Tony Evans — Divine Reversals
We are looking at the book of Esther, the only book in the Bible that never mentions God by name, and yet his fingerprints are all over it, as we've already seen. Esther has discovered that she's been placed in her position for a spiritual reason, not merely for personal benefit.
Mordecai, her cousin, has said, "You've been called to the kingdom for such a time as this. That God's whole plan in making you pretty, God's whole plan in you being chosen out of all the possible females in the kingdom, God's whole plan was that you would be here at this time, for this moment, for his kingdom purpose."
And she, after thinking about it for a moment, said, "Okay, I'm going to go to the king and tell him about Haman's plan to destroy all the Jews, and if I perish, I perish." She now prepares dinner for the king and invites Haman, the architect of genocide, because she's ready to tell the king and spill the beans on him at the dinner banquet.
The king says to her, as we saw last time, Esther chapter 5, verse 6, "What do you have to tell me?" Esther says, "My petition and my request is," and she stops. She doesn't get it out, she can't say it, she backs off. She says, "My request is for you to have dinner again with me tomorrow."
Something happened that caused her to pause in her request for deliverance. The question is why did she stop? Why didn't she just come out and say it? I mean, she began the whole sentence, "My petition is," and then she backed up.
If Esther would have finished the sentence at that time, those things in the planning of God would not have occurred in the sequence God wanted them to occur. And therefore, although she was going to do the right thing, it was the wrong time, because, you see, as we looked at chapter 6 last time, Haman is gonna leave her presence. He's gonna run across Mordecai. Mordecai will not bow. That's gonna tick Haman off.
Haman is gonna go ticked off to his wife. His wife is gonna say, "You don't have to take that. You don't have to take that." He comes in, and he says, "Everything is going good for me, but this Jew guy, he won't bow to me."
"Well, you don't have to take that. Why don't you put him on the gallows tomorrow?" Haman said, "That's really great. I'm gonna put him on the gallows tomorrow, get rid of this guy, solve it once and for all."
The king goes to bed. The king can't sleep. The king is tossing and turning. When the king is tossing and turning, he tells the servant, "Go get a boring book for me to read so that when I read the boring book I will go to sleep."
So, they bring him a boring book and by luck they just happen to turn to the page that dealt with Mordecai. Mordecai had saved the king's life earlier. The king wants to know, "How--what did we do for the guy who saved my life? No, we didn't do anything for the guy who saved my life."
As chance would have it, Haman comes in right when the king is talking to the servant about Mordecai, who had saved his life, and the king asked, "Well, what should I do, Haman, with somebody who saves the king's life?" But he doesn't mention the name "Mordecai."
Because he doesn't mention the name "Mordecai," Haman thinks he's talking about him, so Haman says, "Well, what you ought to do with the guy who saves your life is make him number two in the kingdom, so he's the heir apparent to the rule." "Well, I like that idea. Why don't you go and go ahead and get Mordecai so I can put him in that position, and why don't you lead his horse throughout the land and proclaim him as second in command."
It just so happened that during the pause, which produced the delay, which produced the movement, which produced Mordecai's rejection, which produced Haman's angry wife, which produced Mordecai-- Haman wanting to put the gallows together, which produced a sleepless night, which produced a boring book, which produced the name Mordecai, which produced not mentioning his name, which produced him being elevated, which produced Haman having to take him across through the streets, which produced God the puppet master pulling things together to bring about his timing.
He goes home at the end of chapter 6, after leading Mordecai through the streets, and he depressed. This is a Prozac moment. This is--he's depressed 'cause he leading the future king, and he was supposed to be the future king. And so, he goes home, and he just cries out, mourning with his head covered, verse 12.
His wife says to him in verse 13, "Boy, you're in trouble now. Now you lead Mordecai through here, and he's a Jew. Don't look good for you." Ah, verse 14, "While...". That's a time word. That's a time word: while. While his wife telling him it doesn't look good, while he's crying with his head covered 'cause it doesn't look good, while they were still talking with him, "The king's eunuchs arrived and hastily brought Haman to the banquet which Esther had prepared."
Now, this is the second banquet. Esther had prepared a second banquet 'cause God blocked her from doing the first banquet. While his wife was telling him it doesn't look good and he's mourning, the eunuch comes in and says, "Come on, you gotta hurry up. It's time for the banquet."
Why is that important that that happened while? Because that didn't give him time to come up with a plan. It didn't give him time to run and flee. It didn't give him time to escape. God had that thing clicking so that one thing happens right after another, so that there could be no interjection to change the program of God.
He tells the eunuch, "Go get him now," because God's got a plan to keep and a program to execute. So, he goes to the dinner, so the king says, "Okay, Esther, I mean, you've been saying for the last hours you gotta tell me something. What is it?"
So, she tells him, "'O king," this is chapter 7 now, "O king," at the end of verse 3, "if it pleases the king, let my life be given to me and my petition," and my petition, "and my people as my request. Save my life, king, save the life of my people, for we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, killed and annihilated. If they were gonna sell me as slaves, I would have lived with that. But no, they wanna kill me."
So, the king asked the queen, "Who is he that wanna kill my wife and kill my wife's people? Who you talking about? And not only who is he," verse 5, "but where is he?" Well, who is he and where is he? Guess who's coming to dinner. "Who is he, where is he, who would presume to do thus?"
Who are you talking about? Here it is, verse 6, chapter 7, "Esther said, 'A foe and an enemy is this wicked Haman!' Then Haman became terrified before the king and queen." That will shake you up. She says, "This man who I invited to dinner wants to kill me, your wife, kill my people."
Okay, rewind. If she would have told him the first time when he wasn't mad at Haman-- when he wasn't mad at Mordecai, when he had built the gallows for Mordecai, when Mordecai had not been elevated to be the second in command in the future, the king would have had a totally different mood about the situation, 'cause now Mordecai's relationship to the king has changed.
Mordecai's relationship to Esther and the king has changed. Everything has been reconvened and redone to fulfill the timing purposes of God, and he's not finished yet.
She says, "Haman, that's who wants to get rid of me." Oh, the king is hot, verse 7, he's ticked off, says with anger he went into the palace garden. Now watch this.
Verse 8 says, "Haman was falling on the couch where Esther was." He's falling on the couch, verse 7 says, begging for his life. So, the king is hot. The king walks out. The king doesn't even know what to say, and he's so mad that Haman planned to do this. Esther is laying on the couch, reclining on the couch.
Ain't too proud to beg? You remember that? He pleading for his life. He goes over to Esther and falls on her and say, "Please, Esther, please, don't let him kill me, don't let him kill me."
It says now when the king returned from the garden, oh, you get the picture, into the place where they were drinking wine, Haman was falling on the couch where Esther was.
"Then the king said," now he already hot, "then the king said, 'Will you even assault the queen with me in the house?'" Oh, you got to be kidding me. Wait a minute. You already told me you wanna kill my wife, now you all up on her. No, oh, oh, no, no, you, no you didn't. You're gonna assault my wife with me in the house?
Now, that's not what he was doing. He was begging for his life, the Scripture says, okay? God is so particular, he will create impressions. God is so nuanced that he will make something look like it's not really that in order to accomplish his purpose, because the king comes in just in time.
Oh, but he not finished yet, 'cause after the king comes in and says — sees what he's doing. Verse 9: "Then" is a time word. You got "while," you got "now," you got "then." "Then Harbonah, one of the eunuchs who was before the king said, 'Behold indeed, the gallows standing at Haman's house fifty cubits high, which Haman made for Mordecai who spoke good on behalf of the king!' And the king said, 'Hang him on it.'"
All right, so guess what. God delayed Esther from telling the king to give Haman time to get mad so that he would build a gallow for Mordecai in order that he might dig his own grave.
God will let unbelievers express their anger against believers, and use that very thing to destroy the unbeliever from destroying the believer, and it's all got to do with time. It's all got to do with God nuancing time.
It says, "So they hanged him on the gallows." Now, I want you to notice something else about time, verse 8. When the king comes in and see him, what he thinks he's assaulting his wife, a nuance, really wasn't happening but it looked that way, as the word went out of the king's mouth, "Why are you assaulting my wife?" they covered Haman's face.
While the words were coming out of the king's mouth-- see, you gotta read every word of the Bible. While the word was coming out of the king's mouth, they covered his face. They didn't give him a chance to explain, because this was a time of judgment, and so you're not even gonna be given the chance to say you were begging.
Soon as he finished the last word, voom, covered up, taken out, 'cause when God moves suddenly against your enemies, when God moves suddenly on your behalf because you are sensitive to his will and his timing, he can move with lightning speed.