Haman: Bad Guy #5
The sermon begins by drawing parallels between popular movie villains and the biblical character of Haman. It highlights various iconic villains and then introduces Haman as the antagonist in the Book of Esther, taking villainy to a new level. Haman's evil goal is to eradicate the Jewish people from the face of the earth, making him comparable to infamous historical figures like Adolf Hitler.
Story Set Up:
The background of the story is set by explaining the historical context of the Book of Esther. The Jewish people were taken into exile by the Babylonians but were later allowed to return to their homeland by the Persian King Cyrus. Esther, a Jewish woman, became the queen of King Xerxes, and her cousin Mordecai plays a significant role in the story.
Part 1: Haman's Plot to Destroy the Jews:
Haman is introduced as the king's chief adviser and second-in-command over the Persian empire. He craves honor and respect from everyone and becomes enraged when Mordecai, a Jew, refuses to pay him homage. Haman decides to destroy not just Mordecai but all Jews throughout the empire, planning their annihilation.
Part 2: Mordecai's Plan to Save the Jews:
Mordecai reveals the plan to Esther, urging her to use her position to help her people. Initially, Esther hesitates, fearing the consequences of approaching the king without an invitation. However, Mordecai reminds her that deliverance for the Jews will come from somewhere else if she remains silent. Esther decides to risk her life and approach the king.
Part 3: Haman's Rage & Embarrassment:
After Esther invites the king and Haman to a banquet, Haman brags to his wife and friends about his honors, wealth, and the privilege of being the only one invited to Esther's banquet. However, he becomes filled with rage when he sees Mordecai refuse to honor him. Haman's wife and friends suggest having Mordecai impaled on a pole, and Haman agrees, making preparations for his revenge.
Part 4: Haman's Downfall:
During the second banquet, Esther reveals the plot against her people and points out Haman as the adversary. The king, enraged, orders Haman's execution on the very pole intended for Mordecai. Haman's plans are foiled, and he meets a fitting end.
The sermon reflects on the absence of direct mentions of God in the Book of Esther, emphasizing that God's character is seen in His deliverance of His people. Unlike Esther, who only reluctantly helps to rescue her people, Jesus becomes the ultimate deliverer, willingly sacrificing Himself to save humanity. The sermon ends by encouraging the audience to fix their eyes on Jesus and embrace His grace willingly.