Esther 7: Sermon Notes

Big Idea: Evil will ultimately never overcome the people of God. When God’s people do his work in his way they partner with God in his providential activity in the world, and they will see God’s deliverance and salvation. 

Psalms 37 could have been written about Esther, Mordecai, and Haman. It gives such insight into the reality that evil and sin will not ultimately flourish in God’s world. 

Psalms 37:1-11 (ESV) Fret not yourself because of evildoers;

be not envious of wrongdoers!

2 For they will soon fade like the grass

and wither like the green herb.

3 Trust in the LORD, and do good;

dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.

4 Delight yourself in the LORD,

and he will give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the LORD;

trust in him, and he will act.

6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,

and your justice as the noonday.

7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;

fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,

over the man who carries out evil devices!

8 Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!

Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.

9 For the evildoers shall be cut off,

but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land.

10 In just a little while, the wicked will be no more;

though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.

11 But the meek shall inherit the land

and delight themselves in abundant peace.

Sin is an incursion into God’s world. God did not wire his world to work on sin. God wired his world to work on righteousness. 

From the events of Genesis 3 on, sin has sought to exalt itself above God, and it is a doomed proposition. 

Sin will always collapse back onto itself, but its initial blast radius is large, and it seeks the devastation of all of the good of God’s world. 

In Esther, we see the enemy’s puppet, Haman, working to destroy the people of God and hinder the work of salvation in the world. 

God is simply not going to let that happen. 

Evil will ultimately never overcome the people of God. When God’s people do his work in his way they partner with God in his providential activity in the world, and they will see God’s deliverance and salvation. 

What do we see in the text?

Esther wisely and faithfully risks everything to expose Haman’s plot. 7:1-6

Ephesians 5:11 (ESV) Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.

  1. Esther wisely refers to Haman’s financial stake and uses the language of his decree by using four keywords when she uncovers the evil plot: Sold, destroyed, killed, and annihilated
    1. Esther is preparing the king to learn that one of his most trusted officials has come after his Queen and her people. 
    2. Esther is making sure that the king knows she’s not just looking for a present. 
      1. In verse 3, she tells him she is seeking her life and the life of her people. 
    3. She is preparing to let him know that Haman has been targeting her people, and thus her. 
    4. Esther needs the king to trust her above his government officer, Haman. 
  2. Esther is faithfully taking a risk. 7:1-6
    1. Ahasuerus did away with Vashti because she wouldn’t come dance at his command. 
    2. What is he going to do when Esther brings up an internal plot on the part of one of his most trusted officials? 
      1. Will he trust her? Will he suspect her? Will he side with Haman?
      2. Ahasuerus is not the most stable of world rulers. 
        1. He is going to be assassinated by the commander of the royal bodyguard in 465 BC. 
        2. Herodotus wrote about Xerxes, and it’s not all flattering. 

God works in and through Esther’s faithful work to trap Haman using his own sinful devices. 7:7-10

  1. Esther, by working on the side of truth, ensures that she is working with God, not against him. 
    1. It is a losing proposition to work against the hand of God. 
  2. Rebellion against God has a built-in impossibility for ultimate success, and it carries built-in traps because rebellion is contrary to how God wired his universe.  
    1. Sin never pays off. 
      1. God’s world simply won’t work on sin. It always results in death.
      2. What about Haman’s response traps him?
  3. Haman was more concerned with avoiding the consequences of his evil than admitting his own lust for power, recognition, and fame that led to his desire to have Mordecai and his people killed. 7:7-8
    1. There is no guarantee that admitting his wrong would have saved his life. 
      1. And his fixation on avoiding the consequences led to his emotionally anguished fall on Esther’s couch and the perception that he was assaulting the queen. 
        1. And this final outburst gets Haman the death sentence. 
  4. God catches Haman in his own wickedness, Haman reaps what he has sown, and God delivers his people. 7:9-10
    1. Proverbs 26:27 (ESV) Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling.
    2. Galatians 6:7-8 (ESV) Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
      1. This is not karma. Karma is a godless and mindless action of the universe constructed on false ideas of who is God. 
    3. Proverbs 26:27/Galatians 6:7-8 is the God-driven reality of how God wired his universe to work by God himself personally bringing justice on the guilty and deliverance for the righteous.

Application

Take wise and faithful risks for the sake of righteousness. 

  1. Taking wise risks does not mean “not” taking risks. It means applying the fear of God and his ways to our risk-taking. 
    1. In other words, wise risk-taking means taking the risks within the guardrails of God’s ethical framework. 
    2. We know this ethical framework by knowing God’s word and walking with Counselor Holy Spirit. 
  2. Following after righteousness is always an eternal and long-term pursuit, and it may come with severe short-term hardship, which is why it’s a “faithful risk”. 
    1. Esther, although doing what is right, correctly assesses in 4:16, “If I perish, I perish.”
      1. In the meantime, she and her people are living under a death sentence with no guarantee of survival. 
    2. Doing the right thing did not guarantee Esther’s short-term pleasantness. 
      1. Why do we do live for the long-term and eternal reward rather than short-term ease? Because God is always working for right, and that is what will work out in the end.  
    3. We must hear God’s word and thus his way in his world.
    4. We must obey God’s word. 
    5. We will discover we will always have God’s providential and supernatural help when we hear and obey his word. 
      1. When we work with the current of God’s kingdom, we may not have immediate short-term ease, but we will have the help of God, and in the way of the cross, we will have supernatural assistance and eternal reward, and God will work for good. 
  3. What are some risks you are currently taking for the sake of the kingdom of God?
  4. What prevents you from taking faithful risks for God’s kingdom?
  5. Can you discern the voice of the Spirit from the whispering hiss of the enemy, and are you obeying the call to faithful kingdom risks?

Have nothing to do with deeds of darkness. Rather, expose them.

  1. Ephesians 5:11 (ESV) Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.
  2. Esther had to decide if she would stay in the shadows of anonymity or stand against the dark plan to kill her people. 
  3. God is going to make sure that sin and evil get caught. 
    1. Numbers 32:23 (ESV) But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the LORD, and be sure your sin will find you out.
    2. As God caught Haman in his own wickedness, God will catch the forces of evil in their wickedness. 
  4. We must decide to seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness and stand against darkness by exposing darkness for what it is. 
    1. Bring personal sin into the light through confession and repentance.
    2. Also don’t allow the dark and encompassing sins of systems to gloss over their evil. 
      1. The abortion industry and planned parenthood that, in its founding, sought the eradication of minorities. 
      2. The porn industry that majors in trafficking. 
      3. The related fall out of the porn industry in Christian denominations where men and women have stepped outside God’s boundaries and wrecked their lives, homes, churches, and towns because of sin and subsequent cover-up because certain people were considered untouchable. 
      4. Drugs, mental illness, and poverty that feed our foster system and welfare system in NW Georgia.  
      5. The resulting backlog of hurting children who need forever homes who have to live in the constant state of fight, flight, freeze that compounds long-term emotional and mental health. 
      6. The constant state of decision fatigue due to continual disinformation/questionable information and then public shaming for having an opinion one way or another on actual debatable issues. 
        1. At some point, we have to call evil what it is, and act in faithful risk to do our part in bringing some kind of order of the kingdom of God into the chaos and then say to them that the kingdom of Jesus Christ has come near. 
  5. The only way to life is through God’s way of straight and narrow righteousness. 
    1. Matthew 7:13-14 (ESV) Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
      1. This means doing work God’s way, and repenting of sin and believing on Jesus for salvation. 

Gospel Pattern: The guilty party is executed and the wrath of the king is abated. 7:10

  1. 2 Corinthians 5:21 (ESV) For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

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