Summary: Symptoms of spiritual neglect that need to be diagnosed as exhibited in the life of Haman in the book of Esther.
I’ve known people, people I loved, family and friends, who would probably still be alive today if they had not ignored symptoms of poor health. If they had only gone for a checkup sooner. I’m sure some of you have had a similar experience.
I think fear and misinformation keep a lot of people from getting a checkup, when in reality, a checkup would allow their condition to be diagnosed in time for them to do something about it.
The same thing is true spiritually. A lot of people ignore symptoms of spiritual problems and they mistakenly think that by ignoring them their condition will get better on its own. Not true. God is constantly communicating to us – through circumstances, through the Bible, by the Holy Spirit, and by Christ followers in the church – that we need to deal with spiritual problems in our lives.
As we’ve seen in this series, God IS at work in our lives - but He allows and expects us to work with Him!
God is communicating to us that He loves us and wants to help us effectively deal with our problems. As we’ve been emphasizing in this series, however, we need to work with God. We need to let Him diagnos our spiritual condition and then work with Him to heal our hurts, habits and hangups.
So that’s why we’re going to focus today on "Spiritual Symptoms You Should Never Ignore."
We’re in the series on the book of Esther, "Divine Destiny, How God is at Work in My Life." So far, in the first 5 chapters of the book of Esther…
Esther, a Jewish orphan girl, became queen of ancient Persia because of God’s providence and also due to her inner, as well as outer beauty.
Esther’s adoptive father, Mordecai, became an influential part of Persian society in the capital city of Susa. He sits at the city’s gate, a sign of prestige and honor. He is Esther’s godly and wise mentor.
Haman, a petty and insecure hi-ranking member, perhaps Prime Minister of King Xerxes cabinet, hates Mordecai because he won’t bow to him. He builds a huge platform on which to have Mordecai hanged. He hates all Jews and manipulates the king into passing a decree that will have all Jews killed on a single day.
Esther and her friends pray with fasting for three days and God touches the heart of the king, allowing Esther to have an audience with him without an appointment, a risky business, since appearing at the king’s court without being on his agenda is usually cause for execution.
We’re not going to have time to read it today, but in chapter 6 of Esther the undeniable hand of God is once again at work.
Unable to sleep one night King Xerxes ordered his royal records be read to him. (Maybe he thought they were dull enough to put him to sleep.) One entry describes how Mordecai, through Esther, 5 years earlier, had forewarned him of an assassination plot by two of his attendants. He further learned that he had done nothing to repay Mordecai for his loyalty. This is a truly fascinating example of God’s timing. Sometimes we expect God to do something for us now but He waits, knowing that later will be a better time for us. “God’s delays are not God’s denials.”
At the same time that the king was reminded of how Mordecai saved his life and had not yet been honored for it, Haman has come to see the king about having Mordecai hung on the platform he had prepared for just such a purpose.
Since Haman is the palace at this hour, the king asks him what should be done for a man that the king wants to honor. The king of course is talking about Mordecai but Haman thinks that he’s talking about him. So Haman lays it on thick. “Put a royal crown on his head; let him ride on your own horse – even put a crown on the horse’s head (how over the top!); put a robe on the honored man and lead him through the streets and have it announced, ‘This is what is done for the man whom the king wants to honor.’” (v9c)
Then…the poetic justice sets in. The king commands Haman to do these things for Mordecai the Jew who sits at the king’s gate. Haman’s jaw probably dropped so low it hit the palace floor! Humiliated, Haman has to follow through. He leads Mordecai around the city streets on the king’s horse, crown and all, proclaiming Mordecai’s greatness. Then he goes home and tells his wife and friends what happened and before long it’s time to attend the banquet that Esther had prepared for him and the king.