Esther Chapter 5
In the fourth chapter of Esther we read the account of Mordecai’s mourning. This mourning eventually comes to the attention of Esther. Mordecai explains to Esther the evil plot of Haman to destroy the Jews. Haman has convinced the king to sign into law a decree that allowed the Persian people to kill the Jews, take their possession, and the Jews were not even allowed to defend themselves. When Esther is presented with these facts she determines that she will go before the king (a potentially deadly decision) and beg for the lives of her people.
I have titled chapter five “It’s Time to Take Action.” Just to determine to help was not enough to save the Jewish people. If the Jews were going to be helped, Esther would have to act on what she had determined.
A church was praying one night that God would do away with the new night club that was built right next to it. While gathered around the altar praying the congregation heard sirens, ran outside and saw the night club burning up in flames. The congregation was so surprised that God had answered their prayers. Then the pastor notices one of his members running around the back of the church with a can of gasoline in one hand and a lighter in the other. The pastor asks what the member is doing. The dear sister replies “sometimes you have to put legs on your prayers.”
I’m not saying that you should do something this crazy, but I am saying that sometimes we need to put legs on our prayers. Just think what would have happened if David would have just prayed that Goliath would go away. What if Moses would have just prayed for God to make a way around the Red Sea? What if Jesus had have just prayed that God would provide a way for us to be saved? What if Esther would have just prayed for God to change the kings mind?
No doubt all of these people prayed, but each of these people put some legs on their prayers. Sometimes it is not enough just to pray that God will save your family. Maybe you will have to go after them. Sometimes it is not enough just to pray that God will restore your home. Maybe you have to make it happen. It is not just enough for you to pray for God to use you in His service. You have to get busy. Esther is about to get busy putting legs on her prayers.
Take Action on the things you Ask for
When chapter 5 begins we see the king sitting on his throne. No doubt he is surrounded by his attendants and officers. He is conducting some sort of official business. While the king sits on the throne, in an alcove stands a very nervous Esther. Esther had been preparing for this moment for three days. When she steps into the throne room the moment is dramatic. I can picture Esther stepping into sight and just standing their nervously waiting for the king to notice her. The question is will the king raise his scepter to her? We have no record of this, but I would imagine in that moment Esther prayed.
You can almost see as the king looks up and notices Esther. In the midst of the crowd of people around the king, he notices Esther. She must have been striking. In that moment the king’s heart is moved toward Esther and he raises his scepter to her. Can you see her smile? I can. She goes forward and places her hand on the end of the scepter.
He knows that she has come with a need. Something is troubling the queen, maybe she is trembling. Seeing this, the king wanting to make Esther feel comfortable, tells her that she can ask whatever she wants and he will give it to her. Instead of making her request known, Esther invites the king and Haman to a lunch. She wants Haman there when she lets the king know that he has tricked the king into the death of the Jews, her death.
The question is, “Why didn’t Esther just go ahead and tell the king Haman’s evil plot?” Dr. Wiersbe says there are at least four reasons.
- It wasn’t the right time? The king was unprepared to receive this shocking news. It could have been that the king would have considered her accusation an act of treason, or maybe just gossip.
- It wasn’t the right place. It would have been against palace etiquette for the queen to make her plea publicly.
- Esther wanted Haman, and only Haman present when she told the king about the evil plot.
- One more event had to occur before she could share her burden with the king. This will happen that very night. We will see this in the next chapter.
Take Action on your Attitude
The chapter ends with the wicked Haman calling his friends together and bragging about the day he has had. Haman is so excited. He was the honored guest of the king and queen. He has also been invited back the next day to another banquet.
“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18
There are a few things that men like to brag about. They like to brag about their riches, the money they make. They like to brag about their children, or grandchildren. Then they like to brag about their promotion or position. Haman boasted about all three of these things. Notice the number of times the word “his” is used. He is so full of himself.
The last thing men like to boast about is how great they are with the women. Haman is bragging that the queen invited him to lunch, and then tomorrow he will eat dinner with her. If Haman knew what the queen had in store for him, he would have turned down the invitation. Things are not going as well as he thinks.
But, all of these good things are meaningless as long as Mordecai will not bow to him. The size of the man can be determined by the size of the things that irritate him. Mordecai was only one man, a man that Haman should have ignored. Instead Haman complains that all the good things that have happened to him are meaningless because Mordecai will not bow to him.
Haman’s malice is so great that it has infected his wife and friends. It is suggested by Haman’s wife that they build gallows for Mordecai. So that night Haman had built gallows 75 feet tall. I would like to point out that the name Mordecai means “little”. Mordecai was a short guy. Why build gallows that tall? The reason that Haman does this is because of the hatred he holds in his heart. Satisfied with this plan Haman ends the night with construction of the gallows that will eventually end his life.