The Pieces Take Shape

It is fun to put a puzzle together and see the picture on the box begin to unfold before your eyes.  This concept applies to anything as we plan: a vacation, a new job, a remodel project, or any other endeavor.  Anytime we see our plans come together and see the finished product, a sense of fulfillment or completion with how these things came together is very self-satisfying.

Esther chapter seven is a short chapter with the pieces of the previous six chapters being woven together.  The main characters all come together in one scene and the hand of God is seen as the purpose of the dinner is revealed.  The King is curious to know what the Queen wants or needs so desperately that she has a dinner two days in a row for the King and Haman.  His curiosity is peaked so he asked the queen, “What is your wish, Queen Esther?  It shall be granted you.  And what is your request?  Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” (Esther 7:3).  Esther lays out the plot against her and her people that has developed slowly over the last year.  She lays out the scenario in such a humble way that the story of the mistreated and misrepresented people makes our hearts sympathize over this sad account.  How could a person sell out an entire group of people to be destroyed, killed, and annihilated?  Who would dare to do such a thing?

Recalling the events from Esther 3, the interaction between Haman and the King was presented in quite a different light than Queen Esther is presenting.  Haman presents the Jews as people that have different laws and do not keep the king’s laws, “so it is not to the king’s profit to tolerate them.” (Esther 3:8).  The King trusted Haman so much that he was willing to allow him write the edict concerning the destruction of the Jews based on this little bit of information.  The King is so ill-informed, so easily swayed, and so foolish that he is willing to send a people to the slaughter based on a few words from Haman.  The King did not do his research or consult any other wise officials that were in his kingdom regarding this matter.  He merely took Haman at his word.  The King gives Haman his ring and tells him to “do as it seems good to you.” (Esther 3:11).

Now the King is faced with the reality of the situation and hopefully a valuable lesson is learned through this situation:  seek wise counsel about all matters, especially one that involves an entire race of people. After hearing the report from Esther that it was the wicked Haman who plotted this evil plan, the king gets up from the table and goes to the garden to evaluate the situation.  During the King’s absence Haman begs Queen Esther for his life.  When the King returns it does not appear to be Haman begging for his life, but rather it looks like Haman is assaulting the Queen.  No sooner had the King made this observation, the Eunuchs and guards in attendance came and took Haman away and hung him on the same gallows that he had built for Mordecai.

“…Be sure your sins will find you out.” (Numbers 32:23).  Haman’s deception of the King did not lead to the satisfaction of Haman’s wrath, but rather it led to Haman’s destruction.  Deception may satisfy for a time, but in the end when the truth is revealed right must be done.  As hard as it is at times to watch and wait for a scenario to play out, it is often better to seek the Lord’s counsel and act in accordance with patience and wisdom rather than rash decisions.  If Esther had rashly gone into the King’s court after she heard the edict rather than spend time with her people fasting and praying, the outcome may have turned out differently.  Instead she patiently followed God’s leading and acted in a controlled manner presenting the facts to the King.  As we continue to follow the story of Esther, there are still many lessons to be learned

Questions:

  1. Read Esther 3:13 and compare it with Esther 7:4. Do you notice any similarities?
  1. What might have happened if Esther had not spent time fasting and praying before she first approached the King? What if she had rushed into the King distraught over the news?
  1. Why would God want us to wait rather to act impetuously?
  1. What do you notice about the presentation Esther made to the king with the information about the destruction of the Jews?
  1. When Haman presented the information about “a certain people who do not keep the king’s laws” what vital information did he conveniently leave out? What vital questions did the King forget to ask?
  1. If you recall from Esther 6:10 the King knew Mordecai was a Jew and Mordecai’s “word saved the king,” as the eunuch reminded the King in Esther 7:9. How important is it for a King and for the rest of us to have people of wisdom around us that give us godly, Biblical counsel during times of need?
  1. When do we not want to listen or ask for advice and wise council from our wise friends?
  1. Read Proverbs 12:15 and compare this verse with the story of Esther, the King, and Haman.
  1. Did the King “redeem” himself?
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