House of Death, part four

Alright, we’re wrapping up today and if you’ve missed the first three you’ve missed a lot. We’ve gone through most of the book of Esther. Esther is the queen, she was secretly a Jew, and her cousin Mordecai is a faithful Jew also. Haman is a bad politician who convinced the king to set a day where all Jews would be massacred, and he even built a gallows at his own home so he could hang Mordecai. God stepped in, reminded the king that Mordecai once saved his life, and Esther reveals she’s a Jew, and now Haman’s the one set for execution.

So let’s rejoin the story as the king tries to decide the how and where to kill Haman.

Esther 7:9 Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs in attendance on the king, said, “Moreover, the gallows that Haman has prepared for Mordecai, whose word saved the king, is standing at Haman’s house, fifty cubits high.” And the king said, “Hang him on that.”

It took me well over 3000 words to get there, but we’ve now arrived at the original point of this series of blog posts. Do you remember what I called Haman’s house earlier? A house of death. It was a house of hatred, a place where anger and pride ruled, a house so founded on death that Haman built his very own gallows, right there at home. Sounds convenient, right? Turns out it was convenient, but not to hang the person Haman hoped to hang.

When we design traps to ensnare others, we tend to get caught up in them ourselves. The things we surround ourselves with tend to be the things we get caught up in.

Let’s talk about a house of cupcakes for a minute, because I’m trying to eat healthier and they sound delicious, but also because it’ll help me make a point. Let’s say you live with a roommate, and they’re an incredible baker. They make cupcakes constantly. They sell them at a little store out in front of the house, so when you leave to go to work, cupcakes. When you wake up, there are cupcakes on the table, and sitting on the oven, and some baking in the oven. Your roomie talks about cupcakes, about how to make them, about how delicious they are, about how much they love them.

So here’s a question about your time in the house of cupcakes. What are you eventually going to end up doing? You are going to eat a cupcake. Unless you’re Jesus, able to resist all temptation, even the most strict dieters among you are going to eventually, some day, end up eating a cupcake. What you surround yourself with is what you fall into and get entangled in.

So back to Haman. He was entangled in anger. He surrounded himself not only with violent and hateful thoughts, but with violent and hateful friends and a violent and hateful wife. His was a house of death. He surrounded himself with a giant gallows, designed to kill someone. And eventually, it swallowed him up. The gallows served its purpose, and after living in a house of death for a lot of years, Haman got caught up in it, entangled in the thing he’d been living with.

Esther 7:10 So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the wrath of the king abated.

In a lot of ways, this whole concept links right up to one of the most famous concepts in all of the Bible.

Galatians 6:7-9 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

Haman sowed anger, bitterness, pride, and ultimately, he sowed death. It’s funny, because when I was younger the whole “reap what you sow” concept felt very theoretical to me. I struggled to see it on a practical level. But really, it’s about as practical as it gets. If you plant corn, you’re not going to grow potatoes. If you plant wheat, you’re not going to grow orange trees. If you plant bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness, you’re not going to grow peace, joy, and happiness.

We talked about that house of death, I think we all understand what that means. But what about a house of love? What if we surround ourselves with loving people who put others first, who love God with all their hearts, who seek after Him daily? What are we going to fall into then? What’s going to be reaped in a home like that? Think about the blessings, about the goodness that you’re bound to just naturally fall into if that’s your house, if that’s your life. It doesn’t have to be your actual home. Maybe you live with hateful people, that doesn’t have to be your “house”. Your house can be your room, or if you don’t have a room then it can just be you, just you and Jesus.

What are you going to make your house? How about a house of obedience, a house of honor. A house of God.

What do you want your life to be about? What do you want your house built upon? What do you want to be surrounded by? Think of those things, and start planting seeds.

We’ve gone so deep into the book of Esther in this series that I’d be amiss if I didn’t show you how it all ends. With Haman dead, the king gives his entire household to Esther, and she puts Mordecai in charge over it. Then Esther pleads with the king to undo the decree that calls for the annihilation of the Jews, and he allows her to change the rule however she sees fit. Here’s what gets written as the new decree.

Esther 8:11 saying that the king allowed the Jews who were in every city to gather and defend their lives, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate any armed force of any people or province that might attack them, children and women included, and to plunder their goods,

God can take something designed for evil and turn it to good. A plan meant for their annihilation turned into their legal right to defend themselves while being held in a foreign land that owed them no such right. There is no thing beyond the reach of God, no thing so wrong that God can’t turn it into a thing of right. He will be glorified in some of the strangest ways, and some of the darkest moments as we perceive them can end up turning out to be some of the brightest times. To God be all the glory, forever and ever, amen.

PRAYER AND CLOSING

Father God, today we ask you to put our houses in order.  We repent of what we’ve surrounded ourselves with in the past, and we ask right now that you help us build a new house.  Be our house, God.  Give us the wisdom and endurance to build our house out of your love, out of your goodness.  Let it surround us, let us fall into it daily.  For those of us who have planted immoral seeds in the past, who haven’t always lived in a holy house, we call you in today, Jesus.  We call you into the fields of our life and we ask that you undo what we’ve done, that you cleanse the seeds of bitterness, the seeds of lust, the seeds of unforgiveness and selfishness and whatever else we’ve done.  Grant us a fresh field, a fresh house, and rejoice with us as we start building a life based fully on you.  I thank you because I know you’re doing a new work in our lives Lord, and you are worthy of all praise forever and ever.  Thank you, Jesus.  In your precious name I pray, amen.

I love you guys.  I stand in awe of the love of God this week.  There’s no thing we’ve done wrong that He can’t undo, and there’s no house so far gone that He can’t turn it around.  Invite Him in today, really invite Him in, and watch in amazement as He begins replacing all the bad with His goodness.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s