Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Lessons from Esther: The second banquet

1 So the king and Haman came to banquet with Esther the queen. 2 And the king said again unto Esther on the second day at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition, queen Esther? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? and it shall be performed, even to the half of the kingdom. 3 Then Esther the queen answered and said, If I have found favour in thy sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request: 4 For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held my tongue, although the enemy could not countervail the king's damage. 5Then the king Ahasuerus answered and said unto Esther the queen, Who is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so? 6 And Esther said, The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman. Then Haman was afraid before the king and the queen. 7 And the king arising from the banquet of wine in his wrath went into the palace garden: and Haman stood up to make request for his life to Esther the queen; for he saw that there was evil determined against him by the king. 8 Then the king returned out of the palace garden into the place of the banquet of wine; and Haman was fallen upon the bed whereon Esther was. Then said the king, Will he force the queen also before me in the house? As the word went out of the king's mouth, they covered Haman's face. 9 And Harbonah, one of the chamberlains, said before the king, Behold also, the gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman had made for Mordecai, who had spoken good for the king, standeth in the house of Haman. Then the king said, Hang him thereon. 10 So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king's wrath pacified. Esther 7

The day has arrived; the second banquet of Queen Esther is now in progress. The king and Haman arrive at the banquet. After a little wine, the king asks Queen Esther for her request. “Just ask, and you will receive up to half of the kingdom.”

Esther “jumps in” with both feet. She immediately starts to plead for her life as well as “her” people’s lives. She makes mention of not saying a word if they were only going to be sold for slaves, but this is death. The people have been sold to be totally destroyed.

Ahasuerus appears to be a little shocked. Sometimes I wonder was he even paying attention. He was the one who took the money and signed the decree. Then I come to my senses, God is in total control. God knows the whole story, beginning to end. Proverbs 8:15-16 tells us: By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.

God has allowed the rulers to reign. Even though God’s name is not mentioned even once in the book of Esther, His very being is weaved throughout the entire book.

Ahasuerus is getting very upset. He demands to know who would do such a deed. Esther knows, now is the time to speak, now is the right moment to come clean before the king and reveal the evil mastermind, Haman. As Esther says his name, Haman is “shaking in his boots”. He has been exposed and panic takes over.

The king, in shock, leaves the banquet to get fresh air in the garden. He needs to clear his head and take a moment to think.

Haman sees this as an opportunity to plead with the queen. He has worked with the king for many years and knows he can be “hot headed” and quick tempered. Haman falls on the bed where Esther is and appeals for mercy. Ahasuerus comes back in the banquet and is shocked by what he sees, Haman on the bed with Esther. He does not need an explanation, his mind is made up. Haman’s face is covered which signified his death was eminent.

One of the chamberlains tells the king about the gallows. The next words out of the king’s mouth were “hang him on it”.  The wicked Haman comes to a speedy death and the king’s rage is pacified.

What can we learn from Haman’s wicked life?

1. He was responsible for his actions.

So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Romans 14:12

2. He did  not “get away” with doing wrong

But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out. Numbers 32:23

3. Haman reaped what he sowed

He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail. Proverbs 22:8

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Galatians 6:7

4. God is in control and the Final Judge

The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah. Psalm 9:16

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. II Corinthians 5:10

Have a blessed day,

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