Saturday, May 5, 2012

Pride of Haman/ Humility of Jesus.

In the book of Esther, we see a clear picture of how pride plays out in the life a the man Haman. I could not help but to notice the contrast we see In the New testament of Haman’s Character to Jesus. Haman is sold out to power, where Jesus is sold out to weakness. Haman is sold out to hatred to the point of taking the lives his enemies(the Jews) Jesus is sold out to love, where he will lay down his life for his enemies. Haman’s life is motivated by self and pride and but Jesus’ life is motivated by humility

Haman represents a man sold out for power. His boast is his wealth and his public elevation above the other nobles and furious when Mordecai refuses to bow down to him. So furious that he plots to have him murdered (5.11). It is not enough for him to be rich and powerful; but he must be richer and more powerful than others. Later in the story, He is in high spirits because only the king and he have been invited to Esther’s banquet (5.9,12). Jesus is the God-man sold out to weakness. His boast is in the father (John 13.31, Luke 22.42, John 5.43 ) and though he is fully God, he chose to humbly incarnate himself, take on human flesh and die a sinners death. (Philippians 2.1-11)

Haman represents a man sold out to hatred of his enemies. All of his strengths and advantages, by his own admission, mean nothing to him when he thinks of Mordecai, “that Jew” (5.13) The only thing that can restore his happiness is the prospect of Mordecai’s death (5.14) Here is self-love, the heart of all sin, at its social worst: unrestrained, it vows that it will be first and wants the death of all who stand in the way of fulfilling that vow.Jesus is the God-man who is sold out to love of his enemies. He considers all of his strengths and rights as nothing, but rather steps down from his throne and lays his life down for those who hate him. While Gods children are still in their sin and rebellion, Jesus dies as their substitutionary atonement(2 Corinthians 5.21, Hebrews 9:14), ransom (Matthew 20:28, Mark 10:45, 1 Timothy 2:6, 1 Peter 1:18, Revelation 5:9), propitiation (Romans 3:25, Hebrews 2:17, 1 John 2:2, 1 John 4:10)  and justification before God. Though he deserved to be served, he served. Though he deserved to be given to, he gave. Though he deserved life, he chose death.

At the very root of Haman’s heart and motivation is pride.  He choses to to worship creation (himself) as God rather than God himself. But At the very root of Jesus’ heart is humility. Though he was God and had every right to worship himself, chose to lay down his rights and live a life glorifying to the father,

God Sovereignly delivers and rescues his people.

In the book of Esther, we see that God Sovereignly delivers and rescues his people. Although the book does does not name God directly/explicitly, the the author nonetheless expects his intended readers to see God at work at every turn in the story. The book of Esther strongly supports and illustrates the doctrine of divine providence, as it is operated at a particular time of danger to the Jewish people who lived in a bleak moment under the Persian empire. Like the test of scripture, God is preserving them for the future gift of the Jesus; their Messiah. At first the events can seem coincidental, but as the story progresses it becomes clearly that only by with ordinance and provision of God could things work out as they do.

The Story starts with the deposal of Queen Vashti and the replacement of Esther as queen(2.17-18). Esther is a Jew but by the advice from Mordecai, keeps her origin quiet. Their actions in this matter are not without their ethical flaws, but God uses the circumstance; Esther’s beauty, her keeping her origins quiet, and her questionable ethics as a means to save Gods people from extermination preserving them for the coming Messiah.

The story continues to where Mordecai uses Esther’s position as his way of warning the king about an assassination (2.19-23) Not only is Mordecai’s being in the right place at the right time save the king, but later in the story saves Mordecai himself from murder by the prideful, Jew hating Haman. The very night Haman is going to murder Mordecai, the king can not sleep and has the book of the kings read to him, in which the story of Mordecai saving the king is read. (6.1.10-11) He is therefore elevated above Haman and saved from  him.

Furthermore, Esther’s position of favor to the  to the king is also another example of Gods Providence and Sovereignty. Mordecai’s question, ‘And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?’(4:14), posed at the moment of crisis, leads the original reader (and us) to expect Esther outcome to be successful, because we have already seen the providence of God at work in her selection as queen, at work in Mordecai’s protection and it is confirmed when the king extended his scepter to Esther and receives her request. King Xerxes was a selfish, harsh man with a bad temper. Even as queen, her request could have likely got her killed (4.11).  But God finishes what he starts and is sovereign even over wicked, pagan kings. He grants her favor with the King and the Edict is reversed, thus saving not only Esther and the Jews, but the true and better King; King Jesus.

The book of Esther is an amazing picture of the God in which we serve. He is a big God who has sovereignty over all people, in all places all times. In his nature and character he is able to Save. The Rescue mission that he started in Genesis 3.15, he continue to faithfully fulfill through all history and accomplishes on the cross of Christ.