This broadcaster has 468 podcast archives available on-demand.
Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.
July 15, 2021 7:00 am
Now I want to begin this morning with a question, here's my question as followers of Christ in the everyday aerobic and flow of life. What is the office kind of problem that we face. You know the kind of problem that most tempts us to act in ways that are un-Christlike. Well I can tell you what the answer is for me for me is when people do really rotten stuff to me. You know cheap stuff, ungodly stuff on the right to stop just treacherous nasty slimy stuff, you know what I'm talking about right. Yeah, I mean my problem is do I lower myself and go down to these people's level to to pursue revenge and retaliation against them or is there some better way some higher way that the Lord wants me to handle all this. Well, this is what were going to talk about today. Remember were in a four-part series on the book of Esther and in part one we talked about how God knows what he's doing. You knew what he was doing with Esther. He knows what he's doing with you and me. In part two we talked about the centrality of obeying God as a follower of Christ, and if you miss either one of those messages I want to urge you to go to the bookstore and pick up the CD or go online and downloaded from our website and kinda catch up with this, but today in part three were going to talk about how God tells us as followers of Christ to react when people do rotten awful stuff to us. So were ready to start.
But let's do a little background versus make sure were all up to speed there some things we've seen so far in the book of Esther number one we seen that the book of Esther occurs during the reign of King Xerxes of Persia when the Persian Empire was the largest empire on the face of the earth, and virtually every Jewish person alive live in the Persian Empire number two we saw how in God's mighty sovereignty. He knew ahead of time what was going to come against the Jewish people and so ahead of time. He put into place a plan of deliverance for them by having the king King Xerxes fall in love with a young Jewish girl name Esther and maker is Queen body didn't know that she was Jewish. Number three we saw that the trouble then began when Esther's foster father, a fellow named Mordechai refused to bow down to the new prime minister, a fellow named Heyman Heyman was so enraged by this that he set out to destroy not only Mordechai but the entire Jewish people to annihilate them out of the Persian Empire number four we saw the King Xerxes agreed to Heyman's plan, unaware of course that the convert Queen herself was Jewish, and finally number five we saw that when Haman's plot became public. Queen Esther decided to risk her life and go in and see the king uninvited to plead for the life of her people. So were all up to speed ready to go except we need to go back grow quickly to Esther chapter 2 and pick up one little fact that we skipped over but that's going to play a very important part in the events run a look at today.
Esther chapter 2 verse 21 says one day while Mordechai was sitting at the Kingsgate. Now this is before the trouble with Heyman and everything. Two of the kings officers were plotting to assassinate the king but Mordechai found out about the plot and told Queen Esther, who in turn told the king, giving the credit to Mordechai and when the report was investigated and found to be true. The two men were hanged on a gallows, and all this was recorded in the book of the Chronicles of the king hold onto that were coming back to, so here we go. Esther chapter 5 verse one on the third day that is the third day after Esther found out about Haman's plan. Esther put on her royal robes and went into the inner court of the king and when the king saw her standing in the courts. He was pleased with her, and he extended to her. The golden step or the Golden Wanda that was in his hand. I remember Esther a total Mordechai that to approach the king uninvited meant certain death unless he took his Golden Wanda's golden scepter and extended it to you, which is exactly by God's grace. What he did to Esther verse three, then the king asked what is the Queen Esther, what is your request even up to half of the kingdom.
It will be given to you and Esther replied, if it pleases the king, let the king together with Heyman come today to a banquet. I have prepared for you Melanie summarize what happens next the king and Heyman show up to this banquet that the Queen has for them. And the queen says to the king what I'm not going to tell you tonight. What I really want but I got a second banquet I'm throwing for the two of you tomorrow night.
And if you come to the second banquet. I'll tell you what I want then you say will one I want. Just tell the first night of me they were there. What it wanted. Want to shoot what is she doing what is you want to have a second banquet will friends. How will I know I don't have the slightest idea. Maybe she like to cook. I mean who knows. I don't know why the woman wanted a second banquet.
That's just what happened.
Okay now verse nine. Then Heyman went out that day. Happy and pleased in his heart, but when he passed Mordechai at the Kingsgate and Mordechai didn't tremble before him. Heyman was filled with anger against Mordechai.
Nevertheless, Heyman restrained himself and went home and he said to his wife. He said I he said to her, and the only person Queen Esther invited to the banquet she day and what's more, she invited me again with the king tomorrow, but all of this does mean no satisfaction. He says to his wife as long as I see that you, Mordechai Sitton at the Kingsgate so his wife said why got some advice for you.
Have a gallows built overnight tonight 75 feet high, say, my gosh, why was it so I will so that the whole city could see the hanging it in the morning asked the king that have Mordechai hang on it then go with the king of the banquet and be happy in this advice the lighted Heyman so he had the gallows bill. Now let's stop here and say that at this moment in time. Heyman look utterly invincible. I mean, he had power. He had the clouds. He had the inside influence with the king's determination was unflappable just like the people who often are mistreating us sometimes look like that. They are utterly invincible, but friends even though things look very bleak for the Jews right at this moment. Let's never forget what our good friend Yogi Berra said what did he say it ain't over till it's over.
That's right because suddenly into this hopeless looking situation comes the hand of Almighty God, watch this chapter 6, verse one. That night, that is the night between banquet number one banquet number two. The king couldn't sleep. I baby was the hammering on the gallows over to Heyman South. The captive up. I don't know.
So we ordered the book of the Chronicles. The record of his reign to be brought in and read to him and trust by God's amazing sovereignty. It was found recorded in the section they read to him. It was found recorded how Mordechai had exposed the two officers who had conspired to assassinate the king remember what we read back in chapter 2 okay so the king asked what honor or dignity has been bestowed on Mordechai for this for saving my life and his servants answered.
Well, nothing's been done for him king. You never told us to do anything. So when Haman entered the next morning not remember why Heyman is there. Heyman's they are to get permission to hang Mordechai remember okay when Haman entered the next morning the king asked him what should be done for the man whom the king delights to honor and Heyman thought to himself well. Whom would the kids alike to honor more than me.
And so every fantasy that Heyman has ever had. He brings out any drops on the king. He says all king you need to get your royal robes, the ones you yourself are worn and you need to get your crown and you need to get your horse and put this man the robes on them in the crown morning and put them on your own horse and then you need to have some high official leading through the city announcing this is the man that the king is happy to honor being certain of course that all this was going to be done for him. Verse 10 so the king said to Heyman going once and get my role and my horse and do everything you've just suggested for Mordechai.
Did you know how funny is this so Heyman did this leading up Mordechai personally understand what happened here. Mordechai Heyman had to lead the horse through the city announcing this is what's done for the man whom the king delights to honor then Heyman rushed home with his head covered in green. Is this hysterical or why it is my gosh you guys don't think this is hysterical was wrong with I think this is absolutely hysterical. Okay good paper to know what hold on, things are about to go bad to worse role. Heyman verse 14 chapter 6 in the king's UNIX arrived and hurried Heyman off the banquet number two that Esther and prepare and as they were at the second banquet. The king asked again. Queen Esther, what is your request, then the Queen answered if I have found favor with you will king, and if it pleases the king, please grant me my life and spare my people.
I and my people have been marked for destruction and slaughter and annihilation.
Then King Xerxes asked her where is the man who would dare do something like this. Where was he I said Mary dinner yeah and so Esther said the adversary and the enemy is this wicked man. Heyman sitting right over there. Then Heyman became terrified before the king and the queen that we have to remember up to this very moment Xerxes did not know Queen Esther was Jewish. What's worse for him. Heyman didn't know it either. Well, the king left the room.
The Bible says to go out walk around his garden, and just ponder this think what about what is going on here while he was out. Heyman turned Esther to beg for his life. Verse eight chapter 7 just as the king was returning Heyman was falling on the couch were Queen Esther was reclining to beg for mercy. Then the king explainable this man even molest the Queen while she's with me in my own a house man old Manischewitz boy things are just going from bad to worse for this guy.
And God is seeing to it. Then one of the king's servant said, behold, there is a gallows king 75 feet high standing outside Heyman's house.
He hadn't built last night for Mordechai who all by the way he was the man who spoke up and saved your life. You remember that fellow and then the king said hang Heyman on its so one of my favorite verses in the Bible Esther seven verse 10 so they hang the Heyman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordechai is a longer what's the bottom line here. What's the point.
The point is, and I want us all to see this that God took Heyman's evil scheme, and he turned it right back on Heyman's own head. We all see that okay good. Now that the stars were going to go in our passage because it's time now to ask our most important question and everybody knows what it is. So all of you folks out of Loudoun and Prince William and Bethesda and down to the edge and around the world on the Internet here Tyson's already ready all right here we go. Now come on Juan to pray. You say lawn. So what you say you're right, this is a really cool story and God bless Mordechai, but what difference does any of this make to me. 75. A gallows who cares about differences make to me well makes a lot of difference. Let's talk about it you know when I was a student at UNC Chapel Hill I took of judo and I learned that judo is based on a very interesting principal.
The essential principle of judo is that you use your enemy's own momentum against them. In other words, you let your enemy provide the inertia and then you use that very inertia to flip them now. The Bible tells us that God loves to do this very same thing that God loves to perform spiritual judo if you will on people who seek to hurt his sheep.
He loves to let these people provide all the ungodly momentum and all the evil inertia and then God loves to flip-flop their actions just like he did with Heyman. The Bible is full of examples of this is look at a few like a Joseph's brothers who sold him into slavery to keep them from ruling over them, and God flopped their betrayal and use it to accomplish that very thing like in the case of Moses and the Israelites of the Red Sea were Pharaoh had them trapped it was going to drown them in the Red Sea, but God thought that an ground Pharaoh's army in the very red me that he was planning to drown Moses and the Israelites didn't like Daniels political enemies who used his prayer life to getting phone in the lion's den, but God flip-flop that and save Daniel out of the lion's den and then had king Nebuchadnezzar for all the enemies in and finally about the Jews of Jerusalem.
Acts chapter 21 who plotted and schemed up to get the apostle Paul thrown in jail.
Why so they could shut them up so we stopped preaching the gospel and when they got them in jail. They went okay man we never see that guy again what what is God do God flip-flop that and ended up using that to send Paul to Rome where he got a chance to share the gospel with the Emperor Nero himself and all his elite praetorian guard. The point is that God loves to turn the schemes of the schemers back on their own heads. Listen to what the Bible says Psalm seven verse 15 he who digs a hole and scoops it out will fall into the very pit he is made his Mr. forward turn on his own head, and his violence will descend on his own for him. Psalm nine verse 16. The wicked will be ensnared by the schemes of his own hands and his foot will be caught in the very net that he is hidden for somebody else.
Proverbs chapter 5 verse 22, his own sins will capture the wicked, and he will be ensnared by the cords of his own wrongdoing and finally one of my favorite verses in the Bible, Proverbs 26, 27 he who digs a pit will fall in it, and he who tries to roll the stone on somebody else.
That stone will roll back on him, not folks, this is simply a part of the way the God is. It's just part of who God is and God doing this for his children is as predictable and as dependable as any law of Newtonian physics.
Now let's talk about us, let's bring all of this forward. Talk about you and me and let's say that just about every follower of Jesus Christ that I've ever met has had, or does have a Heyman in their life. Maybe it's a relative or teacher.
Maybe it's a coworker or neighbor. Maybe it's an ex-boyfriend or an ex-girlfriend or an ex-husband or an ex-wife or your supervisor at work for somebody at school. People who are just out to get us people who just don't like us and people who enjoy hurting us, and they will use to hurt us sell used gossip bill use lies go use betrayal go use backbiting. They'll use deceit and scheming and every kind of mean and nasty behavior known to man.
Almost everyone of us has somebody like this in our life. They want to. My worst was a guy name Roger when I was a student seminary. I worked there for three years for Giant Food as a cashier and Roger was my manager and for the three years I was there. He made my life a living nightmare. For example, if I would ask for Saturday night off so I could take Brenda out for dinner and a movie he would purposely schedule me for p.m. to midnight on purpose and he found hundreds of other ways to make my life miserable. There Giant Food and so I went to in one day and I said Roger I said on have I done something wrong and have I offended you in some way. I mean, is there something I need to apologize for trying to make right and he said to me know he said I just don't like you.
He said in the only thing you can apologize for is being you with us, taught us to fix that. And how do you fix that. And so this man was smart, though he had a strategy to strategy was. I can't fire this kid because of the union unless he does some horrible but I can make his life so miserable that he will want to quit. What I would like to say that thanks to the grace of God for the three years I was there. Roger never made me quit, but I gotta tell you this.
Nobody I've ever met has tried harder to make my life miserable. Then Roger do now, this kind of person I think represents a real challenge for us as followers of Christ because our natural inclination. Our fleshly inclination is to retaliate against these people to beat these people with their own games to go down and mud wrestled with these people but friends as followers of Christ. When we do this we cheapen ourselves and we damage our reputation and we bring dishonor to the name of Christ. You know what I love to say the only thing that happens when we mud wrestled with people is that everybody gets mud on you say will okay Alonso what that I'm I supposed to do well.
God tells us in the Bible how he wants us to handle this, he says, Romans 1217 do not repay anyone evil for evil to listen. The Bible is not talking here about exercising our legal rights when someone has done something criminal or illegal against those using the judicial system of America. That's not what God is talking about. He's talking about taking personal revenge. Verse 19. Never take your own personal revenge. The Bible says, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord. So Paul says if your enemy is hungry, feeding his thirsty giving something to drink for. By doing this you will be keeping up burning coals on his head to Seattle get that what is that mean what it means it is a follower of Christ that that we don't need to lower or cheapen or demean ourselves by stooping down to these other people's evil level. We don't need to go down and mud wrestled with them. We can turn them over to the Lord in the sure and certain confidence that by doing that God will repay, that's what he said, I will repay, and that God will pour burning coals on their heads. You and I don't have to do a thing and how can we be so sure this is going to happen well because friends God's promises. This in Psalm nine God promised he would catch these people in their own nets in Proverbs 5, God promised that he would ensnare these people in the cords of their own wrongdoing. In Psalm seven God promised that their mischief would return on their own head and in Proverbs 26, God promised that the stone that they're trying to roll on you is going to end up rolling back on them folks. These are the solemn promises of God, and you could take him to the bank. Love what a W toaster said he said and I quote whoever defends himself will have himself for his defense and he will have no other but let him live defenseless Lee before the Lord and he will have as his defender, no less, than the living God himself. You still along so is God asking me just to let these people get away with what they've done to me and what they're doing to me know friends is not what God is asking you what God is asking you and me is for us to keep ourselves clean wood.
God is asking us is to keep our personal testimony unsullied and for us to let him handle whatever payback is due.
These people now takes longer to do it this way because we want these people paid back now. In fact it was really up to us.
We would like to see them payback yesterday right yes God doesn't always pay people back as fast as we want, but friends God always does it and you know what I've learned when God decides it's time for payback. So what he did to Haman. He was quick he moves fast he moved decisively is scary how fast God moves when God's ready well. We need to wait for that but I promise you if God says he will repay, he will repay, let me just say in closing that the problem with carrying anger and retaliatory thoughts against these people who've heard us is that it puts us in prison. It puts us in bondage. I mean we walk around all day long just chewing on these people in our hearts and our minds. You know were just like archer future Roger Roger every time we think of him every time we see in their body. Tonsillitis mentions their name folks, we are in bondage and and part of the reason God wants us to turn them over to him and turn the payback over to him is not only will he do a much better job than you and not only will he righteously decide what ought to be paid back, and what ought not to be paid back. But even more than that, friends, you'll liberate you from being in bondage to this person and what they've done to you and set you free. So you can look out and talk about them.
Think about him and go you know what, they're not my problem. I gave them to God, their God's problem. God will deal with them. I'm going on with my life here I'm free. I'm free of friends listen God knows what he's doing here. I promise you if you do it God's way. When all the dust settles, and God has moved like he did on Haman in judgment you will be able to stand there and say I didn't do anything. I'm I'm completely clean. I lift a finger against this person, God did it, and I have nothing to do with doing God's way. I promise you for every reason you be clenched spray with our heads bowed and her eyes closed. I want to give you just a moment.
If you need to to turn some people over to the Lord. So you take this quiet moment, and you do that, Lord Jesus, you know that when were hurt when people treat us rotten, very easy for us to strike back. And even if we don't strike back. It's very easy for us to want to strike back into cherish and nourish that bitterness in our heart for Jesus.
Thanks for giving us a better way of handling this. Now if you had made us the promises you made us, and if you weren't the just Almighty God of the universe than this approach with the stupid that we talked about today, but in light of the fact you are that just God and you have made us those promises are approach is healthy and it also allows us to keep our personal testimony unsullied for Christ. So Lord Jesus, help us turn some people over you today and leave them with you in the sure and certain confidence that they're knocking to get away with anything. And when you are ready to move. It will be scary how you do it free us today.
Lord, liberate us from these folks and from what they've done to us by the power of Christ in our life and we pray these things in Jesus name. What are God's people say