In chapter 5 we learned of the first banquet of Esther, which she gave for King
Ahaseureus and Haman, in order to ask that the evil planned against the Jews would be
cancelled. But that didn’t happen – Esther didn’t make her request. Instead, she asked
the King and Haman to return the next day. Why? Was she too afraid? Was the King
less than receptive? Perhaps Esther’s timing was off when she first approached the
King. Or did she hear clearly from God, “wait”. Remember, she had been fasting and
praying for three days, so her ears were open to hear what the Lord was saying and she
was spiritually receptive to her companions. God’s timing is always perfect! As we
see in this chapter, God had a purpose for Esther’s delay, because He was setting the
stage for revelation for the King. God’s plans are always complete and effective. Oh,
that I would have that same ability!
Esther 6:1 On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the book of
records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king.
The King couldn’t sleep. Was he perhaps mulling over the day’s events? Perhaps
he was chastising himself for neglecting Esther for so long, or maybe he was wondering
what Esther really wanted? Wondering why she hadn’t made her request? Wondering
why the second feast? Isn’t this just what we do so often? Our head keeps us up at
night speculating and wondering.
So the King decided to read the chronicles, the record of the events of his life. How
many times have we sat up at night and reread our diary or journal, to remind ourselves
of what the Lord has done in our lives?
Esther 6:2 And it was found written, that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of
the king’s chamberlains, the keepers of the door, who sought to lay hand on the king
I want to digress a bit right here and take a look at the meanings of the names used
in this chapter. The king’s name, Ahaseurus, means “head” or “chief”. He’s the guy in
charge, making all the decisions, and in complete control. His kingdom is his to do with
as he wishes, and he can certainly give it away to the control of someone else if he
chooses, just as our lives are ours to do with as we wish, and we can certainly
surrender control to whomever we wish, whether it be the Holy Spirit or Satan. As the
scripture says in Romans 6:16 “Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness?”
A wonderful analogy is found in Ray Stedman’s “For Such a Time as This”,
where he parallels the KING as being our will and mind (or as some call it, our ‘soul’),
Vashti as our old man, Esther as the new spirit within us, Haman as our flesh and
Mordecai as the Holy Spirit. With our conversion, our old man is banished, our new
spirit is in communication with the Holy Spirit and is also in communication with our will
and mind, and our flesh is, as always, our flesh – proud, arrogant, boastful, and
So, the king’s name means “CHIEF IN CHARGE” – that’s our will. The name
Mordecai means “warrior”, and isn’t that what the Holy Spirit is in our life? A warrior,
mighty in battle, always alert, watchful and at the ready.
Haman’s name means “illustrious” or “magnificent” – and isn’t that just what our
flesh thinks of itself? We are magnificent, and we want everyone to acknowledge it!
Bigthana means “in the wine press”. This is the same guy that was in Chapter 1
when the King ordered Vashti to parade herself before him and his princes. It is
apparent that wine was a problem for the king.
Taresh means “desire”, and Zaresh, Haman’s wife, is an alternative spelling of Zarach,
Now back to our story — The head (the King) is reading in his diary how wine and
desire (Bigthana and Teresh) were secretly out to destroy him, but the Holy Spirit
(Mordecai) exposed them for what they were. The King reads how two of his own,
those he thought were friends and guardians (alcohol and desire), had plotted against
his life, and in reading the king discovers who his real friend is. And as he reads, he
notes that he had done nothing to honor Mordecai (Holy Spirit).
Have you ever had that experience while reading in the book of memorable deeds
about the most memorable deed of all history? You learn that One took your place and
died in your stead and fought off all the powers of darkness and hell for your sake,
laying down his life on your behalf; and it suddenly dawns on you that you have done
nothing to honor him, nothing to thank him.
Est 6:3 And the king said, What honour and dignity hath been done to Mordecai for this?
Then said the king’s servants that ministered unto him, There is nothing done for him.
Est 6:4 And the king said, Who is in the court? Now Haman was come into the outward
court of the king’s house, to speak unto the king to hang Mordecai on the gallows that he
had prepared for him.
Est 6:5 And the king’s servants said unto him, Behold, Haman standeth in the court. And
the king said, Let him come in.
When the king reaches the point where he realizes he hasn’t done anything to honor his
deliverer, he calls for whoever is in the outside court to come in — and who is there but
Haman! (the flesh) He comes in and the king asks him for advice. (Note to self: It is
NEVER a good idea to ask the flesh for advice!)
The head looks around for who is available and finds the flesh – easily visible, always
the first in line, and an easy path. Sometimes, the head doesn’t apply much wisdom in
the search, and accepts whatever comes to it first. So, the head invites the flesh in.
Romans 7:25 tells us that our minds serve the law of God, but our flesh serves
the law of sin. Let’s see what the flesh wants to do now:
Est 6:6 So Haman came in. And the king said unto him, What shall be done unto the man
whom the king delighteth to honour? Now Haman thought in his heart, To whom would
the king delight to do honour more than to myself?
Est 6:7 And Haman answered the king, For the man whom the king delighteth to honour,
Est 6:8 Let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which is set upon his head:
Est 6:9 And let this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king’s most
noble princes, that they may array the man withal whom the king delighteth to honour,
and bring him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaim before him, Thus
shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honour.
Est 6:10 Then the king said to Haman, Make haste, and take the apparel and the horse, as
thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the king’s gate: let
nothing fail of all that thou hast spoken.
Est 6:11 Then took Haman the apparel and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and brought
him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaimed before him, Thus shall it
be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour.
Of course the flesh always knows who it is that brings delight, who is everybody’s
favorite. Haman thinks, “Well, who else would be the king’s favorite but me?” HAMAN
in capital letters. His arrogance and pride arise and rejoice, and can’t you just see him
strutting like a peacock, chest thrown out, with a wide grin on his face? In just such a
mindset he thinks of the greatest honor he could possibly enjoy. The greatest honor for
the flesh, of course, is to be honored by everyone else. Haman says to the king, “If you
really want to honor the man in whom you delight, then give him your crown, your robe,
your authority, everything you are, and set him on your horse. Then appoint some
prince to lead him through the city and cry out, ‘This is the man in whom the king
delights!'” Appoint a prince, mind you, not just any servant of the King, but a LEADER.
He wants the most honored to honor HIM; to be seen in subjection to HIM.
You see, the flesh wants complete control. It wants to be in authority.
Galatians 5:17-18 reads : For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against
the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things
that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. ”
Again, we see the battle between flesh and spirit.
But what did Paul say in 1 Corinthians 9:27: “I keep my FLESH in
subjection.” Paul is telling us quite clearly that we have control of our flesh – our head,
our will has all power and authority over our flesh and it is up to us to keep our flesh in
subjection. And that is just what the king does in this story: he keeps his flesh in
subjection to the spirit, for he says, “Haman that is wonderful. Go do it for Mordecai.”
Notice the symbolism, as it applies to our lives. Jesus said in John 12:26 “My
Father will honor the one who serves me”. And the honor God gives is His own kingly
honor: His own clothing, His own horse, His crown, and all that He is.
Wouldn’t you love to have seen Haman’s face right then! But the interesting thing
is that Haman does what the king has said because the flesh must be obedient to the
will. He does it! He shamefacedly goes through with this humiliating task. He takes
Mordecai, his hated enemy, and puts him on the king’s horse and leads him through the
city. The flesh lifts up the spirit and then gives the spirit honor before others! Can’t you
see him calling out as he goes along, “This is the man the king delights to honor.” But in
his heart he is raging with hatred and envy against Mordecai. The flesh always wars
against the spirit.
The point is, however, that the flesh does it. It will do anything for the sake of
survival, biding its time until the next opportunity to extol itself. It will get religious. It will
come to church. It will go to prayer meetings. It will sing in the choir. It will teach
Sunday school. It will work at vacation bible school. It will preach. It will pass out the
hymn books. It will take up the collection. It will usher. It will give a testimony. It will
serve on every committee. It will cook, clean, and do dishes if it can do it where others
will see its works. It will show the world what a pious servant it is. Our flesh will do
anything in order to survive. But the flesh will never yield. It must be overcome.
Galatians 6:8 tells us clearly: For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap
corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
And we can see in these verses that the flesh – Haman – is beginning to reap the
corruption he has been sowing.
You see, there is a great difference between walking in the flesh and being led by
the Spirit. As it is written in 1 John 2:16 & 17, For all that [is] in the world, the lust of
the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of
the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the
will of God abideth for ever.
When we are living for the flesh we are not living for God. When our flesh is leading
it is easy to fall into sin. BUT, when we are led by the Spirit we will not sin. In fact, it is
IMPOSSIBLE to sin when we are walking in the Spirit.
Those who live in sin – live a life of sin – cannot inherit the kingdom of God.
They do not love God, they love themselves, they love their own flesh. So, they do the
works of the flesh. And they will reap the rewards of the flesh. Romans 8:8 reads “So
then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” But those who live according to
the Spirit inherit great rewards. As it is written in John 4:36, we reap spiritual fruit –
everlasting life in the kingdom of God.
Est 6:12 And Mordecai came again to the king’s gate. But Haman hasted to his house
mourning, and having his head covered.
Est 6:13 And Haman told Zeresh his wife and all his friends every thing that had befallen
him. Then said his wise men and Zeresh his wife unto him, If Mordecai be of the seed of
the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but
shalt surely fall before him.
Est 6:14 And while they were yet talking with him, came the king’s chamberlains, and
hasted to bring Haman unto the banquet that Esther had prepared.
As we see from verse 12, the Holy Spirit, when given the honor he is due, returns to
his position within our kingdom and takes up his stance of watchman on the wall. The
flesh, however, has been shamed. It retreats to lick its wounds and to gather support
for its position. It wants everyone to acknowledge its humiliation and to be on its side.
Haman has retreated to those of his family, but there is no comfort, for judgment is at
hand. From God, through the mouth of his wife, comes the final verdict: “If Mordecai is
the seed of the Jews, you cannot prevail, but will fall before him.” Haman’s wife,
Zaresh, (remember, her name means “justice”) pronounces the verdict, and Haman is
now on the defensive, awaiting the next move from the King, not even sure he is still
invited to the banquet. But the king’s guards arrive (is it alcohol and desire again?) and
escort him to his destiny.
The good news of the gospel is that when we committed our life to Jesus Christ,
we didn’t just escape hell. Jesus came to deliver us from the power of the flesh, and He
HAS already delivered us from the power of the flesh and its corruption. The Hamanlike
power of our sinful nature has already been broken by the cross of Jesus Christ.
Now it is up to us to appropriate the power of the cross, take authority over our flesh
and live joyfully, victoriously, and FREE as a child of the living God.