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Esther (part III)

Sunday, February 04, 2018


Things were going really well for Haman: he was second in command of the kingdom of Persia, he'd been invited to a private dinner with the king and queen two days running, and he was only hours away from impaling his worst enemy, Mordecai the Jew, on a pole with the king's blessing.

Or so he thought. Instead, in the space of 24 hours his entire life and all of his plans unravelled.

- The king ordered Haman to lead Mordecai in a royal parade, singing his praises

- The queen revealed that Haman was the mortal enemy of not only her people, but her as well

- The king caught Haman offending the queen's honor as he pleaded with her for his life

- He was impaled on the very pole he had set up for Mordecai's execution.

It's an astounding turn of events, one in which God clearly worked His sovereign will to save His people.

But there are more lessons to draw from this story:

1. God will not forget your good work for him (Heb. 6:10, James 4:10). Xerxes had forgotten that Mordecai saved his life, and God brought that to his attention by not allowing him to sleep until he was reminded.

2. There is poetic justice. In other words, what goes around comes around; you will reap what you sow (Gal. 6:7) Haman plotted for the destruction of Mordecai, and those who scheme against God's people have made a fatal error (Esther 6:13).

3. Justice and mercy are in conflict. We like justice as long as it's being meted out to someone else. For ourselves, though, we desire mercy. But what about those we've hurt? If we are shown mercy, where is justice for them?

The Bible addresses this issue head on: All have sinned (Rom. 3:23), and the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23). 

But read that whole verse in context: "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

God can't simply forgive everyone, as some claim He should: that would violate His own inherent nature of justice. So to satisfy his justice, he sent his son Jesus Christ to pay the price for our sins. With that payment his justice is satisfied, and now his mercy can take effect.

"For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ." (2 Cor. 5:21 NLT).

To download the audio of today's sermon, click here.

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