Esther 4:10-17& Chapters 5-7

The Hard Way

Because of Haman’s hatred for the Jews he has convinced the king that there is a people group scattered throughout the kingdom that is a threat and need to be destroyed. For whatever reason, the king has given Haman the power to search out and destroy these people, even though the king does not even know who these people are. They have only been identified to the king as people who are different and it is not in the nation’s interest to let them remain.

God’s plan for government is to promote justice and righteousness. Satan’s plan for government is that it would be a haven for power and pride that can be used to oppress and destroy. Haman clearly displays Satan’s characteristics with his pride, his desire for power, his use of deception to obtain power, and his hatred for God’s people.  

Xerxes has also been blinded by pride and power and has become easy prey for Haman’s deception and hidden agenda. In our study today Haman will be brought down by deception. His pride has deceived him into believing he is successful, powerful, and deserves honor.

Mordecai is aware of the plot to destroy the Jews and tries to get Esther to speak to the king. She is fearful for her life because the Persian law prevents her from going to the king unless the king has invited her and he hasn’t done that lately. So she calls for a three day fast. It would seem that during this time God is beginning to act but the reality is God has already been moving and acting on behalf of the Jews. He has put her and Mordecai in the right place at the right time.

During the fast Esther finds the courage to approach the king and invite him and Haman to a banquet. She has to be careful how she approaches the king. In the kingdom, no person or issue is more important than the king. If a person approaches the king about something that is bothering them the king could take it as treason and the person could be put to death because something was more important to them than the king and so they could not be trusted. Nehemiah 2:1&2

Haman is excited about the banquet and goes home boasting about it but on the way he encounters Mordecai who will not bow to Haman. Haman’s hatred for Mordecai overcomes his joy and his family encourages him to build a gallows to have Mordecai hanged.

Meanwhile the king cannot sleep so he calls for a history book to be read to him. When they get to the event where Mordecai warns of a plot to kill the king, the king wants to know if Mordecai the Jew has been rewarded.  Since he has not, the king wants to reward him and asks Haman, who just happens to be in the court at the time, to get the king’s permission to hang Mordecai. The king asks Haman what should be done for a man the king wants to honor. Pride causes Haman to think only of himself. Self-talk stumbles Haman into thinking that the king wants to honor him so he asks for things that would indicate that Haman has his sights on being king.

God however, is turning the tables on Haman. It turns out that Mordecai is the man the king wants to honor and Haman is given the task to carry out all the things he has suggested. When he gets home and tells his wife and family what happened and they tell Haman it is he who is doomed, and so he is. Haman is hanged and Mordecai is honored.

There are many lessons to be learned in this study. Certainly hatred and pride blinded Haman to the point of his destruction. Xerxes also let pride and deception blind him as well. He let Haman attempt to destroy a people without even knowing who they were or what they did. Haman told him a lie and he believed it without questioning it or giving it a second thought. He is an example of how easily prejudice is spread and how dangerous prejudice can be. Sadly, pride, power, prejudice, hate, and deception are alive and well in our world today.  We as believers need to guard against them for they will bring nothing but trouble. When I think of this, Psalm 120 comes to mind.

Psalm 120 is the first of 15 Psalms called the Song of Ascents. These speak of a spiritual journey from the ways of the world to a relationship with the true and living God and His people. I encourage you to read these Psalms devotionally to see where you are on your journey.

When it comes to the Jews and anti-Semitism we need to keep Genesis 12:1-3 in mind. God set a path of blessing or curses before us. Pride, power, prejudice, hate, and deception are the hard way that results in God’s curse.

Don’t take the hard way.

Pastor Dave