Bible Survey on Esther – Lesson 6

Est 5:6  And the king said unto Esther at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? even to the half of the kingdom it shall be performed. 

Est 5:7  Then answered Esther, and said, My petition and my request is; 

Est 5:8  If I have found favour in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to grant my petition, and to perform my request, let the king and Haman come to the banquet that I shall prepare for them, and I will do to morrow as the king hath said. 

Est 5:9  Then went Haman forth that day joyful and with a glad heart: but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king’s gate, that he stood not up, nor moved for him, he was full of indignation against Mordecai. 

This is one of the many problems with coveting and with a prideful and haughty spirit.

  • Joy and gladness are dependent upon circumstances.

Haman went forth joyful and with a glad heart because he got to go to the Banquet.  It appealed to his love of and his coveting of status.  It appealed to his haughty opinion of himself.

The problem with living that way, where your joy and gladness comes from circumstances like that, is it is fleeting.  The joy will depart as quickly as it comes.  It will leave as soon as anything is not the way you want them.

The moment that Haman sees that Mordecai did not stand up, nor move for him, goodbye joy.  Say so long to gladness.  When Haman saw Mordecai in the king’s gate, that he stood not up, nor moved for him, he was full of indignation against Mordecai.

Full of indignation.  The coveting, prideful and haughty person is easily upset.  The joy they get from the things and position and events that they covet can very quickly leave them.  Since they live for circumstances, circumstances can really mess them up.

Christians are not to live this way.  Our joy and gladness is to be found in a person and not in circumstances.  Our joy is to be found in Jesus Christ.  Since He is our joy and gladness, circumstances cannot take that away.

The person who builds their life on desires and circumstances is not stable.  They are building on the sand.  Christians build on a rock.  Steadfast and true.  Yes trouble comes, but it cannot take our joy away.   We will still be standing when the trouble passes.

The person who builds on coveting and circumstances has no promise of eternity to hold on to.  No wonderful future.  Hard things can come into my life.  And they have in mine.  Many times.  But all of that could not take away my joy in Christ and none of it could take away my future eternity with my Lord.  No matter how bad things get I always have something great ahead of me.  Something to look forward to.

The Bible tells us to Col_3:2  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

That is important in a real practical way.  It really helps put things into perspective and helps you handle things in a much better way.

Haman did not have that.  Haman puts his affections on things on the earth.  He sees Mordecai and now he is hot.  That is all it took to take away his joy.  A second is all it took.  That is pretty fleeting.

Est 5:10  Nevertheless Haman refrained himself: and when he came home, he sent and called for his friends, and Zeresh his wife. 

Est 5:11  And Haman told them of the glory of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and all the things wherein the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the princes and servants of the king. 

For Haman it is all about himself.  He told his friends and his wife about the glory of his riches, his children and how many of them there are.  Even his children are really all about Haman.  They are like possessions.  And Haman tells about his riches.  He has made it.  He has piles of money.  Most likely he could buy almost anything.  At least more than most of the population.  And then Haman tells about his promotion, about his success at work.  He has advanced above the princes of the king.

And then he tells them about the banquet.

Est 5:12  Haman said moreover, Yea, Esther the queen did let no man come in with the king unto the banquet that she had prepared but myself; and to morrow am I invited unto her also with the king. 

Take a look at the list.  Haman has friends and wife and riches so much that it is called the glory of his riches.  He has a lot of children, and is successful.  He has status and position.

He should be thankful and grateful for all of that.  But look at the horrible thing Haman says.

Est 5:13  Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate. 

All of his kids, all of his riches, all of his success.  It all means nothing.  As long as I see Mordecai.  This is being unthankful and ungrateful for all he has.  But it is even worse than that.  Think how the wife or the kids feel about that statement.  Is that all I am worth?

The attitudes and spirit within the heart.  The ones you feed are the ones that grow stronger.  Haman has feed pride and haugtyness, and then he fed them some more.  Haman fed the coveting spirit within and then he fed it some more.  You now see a man who is completely driven by coveting.  Coveting what.  Power, position, riches, things.  And he is driven by pride and by a haughty spirit.  And as we have seen before he is also driven by racism.

God tells us not to covet for a reason.  It is dangerous to us.  It can easily grow.  You covet and then get, there is a temporary high from it.  It quickly fades, and you can go after the next thing.  And like a drug it takes more and more to get the same feeling.  And since coveting can never be satisfied.  Since coveting never fills the real needs of your heart.  Since that is true, it is really empty.  Empty of anything really meaningful or lasting.

Haman has let his pride, his haughty spirit, and his coveting grow until it in a way is controlling his life.

After Haman stops his boastful speech, his wife and friends respond.  And it is something that really causes me to pause and go what?  Are you kidding me.

Est 5:14  Then said Zeresh his wife and all his friends unto him, Let a gallows be made of fifty cubits high, and to morrow speak thou unto the king that Mordecai may be hanged thereon: then go thou in merrily with the king unto the banquet. And the thing pleased Haman; and he caused the gallows to be made. 

This advice did not just come from one person in the group.  His wife and all his friends said it.  So we see that Haman surrounded himself with people who would support his coveting and prideful spirit.  It is a birds of a feather flock together type of thing.  It is the principal that sin loves company.

Not one of them stands up and says.  Haman knock it off.  Haman get off your high horse.  Haman be thankful for all you have.  It is only one man who will not bow to you.  That is nothing in comparison to all you have.

Nope not one of them said anything like that.  Instead it is kill Haman.  Commit murder.  Just do it with the king’s permission.  And to make you feel better now go ahead and have the gallows built.  Haman had bragged enough about his position with the king that it appears that they all have no doubt that the king would do what Haman asked.  So build a gallows and make it as big as your ego.  50 feet is over 5 stories tall.  A gallows is something that you hang a body on.  So it could just be a tall pole.  They set this thing up in one night.

It did not look like what you see in the western movies.  And the thing pleased Haman; and he caused the gallows to be made.  So things look bleak.  Mordecai is about to be killed and hanged on a gallows.

But things are about to start to turn.  Why?  Because God is about to move.

Our God has all power.  He could do anything.  Work in any huge way.  Nothing is too hard for Him.  One of the ways that God likes to work is by using His almighty power in something small.

It is like, so you think this is impossible.  Or you think it would take something huge to fix this.  Well I am so powerful I can fix something with something really small.  God is so powerful that He can make something tiny change everything.

So God does three tiny things to fix the coming attack of Haman on killing Mordecai.

1st Make the king not be able to sleep.  That is a small thing.  Just make one man not be able to sleep for one night.

Est 6:1  On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king.

2nd Some people count sheep when they can’t sleep.  People try all kinds of things.  It appears that this man had people read to him.  And not something exciting.  Not a novel.  Boring government records.

The servant who got the records to read is clueless.  He does not know about what is in Haman’s heart and he does not know what Haman is about to ask.  He just goes and grabs a scroll.   This is the 2nd small thing that God uses His almighty power on.  God directs the hand of a servant to grab the scroll that God wants to use.  This is a pretty small thing.  Move the hand just an inch or two.  Just grab this one and not that one.  God uses this small thing to make a huge difference.

The third thing that God does is control the timing.  Not only does God move before Haman can make his request, but God times it all so that Haman will be in the court at just the right moment.  3 small things.  They add up to make all the difference.  To make such a huge difference with things so tiny shows the huge power of God.

The servants open the scroll and start reading.

Est 6:2  And it was found written, that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s chamberlains, the keepers of the door, who sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus. 

Est 6:3  And the king said, What honour and dignity hath been done to Mordecai for this? Then said the king’s servants that ministered unto him, There is nothing done for him. 

God was working on this long before.  Years before Esther confirmed the plot in the name of Mordecai.  That was all so that it would be written in a scroll so that years later it would be ready for God to use on this one night.

Est 6:4  And the king said, Who is in the court? Now Haman was come into the outward court of the king’s house, to speak unto the king to hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him.

Est 6:5  And the king’s servants said unto him, Behold, Haman standeth in the court. And the king said, Let him come in. 

Est 6:6  So Haman came in. And the king said unto him, What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour? Now Haman thought in his heart, To whom would the king delight to do honour more than to myself? 

Are you seeing the prideful and haughty spirit here?

Est 6:7  And Haman answered the king, For the man whom the king delighteth to honour, 

Est 6:8  Let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which is set upon his head: 

Est 6:9  And let this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king’s most noble princes, that they may array the man withal whom the king delighteth to honour, and bring him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaim before him, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honour. 

Haman told the king basically what Haman wanted to be done to himself.  He was that arrogant and prideful that coveted being paraded around like this.

Est 6:10  Then the king said to Haman, Make haste, and take the apparel and the horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the king’s gate: let nothing fail of all that thou hast spoken. 

Do you almost wish you could have been there to see Haman’s face.  The shock when the king tells him to do this honor to the person who Haman hates.

It is an order from the king.  To not do it would mean death.  So no doubt with a reluctant heart.  I mean with a burning hatred in the heart, Haman does it.

Est 6:11  Then took Haman the apparel and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and brought him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaimed before him, Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour. 

Est 6:12  And Mordecai came again to the king’s gate. But Haman hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered. 

Haman is mourning.  That is what you do for the dead.  At this point who has died.  In this case it is not a person that died.  What died.  The desire of Haman’s coveting.

Mordecai was honored by order of the king.  The person that Haman coveted the killing of.  Now Haman cannot ask the king to kill Mordecai.  That desire.  That goal is dead.

Coveting can grow and grow and grow.  Until your care for what you want is stronger than your care for others.  In this case it grew so strong that Haman mourned at its loss.  It affected him as strongly as losing a loved one.  Haman hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered.

God is giving Haman a chance.  This should be a wakeup call. This was a huge slap in the face.  This was an attack on Haman’s pride, on his coveting, and his haughty spirit.  Haman had a free will.  He could have said how did this happen.  He could have corrected his actions and his attitude.  He could have recognized God working in this.  But Haman chose differently.

Est 6:13  And Haman told Zeresh his wife and all his friends every thing that had befallen him. Then said his wise men and Zeresh his wife unto him, If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before him.

They basically respond to Haman with this biblical truth.

Pro_16:18  Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

And they respond with a second biblical truth.

Gen_12:3  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

God’s truth coming out of the mouths of these horrible people who just hours before were advising murder.  I think God had something to do with that.  Haman is now going to the banquet with seeing God honoring Mordecai and now with plainly stated biblical truth.

 Est 6:14  And while they were yet talking with him, came the king’s chamberlains, and hasted to bring Haman unto the banquet that Esther had prepared. 

Haman has no excuse.  He is not going down this destructive road without opposition.  God has made sure that His truth has been presented.  Haman could admit his error and change direction.  It is not too late.  God’s mercy is available.  But Haman will not change course.

This is another danger of the coveting way of life and of pride and of a haughty spirit.  The stronger they all get the harder it is to stop.  These things grow.  And then they can grow.  You can end up way farther down that road than you would have ever believed when you start out.  God of course knows this.  This is one of the reasons why Thou shalt not covet is in the Ten Commandments.

It is a very serious, very harmful thing.  Everyone, is susceptible to it.  As Christians we need to be on our guard and watch out for even the smallest hint of coveting and of a prideful and haughty spirit.

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