1. The special principle revealed in Romans 8:28 is illustrated in the book of Esther. 2. Review of ch.1-2: 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. 3. In ch.3, a new character, Haman, devised a plot to destroy Mordecai and his people. Discussion: I. (vs.1-6) HAMAN SOUGHT TO DESTROY THE JEWS
A. (vs.1) Hamam was promoted to a high position [similar to prime minister]. B. (vs.2) The king commanded his other officials to bow before Haman and to reverence him, but Mordecai refused to do so. C. (vs.3) Mordecai was asked why he did not reverence Haman. D. (vs.4) The king's servants spoke to Mordecai about this daily, but he still did not reverence Haman. 1. Mordecai had informed them that he was a Jew. a. The Jews showed respect to kings (2 Samuel 14:4; 18:28). b. However, the Jews were forbidden to give to any man or image the reverence that belonged only to God (Exodus 20:3-5). c. It seems that Haman desired more than respect. 2. Haman was told about Mordecai's refusal to reverence him. E. (vs.5) Haman became very angry when Mordecai did not bow before him. F. (vs.6) Haman wanted to kill Mordecai and his people, the Jews. II. (vs.7) A TIME WAS SET FOR DESTROYING THE JEWS
A. In the first month, the lot was cast to determine the time for killing Mordecai and his people. B. (vs.13) The 13th day of the 12th month was selected. III. (vs.8-15) HAMAN CONVINCED THE KING THAT THE JEWS SHOULD BE DESTROYED
A. (vs.8) Haman informed the king that "certain people" in his kingdom were bad. B. (vs.9) Haman suggested that the king enact a law to destroy these people. 1. If the king enacted a law, it could not be altered (1:19). 2. Haman offered to pay the expenses involved. C. (vs.10) To make this law official, the king gave his ring to Haman. D. (vs.11) The king provided the money and the people to Haman to do as he pleased. E. (vs.12) Haman's request became an official written law. F. (vs.13-14) Letters were sent throughout the empire stating that all Jews were to be destroyed on the selected day. G. (vs.15) The king and Haman were happy, but the people were confused. IV. OBSERVATIONS
A. The king demonstrated his weakness as a leader again by allowing Haman to manipulate and use him. 1. The king did not seek to learn the identity of this "certain people." 2. The king did not analyze the situation to determine if Haman's accusations were accurate. 3. The king did not know it, but Esther would be among those to be destroyed. B. The king made a foolish choice when he appointed Haman to his position. 1. Haman was a manipulator. 2. Haman was proud and vain (Proverbs 8:13; 16:18). 3. Haman's heart was filled with hatred (Proverbs 26:24-26).