Esther: Good Triumphs Over Evil (Part 3 of 4) – Simple Bible Study
Here we are at part 3 of 4 for the Esther – Simple Bible Study, and we are halfway there! 🙂
If you haven’t read Week One of Esther yet, we totally recommend starting there (click here for part One!) or head over to part 2 if you need to catch up here – part 3 will be waiting for you, no worries! If you need a quick recap on Esther or need a quick encouragement for this Bible study, it’s all in the introduction of Part 1
As always, let’s get started!
Esther: GOOD TRIUMPHS OVER EVIL (read ch. 6 & 7)
Recap of Esther ch. 6: As we ended in part 2 (or the end of chapter 5 of Esther), it seemed like Haman was going to be victorious by giving the king the idea to have Mordecai killed. But, as we know, God is always up to something. That very same night Haman and his family devised the evil plan against Mordecai, King Ahasuerus could not sleep and was restless. Because God caused the king to toss and turn, King Ahasuerus got out of his bed.
“…And he gave orders to bring the book of memorable deeds, the chronicles, and they were read before the king. And it was found written how Mordecai had told about Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs, who guarded the threshold, and who had sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. And the king said, “What honor or distinction has been bestowed on Mordecai for this?” The king’s young men who attended him said, “Nothing has been done for him.” Esther 6:1-3
The king could not sleep so he had the book of good deeds read to him. Okay, this is the part that I find funny because when I think of the king in the middle of the night having something read to him, it’s because he is trying to fall back asleep. It’s like what we do whenever we cannot go to sleep: we read.
I feel like the king was restless but tired and wanted to go back to sleep. But, God knew what the king was about to do before he even thought about it. The good deed done by Mordecai rang in the ears of the king and stopped him in his tracks. A king, who in the past was known NOT to be courteous, was aware and asked if anything was done to reward and honor Mordecai. A king of his vast kingdom asked and wanted to know if Mordecai was ever honored for saving the king.
Whoever Exalts Himself Will Be Humbled
Of course, Haman’s plan seemed like it would not fail. Haman was of the highest position and influence over the king, so what would stop the king from agreeing that Mordecai should be killed? Well, the king just found out the details of Mordecai’s good deed in which saved the king’s life. So, I am pretty sure the king would’ve stopped the nonsense of having Mordecai hanged on the 50 cubits tall gallows but would much rather honor Mordecai. But, Haman had NO idea of what the king was going to ask him to do.
“And the king said, “Who is in the court?” Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the king’s palace to speak to the king about having Mordecai hanged on the gallows that he had prepared for him. And the king’s young men told him, “Haman in there, standing in the court.” And the king said, “Let him come in.” – Esther 6:4-5 ESV
Haman is coming in here, thinking that he is of power and position to speak to King Ahasuerus of following through with his plan of destroying Mordecai, and he thought that he had it all. Haman had everything lined up to destroy all Jews in the kingdom, but he was not going to let Mordecai get off easy since he had a 75 foot tall gallows for him to be hanged on. Haman comes into the court before the king.
“…and the king said to him, “What should be done to the man whom the king delights to honor?” And Haman said to himself, “Whom would the king delight to honor more than me?” And Haman said to the king, “For the man whom the king delights to honor, let royal robes be brought, which the king has worn, and the horse that the king has ridden, and on whose head a royal crown is set. And let the robes and the horse be handed over to one of the king’s most noble officials. Let them dress the man whom the king delights to honor, and let them lead him on the horse through the square of the city, proclaiming before him: ‘Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor.’ Then the king said to Haman, “Hurry; take the robes and the horse, as you have said, and do so to Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the king’s gate. Leave out nothing that you have mentioned.” – Esther 6:6-10 ESV
This is just completely the opposite of how Haman pictured how his day would turn out. He pictured the king agreeing with him about killing Mordecai, then watch him be hanged, then be off to the next banquet Queen Esther has prepared for them. No, Haman had to honor Mordecai instead and was forced to be humbled. Haman dressed Mordecai with the royal robes that HE was supposed to wear, watched Mordecai ride the horse that HE was supposed to ride, and saw Mordecai wear the crown that HE was supposed to have.
After the honoring of Mordecai was done, Mordecai went back to the king’s gate, back to work. He didn’t have a big head about being honored or say “Oh look at me, the king honored me and had Haman parade me around town on a horse with the royal robes the king has worn and the finest crown of all.” No, even after Mordecai was exalted and honored by the king, he went back to do his work at the king’s gate, a humbling position.
“…But Haman hurried to his house, mourning and with his head covered. And Haman told his wife Zeresh and all his friends everything that had happened to him. Then his wise men and his wife Zeresh said to him, “If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of the Jewish people, you will not overcome him but surely fall before him.” Esther 6:12-13 ESV
This is a warning to Haman. Haman once had the power to destroy Mordecai and his people but everything is starting to fall apart at the seams. His wife and wise men tell him that if Mordecai is a Jew and the king just honored him, you’re in deep trouble. There’s no one, your plans to destroy all Jews will happen now. Haman is starting to realize the fatal and dangerous flaws in his plans. Haman’s bitterness, wrath, rage, and malice against Mordecai not bowing before him are what will ultimately lead to lowly positioning of humility.
Banquet In The Presence of The Enemy
Queen Esther prepared a banquet for the king and for Haman. However, Haman did not know that Queen Esther knew about his personal plot to destroy all Jews, and Haman also did not know that this banquet would also be his very last. They feasted for two days. TWO DAYS.
I just cannot imagine how Queen Esther must’ve felt. Knowing that this man, Haman, is waltzing and parading around the banquet, possibly could destroy all Jews as he had planned. For me, if I have to do something super difficult, like maybe performing on stage or confronting someone about a problem, I much rather get it done and over with. But, Esther had to be patient and wait for the right and opportune time – no rushing.
“And on the second day, as they were drinking wine after the feast, the king again said to Esther, “What is your wish, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be granted me for my wish, and my people for my request. For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. If we had been sold merely as slaves, men and women, I would have been silent, for our affliction is not to be compared with the loss to the king.” Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther, “Who is he, and where is he, who has dared to do this?” And Esther said, “A foe and enemy! This wicked Haman!” Then Haman was terrified before the king and the queen.” Esther 7:2-6 ESV
Okay, we know we put a long passage before you, but let’s break it down a little bit. It says that on the second day is when the king decided to asked Queen Esther of not just her wish but also her request. They are both different things. A wish, according to thefreedictionary.com, is a feeling that one would like to have or do something or to see something happen. However, a request, according to thefreedictionary.com, is to express a desire for, especially politely; ask for.
So the king asked Queen Esther what her wish was, to which she answered, “let my life be granted me for my wish” which means she would like for her life to be saved, not demanded or asked for this.
On the other hand, for her request, Queen Esther answered, “…my people for my request. For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated.” She requested, or politely asked, for her people to be spared and saved from being destroyed.
Queen Esther wanted to make sure her people were spared for sure before her own life. Did you notice how she emphasized the act of being destroyed? She stated out “to be destroyed”, “to be killed”, and “to be annihilated.” Well, if the king did not give his attention, he is certainly paying attention after hearing the word, “annihilated”. She also made sure that King Ahasuerus knew that she would have been silent if her people were only bound to slavery, not death.
Last thing, after the king is outraged by such a thing and asked who has done such a thing, Queen Esther finally reveals the true enemy, the one that thought his perfect plan would not fall apart, Haman. And oh, he was so terrified at that moment when he was exposed by the beautiful queen.
Exposed & The Downfall
In this strange turn of events for King Ahasuerus, he walked out. Okay, what? In the beginning of Esther, we learned that he gets hot-headed and angry, but maybe he has slowly matured and cooled down after meeting Queen Esther. So the king walked outside in his wrath out of the banquet room, maybe to think and cool down. Haman was a man that King Ahasuerus had trusted, his most highest official, and he betrayed him.
“But Haman stayed to beg his life from Queen Esther, for he saw that harm was determined against him by the king. And the king returned from the palace garden to the place where they were drinking wine, as Haman was falling on the couch where Esther was. And the king said, “Will he even assault the queen in my presence, in my own house?” – Esther 7:7-8 ESV
Okay, let’s pause here. First of all, Haman was being a bit dumb. How can he beg for his life, while drawing closer to the queen? The king may have decided to speak to him or spare his life since this was a person that he not only trusted in but was also close to. Since the king was much better at dealing with his wrath than he was at the beginning of Esther, why didn’t Haman take advantage of this? Why didn’t he just sit and wait and be silent until the king came back?
We really wish we was able to get an inside look on what really happened between Haman and Queen Esther because when the king came back, Haman was falling on the couch in which the queen was sitting on. Did he threaten her? Was he surprised that the king had already come back that he tripped? Or, was he simply too drunk that he happened to stumble while pleading for mercy? I don’t know, but I do know that Haman was being too rash in his decisions in getting closer to Queen Esther and begging for his life.
“Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs in attendance on the king, said, “Moreover, the gallows that Haman has prepared for Mordecai, whose word saved the king, is standing at Haman’s house, fifty cubits high.” And the king said, “Hang him on that.” So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he prepared for Mordecai. Then the wrath of the king abated.” Esther 7:9-10 ESV
Haman did not know that he built and created his device for his own death. The gallows that Haman had built to end Mordecai’s life ended up ending Haman’s life. This goes to show that the intent of a person does not ever rule over God.
Questions & Application
1. Have you ever gotten restless before? Uneasy? Like you gotta do something but you don’t know what?
Sometimes this is God waking you up to do something He wants us to do at that moment! So instead of fighting it, do something! Pursue God, pray, cry out, or whisper to Him. He is longing for you to finally let Him take control. Just like what happened with King Ahasuerus being restless, you never know when a miracle could happen in your life or in someone else’s life.
2. Have you ever tried to drown out others’ voices so your voice was the only thing left to be heard? Or always have to push your way to the top and come out victorious every time?
This is a heart issue. We know that we’ve struggled with this. But that isn’t a life God called us to live. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. He called us to be humble, not to exalt ourselves. Get down on your knees and truly be intentional right now. Call upon God to rid yourself of all worldly tendencies of wanting the spotlight on you and secretly wanting people to fail.
Don’t worry, if you’ve been humbled all this time and never been honored, that is not the real issue. However, it becomes an issue when it’s all you can think about; it becomes an idol. You don’t want to be just honored, you want to be exalted. We’ve dealt with these major problems from other people but also in ourselves. But we know that from Esther, seeing from Haman’s perspective, whoever exalts himself will be humbled.
3. Are you struggling with being patient? Always rushing to do things?
This is an area that I (Lianna) have had a problem with in the past. People who knew me in my past knew that I was not a very patient person. I was always on the go, always moving, being rash about decisions, and ended up regretting it when I looked back.
Esther had to be patient; she sensed God telling her not to reveal Haman’s evil plot, at least not yet. Sometimes, it really doesn’t make sense to be patient, not rushed, about decisions in life. We think, “I am going to miss this chance…this opportunity will never come again…I will lose the one that I want to be with…” But if we rush things in the heat of the moment, that’s when regret come into play. Be patient, spend time with God with major and minor decisions in life, and when the right time comes (from God telling you), then it’s time to make your move.
4. What do you do when you’re exposed to your sins & wrongful intentional agendas?
This is an issue that no one really want to go over or talk about. Like Haman, we, as humans, fall short no matter what we do. If there are any secret sins or evil agendas in your lives, get rid of it. Don’t give it any time of day. It doesn’t belong to you anymore.
Even if no one has ever seen it from you before, let us be the one to expose you to this. Whatever that is holding you back from God, whether it is being successful, being number one, obtaining a high position, telling people what to do, using people to get what you want, worshipping an idol (money, fame, power, sex, relationships…etc.), or living a double life, you have to let it go.
God is a God of grace, He will be right there with you when you decide to follow Him, not your ways. It doesn’t matter what sins you have been involved with; what matters is the decision to turn away from your sins (repent) and pursuing God. God wants you to run from your past, secret sins, and evil agendas, and run to Him instead.
That’s it for Part 3 – wow! We are so close to the end! How has the Bible Study on Esther been for you and your spiritual walk with God? Let us know by commenting or sending us a message on Instagram @thesimplemission
Resources for Esther Bible Study:
1. Live Beautifully: A Study in the Books of Ruth and Esther (Fresh Life Series) by Lenya Heitzig and Penny Rose
They are both linked so you would like to look them up or get them if you’d like!
Thank you for reading,