1. The special principle revealed in Romans 8:28 is illustrated in the book of Esther. 2. Review of ch.1-6: a. (ch.1) Ahasuerus, king of Persia, removed Vashti as 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. e. (ch.5) Esther asked the king and Haman to attend a banquet she had prepared, and, at the banquet, she asked them to attend another one the following day. f. (ch.6) Between the two banquets, the king honored Mordecai, and Haman was humiliated. 3. In ch.7, Esther exposed Haman's wickedness, and he was put to death. Discussion: I. (vs.1) THE KING AND HAMAN ATTENDED ESTHER'S SECOND BANQUET II. (vs.2) THE KING ASKED ESTHER WHAT SHE WANTED, AND HE ASSURED HER THAT HE WOULD GRANT HER REQUEST III. (vs.3-4) ESTHER ASKED THAT SHE AND HER PEOPLE BE SPARED FROM DESTRUCTION IV. (vs.5-6) HAMAN WAS IDENTIFIED AS THE ENEMY OF THE JEWS
A. (vs.5) The king asked Esther to identify the one who wanted to destroy her and her people. B. (vs.6) Esther informed the king that Haman was the Jews' enemy. V. (vs.7-10) HAMAN WAS DESTROYED
A. (vs.7) The king became angry and left the banquet. B. (vs.8) Haman begged Esther for his life to be spared. C. (vs.9-10) Haman was hung on the gallows he had built for Mordecai. Conclusion:
1. With Haman executed, it might seem that the Jews' problem was over; however, Haman's plot had become an official law, and Persian law could not be changed. 2. Ch.8 shows what happened so the Jews would be spared. 3. In addition to Haman, other Bible characters have been overcome by hatred. a. Cain killed his brother (Genesis 4:1-8). b. Joseph's brothers wanted to kill him (Genesis 37:4-5, 8,18-20). c. Saul wanted to kill David (1 Samuel 18:6-11). 4. All of these characters show that the one who hates is the one actually hurt by hatred. 5. Some appropriate instructions for us to consider and practice are given in: a. Matthew 5:21-22 b. Ephesians 4:26-27, 31-32 c. James 1:19-20 d. 1 John 3:15; 4:20-21.