Holy Father, from You all good proceeds. I pray that faith, hope and love will proceed from me today.
Read Esther 6:1-14
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Gospel humility is not thinking more of myself or less of myself, but thinking of myself less” (Timothy Keller).
The next chapters are quite comical as serendipities tumble over each other, resulting in complete reversals of fortunes. Due to a random historical reminder on a sleepless night, Xerxes realized that the normal protocol to honor a worthy deed had not been followed and this omission must be rectified. Haman, who arrived at the right time to contribute advice, forgot his earlier intention to brief the king on Mordecai’s impending execution. Instead, his preoccupation with his own honor took over and he incorrectly assumed that the honor planned by the king was for him. So he dreamed big! To be paraded in public, dressed in the king’s robe, mounted on an identifiably regal horse and announced by a high-standing official would be a fitting tribute for the person the king “delights to honor” (6). We can only imagine Haman’s shame as he obediently led Mordecai, his avowed enemy, through the city streets.
Haman’s self-obsessed scheming had seriously backfired. Instead of Mordecai being taken to his execution, he returned to his normal place of work. Instead of Haman ending the day with jubilation at Mordecai’s demise and his own exaltation, he arrived home grief-stricken to warnings that his own future was on the line. He would be the loser in his battle with the Jews.
It’s easy to jump to conclusions to suit our presuppositions! Even with the best of motives, our logic or wishful thinking can leap ahead of reality. In a less commendable scenario, if we have our hearts set on our own honor and prestige, we might presume our ways to be God’s ways (Isa. 55:8-9). It is not difficult to be led astray by our own desires, to consequences we later regret. That “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble” (1 Pet. 5:5) is a timeless reality check.
Thank God that he is always working towards his big-picture plans. Reflect on a current situation where you need his discernment of your circumstances to draw the right conclusions.
Lord, I ask for the gift of discernment, so that I can see clearly Your intentions for me.
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