fall asleep.
-Many people read when they can’t sleep…read something boring
-What could be more boring...history of his own reign.
-Let me read the historical account of my rise to power.
-Tell me how great I am and what I’ve done.
-BTW doesn’t read it himself…makes someone else get up in the middle of the night and read it to him and he discovers something
-Remember back in ch 2…Mordecai uncovered assassination plot
-The two bad guys were impaled on a sharpened pole…lot of that going around in Persia.
-Here is where things get interesting…a thought occurs to the king
VS 3 “What reward or recognition did we ever give Mordecai for this?” the king asked. His attendants replied, “Nothing has been done for him.”
-Amazing that the king hadn’t honored Mordecai
-He literally saved his life…but was given no reward
-Xerxes may have been a degenerate scum bag, but no one messes everything up.
-He thinks maybe I ought to reward the guy who saved my life.
-This is where we really begin to see God’s providence begin to show up in the story.
-The world believes in co-incidence we believe in providence.
-Even though God’s name is never used in this book, his handiwork is seen throughout the story.
-And here God shows up in a very big way.
VS 4 “Who is that in the outer court?” the king inquired. As it happened, Haman had just arrived in the outer court of the palace to ask the king to impale Mordecai on the pole he had prepared.
-It’s 8am, the fortress is open for business, Haman is first in line.
-You can imagine he’s kind of excited, he is pumped up.
-He will finally have his revenge against Mordecai.
-What exactly did Mordecai do? Didn’t bow to him.
-Everyone in the whole kingdom bowed to him, he was the highest official in the land under the king.
-He had wealth. Had many children. He had everything!
-Was that enough for him to feel respected? No!
-He cared more about the one man who wouldn’t bow than the 1000’s who bowed in respect every day.
-Haman was an extremely proud man.
-Everything is going well for this guy.
-He’s been promoted. He has power. He’s important.
-He’s already brokered a death sentence for his enemies.
-He had a private banquet with the King and the Queen.
-But it’s not enough. He won’t rest until his wounded pride has been soothed.
-He’s in line first thing in the morning to see King Xerxes about that pesky disrespectful Jew Mordecai.
-He wants him stuck on a 75 foot pole. Trying to make a point!
VS 5 So the attendants replied to the king, “Haman is out in the court.” “Bring him in,” the king ordered.
-You’ll notice that Haman himself didn’t go into the King’s presence uninvited. He was waiting in the outer courts.
-If you approached the king you could be killed…even Haman.
-The king’s been thinking about the failed assassination plot and how Mordecai saved his life…and in walks Haman.