Esther Week 5 Sermon Notes

ESTHER PART 5: A TALE OF TWO ADVOCATES

THE STORY

The Assassination Plot, Esther 2:19-23

The Asinine Promotion, Esther 3:1-6

The Asset Acquisition Pitch, Esther 3;7-11

The Annihilation Proclamation, Esther 3:12-15

 

THE POINT

3 Key Questions To Ask Ourselves

 

  1.  How Are You Like Mordecai? Hypocrisy

-Cultural Christianity...Embarrassed About Jesus

-Convenient Christianity...Using Jesus When It Benefits You

 

  1. How are you like Xerxes? Greed 

 

3.How are you like Haman? Pride

  1. He doesn’t talk TO the person he’s in conflict with, he talks ABOUT them.
  2. He tells the story in a way that benefits him at the expense of the truth.
  3. He builds a case to destroy his enemy

 

What is Pride?

Pride is concentration and absorption on self

 

  1.  Pride Makes You Foolish
  2.  Pride Makes You Evil
  3.  Pride Makes You Dead

 

“Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man... It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition is gone, pride is gone.” 

? C.S. Lewis, 

 

CS Lewis… “Pride, is ruthless, sleepless, unsmiling concentration on the self.”

 

Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.

 

“As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on thing and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you.” 

? C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

 

The Good News... 3:13... 13th day of 12th month of Adar = Passover Eve

- Jews would have known...the enemy picked this day of destruction, but every decision of the lot is from the Lord...GOD picked this day for our salvation

- Jews would have known, the date picked was Passover Eve, when the Israelites put the blood     of a lamb over their doorpost and were saved from death

- Salvation is coming

- This story points us to Jesus

 

Jesus is the Better Advocate 

Ironically, Jesus had far more reason to act against us than Haman had against the Jews. We have not kept God’s laws. We have refused to bow down to him and submit to him and give him honor and respect. It is actually true in our case that it’s not in God’s interest to tolerate us (Gruid, 42). 

 

And, like Haman, Satan is a happy advocate for our destruction, presenting plenty of valid reasons why God should destroy us and not allow us to live. The edict for our eternal destruction could have been easily signed by God. 

 

But, thanks be to God, that is not how God our Father has chosen to deal with us. 

 

-Haman advocated for the lives of those whom he perceived had dishonored him to be destroyed; but Jesus advocates for the lives of those who have dishonored him to be spared.

 

-Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.” Luke 23:34

 

-Haman advocated for his enemies to be destroyed so he could profit financially from their destruction; But Jesus advocates for his enemies to be spared at great cost to himself.

    

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” II Cor. 8:9

 

-Haman advocated for the destruction of his enemies in order to promote himself; Jesus advocated for the salvation of his enemies at the cost of humbling himself.

 

“rather, he made himself nothing, by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself, by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” Phil. 2:8

 

-Haman advocated for the killing of his enemies in order to take their money and make himself wealthy; Jesus advocated for his enemies by sacrificing his place of power and wealth in order to save his enemies and make them wealthy.

 

-Haman advocated for the killing and plundering of his enemies; Jesus handed himself over to the enemy to be plundered and killed.

 

-Haman and the king Xerxes made a rash and foolish decision that went out and would have affected thousands for death; Jesus and the Father made a decision predating time itself in the eternal counsels of God that would affect millions for eternal life. Instead of letters of death winging their way through the empire in every language, now the gospel of life goes to every tribe and nation in their own tongue. When the gospel penetrates our hearts, be become the living letters of God. (Duguid, 42)

 

“You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. 3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts." II Cor. 2:3-4

 

I John 2:1

“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”

 

GROUP QUESTIONS

 

1) What stood out to you most in this sermon or from this sermon?

 

2) What did we learn about God's nature and Christ's character in this sermon and in Esther ch. 3?

 

3) What did we learn about humanity's sinfulness?

 

4) What effect should the answers to the two previous questions have on those who claim to be Christians?

 

5) Which of the 3 characters relating to hypocrisy, greed, & pride ... can you most identify with in your past and present?

 

6) Discuss the problems, pain and poor witness that result from hypocrisy, greed, & pride.

 

7) How can we guard against and combat the sins of hypocrisy, greed & pride in our own hearts and church family's witness?

 

8) How awesome is Jesus in comparison to Haman? Close your time in prayer thanking and praising God for his grace toward us in Christ!

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