Saturday, April 8, 2017

April 8 - Esther 6

Today's reading in our daily plan is Esther 6. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • In Esther 6 we see the thickening of the plot between Haman and Mordecai. Haman has completed building the gallows on which he plans to hang Mordecai. While this is happening, King Xerxes is having trouble sleeping and he asks for the book of chronicles (essentially the written record of his time as king) to be read aloud to him. It is during this reading, King Xerxes is reminded of Mordecai role in saving his life from two of his officers who had conspired to kill him. Ultimately, as a result, King Xerxes honors Mordecai for the role he played in saving his life.
  • In the last few verses of chapter 6, Haman returns home and fills his wife and advisors in the day's events. They immediately start revising their plan to kill Mordecai...but their scheming is interrupted when Haman has to leave to go to dinner at the queen's.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • It seems the pride of Haman knows no bounds. In verse 6 when King Xerxes asks Haman for his ideas on how to show honor to someone who deserves it, Haman can imagine no one else the king would honor other than himself. He creates this list of extravagant and great things, thinking it would be him who would receive them. 
  • Can you imagine how Haman felt when he realized all of this was to honor Mordecai, his arch enemy...the person he was planning to execute on the gallows he just had built? Not only that, but Haman had to lead Mordecai through the streets and announce the honor the king was showing Mordecai. 
  • It's also worth pointing out the importance of seeking wise counsel. Herman's pride is overtaking him, and the counsel he seeks (his wife and advisors) don't speak wisdom or truth...they feed the pride and hatred. When we find ourselves in situations when we can't think straight because of our pride (like Haman) or because of other strong emotion, what counsel are we seeking? Are you talking to someone who feeds that emotion? Or are you seeking counsel from someone who will speak truth to you, even if it's not easy to hear?
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Haman lets his pride continually get the best of him. He's so consumed with it, he can't think clearly. But how many times have you been more like Haman than you would care to admit? Letting pride and anger fill you. Making decisions and plans out of those emotions rather than a clear head. 
  • Think of an area of your life that you have allowed pride to cloud. What would change if you started to let that go? How would you act differently if you let love lead, instead of pride?