Esther 6 Divine providence, God's providential care and guidance in our lives. This is what we see in the book of Esther. As we walk about our day, God is working out his plan in our lives, as we sleep at night; God is working out his plan in our lives. Isn't it comforting to know that God is in control from the smallest of things in our lives to the largest! Let's open our Bibles to Esther 6. Now last week we ended with Prime Minister Haman making plans to hang Mordecai on 75ft gallows as an example for all to see. Once again we see the sovereign hand of God invisibly at work in the life of King Ahasuerus. Let's look at verse 1: Esther 6:1 "That night the king could not sleep. So one was commanded to bring the book of the records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king." (NKJV) So here we have king Ahasuerus, earlier in the day Queen Esther comes to him unsummoned, then invites him to a banquet where he enjoys food, wine and the company of the Queen along with Prime Minister Haman. Then wanting to know what Queen Esther wanted by approaching him unsummoned, instead of telling him right away Esther invites him to another banquet the next day. The King has had quite a day and now finds himself unable to sleep. We have all had nights like this. You go to bed and just lay there, a million things going through your mind. Maybe it's about the day you had or the things you need to do and just didn't have the time to do them. Maybe its finances wondering where you are going to get the money to pay the bills. It could be anticipation of starting a new job or it could be the excitement of something that happened in your life. We don't know what was going through the king's mind keeping him awake, but we do know that it was the sovereign hand of God preparing the king to act according to His plan. Isn't it wonderful to think that God never sleeps. He is watching over us 24/7 and working in our lives to complete His plan.
Psalms 121:3-4 "He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep." I like the story Warren Wiersbe told about visiting the zoo. He said he was fascinated with the "nocturnal exhibit". Here were animals that most of us never see because they sleep in the daytime and do their active living at night. "While you are resting," said one of the posters, "Nature is busily at work helping to keep the balance of life stable". pg.146 Our Heavenly Father is busily working day and night to keep the balance of life stable according to His purpose and plan. God wanted the king awake because He had something to tell him. The king asks that the book of the records of the chronicles be read to him. Now that would definitely put someone to sleep! In Eastern courts, there are scribes or officers whose duty is to keep a journal of every occurrence worth of notice. Notice in Ezra 6:1 "Then King Darius issued a decree, and a search was made in the archives where the treasures were stored in Babylon." Herodotus noted that the king kept especially clear records of those who served him well. Once again God's sovereignty is evident, not only does the king ask for the chronicles to be read to him, but the servant "happens" to pick the very journals from events that happened five years earlier pertaining to Mordecai. Do you believe that God leads us to a specific book to read and has us read what he wants us to read? Absolutely! God works through all different means to tell us what he wants us to know doesnâ€™t he? Weirsbe brought out that in 1916 a British student bought a used book and after reading it he gave his life to the Lord. Who was this student? C.S. Lewis perhaps the greatest and most popular apologist for the Christian faith of the middle-twentieth century. God can direct what we read also. Let's look at verse two: Esther 6:2 "And it was found written that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's eunuchs, the doorkeepers who had sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. (NKJV) 2
You cannot tell me this was a coincidence! You can definitely see that God is in control here! Think about how many books there are and think about how thick these books are and yet the servant picks this book and on top of that he had him read from the very part dealing with Mordecai. Now does this sound familiar? Esther 2:21-23 "In those days, while Mordecai sat within the king's gate, two of the king's eunuchs, Bigthan and Teresh, doorkeepers, became furious and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. 22 So the matter became known to Mordecai, who told Queen Esther, and Esther informed the king in Mordecai's name. 23 And when an inquiry was made into the matter, it was confirmed, and both were hanged on a gallows; and it was written in the book of the chronicles in the presence of the king." (NKJV) Here we see in the chronicles the very incident that took place five years ago when Mordecai saved the king's life. Rewards and punishments were basic to the Persian system of maintaining loyalty. So what type of reward did Mordecai receive? Letâ€™s look at Verse 3: Esther 6:3 "Then the king said, "What honor or dignity has been bestowed on Mordecai for this?" And the king's servants who attended him said, "Nothing has been done for him." (NKJV) This is a key point, if Mordecai had been honored five years before, the events of this critical day could not have occurred. God is in control of the details of our lives! Mordecai had to wait five years to receive his reward which in turn assisted in saving the Jewish people. Joseph had to wait two more years in prison until God's timing where he became second ruler in Egypt. (Gen 40:23-41:1). God even had a specific day picked for the Jews to leave Egypt (Exodus 12:40-42). God wants us to receive the right reward at the right time and for the right purpose. Let's continue as we see God's plan to reward Mordecai unfold.
Esther 6:4-5 "So the king said, "Who is in the court?" Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the king's palace to suggest that the king hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him. 5 The king's servants said to him, "Haman is there, standing in the court." And the king said, "Let him come in." (NKJV) Here comes Haman. You remember last week we left Haman planning to kill Mordecai on the gallows. So here he is bright and early ready to make his petition to the king. But God had other plans. Before Haman had a chance to say anything to the king, the king asks him a question. Let's look at verse 6: Esther 6:6 "So Haman came in, and the king asked him, "What shall be done for the man whom the king delights to honor?" Now Haman thought in his heart, "Whom would the king delight to honor more than me?" (NKJV) Haman probably can't believe what he is hearing. The king didn't say who he wanted to honor but Haman in his arrogance immediately thinks itâ€™s himself. So of course he is going to make the honor very elaborate. You can just see the wheels turning as he thought about Mordecai having to watch Haman being honored and then to be hung on the gallows. It set him on cloud nine. Little did proud Haman realize that, before the day would end, the situation would be completely reversed. Proverbs 11:8 "The righteous is delivered from trouble, and it comes to the wicked instead." (NKJV) Psalms 7:15-16 "He made a pit and dug it out, and has fallen into the ditch which he made. 16 His trouble shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down on his own crown." (NKJV) God's providential care protects his people. Proverbs 18:12 "Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, and before honor is humility." (NKJV) Wiersbe stated that the first half of this verse applies to Haman and the last half to Mordecai. What a difference a little comma makes! Proverbs 29:23 gives the same message: "A man's pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor." (NKJV) On which side of the comma do you live? pg. 150
Haman in his arrogant prideful self responds to the king's question: Esther 6:7-9 "And Haman answered the king, "For the man whom the king delights to honor, 8 let a royal robe be brought which the king has worn, and a horse on which the king has ridden, which has a royal crest placed on its head. 9 Then let this robe and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king's most noble princes, that he may array the man whom the king delights to honor. Then parade him on horseback through the city square, and proclaim before him: 'Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!'" (NKJV) - A royal robe that the king has worn - A horse which the king has ridden - The royal crest placed on the horses head - Then notice verse 9 - One of the king's most noble princes is to place the robe on him and parade him on horseback through the city square. - While he is taking him through the city square he is to proclaim "Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!" Now Haman is waiting to hear the king's response with fully expecting this to be done to honor himself. - Letâ€™s look at verse 10. Esther 6:10 "Then the king said to Haman, "Hurry, take the robe and the horse, as you have suggested, and do so for Mordecai the Jew who sits within the king's gate! Leave nothing undone of all that you have spoken." (NKJV) Wow! What a blow to Haman! God used the king to give the shocking order that reversed the fate, the destiny of Haman and Mordecai. Haman would have never expected Mordecai to be the man the king wished to honor. The king commands Haman that he is not to leave anything out that he had recommended. Remember verse 9 it said "one of the king's most noble princes", he is second in command, the prime minister, and so the king asks Haman to be the one to submit this honor to Mordecai. Esther 6:11 "So Haman took the robe and the horse, arrayed Mordecai and led him on horseback through the city square, and proclaimed before him, "Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!" (NKJV)
Haman was humiliated before the public while Mordecai was honored. The honorable prime minister was to suffer the most embarrassing, disgraceful act of his life. his experience clearly shows how God humbles the prideful of the world and exalts the humble. Haman's pride was crushed by the command of the king, for he was forced to exalt the man he had personally despised and plotted to execute, the Jew Mordecai. Imagine Haman's utter disgrace in view of the fact many of his friends and royal officials knew of his bitter hatred toward Mordecai. Everyone knew of his extreme prejudice and malice toward the Jews. Esther 6:12 "Afterward Mordecai went back to the king's gate. But Haman hurried to his house, mourning and with his head covered." (NKJV) Notice here in verse 12 it simply states that Mordecai went back to the king's gate. It doesn't tell us his reaction or anything just that he went back to the gate. But notice Haman, he hurried home mourning with his head covered. Things did not go as he had wished. Again the tables are turned. Covering his head - he clearly did not want to see anyone and see their faces; he could not bear the embarrassment. When Haman arrived home, he found his wife and friends there and told them of all that had transpired. This was quite different from the last time he spoke to them. Instead of coming home on cloud nine, he is now coming home with his tail between his legs in utter humiliation. But notice there response in verse 13: Esther 6:13 "When Haman told his wife Zeresh and all his friends everything that had happened to him, his wise men and his wife Zeresh said to him, "If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of Jewish descent, you will not prevail against him but will surely fall before him." (NKJV) They did not comfort him in his time of suffering, notice they actually predicted his downfall. They warned that he could not stand against Mordecai since he was a Jew. And because the king had so highly honored Mordecai, Haman was running a dangerous risk in continuing with his plot to exterminate the Jews. His humiliation in the streets and these words in his house should have alarmed Haman and moved him to change his course of action.
God was warning Haman, but the proud prime minister wouldn't heed the warning. While Haman was talking with his wife and friends, the king's eunuchs came to take him to the second banquet with the king and queen. Esther 6:14 "While they were still talking with him, the king's eunuchs came, and hastened to bring Haman to the banquet which Esther had prepared." (NKJV) This was not what Haman had expected. What a difference a day makes. Just yesterday he was on cloud nine. He was planning at this point that Mordecai would have been hung and he would be gloating as he went to the banquet. Just the opposite happened. He is now forced to go to the banquet with a crushed spirit and with fear flooding his heart, for his wife had predicted the start of his downfall. Now after being humiliated he is now attending the second banquet. What is going through his mind? Could things get any worse? So Haman is off with the Eunuchs to go to the banquet. We will find out what happens next week as we study chapter seven. Isnâ€™t it wonderful to know that God is in control of all the details of our life no matter how small or how big! That he is with you in the daytime as well as in the nighttime. He is there in the rough times and in the good times. You can see here in the book of Esther of how God works through all sorts of people to accomplish his will. When God sounds an alarm, it pays to stop, look, listen and obey! I would like to show you an inspirational video of how God is with us in all the details of our lives. Please watch. Ladies, God is always with us, from the smallest of things to the largest he is there 24/7. He never leaves us. Next week we will see what happens at the second banquet. I look forward to do the study with you, until then, God Bless