Esther, The Hidden Hand of God, part 5
Esther, The Hidden Hand of God, part 5. Esther 5:1-6:14
Esther, The Hidden Hand of God, part 5. Esther 5:1-6:14
The 3 day fast of chapter 4 is ended. Now is the time for action.
Esther clothes herself in her royal authority to approach the king. Remember, that to come before the king without being asked was to risk death. Let’s look at that verse. It is the next slide in your digital bulletin
“All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that any man or woman who goes into the inner court to the king, who has not been called, he has but one law: put all to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter, that he may live. Yet I myself have not been called to go in to the king these thirty days.”
You see that when the king holds out his scepter it is a sign of grace/mercy and life. The scepter is the visible proof of the king’s authority.
Similarly, the cross is the proof of Jesus’ authority. I would say it was His throne.
Jesus’ cross is what touched and paid for your sins by Jesus’ death. Jesus holds out his cross to you that your sins may be forgiven. Like Esther, we must touch/receive the death and resurrection of Jesus to receive His grace and mercy!!
Through this we enter into a saving/personal relationship with Jesus. He loves you. Jesus desires for you to receive Him and the grace He has made possible by the cross/resurrection and infilling of the Holy Spirit.
So, Esther has received the king’s grace/mercy. She asks if the king and Haman can join her for a wine banquet that same day.
The king sends for Haman and the two of them get to enjoy wine from the royal cellars as well as Esther’s gracious hostessing.
Because of the wisdom Esther has received during her three days of fasting and prayer, Esther asks the king and Haman to return again tomorrow for another feast. The king agrees with this.
Now Haman is riding High in the Saddle. Recently promoted to a position similar to being Prime Minister, and now TWO DAYS IN A ROW, AT A PRIVATE BANQUET WITH THE KING AND QUEEN.
You know the advertising slogan: IT DOESN’T GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS!!
But, look at how quickly a great day can get messed up!
So Haman went out that day joyful and with a glad heart; but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king’s gate, and that he did not stand or tremble before him, he was filled with indignation against Mordecai.
Haman expected Mordecai to RISE when Haman was in Mordecai’s presence. This is similar to when a military officer enters a room and the lower ranked people must come to attention.
Let’s take a look back to see what Haman expected from Mordecai in the third chapter of Esther
When Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow or pay him homage, Haman was filled with wrath.
It is interesting here that Mordecai was expected to bow or kneel in Haman’s presence in chapter 3. Yet, in chapter 5 Haman expects Mordecai to rise and stand in his presence. Haman’s rules make it impossible to comply. Mordecai is wrong no matter what he does.
That is what abusive power does. It makes it impossible to obey, and then because you have not obeyed, you are punished.
So, Haman goes home and complains about how Mordecai ruined a perfectly good day.
ARE YOU BEGINNING TO SEE HOW SELF-CENTERED HAMAN IS?
As Haman is complaining about all this, his wife comes up with this horrible ideas in verse fourteen.
Then his wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, “Let a gallows be made, fifty cubits high, and in the morning suggest to the king that Mordecai be hanged on it; then go merrily with the king to the banquet.” And the thing pleased Haman; so he had the gallows made.
50 Cubits tall is about 75 feet. Remember we learned earlier in Esther that this could be an instrument for a type of crucifixion. Or, it could be used for impaling. Either way, it was meant to be a spectacle for all of Shushan to see!!
Now, in Chapter 6 the king has insomnia. What do you do when you can’t sleep? Many people read. Even better the king has them read something he thinks might put him to sleep.
The king doesn’t get sleepy. Why? God wants the king to remember that Mordecai saved the king’s life.
The king finds out that there was no recognition or reward for this act of bravery. Why was nothing ever done when Mordecai helped to save the king’s life? Could the reason be that Mordecai was a Jew? I cannot prove it, but I believe this is a big part of why Mordecai was overlooked.
Now, the king wants to make sure that Mordecai is rewarded for his faithfulness to the Persian King.
I love God’s timing here. We see God’s hidden hand revealed in how this all comes together. I believe God has a wonderful sense of Humor!!
Just as the king is trying to figure out what to do to honor Mordecai, Haman shows up.
What is Haman doing there in the middle of the night when the king cannot sleep? Haman wants to discuss MORDECAI’S EXECUTION!!!
Haman steps into the middle of a situation that he knows nothing about. Haman is asked by the king in verse six:
So Haman came in, and the king asked him, “What shall be done for the man whom the king delights to honor?” Now Haman thought in his heart, “Whom would the king delight to honor more than me?”
I thought about summarizing the next two verses, but it is so good, listen as I read them. [verses 7-10]
And Haman answered the king, “For the man whom the king delights to honor,
let a royal robe be brought which the king has worn, and a horse on which the king has ridden, which has a royal crest placed on its head.
Then let this robe and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king’s most noble princes, that he may array the man whom the king delights to honor. Then parade him on horseback through the city square, and proclaim before him: ‘Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!’ ”
Then the king said to Haman, “Hurry, take the robe and the horse, as you have suggested, and do so for Mordecai the Jew who sits within the king’s gate! Leave nothing undone of all that you have spoken.”
I can just see Haman’s stomach churning with dismay and anger that the very thing he hoped for himself, would be done for the man he considered his most hated enemy!
This is not a CO-INCIDENCE, this is a GOD-INCIDENCE!!!
Surely there were many people in the city that knew of Haman’s desire to execute Mordecai. It is hard to keep that a secret when the instrument of death is 75 feet tall.
In verse 11, Haman has bee publicly humiliated by parading Mordecai around town, shouting:
“Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!”
Where do you go when you’ve had a horrible, no good, rotten, bad day? You go home and share with your family. Surely they will understand. Surely they will comfort you. But even those closest to Haman are not there to support him now.
When Haman told his wife Zeresh and all his friends everything that had happened to him, his wise men and his wife Zeresh said to him, “If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of Jewish descent, you will not prevail against him but will surely fall before him.”
Haman knows very well that Mordecai is a Jew. Haman has sent the decree around the entire Persian Empire that all the Jews will be killed on a specific date near the end of the year.
Who can orchestrate this kind of a change? Only God can. Now in hindsight we can see God at work in the book of Esther. God is working to rescue His chosen people through whom the Messiah, Jesus will come to rescue and and all who will believe that His death was for them.