This is a small study of the book of Esther. If you would like to catch up you can find part one here,
part 2 here
and part 3 here.
Today we are reading chapters 5 and 6. My notes from this one may seem hurried or short and sweet because my J Man is wide awake and very vocal. He's had a quick breakfast of pizza eggs (2 eggs scrambled with three pepperonis that have been julienned and a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese) and he is very happy.
Esther and her maids, along with the Jews in Shushan, have fasted and prayed for three days. On the third day Esther dressed in her royal clothes and went to see king Ahasuerus. He sees her waiting and points his golden scepter at her. Because of his love for her, he asks her request and tells her she can have anything she wants, up to half of his kingdom. "If it pleases the king, then you and Haman come to a feast I've made for you today," was her reply. So simple. The king accepts. The two have a fine old time at the feast and Ahasuerus asks again, what is your request? Ask for up to half the kingdom and it will be given to you. Once again, Esther simply asks that they both come to a feast for them that she will prepare tomorrow. They accept.
On the way home Haman is pleased with himself. He got to dine with the king and the queen by special request and he gets to do it again tomorrow! Nothing can take away his happiness. That is, until he catches sight of Mordecai sitting at the gate. Mordecai did not so much as stand up when Haman came by, much less bow to him. There goes that happy mood he was in. And it's all Mordecai's fault.
Now, stop for a moment. Do you ever catch yourself doing that? I was having a great day but so and so did something to ruin it. Or this happened and there went my day. I've done that a time or two. And all I can think now is :really? you're going to allow someone else or a bump in the road take away your joy? Most of the time those things that suddenly turn our blue skies gray aren't worth even the time it takes to growl and stomp and fume. It may seem like it at the time, but most times, once we look back at it, it's not really worth even a frown. Don't give anyone or anything power to rule your emotions for you.
True joy isn't being deliriously happy 24/7. I don't think anyone would ever feel like that. Joy should be in our hearts when we know that our lives belong to the One True God. We put our hopes and our fears in his hands. If you are a Christian, you know that setbacks on this earth are temporary, in the long run. If we hear the word, believe, repent, are baptized, and strive to live the way God wants us, we get everlasting life with him in heaven. Yes, our hearts are going to be broken a time or two or even more here on earth. It's okay to grieve for those. In Haman's case, however, just the sight of a man who refused to bow before him gave him cause to frown.
The king could not sleep that night so he called for someone to read to him from the book chronicling all that happened during his reign. It was from this reading that Ahasuerus was reminded that Mordecai had once saved his life by reporting of the two chamberlains who meant to harm him. As it happened, Haman was wishing to see him. The king called him in and asked his opinion of how to reward a man in such high favor.
Now, you know this put a huge silly grin on Haman's face! Remember, Haman has a huge ego because of his position. So he tells the king, send him royal clothes by way of one of the highest princes. Let him ride through town wearing the royal clothes on a royal horse, and let him wear the royal crown. The king agrees to this --and then says to Haman, You take the clothes and the horse and the crown to Mordecai the Jew --and that grin freezes. Maybe even dims a little bit. He did as the king asked though, because you just don't disobey the king's command. And it galled him so much to help Mordecai dress up and parade him through the area showing this high honor, he went home afterward in mourning, with his head covered. Translation? He pouted! He doesn't really want to do anything other than stay home and sulk for a bit, but he has another feast to attend with the king and queen.
I hope you are enjoying the study of Esther as much as I am.