Tuesday, July 28, 2009

BAD DAY - Part Two

This posting is a continuation of yesterday’s posting. To get the full story, I encourage you to go back and read yesterday’s posting before continuing on with today’s.

God works in the heart of the king and he extends his golden scepter toward Esther, without which she would have been immediately executed. But the Bible teaches is in Ephesians 3:20 that God can do immeasurably more than anything we could ask. Not only does the king accept her in his presence, he also gives her the opportunity for any request. This seems like Esther’s golden opportunity to strike. But it is obvious that God was directing Esther. The queen doesn’t start by accusing Haman of being behind a plot that would involve her. Instead, she simply requests that the King and Haman join her for dinner. If there is one thing we learn from this it is that God’s timing is everything.

The king and Haman attend this dinner at which the king again asks Esther to make any request, even up to half of his kingdom. There you go, Esther! Go for it! But again, Esther is obviously following the leading of the Lord in her heart and life. She doesn’t yet sense the timing of God to reveal her request. Instead, Esther asks that the king and Haman come to a second banquet the next day at which she promises to make her request known. As we will see, God is doing something and his timing is perfect. What happens next sets up the greatest story of irony you will find in the entire Bible.

Haman is a very prideful man and his elation at having a private dining opportunity with the king and queen has his head swollen to ten times its original size. But all of that is quickly stifled by one man…one Jew. Guess who? Mordecai. As Haman leaves the palace he passes by Mordecai who has obviously changed out of his sackcloth and ashes and is back at his post at the king’s gate. And just like the times before, he again refused to bow in worship to Haman as he passes by.

Haman hurries home where he tells his wife and friends of his bittersweet evening. He tells of his joy at being invited to dine with the King and Queen. But he also tells of his despair and anger over Mordecai. Remember last week when I told you that one of the lessons we learn from the story is to be careful who we seek out as advisors? We see that same lesson here again. How does his wife and friends counsel him? They advise him to request of the king permission to execute this rebellious Jew named Mordecai.

Haman likes the advice and has the gallows built. Now remember that gallows in Persia was a long pole. They didn’t hang you on gallows by a rope and noose. Rather, they hung you by impaling you on top of a long pole that was set into the ground. Now to show you Haman’s contempt, notice how high he orders this pole to be made. It is to be raised 75 feet in to the air. That is 7.5 stories. And then Haman goes to bed dreaming of Mordecai writhing in pain on the top of this massive pole. Haman is sleeping the sweet sleep of revenge but little does he know that God is working behind the scenes and, as we will see tomorrow, he is about ready to wake up to the ultimate in having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

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