Monday, July 01, 2013

Esther 7: The Reversal

A couple years ago I started a series on the book of Esther and we made it through chapter 6 before life went wild on me and my time to write became scarce. You can find that study here. I want to finish the series, even if it quite match or have the bells and whistles the first six parts do. So, please humor me as I limp to the finish line with this and for not getting these last posts looking pretty and tied with a bow so they match the first part.

Bible study: The Book of Esther

When we left Esther in chapter 6, Haman had just come in from parading through the city streets, declaring the greatness of Mordecai the Jew—the very man he was trying so hard to kill.

God wants each person to repent and turn to Him. He gave Haman chances to change his ways but Haman’s stubborn pride kept him hurtling to the end of his rope.

This time, when King Xerxes asked Esther what she wanted and made his generous offer, she presented her request—but she didn’t just blurt it out. She carefully crafted it making it so she didn’t attack his favored right-hand man. Remember, Xerxes had just had a late night refresher course on conspiracy so he may have connected the dots... First they were after the king, when that was exposed (thanks to Mordecai the Jew), they went after the queen.

The king is outraged that someone would dare attack his queen and when the king stormed out of the room, Haman made one last bad choice. He chose to stay in the queen’s presence and plead his case with her.

What a paradox! Haman had been furious because a Jewish man wouldn’t bow down to him, and now Haman was prostrate before a Jewish woman, begging for his life! ~Warren Wiersbe

Persian law dictated that no man other than the king was to be alone in the presence of a harem member or the queen, and that no man was to be within seven paces of them, unless they were one of the eunuchs appointed to serve the queen or harem member. When Haman stayed with the queen he broke the law. When he went to the couch Esther was on to plead for his life, he was much closer than seven paces, and he REALLY broke the law.

If Esther had pressed on, ignoring the quiet voice in her heart to delay her request, King Xerxes wouldn’t have had his sleepless night and heard what Mordecai the Jew had done to save his life. But now he remembered. A Jew had saved his life, so why should he kill the Jews? Besides, Haman, who had issued that decree in the king’s name was assaulting his queen, right there in the palace. No other reason for his death sentence was needed.

Haman must have boasted around the palace about the high gallows he’d built for Mordecai because when the king came in and saw Haman, the eunuch in attendance at the banquet mentioned there just happened to be a gallows all ready to go. He even knew that it was intended for Mordecai—the man who had saved the king’s life.

Often it seems as if God’s people are losing and the wicked ones are winning. We need to remember that just because God is longsuffering, it doesn’t mean He doesn’t care and that the bad guys get away with all the evil they plan.

…for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. ~Gal. 6:7

He who sows iniquity will reap vanity… ~Prov. 22:8

He has dug a pit and hollowed it out, and has fallen into the hole which he made. His mischief will return upon his own head, and his violence will descend upon his own pate. ~Ps. 7:15-16

And that’s exactly what happened to Haman. The very evil he had planned for Mordecai happened to him. It’s something we see happen often in Scripture—but even if we never witness it, we can be sure God does.

God orchestrated these events so everything lined up perfectly, creating a straight shot to accomplishing His plan. Our part is to be sensitive to His leading and to obey.

Things to think about:


  • Are we sensitive to God’s quiet leading or do we charge ahead?
  • Is our pride hanging us?
  • What kind of things are we sowing?

4 comments:

  1. Great post! Brought out several things I'd never considered - the conspiracy/going after the king, then the queen is the one that stands out most to me.

    Looking forward to the next study posts! :)

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    Replies
    1. I hadn't thought of Xerxes thinking the conspiracy leaking over to the queen's life either. Warren Wiersbe pointed that out in his commentary and it really helped me put the king's thoughts and reactions more into context.

      I've learned so much from this study. =] Thanks for stopping by! Hugs!

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  2. I love Esther! Sadly, or maybe not... when I read this I kept visualizing the VeggieTales version! (Happens when you have grandkids *eye roll*) I'm going to have to go back and read 1-6 so I can catch up. But, this all by itself is great! Good job, Patty!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Shelley! It's been years since I've seen the VeggieTales version, but I've kept a few of those old VCRs for when my grandgirls come. =]

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