Friday, April 22, 2011

The Book of Esther 12

The Book of Esther
Esther 6:1-9

On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king. And it was found written, that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's chamberlains, the keepers of the door, who sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus.  And the king said, What honour and dignity hath been done to Mordecai for this? Then said the king's servants that ministered unto him, There is nothing done for him.

And the king said, Who is in the court? Now Haman was come into the outward court of the king's house, to speak unto the king to hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him.  And the king's servants said unto him, Behold, Haman standeth in the court. And the king said, Let him come in.  So Haman came in. And the king said unto him, What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour? Now Haman thought in his heart, To whom would the king delight to do honour more than to myself? And Haman answered the king, For the man whom the king delighteth to honour, Let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which is set upon his head: And let this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king's most noble princes, that they may array the man withal whom the king delighteth to honour, and bring him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaim before him, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honour.

Sleepless in Susa
After the banquet with Queen Esther and Hamon, King Ahasuerus could not sleep and sent for the book of records to be read before him. This book of the chronicles was an accurate account  of events kept by Persian officials that would effect the royal empire as well as the palace. Do you think it was a coincidence that the king couldn’t sleep, or was it the providence of God? A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps (Proverbs 16:9). God, in His sovereignty, overrules the intentions of men to fulfill His purposes. When Daniel was to be thrown into the lion’s den, King Darius was troubled over Daniel’s plight and his sleep fled him. Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from him. Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?  Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.  Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God (Daniel 6:18-23). Sometimes, God, accomplishes His greatest work in the hearts of men while they lay upon their beds in the middle of the night.

The Chronicles of Shushan
There were thousands of items recorded each year in the book of records, but one particular item was overlooked for nearly five years. Mordecai had gone unrewarded for saving the life of the king–– a negative reflection upon the king’s character. Hamon, on the other hand, was up all night planning and plotting, as men were building the gallows to hang Mordecai upon. Hamon came to the palace early that morning after the erection of the gallows, looking to talk to the king about executing Mordecai. The king, hoping someone would be in court early that morning, immediately summonsed Hamon to come into his presence––an unexpected privilege. Hamon had only one thing on his mind that morning, with the king’s approval, he would hang Mordecai. 

The king also had a single interest on his heart; Mordecai, had not been properly honored and he wanted to make this right. The king posed a question to Hamon asking, “What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour?” and  Haman thought in his heart, To whom would the king delight to do honour more than to myself? Anyone could have made the same mistake Hamon did in thinking he was to be honored that day and the irony lay in what had been happening during the night in the conflicting intentions of both men. Here is a clear illustration of the text that reads, Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18).

Hamon lays out in detail every honor he would be delighted to receive publicly, from the wearing of the royal robe, to the king’s horse he would mount and ride upon. To some, the riding of the king’s horse could have meant Hamon was bidding for the king’s throne but in this event, no such problem emerged. (The crown royal was not for Hamon to wear, but to be placed upon the head of the king’s horse or a top knot formed by the horse’s hair to image a crown––as pictured in ancient remains.) The fact that Hamon was able to make such a list of honors to give to the king immediately, suggests that he must have been thinking about them, if ever he were asked.
Thought:  Hamon never divulged his hatred for Mordecai to the king or that the decree against the Jews was directed towards Mordecai. The love of position was paramount in the life of Hamon along with prestige, influence and earthly treasures. He was blinded by his pride and sought what would satisfied him most. As Christians, we are to seek the things above, where Christ is, and not the pleasures and self-satisfactions of this world.  If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:1-2).

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