Before we read the passage for today, I want us to reflect on the nature of life. Would you say that life is a peaceful stream or a raging, unforeseeable river?
I bet most would say that even if things go well at times, life is still unpredictable.
The life of a man is fragile and short.
Job said this in Chapter 14 verse 1.
There is a lot of suffering and trials in this life and we can’t escape them. There are natural disasters, floods, tornados, draughts etc or maybe we’re faced with health problems, family issues, addictions.
For some in this world there are wars and regional conflicts.
Not all of these things are random or are a result of human error. Sometimes things happen because we are sinners.
Sin in our lives keeps us from having good relationships, keeps us from attaining our dreams, and divides our churches.
This said we are ready to pick up again the story of Esther. Two weeks ago, we saw how at the end of our section, Esther was made queen, how the king had resolved his loneliness problem and how the nation was rejoicing.
If it was a movie or a fairy tale, the story would end here with these captions, “And they lived happily ever after and had many children!”
But Esther isn’t fiction. It is the account of real lives. And life isn’t like that.
Troubles never cease once and for all. In fact people will never be truly happy while living in this body.
Ok, now let’s read in Esther 2: 21 and see the reality of life, “…”
Two Eunuchs decided to kill the king. We don’t know exactly why, but the text says they had become frustrated with the king.
Why didn’t they forgive? Was it worth it? Why didn’t one of them calm the other down?
We don’t have details, but we know that Satan had the upper hand in these events.
You see Satan loves it when we don’t forgive, when we let anger seep down in our soul. Once resentment is in our hearts, the devil finds an open door to create havoc.
And it always results in destruction for us and others.
Look what happens next in this story, Esther 2: 22-23 “…” The two eunuch were hanged or literally impaled on sticks.
Let’s read again in Esther 3: 1-4 “…”
Haman was named Prime minister by the King. All must bow before him. As we know from before a Jew is not allowed to bow before another human being.
When Mordechai was asked why he didn’t do this, he simply replied, “I am a Jew”
Now the servants of the king could have overlooked that or showed understanding and compassion.
But the evil nature of their humanity made them report the matter to Haman himself.
How did Haman react?
Look with me in verses 5 and 6 “…”
Haman was full of anger against Haman, but the text also said he and wanted to kill all the Jews.
Isn’t this extreme? Why did he want to annihilated an entire people and not just Mordechai?
To find an answer, we must pay attention to some details. Look in Esther 3:1. It says there that Haman was the son of Hammedatha, the Agaguite.
Why does this matter? 1 Samuel, Saul the first king of the Jews received an order to kill all the Amalecites and their flock. Samuel the prophet said it was God’s will.
The Amalicites were long time enemies of the Jews.
Saul went to war, but pushed by his greet and a desire for personal glory, he spared the best flock and the king Agag. When Samuel heard, he was so upset, that he came and killed himself the Agag before the Lord. Saul was severely rebuked by the Lord.
So we find in Esther that some of Kings Agag’s family had obviously also escaped or been spared. And these descendants took on the name of the Agaguites.
Haman was one of these descendants.
And we know the Agaguites hated the Jews.
When Haman grew up, he probably heard many bad comments on that people. He was taught to be prejudiced against them.
Listen, we don’t come in this world with hate in our heart. We are not born with a prejudice gene in our make up. We’re influenced that way by the hate from those around us. Like our family and friends.
Haman carried on the hate towards the Jews from his family.
Look in Esther 3: 7 “…”
Then in Esther 3: 8-9 “…”
Notice that Haman never tells the king of his prejudices, he only spoke of money.
He promised the king lots of money, 375 tons of silver to be exact. That’s a real bounty. How was he going to get it? By stealing it from the Jews that he killed.
Esther 3: 10-11 “…”
Also notice the King never asks the advice of wise men in his counsel and there are none to tell him to be careful.
Be careful when you are only taking advice from one person, especial one with lots of prejudices.
Esther 3: 12-13 “…”
Haman goes to work without hesitation, he has no reserve and no remorse.
Before you judge him to quick, let me say that this beast-like nature is not just in him, it’s buried in all of us.
That’s why Christ is so important. Without boundaries and the grace of Jesus, our passions would overtake us. Without Jesus evil would consume our souls.
Without the power of the Holy Spirit helping us everyday, all my resentments, my refusals to forgive, and my build up of hate would remain without ever leaving.
Here you see, Haman’s results in which he order genocide.
Verses 14 and 15 say this, “…”
This is what happens when sin is unleashed.
The story doesn’t end here, but we stop here to take 4 lessons from this text.
The servants of Morchedai said to him, “Why don’t you bow?”
Mordechai said, “because I am a Jew and my commitment to the Lord forbids me to do so.”
All around him were irritated.
Listen, there will always be people who attempt to pull you away from the Lord. Be prepared, otherwise your resolution to serve him will be shaken.
We have a capacity for vengeance and we should never underestimate this tendency.
An old resentment is risky if we allow it to remain in our hearts. It can poison our life.
So beware of it. Constantly check your heart to see if bitterness is making its way deep in your soul.
Here is an exercice for next week. Make a list of those who have hurt you deeply in this life. It can be a ex-husband, a preacher, a church, friends or family. Once you know, wonder in yourself if you have truly forgiven and if you would hurt them in return if you could.
How will you make sure you don’t?
Watch out if you turn to people who are full of prejudice for advice. Look what happened to the king of Persia. Without knowing he signed the death warrant of his own wife.
So let’s surround ourselves with honest people who are willing to question us when we are being unreasonable or doing something that is wrong.
The King should have had some people around him who was allowed to say, “Assuerus, how could you do such an abomination?”
The influence of flesh is powerful. If we live according to the flesh, history shows us that we will fail.
It’s for this reason that the Lord sent his Son into our dirty world. We are totally incapable of helping ourselves, but Christ can.
On the cross where men crucified him, he opened the door for forgiveness to us.
His blood washed us of our sin and his Spirit gave us the power to overcome.
In summary, Christ is our solution. I can’t guarantee that after you give your life to Christ that you’ll never again have a desire for vengeance.
However, if Christ is the focus of your life, I promise you that you will have help to stop sinning.
Today you can have an internal transformation. The grace of God can purify our hearts of bad feelings. He can render us capable of giving over our everyday suffering and capable to resist being resentful.
His grace is sufficient to make us walk in righteousness, but the question is will we give ourselves over by faith, in order to allow the grace of God to work in us?