Thursday, 27 January 2011

Esther 6

Esther 6

Mordecai Honoured
 1 That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him.
    2 It was found recorded there that Mordecai had exposed Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's officers who guarded the doorway, who had conspired to assassinate King Xerxes.
    3 What honour and recognition has Mordecai received for this? the king asked. Nothing has been done for him, his attendants answered.
    4 The king said, Who is in the court? Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the palace to speak to the king about hanging Mordecai on the gallows he had erected for him.
    5 His attendants answered, Haman is standing in the court. Bring him in, the king ordered.
    6 When Haman entered, the king asked him, What should be done for the man the king delights to honour? Now Haman thought to himself, Who is there that the king would rather honour than me?
    7 So he answered the king, For the man the king delights to honour,
    8 have them bring a royal robe the king has worn and a horse the king has ridden, one with a royal crest placed on its head.
    9 Then let the robe and horse be entrusted to one of the king's most noble princes. Let them robe the man the king delights to honour, and lead him on the horse through the city streets, proclaiming before him, 'This is what is done for the man the king delights to honour!'
    10 Go at once, the king commanded Haman. Get the robe and the horse and do just as you have suggested for Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the king's gate. Do not neglect anything you have recommended.
    11 So Haman got the robe and the horse. He robed Mordecai, and led him on horseback through the city streets, proclaiming before him, This is what is done for the man the king delights to honour!
    12 Afterwards Mordecai returned to the king's gate. But Haman rushed home, with his head covered, in grief,
    13 and told Zeresh his wife and all his friends everything that had happened to him. His advisers and his wife Zeresh said to him, Since Mordecai, before whom your downfall has started, is of Jewish origin, you cannot stand against him— you will surely come to ruin!
    14 While they were still talking with him, the king's eunuchs arrived and hurried Haman away to the banquet Esther had prepared.

Esther 6
Read Esther 6
Chapter 6 opens on the night after the first banquet and we find the king unable to sleep. We’re not told why this is the case and in fact it seems quite odd as most people sleep really well after a large meal. Also, if we look at the chain of events, we can see God at work.
We start with the king not being able to sleep. What happens next?
He asked for the record of his reign to be brought out and read to him.
This was probably specifically to send him to sleep seen as that is such a tedious thing to listen to!
Which record was read out and do you think this was a coincidence?
The part describing how Mordecai had exposed the plot to assassinate the king was read out and it was not a coincidence at all.
Also, Xerxes was actually paying attention, and may have even remembered the date. Xerxes checked to find out whether a reward had been given which it hadn’t.
Lastly, Haman walks in just at this point and we’ll come back to this in a second.
So, if you think about what happened, there is just too much out of the ordinary going on for this to just be coincidence. It was obviously God at work, reminding Xerxes of Mordecai’s good work the very night before Haman had planned to ask permission to have Mordecai hanged.
When we first looked at what happened and when events first started to unfurl, there didn’t seem to be any logic to what was happening and it didn’t necessarily seem like God was in complete control. However, now we can see how God was bringing everything together and in a much better way than we would ever have thought of. God is always in complete control and just because we can’t always see this in the midst of problems doesn’t mean he isn’t. God’s timing is much better than ours could ever be and we just need to trust him as he will always do the right thing and the best thing.
Reread verses 4 – 10
Xerxes probably didn’t mean to be so vague about the identity of the man he wanted to honour however Haman got completely carried away in his own self-importance, assuming that he was the one to be honoured. This reveals an awful lot of pride in Haman’s part for him to so quickly think that he was the one the king wished to honour. He didn’t think the king would want to honour anyone else and immediately went into an elaborate and over the top description of what should be done for the man.
However, of course, Haman had jumped to the wrong conclusion and it was his sworn enemy, Mordecai, who was to be honoured, not him. When he heard Mordecai’s name he probably started to see his plans unfurl and he must have been shocked and very embarrassed. Of course he couldn’t contradict the king’s orders so he went off and did exactly as the king had said.
Reread verses 11 – 12
We’re not told Mordecai’s reaction when he was told what was happen but we are told what he did after. Unlike Haman after the banquet who went off, full of pride and boasting, Mordecai went back to work very humbly at the king’s gate. There is no mention of boasting at all. This may be an obvious question, but who should we be like? We shouldn’t boast as everything we have that we could possibly boast in comes from God. We shouldn’t be proud and boastful and instead be humble. In fact, the only thing we can boast about is Jesus and how he has died on the cross to save our sins if only we trust in him. Now that is a really important and amazing thing to boast about.
Reread verses 12 – 14
As soon as Haman had finished, he rushed home to tell his wife what had happened, probably for comfort and reassurance however his wife hardly seems the reassuring sort. She saw this honouring of Mordecai as a sign that he would soon be in trouble for two reasons:
-          She probably thought that Xerxes would never allow the race of a loyal servant (Mordecai) to be eradicated by anyone and that he would soon see through his plan.
-          Also, she was possibly reminded of Jewish history. How time and time again, the Jewish race had been threatened with annihilation yet every time God had saved them. Why she didn’t remember this earlier is unknown however this memory sent doom into the Haman household.
So we leave Haman being escorted to the next banquet and after these events I’m sure he wasn’t looking forward to this banquet nearly as much!

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