Today’s service begins with a declaration from Psalm 33 that “the Lord loves righteousness and justice,” and that we trust Him to be our “help and our shield.” Though God may work silently and mysteriously, He is ever working to bring about justice for those He loves—a truth we will see vividly expressed in the sermon text from Esther. To accompany this story of Haman’s downfall, we’ll be singing quite a bit from the psalms. We’ll sing that “what the wicked most desires will utterly decay” (Alleluia! How Blest The Man—Psalm 112) and that though God befriends the poor and weak, He promises judgement for the wicked (Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah—Psalm 146; How Blest The Man—Psalm 41). This is sobering, because we know that we ourselves were once enemies of God like Haman. We confess that we are humbled by His “wrath and judgement just,” and we are comforted that He will hide His face from our sins (God Be Merciful To Me—Psalm 51). We respond with thanksgiving, praising our Lord for His “bountiful care” (O Worship The King, loosely based on Psalm 104) and “sure provision” (My Shepherd Will Supply My Need—Psalm 23). Perhaps Queen Esther had some of these encouraging words from the psalms in her mind as she prepared to plead for her people to the King. “He preserves the lives of His saints; He delivers them from the hand of the wicked” (Psalm 97:10) —Henry C. Haffner
Key Words: Feast, Foe, Wicked, Assault, Saved, Hang, Abated
Keystone Verse: The gallows that Haman has prepared for Mordecai, whose word saved the king, is standing at Haman’s house, fifty cubits high. (Esther 7:9)
14 While they were yet talking with him, the king’s eunuchs arrived and hurried to bring Haman to the feast that Esther had prepared.
7:1 So the king and Haman went in to feast with Queen Esther. 2 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 the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” 3 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. 4 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.” 5 Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther, “Who is he, and where is he, who has dared to do this?” 6 And Esther said, “A foe and enemy! This wicked Haman!” Then Haman was terrified before the king and the queen.
7 And the king arose in his wrath from the wine-drinking and went into the palace garden, but Haman stayed to beg for his life from Queen Esther, for he saw that harm was determined against him by the king. 8 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?” As the word left the mouth of the king, they covered Haman’s face. 9 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.” 10 So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the wrath of the king abated.