God at Work: Humility

As we continue through the book of Esther, we came to what is arguably the high-water mark of the book.  As the drama climaxes in the ultimate demise of Haman and vindication for Esther and Mordecai.  While the story is quite compelling, we learn a lot about ourselves and our need for humility in this text.

The main idea of the sermon on Sunday was God will humble the proud and punish the wicked.

Esther’s Obedience: 5:1-8
The story picks up after Esther and the people had fasted for three days.  It’s hard to imagine there wasn’t legitimate fear running through Esther as she went into the king’s court.  But fear or not, Esther was obedient.  The truth is, fear is never an acceptable or reasonable excuse for disobedience.

Haman’s Pride: 5:9-13
The author then turns the attention of the reader to Haman.  Haman leaves the banquet with Esther and the king on cloud nine, only to see Mordecai and instantly move to a place of wrath.  How do you move to wrath that quickly?  As Crawford Loritts says, “unresolved anger leads to disproportionate thinking.”  Haman’s anger is rooted in his pride, which is often the case for us as well.  As the story proceeds, Haman schemes a plan to have Mordecai hanged, before heading to a second banquet with the king and Esther.  His pride will be his downfall.

Pride’s Humiliation: 6:1-13
The story then moves to the king that night, who is unable to sleep.  He asks for the book of memorable deeds to be read to him, which he discovers that Mordecai had not been rewarded for halting the assassination of the king.  Clearly this is God at work!  Haman comes into the king’s court to speak with him about having Mordecai hanged, but the king wants to know how he can honor Mordecai.  The king asks Mordecai how should we honor a man the king wishes to bestow honor upon.  Because his pride has blinded his ability to see that someone besides himself could be honored, he thinks up a great way to honor himself.  Except the king then tells him to go and do all of this for Mordecai.  Simply put, as high as your pride will take you is as low as your humiliation will plunge you.

God’s Judgment of the Wicked: 6:14-7:10
Things move quickly and Haman is exposed at the banquet.  It is determined that he is to be hanged on the gallows that were meant for Mordecai.
God’s Judgment is Just, Fair and Perfect: What is seen in this account is God’s judgment is just, fair and perfect.  Haman got exactly what he deserved.  In God’s economy, no one gets away with anything.  Evil will reap what it has sown.
God’s Timing in Judgment is Perfect: We also see that God’s timing is perfect.  God won’t show up late, but He also won’t show up early.  It will happen right on time.

Principles from the Text:
God will Deal with Pride: God dealt with the pride of Haman, and he will deal with your pride and mine.  In short, you and I will become humble people.  This will happen by us choosing this or by God imposing His will upon us.
What is Used Against You, God will Use For You: In a redemptive way that only God can, He will take what is meant to harm us, and use it for our well-being and His glory.  God took a situation that was meant to destroy Mordecai and the Jews, and used it to make much of Himself and for Mordecai and Esther’s good.  You may have something in your life that its intent is to harm you.  You don’t need to know how God will use it for you, but it’s important that you trust Him that He will use it for you.
God’s Timing is Perfect in All Things: Sometimes it’s hard to see how God is going to work out a situation or a scenario, but we must trust that His timing is perfect in all things.