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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.

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LIVING FOR GOD IN A GODLESS CULTURE

WHY DO BAD THINGS TO HAPPEN BAD PEOPLE?

ESTHER 6:14-7:10

INTRODUCTION

-Have you ever noticed that people have philosophies about life?

-My dad is one of the greatest philosophers I know:

-“If you mess with the bull, you get the horn.”

-“The worm turns.” (What goes around, comes around)

-“If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.”

-My favorite…“if you’re going to be a turd go lay in the lawn.”

-You can see my ability for profound thinking is genetic.

-The people in the world also have philosophies and ideas about life. If you listen carefully you’ll hear what they think.

-They have ideas about God and good and evil and they are revealed in some of the things they say.

-The philosophical question we hear over and over again in our godless culture, I’m calling it the…

The Big Question: Why do bad things happen to good people?

-That’s what we’re talking about this morning in our Esther series.

-Today we are going to see how all of the things that Haman has done and how it finally plays out for him.

• Esther ha been preparing to ask for mercy.

-She chickened out at first & then asked for a second banquet.

• Haman was preparing to ask for Mordecai’s death!

-The very morning that Haman was going to have Mordecai killed, the providence of God intervenes and…

• Mordecai was rewarded instead, for saving Xerxes!

-The once proud and narcissistic Haman was now….

• Haman was humiliated.

-We pick up as the second banquet is about to take place.

Esther 6:14 While they were still talking, the king’s eunuchs arrived and quickly took Haman to the banquet Esther had prepared. (2nd banquet)

-Last night Haman dined w/Xerxes and Esther and bragged…

-Today he spent all day parading Mordecai through town on the king’s horse, wearing the king’s robe, and announcing how great and honored Mordecai was.

-Now he’s going back to dinner with Xerxes and Esther humiliated

-From a reader’s point of view we can see the walls closing in on Haman, he had sowed a bunch of trouble and it’s catching up.

-This second banquet starts out very similar to the first.

VS 7:1 So the king and Haman went to Queen Esther’s banquet. 2 On this second occasion, while they were drinking wine, the king again said to Esther, “Tell me what you want, Queen Esther. What is your request? I will give it to you, even if it is half the kingdom!”

-This is a rerun from two weeks ago so I won’t get into it much.

-He is essentially asking, “What can I do for you?”

VS 3 Queen Esther replied, “If I have found favor with the king, and if it pleases the king to grant my request, I ask that my life and the lives of my people will be spared.

-This probably put a screeching halt to the party mood that Xerxes and Haman were in.

-They had been drinking wine, eating good food, probably being waited on hand and foot, had some live music in the background.

-“My people and I are begging for our lives,” she said.

-This is like your daughter announcing at Christmas dinner she’s marrying a guy in Supermax she met through prison pen pals min

-This is like your son telling you at the Thanksgiving table that he’s joining the Hare Krishna’s and will selling flowers at the airport.

-It was a party, the king was having fun.

-And suddenly Esther says me and all my people are about to be slaughtered and I’m asking you to spare us.

-You can see the King maybe choking on his wine.

-Probably sat up straight. Killed the band playing in the background…maybe literally, he liked to kill people.

-She goes on to say:

VS 4 For my people and I have been sold to those who would kill, slaughter, and annihilate us.

(Can I just pause here and say that is really redundant. I am going to killed AND slaughtered AND annihilated! Any ONE those three sounds pretty fatal.”

If we had merely been sold as slaves, I could remain quiet, for that would be too trivial a matter to warrant disturbing the king.”

-She’s talking about the genocide of her people.

-It’s happened in our lifetime. Rwanda and Bosnia.

-This is a great example of when people could rightfully ask, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”

-When we see evil rulers, crooked politicians, murderers, thieves, those who harm children and exploit the innocent…

-People ask, “Why does God allow such evil?”

-You need 2B able to answer this with your non-Christians friends

-What should he do? God should just ZAP em!

What would happen if God zapped all the bad people?

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