Summary: How to pray through a position of Favor
The Favor of God
Changing Things Through Prayer
Part 3 of a 3 Part Series
Esther 3:1-5 NKJV
After these things King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him and set his seat above all the princes who were with him. And all the king's servants who were within the king's gate bowed and paid homage to Haman, for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai would not bow or pay homage.
Then the king's servants who were within the king's gate said to Mordecai, "Why do you transgress the king's command?" Now it happened, when they spoke to him daily and he would not listen to them, that they told it to Haman, to see whether Mordecai's words would stand; for Mordecai had told them that he was a Jew. When Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow or pay him homage, Haman was filled with wrath.
Before we go any farther, we need to take a little side trail and understand some of the background here. The entire nation of Israel was in bondage to first Babylon and now Persia since the Persians had defeated Babylon. And to further complicate things, the whole nation had been exiled to the area that is present day Iraq/Iran. All of this had happened because of Israel’s rebellion against Jehovah.
But there is another complication, a wrench thrown into the gears if you will. You see it all goes back to an incident that happened much earlier, years earlier, with the first King of Israel, Saul.
1 Samuel 15:7-9 NKJV
And Saul attacked the Amalekites, from Havilah all the way to Shur, which is east of Egypt. 8 He also took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. 9 But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed.
You see, when Saul spared Agag, he blew it. He wanted to keep what God told him to destroy. But, he didn’t do it. And now, a descendant of Agag, a man who never should have been born, was brewing up a plan to destroy the Jews.
If you are not careful to obey the Lord you will find yourself dealing with the consequences of disobedience later. It will come back up to bite you later and can even derail your destiny.
In Esther 3:1-5 that we just read, we can see that the writer takes extra time to describe exactly who Haman is, who his ancestors are and what he is like. When I see a list of names like that I like to stop and do that name identification thing. You know the meaning of the names and even some historical information related to the characters mentioned. So, let’s look at it for a minute…..
Agag = Roof; upper floor (oppression)
Amalek = A people that licks up (steals resources)
Hammedatha = He that troubles the law (lawless)
Haman = Noise; tumult (intimidation)
Mordecai = Contrition; bitter; bruising (broken)
Esther = Secret, Hidden Star (born to shine, but…)
So, we have this scenario. We see the oppression, the poverty, the lawlessness, the intimidation. We can also see the results of trying to live underneath all this. Mordecai and Esther are broken and hidden.
Haman had actually worked an angle with the King and ordered all the Jews to be executed, genocide style. They had even chosen an actual date for the genocide.
Esther 3:10-15 NKJV
So the king took his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. And the king said to Haman, "The money and the people are given to you, to do with them as seems good to you."
Then the king's scribes were called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and a decree was written according to all that Haman commanded — to the king's satraps, to the governors who were over each province, to the officials of all people, to every province according to its script, and to every people in their language. In the name of King Ahasuerus it was written, and sealed with the king's signet ring.
And the letters were sent by couriers into all the king's provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and to plunder their possessions. A copy of the document was to be issued as law in every province, being published for all people, that they should be ready for that day. The couriers went out, hastened by the king's command; and the decree was proclaimed in Shushan the citadel. So the king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Shushan was perplexed.