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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Backfire (Esther 7:9-10a)

 "Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs attending the king, said, "A gallows seventy-five feet high stands by Haman's house. He had it made for Mordecai, who spoke up to help the king." The king said, "Hang him on it!" So they hanged Haman on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai."

The Psalmist mentions how those who dig pits, set nets and snares to catch others are often caught in the very devises they set for others (Psalm 9:15-16). That is exactly what happens to Haman. He builds a gallows on which to hang Mordecai but dies instead in its noose. Haman's personal vendetta against Mordecai backfires. 

The story of Esther teaches the following truths about arrogant, proud, and humble people:
  • Arrogant people full of self-importance are often blind to how others perceive them. Harbona, without any hesitation, suggests the gallows for Haman. Haman's exaltation of self alienated his peers. Proud people have few friends. Everyone applauds their downfall. 
  • Proud people are aware of the slights of others (both real and perceived) and focus on those who aren't in awe of their position or person. They mental script revenge and when an occasion arises they act on their evil thoughts. Haman is such a person. 
  • Mordecai, on the other hand, demonstrates a loyal humility that others recognize and record. Even though the king momentarily forgets, God does not and awakens the king in the night to read of Mordecai's unrewarded loyalty.
People remember both the good of the righteous and the wickedness of the evil. They applaud both the exaltation of the humble and the humiliation of the proud. No man has so much power that God can't humble him, and no man is so low that God can't exalt him.

God, in one moment, through one event, changes everything. A loyal deed written in a book surfaces on a king's sleepless night and places Mordecai in the spotlight of favor. A faithful and bold witness for Christ falls on the open ears and heart of one person such as Billy Graham, changing the course of American history. The death of Christ-at the hands of the wicked-and His resurrection change everything for mankind. God sees and God knows. One moment of His revelation changes everything. 

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
Esther 5:1-9:17
  • How does Esther "set up" her request to the king?
  • What is Haman's response to the developing situation?
  • Why is he so angry at Mordecai?
  • What counsel does his family give him?
  • What is taking place meanwhile in the palace? What does this tell you about God?
  • How does Haman view his position and what does he appear to value most about life?
  • After the exaltation of Mordecai what do his advisers and wife recognize about Haman's situation?
  • Read Psalm 35:4-8; 37:32-33 and describe the activity of evil doers and how God responds to them.
  • What are the terms of the new edict of the king and who gets to decide the terms? What does this tell you about God?
  • What had been planned on the 13th day of the 12th month and what actually happens?
Turning truth into prayer
Ask the Lord to help you to become a person through which He can accomplish His glorious purposes. Ask Him to help you not to focus on the seen things/your circumstances but to focus on Him. Ask Him to expose the wicked and their schemes. He has, He can and He does today.