1. The special principle revealed in Romans 8:28 is illustrated in the book of Esther. 2. Review of ch.1-4: a. (ch.1) Ahasuerus, king of Persia, removed Vashti from being queen. b. (ch.2) Esther, a beautiful young Jewish woman, was chosen to be the new queen. c. (ch.3) Haman devised a plot to destroy the Jews, and it became an official law. d. (ch.4) Mordecai involved Esther in the situation that had developed. 3. In ch.5, after a period of fasting, Esther appeared before the king. Discussion: I. (vs.1-5) ESTHER APPROACHED THE KING
A. (vs.1) Esther went to the inner court of the king's house. 1. By doing so she was taking a great risk (4:11). 2. However, she was willing to accept the consequences (4:16). B. (vs.2) Fortunately, the king held out his scepter to Esther, allowing her to approach him. C. (vs.3) The king asked Esther what she wanted, and he would surely fulfill her request. 1. He was willing to give Esther half of his kingdom. 2. Generally speaking, making such a statement is not wise (Mark 6:21-28). D. (vs.4) Esther requested that the king and Haman attend a banquet she had prepared. E. (vs.5) The king and Haman went to the banquet. II. (vs.6-8) AT THE BANQUET, THE KING ASKED ESTHER WHAT SHE WANTED
A. (vs.6) He assured Esther again that he would grant her request. B. (vs.7-8) Esther requested that the king and Haman attend another banquet the following day. III. (vs.9-13) HAMAN'S REACTIONS
A. (vs.9a) When Haman left the banquet, he was very happy. B. (vs.9b) When Haman saw Mordecai, he became upset. C. Notice that Mordecai was "in the king's gate." 1. After he learned about Haman's plot, Mordecai "put on sackcloth with ashes" (4:1). 2. While Mordecai was dressed this way he could not enter into the king's gate (4:2). 3. If Mordecai was sitting in the king's gate, he had changed his clothes. 4. By changing clothes Mordecai was confident God would take care of the situation (4:14). D. (vs.10-12) After he went home, Haman called his wife and friends and told them about all the good things that had happened to him. E. (vs.13) Haman stated further that all the good things that had happened to him were useless as long as Mordecai remained in the king's gate. IV. (vs.14) HAMAN'S WIFE AND FRIENDS SUGGESTED THAT MORDECAI BE HANGED
A. They told Haman to construct gallows for hanging Mordecai before the banquet. B. Haman agreed with this suggestion, and he had the gallows built. C. Haman thought all his problems would disappear if Mordecai was eliminated, but he made a big mistake -- he was going against God's will. Conclusion:
1. Interesting circumstances have developed. a. Mordecai was a faithful and dedicated Jew who was devoted to doing God's will, but he suffered because of Haman's hatred. b. Haman had no concern for God's will or His people, but he was well off and seemed to be quite happy. 2. In ch.6, the situation began to change.