Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

OOPS! Haman didn’t see that Coming!

Esther 6:6  So Haman came in, and the king asked him, "What shall be done for the man whom the king delights to honor?" Now Haman thought in his heart, "Whom would the king delight to honor more than me?"

The little book of Esther in the old testament is one of the most captivating and interesting stories that has ever been written.  The story has political intrigue, conflict between good and evil, racial prejudice,  a woman (Esther) who is willing to die for her people and who becomes the story’s heroine.  The book can be read as historical literature because it is.  But behind the historical facts is an allegory that teaches us a lot about God.  And yet the name of God or Jehovah is never mentioned in the book.

I believe that the book can be looked at as explaining the conflict between the flesh (Haman) and the Spirit (Mordecai).  The book is all about dethroning the flesh and exalting the Spirit and this is accomplished by obedience on the part of Esther and by the guiding hand of God behind the scenes.  The book reminds us that while the Lord’s people, that is, new testament Christians, are saved for eternity, God has also put a protective hedge about them in this life.  He preserves us in ways we don’t even know or understand.  When things get “scary” in this life, we need to remember that God is still on the throne orchestrating events that will preserve those who truly love and worship Him.  Some would say that there were a lot of lucky coincidences in this story, but the story reminds us that there is no such thing as a lucky coincidence.

Mordecai, Esther’s cousin and the man who raised her, was in a strange land as a captive with a King who was not a Jew on the throne.  The book does not say that the King has no Jewish heritage but when it comes to killing the jews, he doesn’t seem concerned, so I assume that he had no Jewish background.  Mordecai was totally loyal to this King and even exposed a plot to kill him.   Exposing this plot set the stage for the overthrow of Haman, the enemy of the Jews.  While Haman was plotting the destruction of Mordecai, the King had insomnia.  He chose to read a history book rather taking a sleeping pill.  That should have put him to sleep;  but  as he read it, he realized that Mordecai had saved his life and had never been honored for it.  Thus, when Haman shows up the next morning with the intent of asking for Mordecai to be executed for not bowing to him and giving him honor (the flesh is really cruel), the king asks Haman the above question.  Haman assumes he is to be honored but instead the circumstances have been orchestrated so that Mordecai is honored and Haman is hanged on his own gallows.  There is an old saying that if you give a man enough rope, he will hang himself, and Haman did that.

I love this story because it reminds me that we who have trusted in the Lord don’t really fight our own battles.  It reminds me that we would all be overcome by the flesh if the Lord didn’t intervene.  In most cases our own flesh is the enemy and in some cases it is the flesh of others, often the flesh of religious people.  Pride is the primary problem of the flesh.  The flesh just represents what we are because of the sinful nature that we inherited from our first father, Adam.  The spirit represents what we should be once we are “born of the spirit (John 3:6).”  But the transition that gets the flesh off of the throne and the Spirit on the throne is a constant struggle.

This struggle cannot be won unless we are willing to die and Esther was.  She says, “If I perish, I perish!” when she went to the king without being summoned.  Today when it is so easy to be proud instead of humble, when it is so easy to listen to religious leaders who have prestige but have no sense, we can be thankful that with prayer and humility, this battle between the flesh and spirit can be won.  In Rom 8:31, Paul reminds us,  “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” And again, in Rom 8:37, he says, “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

I cannot understand why anyone would want to deny the God who works this way in the life of His own.  Unbelievers miss out on all the good stuff.

Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of June 23, 2013

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