Jump Starts Daily

Jump Start #3531

Jump Start # 3531

  Esther 6:1 “On that night the king could not sleep. And he gave orders to bring the book of memorable deeds, the chronicles, and they were read before the king.”

  Tuesdays with Esther. As one journeys through this fascinating and intriguing story of Esther, the fingers of God are seen. By the sixth chapter, Esther has crossed the line and broken the law and approached the king. She does this for the sake of her people. There was a banquet. At that banquet only the King and Haman are present. She doesn’t reveal anything. Not yet. Esther has a plan. There would be another banquet the next day.

  What a lesson about patience. All things in the right time. But something happens in the night. Esther doesn’t know about it. Haman doesn’t know about it. The king can’t sleep. You and I have been there, a sleepless night. As a king, Xerxes had many options. Bring some food. Nope. Bring the court musicians. Nope. Bring a concubine. Nope. Bring Esther and find out what’s going on with all these banquets. Nope.

  The king has the book of memorable deeds read to him. He will find out about the assassination attempt on his life and how Mordecai, a Jew, saved the day by revealing it to the queen. This event took place five years earlier. Was this book brought to the king because he wanted feel good stories? Was it boring and he thought he’d go to sleep? We don’t know how many volumes there were. It’s a big empire, stretching from India to Ethiopia. But the right book, and the right page was read and the king stayed awake to hear about this. A Jew saved his life. What was done for him? The servants knew. Nothing.

  Haman happened to be in the court. Strange. Had he been there all night? Was it the crack of dawn and he’s there. He seems to always be circling the king, like a buzzard. How should the king honor someone, Haman is asked. And, the head of the proud, wicked man swells. Who else has been given the signet ring? Who else has had a private banquet with the king? Not once, but two days in a row?

  Haman’s answer is put that person on the king’s horse, wearing the king’s robe. In essence, this honored person is looking and acting like the king. And, who better to do that, Haman thinks, than himself. It sure appears that he is moving pieces here and there so that he will be the next king.

The king tells Haman that it is Mordecai, the Jew who is to be honored. This is the same Mordecai that Haman was going to hang that very day. Now, he has to lead him around on the king’s horse. The text tells us that Mordecai returned to the king’s gate, but Haman hurried to his house, mourning and with his head covered. He’s embarrassed. He’s ashamed. He is humiliated. He’s having a bad day and before the day ends, Haman will be put to death at his own house.

  What a great story.

  First, God’s hand is all over these chapters. The reformer Luther couldn’t see God in this book. I believe Luther should have opened his eyes. What if the king slept soundly that night? What if something other than the book of deeds was read to him? What if the king fell asleep before the reader got to Mordecai? What if that story had not been recorded? What if…what if…what if. Lucky some would say. Coincidences, others would say. We think, God was doing things. God has no night. God has no rest.

  While we sleep, God is busy. While we worry, God is moving things. While we wonder what to do, God is opening doors. The heart of the king is in the hands of God and he moves it whatever way He desires.

  Second, God hates arrogance. It’s listed as one of the seven things the Lord hates. Pride is all about self. Pride is blind to the need of others. Pride doesn’t care about others. The first step of discipleship is not baptism. It’s not going to church. It’s not being generous. The first step is to deny yourself (Luke 9:23). Many a person has been baptized who kept their pride. And, when proud men get into the leadership roles nothing good will happen. The sheep will be ignored. The hurt will die. The lost will be driven away.

  One feels good to see the walls come tumbling down around Haman. He lost the confidence of the king. He lost respect. And, he lost his life. The proud will never admit wrong. They blame others. The proud never needs to change. They know all and have it all together. The proud never makes application of the Scriptures to their own lives. A proud man won’t make it to Heaven. It’s upon our knees that we need to fall and beg for the mercy of our Lord. The broken have lost all pride. The come home needing God.

  Third, should Esther have tried to save Haman? Ought she to have had some grace and kindness and given him a second chance? That is an interesting thought. And, it’s a thought that we have and the Scriptures do not address. Things were really out of Esther’s hands. She was the queen but not the king. The angry king saw Haman falling around Esther, begging for his life and the king took that as an assault. So, it didn’t matter about the edict. It didn’t matter about trying to kill Mordecai who had saved the king’s life. Now, the king had another reason and a greater reason. Haman had attacked the queen.

  Interestingly, the eunuch, Harbona, knew about Haman’s gallows and Haman’s plans to execute Mordecai. He told the king about that and that was enough to put Haman on those very gallows at Haman’s house. Would Haman had changed if he was given a second chance? Sometimes justice comes before mercy.

  I am thankful that we do not have to decide the eternal destiny of anyone. How fair would we be? How just would we be? How merciful would we be? The apostle said that we stand before the righteous judge and that He is, righteous.

  Haman was hanged on his gallows. A fitting end to an evil, wicked man.

  So many powerful lessons layered in this fascinating book.

  Tuesdays with Esther.