Christ Community Church
Esther, The Hidden Hand of God, Part 3
- Who Really Cares for the King?Grace to you, Shalom from God our Father, Jesus our Messiah and the Holy Spirit, who reveals through faith, so we can see God’s Hidden hand at work!Last week we ended when Mordecai uncovered a plot to kill King Ahasuerus. You will see that it is Mordecai who truly cares for the King Ahasuerus. This week we will be introduced to an evil man named Haman. You will see he only cares for himself.Haman suffers from something many of us struggle with. I call it the Unholy Trinity Syndrome.The Unholy Trinity is when all you care about is ME/MYSELF AND IHaman (ha’-man) = Alone; solitary. Well disposed. A rioter. The rager; their tumult. Exhaustive Dictionary of Biblical NamesJewish Tradition, when reading the text of Esther, whenever Haman’s name is read, the congregation, boos and hisses and stomps their feet. Remember it is only when his name is read in the text that you can react this way!After these things King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him and set his seat above all the princes who were with him.Basically, Haman become like the Prime Minister. It is similar to the position Joseph was placed in by Pharaoh. However Haman’s character is just the opposite of Joseph’s. We can be nearly certain that Haman got this position by scheming, back-biting, and scheming.And all the king’s servants who were within the king’s gate bowed and paid homage to Haman, for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai would not bow or pay homage.Mordecai is being obedient to the First of the 10 Commandments. “You shall have no other gods before me!” Mordecai doe not intend this as a personal insult to Haman. Mordecai is showing that God is THE MOST important, and he will only bow to God!Then the king’s servants who were within the king’s gate said to Mordecai, “Why do you transgress the king’s command?”Now it happened, when they spoke to him daily and he would not listen to them, that they told it to Haman, to see whether Mordecai’s words would stand; for Mordecai had told them that he was a Jew.When Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow or pay him homage, Haman was filled with wrath.But he disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone, for they had told him of the people of Mordecai. Instead, Haman sought to destroy all the Jews who were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus—the people of Mordecai.Remember when I said that King Ahasuerus suffered from the King/Baby Syndrome. Haman has the same problemHaman rules as if he is a King. When he doesn’t get his way, he throws a tantrum like a baby!However, Haman’s tantrums have serious consequences. He wants to have every Jewish person from India to Ethiopia killed. Could this be where Hitler got his idea of exterminating all the Jewish people?Missler quotes H.A. Ironside here“It was this [Holy] Spirit that sustained Noah in his testimony against the corrupt, sin-loving world that mocked him as he built his barge in his driveway.It was in this confidence of faith that Moses forsook Egypt.It was in this energy of faith that Caleb took on the Nephilim; theAmalekites and the Anakim.It was this chutzpa that led to Gideon’ s war with lamps and pitchers, andDavid’s fight with an armored giant with a shepherd’s sling and stones. It was this confidence Daniel to open his Babylonian windows toward Jerusalem to pray;. . .and to drive Paul in his life of ordeal in devotion to his Lord.It was this same spirit that Athanasius suffered banishment rather than bow to the Arianism of the times;. . .that Martin Luther uttered his mighty “No!” in the presence of the emperor and bishops of the empire;. . .that Knox caused a queen to tremble;. . .that the Covenanters chose rather to be hunted as beasts of the field than own the spiritual authority of degenerate kings and bishops;[As H. A. Ironside highlighted]In the first month, which is the month of Nisan, in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, they cast Pur (that is, the lot), before Haman to determine the day and the month, until it fell on the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar.They cast a lot to determine which day they were going to kill all the Jewish people in the Persian Empire. The word for lot is Pur. And, the plural for Pur is Purim. Purim is the name of the Jewish festival celebrated every year. The celebration is that the plot to kill all the Jewish people in the Persian Empire was defeated.You have to look closely at verse 7, but we can see God’s hidden hand at work here.When was the Pur thrown? It was during the first month. What date did the Pur say the Jews would die? The twelfth month, the 14th day. We know about the 14th day from other manuscripts.God is giving the Jewish people 11 months to prepare for this. This is the Hidden Hand of God at work!!!Now in verses 8-9 we are going to see how Haman manipulates the King to get what Haman wants.Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from all other people’s, and they do not keep the king’s laws. Therefore it is not fitting for the king to let them remain.If it pleases the king, let a decree be written that they be destroyed, and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver into the hands of those who do the work, to bring it into the king’s treasuries.”Haman said, “Oh by the way Great King, let’s get rid of those people who are so unusual. They won’t follow your laws. When they are destroyed, all their wealth can flow into your treasuries. I’ll make the first donation toward this campaign!”I figured out Haman’s donation was about =$2.5 Million Dollars in 2015 termsWas it any different under the Nazis? No!The Nazis lined their pockets with Jewish money. Lined their walls with Jewish art. Lined their homes with Jewish furniture. And lined their land with Jewish ashes.So the king took his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews.The King’s signet ring is how laws are enacted. With a wax seal showing the impression from the King’s ring, the law was official.Basically, the King tells Haman, “Here do whatever you want. You’re going to make me rich! Why should I care about strange people I know nothing about?”Here in verse 10 we learn that Haman is an Agagite. What in the world is that?King Agag of the Amalekites were enemies of God’s people 500 years earlier when King Saul was the head of God’s people.Back in First Kings, chapter 15, King Saul was charged by God to completely wipe out the Jewish enemies, the Amalekites. But Saul spared their King, Agag. Some of Agag’s descendants were spared too. Now this family line has descended for centuries and they are still dedicated to taking out the Jewish People.Satan never gives up. He will work in and through anyone he can poison with his evil ways. Remember in the 10th chapter of John, Jesus gave us Satan’s job description. Look at that verse on your slides.The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.And the king said to Haman, “The money and the people are given to you, to do with them as seems good to you.”Then the king’s scribes were called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and a decree was written according to all that Haman commanded—to the king’s satraps, to the governors who were over each province, to the officials of all people, to every province according to its script, and to every people in their language. In the name of King Ahasuerus it was written, and sealed with the king’s signet ring.Here is an amusing insight from MIssler:By starting with the first [Hebrew letter] heh (h) in verse 11, and counting every six letters ten times, you will have the phrase ... which means “Haman and Satan stink.”...W e can see Satan working in Haman’ s life, yet Yeshua Ha Meshiach, Jesus the Messiah, is always in the background, watching over His people, even today. And He always is victorious. We need to remember this as we watch the terrifying world horizon and the tragic decay of our own national heritage. Our citizenship is with Him.”And the letters were sent by couriers into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and to plunder their possessions.Wow! What would it be like if our government issued a law that on a certain date, nearly a year from now, every Christian Man, Christian Woman as well as every Christian child should be killed and all their property and wealth confiscated.Laws can be evil. Remember the Nazis made it legal to do everything they did to the Jewish people.A copy of the document was to be issued as law in every province, being published for all people, that they should be ready for that day.The couriers went out, hastened by the king’s command; and the decree was proclaimed in Shushan the citadel. So the king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Shushan was perplexed.Well, Haman is happy, he’s going to be rid of Mordecai and all the Jewish People. The King is happy, he is going to be rich!These two are kicking back with their feet up. They were probably enjoying the best wine and smoking the hookah! They are in a festive mood.But the city of Shushan (Susa) is perplexed. That is an understatement as far as the Jewish people are concerned! I would think they were DEVASTATED!!!Many of the Jewish people must have thought that God had abandoned them. They probably felt helpless and hopeless. Maybe the idea of selling out and moving to Jerusalem, or somewhere in Israel became an option for some.Here are J.V. McGee’s thoughts:“The queen [Vashti], who refused to obey the king, is set aside. What does this have to do with God’s saving His people?“It has everything to do with it. God was moving, and He is going to continue to move in a mighty way. He has placed a person right next to the throne [Esther]. She is going to be the means of saving the Jews. God moves in the affairs of men by His providence.“God’s providence is illustrated in the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. Caesar Augustus signed a tax bill that decreed that all the world was to be taxed. When he signed that bill, he did not know that he was fulfilling prophecy. He did not know that the tax bill would cause a maiden in Nazareth to go to Bethlehem, where her first child would be born.“I think Caesar Augustus would have laughed and said, ‘I don’t know anything about babies, but I do know about taxes.’ Micah 5:2 foretold the birth of Christ in Bethlehem. Caesar signed a bill that caused Mary to be in Bethlehem at just the right time to give birth to the Lord Jesus Christ. God was in Caesar’s palace. God was in the palace of [Ahasuerus].“Standeth God in the shadows keeping watch over His own.”McGee, J. V. (1997).Thru the Bible commentary (electronic ed., Vol. 2, p. 561). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.”The Hidden Hand of God, standing in the shadows, watching over you and me. There is no darkness, so dark God cannot see.Jesus knows the darkness. He experienced the darkest moment of His life on the cross, when He took Your sins and mine upon Himself.Even Jesus felt abandoned. “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?”Had the Father, or the Holy Spirit abandoned Jesus? No! Yet Jesus’ fellowship with them was temporarily separated.Jesus, the Light of the World was covered in your sin and shame, as well as mine. He had never in all of eternity past known sin, shame, darkness, nor the separation of God-His-Father, and God-His-Holy-Spirit!Alone on the cross, with the sin and shame of the world, Jesus entered the darkness for you and me.We cannot overcome sin and shame, but Jesus did it for us. His love for you and for me paid the price by His sinless blood.There is nothing else in all of eternity that can cleanse us from the ugly stain of our sin. It is only the pure, precious, holy, blood of Jesus.Come to Jesus, come repent of your sin and shame. Come and receive the forgiveness of your sin and the power of the Holy Spirit to walk in God’s way.Talk to me, or to any leader here if you have questions, or you want someone to pray with you.Then you will begin to see the Hidden Hand of God working in your life!Amen! [after sermon slides—Now May the Shalom of God..]
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