Sleepless in Susa — Liam Goligher’s 6th sermon on the book of Esther
Sleepless in Susa
Esther 5:14 – 6:14
In this chapter, Haman is a man with murder on his mind. Although he’s the CEO of the empire and the King’s best friend, and although the Queen has invited him as an honoured guest at two intimate dinner parties with herself and the King, Haman’s pride is despoiled by the mere sight of Mordecai — that impudent Jew at the gate of the palace who refuses to bow down to him!
In this sermon, Dr Goligher expounds upon many things which our readers will relate to, including the characteristics of the malignant narcissist in the person of Haman and what happens to such people in the end.
Although God isn’t mentioned in the book, He is powerfully at work in the narrative. He gives King Ahasuerus insomnia which prompts the king to ask for the Manuscripts of the Records of State to be read to him. Reading manuscripts of historical records and legislation might be a good way to induce sleep, but God is providentially working in all this to save His people from annihilation.
The record of service which Mordecai did many moons ago for the king by exposing the plot on the king’s life, is thus brought to the king’s attention. On discovering that Mordecai had never been rewarded, the King resolves to honor Mordecai for the service he had rendered him.
This all happens on the very night Haman is ordering a gallows be built on which to hang Mordecai.
Both Haman and the King have Mordecai on their mind: Haman wants to hang him; the King wants to honor him.
Haman is so full of himself that he assumes HE must be the one the King wants to honor, so he recommends the king bestow abundant honorifics on the worthy man. The joke is, Haman has to dress Mordecai up in the royal robes and parade him through the streets on the king’s horse, proclaiming, “Thus shall it be done to the man whom the King delights to honor.”
The malignant narcissist is profoundly humiliated and given his just deserts.
God is on the field when He is most invisible. He can save his people at the last minute. And He’s quite capable of turning a crisis in the blink of an eye.