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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Esther 6

Verses 1-14

  1. Intro:
    1. Peripety - a sudden turn of events that reverse the expected or intended outcome.
      1. The Tables Turn in this chapter. A Hinge. A Reversal. A Peripety.
    2. This book would make a wonder movie! “Suspense, drama, mystery, plot, good guy w/white hat, bad guy w/black hat, pretty lady, powerful King,…etc.”
  2. A KINGS INSOMNIA (1-3)
    1. Insomnia - Sleepless in Seattle/Susa. [The king asks, read me a bedtime story. Ha]
      1. Sleeplessness can equal God’s providence.
      2. It might be similar to us waking up & doing email? Or, reading over an old journal.
        1. Yet its because God wants to speak to us about something.
    2. Again, Providence at its finest.
      1. LXX - But the Lord withdrew sleep from the king that night.
      2. Behind the scenes: God gave the king Insomnia; Led the Chronicler to the record about Mordecai; & also had Haman arrive at just the right time.
        1. Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep. Ps.121:4
      3. Interesting, that while God was doing this all behind the scenes, Esther, Mordecai, & all the Jews had no clue this was going on.
        1. Today God is still working behind the scenes…on your behalf!
        2. Stop asking, why aren’t there more miracles today? And Start asking, how did God work in my seemingly ordinary events today?
      4. The word God doesn’t appear in Esther, but it screams a monotheistic worldview in its 10 chapters.
        1. The author is suggesting that beneath the surface of human decisions & action is an unseen & uncontrollable power at work, which can neither be explained nor thwarted. (Karen Jobes, The NIV Application Commentary, pg.158.)
          1. Remember in an ancient polytheistic culture, the gods controlled fate.
          2. Human affairs could be turned upside down if 1 god overpowered another.
          3. The author, by divine inspiration, is trying to explain how God rules.
          4. God had used mighty miracles to deliver his people. In Esther, God uses ordinary events of life to bring about his covenant promises to his people.
            1. Or look at it this way...any deity worth his salt can do a miracle now & then. Our God is so great, so powerful, that He can work w/o miracles through ordinary events of billions of human lives through millennia of time to accomplish His eternal purposes & ancient promises. God delivered an entire race of people in Persia because the king had a sleepless night, because a man would not bow to his superior, because a woman found herself taken to the bedroom of a ruthless man for a night of pleasure. (ibid. Pg.159,160.) Karen Jobes
        2. How did you come to meet your spouse? Why are you living in the place you are? What circumstances led to your current job? Wouldn’t you agree...tiny miracles of God’s providence direct your steps?
    3. (3) In saving the kings life, Mordecai saved his own.
      1. Ever think of all the male children under the age of 2 that gave their lives, for the 2 year old that would one day save there’s?
      2. Remember, Mordecai was overlooked! - He was not appreciated at the time, but maybe there was a reason for it?
        1. Not maybe…Absolutely! There was a reason!
        2. See, God not only won’t but can’t forget any good deed or work & labor of love!
    4. When things are darkest look for rays of light to come bursting forth.
      1. There are many beauties in our sky that would never be seen if it were always light.
  3. PINNACLE OF PRIDE (4-9)
    1. Haman had to be whistling to work that morning.
      1. Think about it. Night before, invited over to the King & Queen’s for dinner. Today Mordecai’s going to hang. Tonight...let me check my day planner, or yah, invited again to dinner with the King & Queen.
    2. Haman hated Mordecai! So much so, he got up early to ask for his enemy’s life!
    3. Haman loved Haman! So much so, he was blinded to the fact that there could be anyone else, in the entire kingdom, who deserved being honored by the king…beside himself!
    4. (6b) (Fenelon, 17th century archbishop, Devotional called “Let Go”) “Humility is the source of all true greatness: pride is ever impatient, ready to be offended. He who thinks nothing is due him, never thinks himself ill-treated.”
    5. Haman shows us how to trip over your own pride!
  4. HUMILIATING, BUT NOT HUMBLING (10-14)
    1. ​​​​​​​(10) If you listened closely I believe you could have heard Haman’s Jaw hit the floor!
    2. Slide#16 Let me set this up...To show his appreciation of you the President of the U.S. says you can use Marine One for the day...Where would you take it?
      1. I’d have them land on our softball field & run into my office…“just picking something up.” - Then I’d do lunch at Ruth Chris in San Diego & have them land it on the USS Midway. - Wrap up with a White House lawn landing.
      2. But, lets see how Mordecai handles it.
    3. (11) How humiliating for Haman - He had to dress him, crown him, mount him on the horse, & then parade him throughout the city!
      1. I especially would have love to hear him proclaim(mumbling) "Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!"
        1. ​​​​​​​It must have been like gravel in his mouth.
        2. Ironic – The very man trying to hang Mordecai must now honor him.
      2. The humble man sees life through eyeglasses, that he looks through to give him clear & correct vision in order to see others & their needs.
      3. The Prideful man sees life through a mirror, that he looks into in which he only sees himself.
        1. Was Abram looking through eyeglasses or into a mirror when he said to Lot Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left?
        2. Was Lot looking through eyeglasses or into a mirror when he, lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar. Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan? Gen.13:9-11
        3. Today, which did you have before your eyes? Eyeglasses or a mirror?
    4. As for Mordecai he saw Prov.27:2 lived out before his eyes, Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips.
    5. It goes to show you...“You can seek recognition, or you can let recognition seek you!” :)
      1. ​​​​​​​Never forget…God has your address!
    6. ​​​​​​​(12) Back to the king’s gate –
      1. 1st we note, if he’s going back to the gate. Then that’s where he was bright & early that morning. - So, Mordecai didn’t stay in bed sick that day, nor hide in his closet.
      2. And interestingly enough, he was obviously able to sleep that evening, while he heard the pounding of the hammers late into the night, constructing his own gallows! He then rose & went to work early the next morning. [like in Acts 12, Peter sleeping in prison, knowing the next day could have been his death. The angel had to strike him to wake him]
      3. Also, He doesn’t say: “Drop me off in the kings court, or on my street, nor on the other side of town” - Instead, he says, “just drop me off back where I was.”
        1. ​​​​​​​He can tell his friends & family later what had happened.
        2. Humility returns to the kings gate, Pride wants to dance on the Kings Porch. (imagine Mordecai shouting…“just returning your horse Mr.King”)
    7. (12b) Haman felt so low I think he slid under the front door when he got home.
      1. Haman went from a “proud peacock w/tail feather extensions”, to a “whipped dog w/ his tail between his legs”!
    8. (13) Oh, Haman forgot to ever mention to king Xerxes, nor his wife & friends he sought counsel from, the race to wipe out the Jews. [3:8 There is a certain people…]
      1. Zeresh says, oh husband of mine, that changes everything...you’re going down!
      2. Zeresh couldn’t have paraphrased Gen.12:3 any better I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you.
      3. It’s good for the U.S. to be “friends of Israel”…Happy our administration is once again working with Israel. I pray we will remain that way!
    9. (14) Even after a Rude Awakening from Providence & a Radical Warning from his wife & wise friends, there was still no repentance or turning back.
      1. Hatred had claimed squatters rights in his soul”.
    10. “The mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceedingly fine!”
      1. When you have coffee ground they’ll ask, how fine/course? [actually 7 levels]​​​​​​​ French Press(coarse); Drip(medium) Espresso(fine); Turkish(very very fine) [Kosovo]
        1. Haman is about to become Turkish Grind in the next chapter!
      2. (Old English couplet) “Still as of old, man by himself is priced, For 30 pieces of silver Judas sold himself…not Christ!”
      3. In life we see both the good & bad both being ground!
        1. Gods mill grinds both the Wheat & the Chaff!
        2. I’m sure if the Wheat grain could talk it would be screaming as its being let down the shoot into the grinder yelling, why me?. So why? So it might be a blessing to the one that grew it, & for it to be a blessing and nourishment for others!
        3. The Chaff is ground up & yet is only good for…the fire!
    11. Here we had a condemned man (Mordecai) on death row. On the day of his execution, unbuckled out of the chair in the 11th hour & then released & treated like royalty!...Sounds like salvation!
    12. Haman had a rude awakening coming his way fast.
      1. He found out some things aren’t always what they seem.
      2. He found out all things work together for bad to those who don’t love God, to those who are not the called according to His purpose.
      3. He found out Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.
    13. You & I learn tonight…
      1. Because of our sin, we are not living in the Garden of Eden, where the Lord walks & talks w/us in the coolness of the day. Rather, we live in the exile of history, in a world where God is unseen.
      2. We learn that no mater how dark our day, our final destiny of glory w/Christ is assured. And one day we will see the ultimate reversal of circumstance will be ours
      3. By contrast, no matter how prosperous & how powerful those who are not in Christ, will ultimately also suffer a reversal of fortune, & in hindsight realize it was a web of their own making, just like Haman.
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Esther 6". "Bell's Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/esther-6.html. 2017.