Click here to get started today!
The black cloud with which the church was covered, in the preceding chapter, begins in this to brighten up. Ahasuerus, unable to sleep, causeth the records of his kingdom to be read to him. This leads to Mordecai's advancement. Haman begins to meet with mortification. Esther's petition is presented.
(1) ¶ On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king.
I beg the Reader to mark the opening of this chapter. The king could not sleep. We need not stay to ask wherefore he could not: but rather behold the cause in the LORD. Scripture tells us, it is the LORD that giveth his beloved sleep. But when the LORD hath any providences to be accomplished, he never can want the means to bring them about; even his enemies shall be restless, if such a state can better minister to his glory. In this sleepless state; the king commands the chronicles of his kingdom to be read to him. Reader! if you or I lay sleepless, let us read the book of GOD, or meditate in the night watches upon JESUS, and his great salvation. I beg the Reader to mark yet further, the particularity of the king's choice, in having the Chronicles of his kingdom read to him. In those eastern courts soft music was made use of, to lull the monarchs to sleep. Reading the events of his kingdom, was more likely to induce thought than to cause forgetfulness. Daniel 6:18 .
(2) And it was found written, that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's chamberlains, the keepers of the door, who sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus.
Reader! go on to remark the hand of the LORD in what is here related. How came the persons who read to the king, to light upon this part of the Chronicles which referred to Mordecai? Surely he that made the king sleepless, caused the Readers of the Chronicles to turn to this chapter. Oh! how sweet is it, to see GOD'S hand in all providences! and if possible how far sweeter, to trace the LORD'S hand, in causing his servants the ministers to read such scriptures, and to preach such sermons as they themselves are perhaps unconscious of, but yet the LORD directs to the heart of sinners. Surely (saith the patriarch) the LORD is in this place, and I knew it not. Genesis 28:16 .
(3) And the king said, What honour and dignity hath been done to Mordecai for this? Then said the king's servants that ministered unto him, There is nothing done for him.
Reader! look still with your eye beyond the letter of the word, and discover one behind the whole, like the prophet's vision, (Ezekiel 1:26 .
(4) ¶ And the king said, Who is in the court? Now Haman was come into the outward court of the king's house, to speak unto the king to hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him.
Every verse in this sweet chapter is interesting. No sooner was the morning arrived, than Haman, alive to his malice, was already at court, waiting to see the king on the business for hanging Mordecai. Reader! think how malicious the devil is to accuse the brethren: think how JESUS rebukes him. Under all thy fears, recollect that there is One always on the throne, whose redemption is complete, and whose intercession never fails.
(5) And the king's servants said unto him, Behold, Haman standeth in the court. And the king said, Let him come in.
Haman is announced. Ahasuerus is ready for his purpose, and Haman for his: but oh! how different their views. Think of this, my soul, when the enemy storms most. Never is the triumph of hell nearer the close, than when Satan grows most furious.
(6) So Haman came in. And the king said unto him, What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour? Now Haman thought in his heart, To whom would the king delight to do honour more than to myself? (7) And Haman answered the king, For the man whom the king delighteth to honour, (8) Let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which is set upon his head: (9) And let this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king's most noble princes, that they may array the man withal whom the king delighteth to honour, and bring him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaim before him, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honour. (10) Then the king said to Haman, Make haste, and take the apparel and the horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the king's gate: let nothing fail of all that thou hast spoken. (11) Then took Haman the apparel and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and brought him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaimed before him, Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour.
Reader! When you have made all due reflections on the history, and beheld in it, with wonder, how the LORD overrules all things to his own glory, his people's good, and their enemies ruin: and when you have made suitable application of it to your own case and circumstances, and the circumstances of GOD'S church and people in all ages; then turn your thoughts to JESUS, who, as the Glory-man, JEHOVAH delighteth to honor. Oh! who can behold, JESUS in the glories of his most gracious character, as the Head and King of his church and people, and not bend the knee before him, and with the whole soul confess, that JESUS CHRIST is LORD, to the glory of GOD the FATHER! Hail! thou King of kings, and LORD of lords!
(12) ¶ And Mordecai came again to the king's gate. But Haman hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered.
Reader! observe, and closely observe, the different effects wrought upon the minds of those two men. Mordecai was not elated: he, did not hasten to the King after his promotion. He did not seek to get the decree, for the destruction of himself and people, reversed: neither did he seek to be revenged upon Haman. No, his cause was in good hands, the LORD'S hands, He that believeth shall not, for he need not, make haste. On the other hand, Haman, stung to death, feels all that mortified pride can feel: but no grace of repentance, no sorrow, no compunction at the infamy of his conduct, only at his disappointment. And, Reader! can you desire stronger, evidence than this affords, that there is, there must be all this difference between grace and nature: Wherefore was the nature of Mordecai thus directed, but because grace had wrought it in him. And wherefore Haman still hastening to ruin, but from the malignity of his own mind.
(13) And Haman told Zeresh his wife and all his friends everything that had befallen him. Then said his wise men and Zeresh his wife unto him, If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before him. (14) And while they were yet talking with him, came the king's chamberlains, and hasted to bring Haman unto the banquet that Esther had prepared.
Observe, Reader! the ground on which the wife of Haman, and those around him, forebode evil. If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews; why, what were they? Captives, poor, tributaries, and in desolate circumstances. But they were a seed in covenant with God: though out casts, yet God's outcasts. Isaiah 18:4 . And as a praying seed of Jacob, they had power with God to prevail. Reader! think only of the vast privileges of God's people. If God be for us, who can be against us. Haman is now hastening to the banquet, no doubt, as he thought, to repair all; but in reality to hasten on his final ruin. Pause, Reader, and contemplate the hand of God in all.
READER! while I pray for grace both for you and myself, that we may derive all suitable instruction from our gracious covenant God, as held forth to us in this chapter, manifesting himself in the deliverance of his people, and the ruin of his enemies, both as the God of providence and of grace, I would beg of you, with greater earnestness, to let what is said of Mordecai, and the honor put upon him, lead your mind to the contemplation of Jesus. Surely in the day, when from the gate, and from the prison, Jesus was exalted at God's right hand as a Prince and as a Saviour, and all principalities and powers made subject unto him, the exaltation of Jesus, as the glorious Head of his church, was then set forth; and as our adorable Redeemer and Saviour, Jehovah manifested that he delighted to honor him. And think how the Lord Jehovah hath indeed delighted to honor him. He hath not only given him a name which is above every name, but it hath pleased the Father, that in him should all fulness dwell. He hath not only made him the Saviour of poor sinners, but he hath made all the angels of light to worship him. All the employment and service of his church below is, to honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. And all the work of the church above is also to honor Christ: the song of angels, as well as of the redeemed from among men, is addressed to him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb that was slain, forever and ever.
Reader! how shall you and I honor him whom the Father delighteth to honor? There is but one way. Oh! for grace to follow it. I would pray for faith to honor Jesus as the Father honors him. And while Jehovah commits all his glory to Jesus, so would I commit all my salvation: I would honor Jesus as the Sent of God, the sealed of God, the Anointed of God, the only begotten Son of God, full of grace and truth. Yes! blessed Jesus! I would desire so to honor thee, as everlastingly to love thee, to live to thee, to be no longer my own, but as thine by purchase, by the sovereignty of thy grace upon my heart, and as the gift of the Father to thee, for the blessed purposes of my salvation. Blessed be God for all providences, all promises, all mercies, all dispensations; but above all, blessed be God for Jesus Christ!
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Esther 6". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24