Haman is deceitfully manipulating King Xerxes to approve of his plans to destroy all the Jews in the kingdom. Satan has a way of packaging evil to actually make it sound good and right.
Esther 3: 8-9 “Then Haman said to King Xerxes, ‘There is a certain people…in all the provinces of your kingdom whose customs are different from all the other people and who do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them. If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them, and I will put ten talents of silver into the royal treasurer for the men who carry out this business.’”
Haman manages to convince the king that there is a dangerous, radical, intolerant group of extremists in the kingdom who refuse to obey the laws of the land. They preach hatred and refuse to tolerate other beliefs or other lifestyles and it’s in the best interest of the kingdom to get rid of them. I’ll personally take care of this and it won’t cost you a dime.
But the truth is that Haman doesn’t really care what’s best for Xerxes or the kingdom. He’s only concerned about his own interests and his own personal agenda. He’s not satisfied with being number two. He wants to become the king. He wants to replace Xerxes and rule the kingdom himself but Mordecai was standing in his way; so he and his people had to be destroyed.
Esther 3: 10-11 “So the king took his signet ring from his finger and gave it to Haman…the enemy of the Jews. ‘Keep the money,’ the king said, ‘and do with the people as you please.’”
The King gave Haman his signet ring. Haman now possesses the power and the authority of the king. That’s what the king’s ring represented. Now Haman has what he wants. The next one to go will be Xerxes.
Esther 3:12 “Then…the royal secretaries were summoned. They wrote out…all Haman’s orders to the king’s satraps, the governors of the various provinces and the nobles of the various peoples. They were written in the name of King Xerxes himself and sealed with his own ring.”
Haman’s orders are written in King Xerxes’ name. Xerxes has been replaced; he just doesn’t know it yet.
Esther 3:13-14 “Dispatches were sent …to all the king’s provinces…to destroy, kill, and annihilate all the Jews…on a single day…and to plunder their goods.”
Under Haman’s direct influence, laws are passed and persecution of Mordecai’s people increases; with the ultimate goal of eventually destroying everything Mordecai stood for.
The Bible tells us in I John 4:3 that the spirit of the Antichrist is already in the world. The devil is out to destroy the Church, its’ message and its’ influence in the world. He’s out to ruin the lives of anyone who resists him; anyone who will not bow down to honor him; anyone who chooses to stand with Jesus on the side of truth.
Esther 3:15a “Spurred on by the king’s command, the couriers went out, and the edict was issued in the citadel of Susa. The king and Haman sat down to drink.”
King Xerxes has no idea who he’s chosen to sit down and drink with; whose wisdom he’s been trusting; whose advice he’s been following. He’s completely ignorant; pathetically naïve about who’s really in charge; who truly rules the kingdom.
Esther 3:15b “but the city of Susa was bewildered.”
The leadership of the nation has no idea how its’ judgments and decisions are affecting the people they’ve been entrusted to protect and serve. When King Xerxes listened to Mordecai, he was saved and the nation was blessed. But after Xerxes decided to place his trust and confidence in Haman, the city “was bewildered.” It was perplexed; confused. The word literally means to become all tangled up in thick branches. The harder you struggle, the worse things become and the more helpless you feel.
It’s so different when we know Jesus. We may have troubles all around us, but those troubles can’t defeat us. We don’t always know what to do, but we never lose the joy of living. We may feel persecuted, but God is always there. We may get hurt, but the hurt never stops us.
As we leave this morning, the nation of Persia is bewildered and God’s people are about to be destroyed. Mordecai, who represents truth; God’s wisdom and knowledge, is sitting outside the gate, being ignored. But all of that is about to change.
Meet me back here next Tuesday to see how this plays out. Thanks for being in God’s word with pastor Buj.