Jentezen Franklin - The Remedy for Worry
I wanna talk to you today on "The Remedy to Worry". The Book of Esther is centered around King Ahasuerus who is mean and he's a pagan, and he is ungodly. There's nothing about him that seeks the Lord. He is what he is. And to show you how mean he is, when his wife, who was the queen, would not dance for the princes that the king had brought in, and wined and dined them for three days. And in the conclusion, he wanted his queen to come out and do a vulgar dance. And she refused to do it. And the Bible said that he removed her from being queen. We don't know if he killed her or if he banished her, but she's never heard of again. He replaced her by having a beauty contest. And he has 120 provinces in Babylon, and he says find the prettiest girl in every province, and send her to a beauty contest in Babylon, and the one who's the most beautiful is the one that will be my new queen.
And as God would have it, there is a little orphan girl by the name of Esther who was in one of those provinces. And she was beautiful, and she is nominated as one of the potential choices of the king. And out of all the beautiful girls, at some point, it wasn't about hips, and lips, and all of that. At some point, Esther wins the beauty contest. And she becomes his queen, but we almost make it like Esther is some huge, huge heroic figure in this story. She was terrified. She was terrified of this man. He was brutal. Life meant nothing to him. And she was so terrified, as we'll see later in this story, that she was afraid to even go into his presence without being invited. She was afraid he would take her life.
So there was no joy in this marriage. There was no relationship of, you know, romance and all of that. He was a brutal, evil man, and she's forced to marry him. Then we move into chapter 2. And there's only six chapters in the book, but we move into chapter 2. And amazingly in chapter 2, Mordecai, her uncle, is the only relative. Her parents had been killed, and she's an orphan, but she does have one relative. Her uncle's name is Mordecai. And Mordecai is at the gate, and he is there by chance. There again, God is working and orchestrating. And he overhears a conversation of two of the bodyguards of the king, and they're talking about an assassination plot that they are part of. That they're going to be the ones who are going to take the king's life.
And he can't believe what he's hearing. He goes to Esther, his niece, and he tells her. There is an assassination attempt about to be made on the king, and you need to know it, and you need to warn. And apparently she was afraid to go to him personally. She tells somebody, we're not told who she tells. They spoil the assassination attempt. They kill the bodyguards. They root out all of the people who were conspiring and, of course, deal with them in the most brutal terms. But this person, whoever it was, took the credit and never told the king that it was Mordecai the Jew who had saved his life through Esther, his queen.
The moment when you understand that, there's one other major character that I need to introduce, and his name is Haman. Haman is King Ahasuerus' prime minister. He's second in command. He's very powerful. Listen carefully. And he's brutal, and he's just as mean as the king. Many scholars believe he protected the king, wiped out the conspiracy to kill the king, but he never told the king. He did it like I am the one who saved your life. And therefore, he built even more credibility with the king. And now, as he's riding through the city, this prime minister, he's not the king. He's one notch under the king. And he's riding through the city on his chariot. The king is very pleased with him, and all the people have been taught to bow down. But that old Jewish man named Mordecai will not bow. And it so bothered Haman that this powerful man would go back to his palace, and he would go in and talk to his wife about it.
The Bible said he actually made the comment, I would like to kill him with my bare hands. I can't stand that Jew. That Mordecai. I can't stand him, and I wanna kill him with my bare hands. Alright now. We're going somewhere. Watch this. And sure enough, he decided one day, I'm going to exterminate all the Jews. I'm going to kill ‘em. And he goes to the king, and he gets permission from the king. Again, a brutal man, the king and now his prime minister. And the prime minister comes to the king, and he says, "you know these Jews? They really helped us. We squeezed all of the wisdom, all of their inventions, their intellectual property, everything. We've taken from ‘em. We've learned everything we can learn from ‘em. They're disposable to us. They're multiplying. And I think we oughtta kill ‘em". And the king says, "sounds reasonable to me. Kill ‘em all. What are we gonna have for lunch"?
That's literally how these guys, they're that cold and that brutal. And the decision is made, almost afterthought, yeah, just exterminate. And on a certain day, all of the Jews will absolutely be exterminated. And all that Haman is thinking about is I can't wait to kill that one that I can't stand named Mordecai. And Mordecai hears the story. And when he hears the story, he goes to his niece in the palace, the queen and he says, you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this. You have to go in there, and you have to speak up, and you have to... She's trying to work up the courage. And finally, finally, finally, knowing that, she said "fast for me", and everybody goes on a three-day fast. And after three days, see this? She's a normal person. She's filled with worry. She's filled with anxiety. She's filled with oh my God, this is horrible.
And they're fasting, and they're praying. And after three days, her courage is worked up enough, and she, like a mouse, is kinda tiptoeing into the presence of the king. And when he sees her, he holds out this scepter. And she comes in, and he says what do you want, Esther, and why have you approached me? And she didn't have the nerve. She didn't have the nerve to say it, so she speaks up, and she says, I want you to come to a banquet tonight. I want you... and I think ‘cause Haman was on her mind... and Haman. Oh, I want Haman. You and Haman come. You and Haman come to a banquet. I think she was just buying herself time. She coulda cut straight to the chase. She didn't have the courage to do it. She was just buying time. And she walks outta there, and wipes her brow, and says oh my God. I thought he was gonna kill me right then.
She has this huge dinner prepared, and Haman and the king come. These brutal, mean, wicked men. And they're sitting there, and she's there, and she's trying to figure out how she's gonna bring it up. And they eat, and she wines them, and they drink. And I'm sure they were full of the king's wine, and it was a big night, and it was a enjoyable night. And knowing Haman like he's presented in the scripture, he's like, I am so special. I was the only one invited. There are no other princes from the other 120 senators and provinces. None of them have been asked. Look at me. Look at me. I'm sure all over his Instagram were pictures of the, you know. You know. You know. And he's like, look. And the word was spreading all outside. My goodness. Look at Haman. He's the only one that's eating with the king and queen. He's a big deal.
And so that night when he walks outta the palace after that party, it was so great and grand, and all the people have heard. And the moment they see him, the paparazzi are outside. The news is outside. They're all bowing down. Except for that Jew. He's standing there. And then you come to Esther 6:1. This is where I've been working to. And that night, the king could not sleep. So he commanded to bring the book of the records of the chronicles, and they were read before the king. That night, the king could not sleep. Everything is bad. Everything is messed up and getting worse. Everything is hopeless. Everything is filled with anxiety and worry. They're facing a slaughter. She's scared to death. And the only thing that saved their life was that night, the king could not sleep.
Now watch. Y'all gotta see this. Lemme preach. Look up here at me. That reader just happen chance opens it and starts reading about Mordecai the Jew who saved his life. And the king says wait a minute. What was done to reward that man? Has he ever come and tried to tell me this story? No, sir. He didn't want any credit? No, sir. Has he ever asked for a reward? No, sir. My goodness. He did it with no motive. I wanna reward that man. What's happened to that man? Nothing, sir. Nothing was done to reward him. Nothing. Oh my goodness. Now he's got off the throne, and he's walking around in his robe and Versace slippers. And he's pacing the floor. How can I reward that man? How can I reward that man? How can I reward him? And he finally sits down.
Now the sun's coming up, and in walks Haman. He's freshly shaved. He slept like a angel, and he feels good. And he walks in, and he thinks, I just had the greatest night of my life, and tonight I get to do it all over again. I am something special. He walks into the presence of the king. The king looks at him. He's got black bags under his eyes, and he says now, he says, I wanna ask you something, Haman. He said, what would you suggest that I do? Let's say there's a man in the kingdom that I really want to honor. And Haman, with his egotistic self, is thinking, oh my God. Now he's about to do a humble brag. I know it could never be I. But, oh king, come on, y'all. I'm working hard up here. Y'all sitting out there just like you're at a movie. Where's the popcorn? I'll preach to myself. This is how I preach. That's how I talk to myself when I read stuff.
But he says, what would... let's say there was somebody I wanted to bless, Haman. I mean, I really wanted to show honor and show the whole nation Sir, I would suggest humbly, I think you oughtta take your robe off. Your robe. And put it on him. I think you oughtta take your stallion, the steed that you ride on yourself, and you oughtta let him ride on it with that robe. I think you oughtta take some pipsqueak, minor, lesser person, and let them guide the bridle of that horse on a rope and walk through the streets. And as trumpets are blasting, tell all the people: the man in whom the king honors is before you.
And instantly the king says that's brilliant. I love it. So here's what I want you to do. I want you to do everything you just said, Haman. But do it to Mordecai the Jew. And he said, by the way, I think you're important enough that you should be the one who's leading the horse, screaming the man who the king wants to honor. Boy, I don't know who I'm preaching to, but stuff you're worrying about? You've forgotten who your God is. You've forgotten how powerful He is. You've forgotten that when He speaks, seas open. When He speaks, mountains move. When He speaks, demons tremble. And no, the enemy's plot against your life will not be successful. God is fighting for you. Sit down.
So don't you know how humiliating that was? The man whom the king honors. That night, after a humiliating day, Haman comes to the palace for the final banquet. Queen Esther is there. They eat. The king turns and says, why did you do this? Tell me the real reason. She said sir, there is a conspiracy in the land to kill Mordecai the Jew and all of his seed. And I don't know if you knew this, king. But I, Esther, I'm a Jew. The king is enraged. Stands up, ‘cause he didn't sleep all night, so he's, you know how you are when you didn't sleep good. Turn to your wife and say, I know how you are when you didn't sleep good. Turn to your husband and say, you're that way all the time. It doesn't matter if you sleep good or not.
Can I finish? Here's the finish. He's so angry, he doesn't wanna make a quick decision. He is smart enough to know if I get rid of this guy, it's gonna cause me a lot. So he gets up and walks out. He says, who was it behind this conspiracy? And she says, this one right here. He's so mad. If he spit, it'd kill grass, he's so mad. He walks outta the room trying to pull himself together. And the queen takes off to her bedroom, and he follows her. Haman follows her ‘cause now all the tables are turned. And he falls on her bed when she goes into her bedroom. She's sitting on it. He falls on her bed, and he starts crying out for mercy. And the king just happened at that time to walk in the bedroom, and he sees this guy on the bed with his queen. And he says, I was trying to figure out what to do. Now I know what to do. And the gallows that you prepared for Mordecai, guards, take him out and hang him right now on those same gallows.
Now lemme finish. So here's what I came to say. In a church this size, this 2.600-year-old story is not just a piece of history. But it's a reminder that you need to hear. That you have a king who has intentional insomnia. He said I will... He didn't say I can't sleep. He said I will not sleep or slumber ‘cause I'm gonna walk the floor. And while you sleep, I am up, and I'm planning, and I'm plotting your comeback. I'm planning how that the enemy has constructed things that I'm gonna turn for your good. I'm gonna use them against the very voices that have tried to destroy you. Your king is not asleep. He's active. He has a plan. He's for you. And in a crowd this size, there's some family that's represented that had a heated argument. Unkind, cruel words were spoken, maybe even last night.
And it looks like the enemy's gone wild in your family. There's somebody else here who's scared of a medical situation. You dread going back to the doctor. The C word, cancer, is tormenting you. You don't know what in the world, and the problem is real, and it's being formed, and you feel like you're worried, and you're full of anxiety, and fear, and worry. In a crowd this size, there's some parents that are agonizing over a teenager that's making crazy decisions. And you never thought, and you get one kid fixed, and then another one acts up. How do you know? ‘Cause I raised five of ‘em. You get one thing fixed, and here's another one. And you feel like you're losing your mind. And where is God? His name's not even in this family apparently. But He sent me to tell you that the one thing that turned the battle for Esther, the one thing that turned the battle for Mordecai, is that the king had intentional insomnia.
How many of you are worrying about something? And there's only two reasons why people have insomnia. Something internal or external is bothering ‘em. It may be something internal. It may be a disease. It may be something going on internally, or it may be something externally with people, relationships, job, family. But it's worrying you. Tormenting you. Jesus said come unto me, all you who are weary and heavy-laden, and cast your worry on me, for I can handle it. And your King is not asleep. He's awake. The King can't sleep as long as you have a problem. You don't believe He loves you. You're not a somebody. You're the bride of the King.