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Hatfields and the McCoys
Everyone has heard of the Hatfield and the McCoys.
It is the most famous family feud in American History.
The Hatfields and the McCoys lived on either side of a creek named Tug Fork.
That creek served as the geographical border between Kentucky and West Virginia—the McCoys settling on the Kentucky side and the Hatfields living on the West Virginia side.
In 1878, McCoy accused Hatfield’s family of slipping across Tug Fork and stealing one of his hogs.
Hog-stealing was a very serious offense back in those days, and Mr. McCoy took Mr. Hatfield to court over it.
Unfortunately, he didn’t have enough evidence to bring about a conviction and the jury found the Hatfields innocent.
After the trial was over, someone from the McCoy family was so angry that he shot and killed a juror who had sided with the Hatfields.
Everything went downhill after that.
Four years after the shooting, one of the McCoys ran for public office.
He was verbally attacked and discredited publicly by one of the Hatfields and lost the race as a result.
A blood bath erupted, and after the final shot, three McCoys were dead, including the politically ambitious son.
But the fighting didn’t end there; those who supported either family along the border of Kentucky and West Virginia joined in the fray.
The feud reached its peak in the 1888 New Year’s Night Massacre, or so it was called, when several of the Hatfields surrounded the McCoy homestead and opened fire on the sleeping family.
They also set the house on fire in an effort to drive Randolph McCoy out into the open.
He managed to slip away and escaped the fire, but his family wasn’t so fortunate.
His two children were killed that night, and his wife was left for dead.
The Hatfields and McCoys were often headline news throughout the country and at one point the governors of Kentucky and West Virginia called up their state militias to try to restore order.
When all was said and done, this family feud cost the lives of dozens of people—from both sides of Tug Fork.
And it all began with a stolen pig.
Stephen Davey, Esther, Wisdom Commentary Series (Apex, NC: Charity House Publishers, 2012), 49–50.
In Esther we see bad blood come between people that will be far more devastating than the Hatfield and McCoy feud
Esther 3:1-6
Agagite vs Jew
Verse 1 introduces Haman as the son of Hammedatha who we don’t know who is, but more importantly he is identified as “the Agagite”.
This is a descendant fo the Amalekite king, Agag.
This Pagan king brought about the downfall of King Saul before Agag was dismembered by Samuel (1 Samuel 15:8-33).
The bad blood dated all the way back to Exodus 17, where the Amalekites became the very first nation in the world to attack God’s newly formed covenant nation.
Though the Amalekites were defeated in that battle, they spent the next 900 years growing more bitter against the God of Israel and his People.
In the First Book of Samuel, King Saul was ordered to bring the judgment of God against the Amalekites and their king Agag.
Instead of obeying God, Saul spared Agag and the best of the cattle.
With Agag dead his descendants scattered, taking their hatred for God nd the Jews with them wherever they settled
SO in
The “Agagite” Label distinguished Haman as an ancestral enemy of the Jews.
This means he is also not a Persian but King Ahasuerus promoted him to a high position within the Government anyways.
So his hatred isn’t just about one man it is about the family feud.
Kept alive by un-forgiveness, bitterness, hatred, and the lies of HaSatan.
Refuse To Bow - Secret No More
The Text does not tell us why Modecai refused to bow to Haman.
Some of the different views are:
He was arrogant and upset that he wasn’t promoted instead of Haman;
He wasn’t interested in court politics;
He didn’t like Haman;
He enjoyed irritating Haman, what wanted everybody to treat him like a little god.
He was a Jew and Haman was an Agagite
We know that Jews were forbidden from bowing down before other gods
but they were permitted to bow before human authorities
there might be truth in all the reason given but the closest reason we are given is
He was a Jew.
So Mordecai wasn’t simply refusing to follow Persian protocol.
He was reacting to the fact that Haman wanted people to basically worship the ground he walked on.
A faithful Jew would never give that kind of reverence to anyone but God, and Mordecai wouldn’t either.
Davey, Stephen.
Wisdom Commentary Series.
Apex, NC: Charity House Publishers, 2012.
When the servants could not convince Mordecai to bow, they told Haman about his stubbornness
Mordecai is a Jew
Mordecai can’t keep himself a closet Jew any more.
Either he realized that moving up in the ranks wasn’t worth it or that he just came to a point in is life that he said I won’t break God’s law.
J. Vernon McGee wrote, “At this point in the story, I’m ready to throw my hat in the air and say, “Hurray for Mordecai.
For the first time, he is taking a stand for God—and it will cost him potentially everything.”
J. Vernon McGee, Esther: The Romance of Providence (Thomas Nelson, 1982), 64.
All the Jews in the Kingdom
And Haman was filled with wrath and wanted to destroy all the Jews.
In this family Feud.
The Spirit of Haman
Lord protect us from the Spirit of Haman.
In the world and in ourselves.
No one is immune to the Spirit of Haman
That of Ethnic prejudice that runs deep even among those who believe in Christ there are not Jew nor Greek (Galatians 3:28).
But the Spirit of Haman is more than just Ethnic prejudice.
It is wrath.
It is unforgiveness, it is hatred, it is bitterness.
That not only do we have to face in ourselves but we pass down from Generation to Generation.
Next Steps
Spirit of Haman in your life
How is it effecting you?
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