Scripture reading – Esther 6
The world calls it, “Karma,” an ideology attributed to Buddhism and Hinduism, and suggests a “payback” for one’s actions (whether evil or good). Instant Karma suggests a “Cause and Effect” that is fatalistic, and devoid of the influence of divine sovereignty and intervention.
In contrast, spirit-filled believers have faith in God’s promises. We trust God sovereignly directs the course of nations and humanity to His divine purpose and end. By faith, we are confident “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). Yet, there is an undeniable principle of “Cause and Effect” summed up in this: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7).
The backdrop of today’s Scripture reading (Esther 6) is tragic, for king Ahasuerus has sealed a decree to appease the slight one man has suffered. Haman, the wicked Amalekite, despised the Jew Mordecai for his refusal to bow and revere him. Under the guise of the king’s interests, Haman persuaded the king to decree the annihilation of all Jews.
Esther 6 is a stunning example of what the world foolishly proclaims as “Karma,” but people of faith recognize as the sovereign hand of God. King Ahasuerus (also known as Xerxes I in history), was in a place many find themselves, enduring a long, sleepless night. The king did not recognize the hand of God, though it was the LORD who used the king’s insomnia (6:1) to direct his thoughts to His divine purpose and end. Unable to sleep, the king commanded his servants retrieve “the book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king” (6:1).
Providentially, for there is no other explanation, the name of Mordecai, Queen Esther’s adopted father, came to the king’s attention. Ahasuerus, was reminded that Mordecai had intervened to foil a plot to assassinate the king (2:21-23). Recalling the occasion, the king wondered aloud, “What honour and dignity hath been done to Mordecai for this?” (6:3). The servant’s answered the king’s inquiry, saying, “There is nothing done for him” (6:3b).
Perceiving Mordecai had not been honored for his service (6:3), Ahasuerus determined to correct the slight and reward the man that had saved his life. Providentially, Haman, the adversary of Mordecai and all the Jews, had entered the king’s court (6:4-5). He was come “to speak unto the king to hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him” (6:4). “The king’s servants said unto [the king], Behold, Haman standeth in the court. And the king said, Let him come in” (6:5). In a wonderful twist of divine intervention, Haman listened as the king sought his counsel regarding how he might reward a man in “whom the king delighteth to honour” (6:6).
Proud Haman mistakenly believed he was the one whom the king desired to honor (after all, who could be more deserving?) Feeling he would be the honoree, Haman described a lavish, public parade worthy of the king himself! He suggested “the man whom the king delighteth to honour” (6:7), should be adorned in the king’s robes, paraded through the streets riding the king’s horse, and privileged to wear a royal crown (6:8). Believing he was the man to be honored; Haman spared no detail for how the king should reward such a man. He proposed “one of the king’s most noble princes” should lead him about and proclaim, “Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honour” (6:9).
Ah, the irony when the king commanded Haman, “Make haste, and take the apparel and the horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the king’s gate: let nothing fail of all that thou hast spoken” (6:10). Imagine the humiliation Haman suffered! The man whom he plotted to hang, was now the one he was forced to honor with his own lips, declaring, “Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour” (6:11).
The parade being ended, Haman rushed to his house and described to his wife and friends “every thing that had befallen him” (6:13). Casting a dark shadow over his life, Haman’s wife and friends warned: “If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before him” (6:13). Even as that dire prophecy was stated, servants of Ahasuerus came to escort him to what would prove to be his last meal, and one “Esther had prepared” (6:14).
Closing thoughts – Karma, you say? No, the stage was set for the final act in Haman’s life, and the providential saving of God’s people. I close with two verses that serve as a reminder and warning to all.
Proverbs 16:18 – 18Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Galatians 6:7 – 7Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Copyright © 2022 – Travis D. Smith
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