Summary: In this sermon we learn that God is sovereign and we can trust Him, and that God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
A. Let’s s begin this sermon with a simple riddle.
1. What do you call a boomerang that doesn't work? A stick.
2. Boomerangs are instruments that are usually made of wood, and are designed to circle back to the thrower. So, a good boomerang, in the hand of a skilled person, will do just that.
3. You might be wondering why I’m beginning this sermon with a discussion about boomerangs.
4. Well, I’m using the boomerang to represent the idea that “what goes around comes around.”
5. When we use the phrase or proverb “what goes around comes around,” what we mean is: A person's actions, whether good or bad, will often have consequences for that person.
6. And often when we are trying to harm someone else, we harm ourselves in the process.
B. When I was growing up, my favorite cartoons were the Warner Bros “Looney Tunes.”
1. There was Bugs Bunny “What’s Up Doc?”
2. There was Tweety Bird “I taught I saw a Puty Tat!”
3. There was Porky Pig “That’s All Folks.” And there were many other characters.
C. But as I got to thinking about today’s section from the story of Esther, I immediately thought of Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner.
1. The luckless Wile E. came up with increasingly elaborate and seemingly foolproof schemes to snag Road Runner who, oblivious to the danger, always eluded the pathetic coyote’s plans.
2. Do you remember how Wile E. always ordered the things he needed for his schemes from the Acme Company?
3. Everything Wile E. Coyote tried to do to get Road Runner, ended up backfiring on him.
4. 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.
5. That’s how it is with trying to bring about the demise of someone else.
6. Trying to destroy someone else usually ends up hurting you more than the other person.
D. All this reminds me of one of my favorite Proverbs that we used as our Scripture reading.
1. “If a man digs a pit, he will fall into it; if a man rolls a stone, it will roll back on him.” (Pr. 26:27)
2. The Message has a simple rendering of that verse: “Malice backfires, spite boomerangs.”
E. As we return to the story of Esther, I think you will see how this introduction applies.
1. Let’s review where we left our story last week.
2. Haman’s evil plan to annihilate all of the Jews was still in place.
3. Haman came up with a new plan to immediately execute Mordecai, the Jew, on a huge gallows he had built at his house and he was about to ask the king if he could do just that.
4. After three days of fasting, Esther took the chance and appeared before the king uninvited.
5. The king received her positively and promised to give her anything she requested.
6. Esther simply requested his presence at a banquet along with Haman.
7. The king granted her request and at that banquet asked her again what she really wanted.
8. Esther revealed that she would like to hold a second banquet the next day with the king and Haman, and that she would reveal her real request at that time.
I. The Story
A. And so this is where we pick up the story today.
1. After the first banquet, Haman went home elated about his experience with the king and queen, but determined to have Mordecai killed the next day.
2. As we turn to chapter 6, we read: That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him. It was found recorded there that Mordecai had exposed Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's officers who guarded the doorway, who had conspired to assassinate King Xerxes (Esther 6:1-2).
3. What do you do when you can’t sleep? Do you count sheep? Do you turn on the TV, read a book, or listen to my old sermons on CD? That would put you to sleep!
4. We notice in the text that it says “that night the king could not sleep.”
a. So while Haman slept, and Mordecai slept and all Susa slept, the king was awake.
b. I don’t know how often Xerxes had insomnia, but God made sure that he had it that night.
c. And what did Xerxes do when he couldn’t sleep? He had someone pull out the old records of his reign and read them to him. Surely that would put him to sleep!