Idols At Risk

Esther 5:13 “Yet all of this does not satisfy me every time I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate.

Observation: Haman had been elevated to high position by the king. From his lofty role, he arrogantly demanded that all the king’s subjects bow before him and pay him homage. As a faithful Jew, Mordecai could not give such honor. Nor, Haman realized, could any other Jew who was captive in the land. In frustration, Haman called his wife and friends together to express his anger. He had been appointed to great honor and given glorious riches; he even had such supposed favor from Queen Esther that he alone had been invited to join the king as Esther’s private banquet guest. But in spite of these honors, Haman could still say, “Yet all of this does not satisfy me every time I see Mordecai sitting at the gate.”

Application: Poor, stupid Haman. He is walking into a trap that will prove his ultimate destruction. The bait is his own heart’s intoxication with the false authority of worldly riches and power bestowed by earthly honor. His doom is further assured by gathering his wife and closest friends as an audience for his vindictive rants. From such as these there could be nothing but worldly advice, for they were but sycophants, groupies who no doubt enhanced their own social standing by their proximity to Haman’s power.

It is easy to imagine that Haman and his friends would descend that evening into a pool of morose self-pity from which an evil plan would emerge. Mordecai should be hanged even as the wider plot was to destroy all Jews.

Could I imagine myself ever behaving as Haman? Sadly, yes. My own false pride holds the capacity for deep wounding. Such wounding leads to self-justifying scheming to regain or expand my rights…rights to which Christ has called me to die. In jealously defending my rights, I would, of course, never seek Godly counsel; my condition in that moment is not such to receive it. Instead, I gather other wounded and we tickle one another’s ears with stories of mutual offense.

These are idols all, false idols leading to destruction. What was it God had said? – “You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Ex. 20:3) In my area of greatest internal tension today can I honestly say I have no idols at risk? Isn’t my distress caused by clinging tight to them?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You see my heart. You know what motivates me in those seasons when I permit other gods to hold sway. Break my heart over Your truth, Lord, that I might not be crushed by Your judgments. Yours is the kingdom, and the glory, and the power, forever.

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