We Reap What We Sow – Esther 7

The principle of sowing and reaping is one of the great principles of life and a strong teaching in God’s Word. Whatever a person sows, he will reap.  If we sow hard work, and diligence, we will reap some material reward. But if we sow laziness, we will reap unemployment and little material provisions. Within a marriage, if we sow true love, care, tenderness, and morality, we will reap faithfulness and a growing love and commitment. But if we sow dishonesty, we will reap hurt, pain and divorce. If we sow lawlessness and violence, we will reap due punishment.

Sowing and reaping is the theme of this Scripture. The king now favored the Jew Mordecai because Moredecai had saved the king’s life. In addition, Haman had just been utterly humiliated and publicly shamed by this unexpected honor bestowed upon Mordecai, his avowed enemy. After the unsettling incident, Haman was warned by his wife and friends to turn away from his enmity against the Jews and stop his plot to exterminate them. They warned him that his downfall had already started. In fact, while Haman’s friends were still talking with him, the king’s attendants arrived to rush him to the banquet Queen Esther had prepared for the king and his prime minister. Rushing to the banquet with a heavy heart and broken spirit, Haman had absolutely no idea what was to come.

  1. (7:1-6) Esther Exposed the Evil

Esther’s exposure of Haman’s evil plot against the Jews was about to take place. While the king and Haman were having dinner with Esther, the king would receive one of the biggest shocks of his life. Esther would expose the evil conspiracy of his prime minister, a conspiracy that involved the killing of Queen Esther as well as all the Jewish people. In a scene of high drama and suspense, Scripture paints the picture of what happened:

After eating their meal, the king and Haman were sitting around drinking wine just as they had done at the banquet the evening before. Ever since the queen first approached him regarding a very special request, King Xerxes had been wondering with some expectation what her request was. But each time he had asked, she had delayed making her petition. But not this night. Esther had promised to reveal her request at this second banquet. So while sitting there drinking wine, Xerxes asked for the third time what Esther’s request was, and he repeated his offer to grant any wish she made (5:6).

At long last Esther had the opening she was waiting for. The king’s heart was soft and tender toward her, and she sensed that within him. If the king was ever going to grant her request to reverse the Decree of Extermination, it would be now. If he accepted her plea for mercy upon her and the Jews, God’s people would be delivered. But if the king rejected her plea, she herself would be executed.

Risking her life, Queen Esther made a stunning yet perplexing request of the king: that her life be spared as well as the lives of her people (v.3). “Spare my life—this is my petition. And spare the lives of my people—this is my request” (v.3).

No doubt the king had expected Esther to ask for some material possession or for extra time with him or perhaps for the right to take some journey. Therefore having anticipated a certain type of request only increased his utter shock at her actual petition. Who would dare endanger the life of his queen? And for what reason would they seek to kill Queen Esther and her people?

Obviously shocked by Esther’s petition, the king was unable to say anything before Esther continued speaking to explain what she meant (v.4). She reminded the king of the Decree of Extermination (3:1-15). She then charged that a man had committed a conspiracy against her and her people. This man had sold them for extermination. Note that she spelled out the extermination in the very words that were included in the decree: this man had sold them to be killed, slaughtered, and annihilated (3:13). In hearing these words, the king would have remembered the decree and realized what Esther meant by sparing her life. Esther does not mention the Jews by name, but she personally identifies with them by saying that she too will be killed. To stress the seriousness of the conspiracy, Esther tells the king that she would not have disturbed him if she and her people had only been sold as slaves. She would have kept quiet for being enslaved was a matter too trivial to justify disturbing the king. Of course, the king knew as she did that slavery was not a trivial, meaningless event in a person’s life. Slavery was very serious for the person being enslaved. But the king understood her point. The plot to take her and her people’s lives was far more serious than being enslaved. Cold-blooded, unjustifiable murder is most tragic because it snuffs out an innocent person’s life carelessly and senselessly. And slaughtering an entire race of people is of course a far more serious offense.

Stunned and outraged that any man would attempt to kill the queen, the king managed to calm himself enough to ask a multifaceted question: Who is this man? Where is he who would dare touch the queen? Who would dare injure the king by killing his queen? These were the very questions Esther needed the king to ask. The providential care of God was guiding the conversation between the king and his queen.

In a brief but pointed statement, Queen Esther exposed the evil man (v.6). The adversary and enemy was wicked Haman. Terror paralyzed Haman when he heard his name mentioned and panic rushed through his body. He was utterly helpless and hopeless before the king.

Just as Haman’s evil was exposed, so all sin will be exposed by God. We may attempt to hide drugs and alcohol from family, but it will eventually be exposed. We may have premarital sex or adultery behind closed doors, but our immorality will be exposed. We may steal when no one else is looking, but our theft will eventually be known. We may lie and deceive, but the truth will eventually come out. We may abuse, assault, commit lawless or criminal acts and even escape punishment for a while, but eventually we will be caught and suffer just punishment for our illegal behavior.

All acts of sin, wickedness, and evil will be exposed, brought out into the light.

  1. (7:7-10) God Judges Evil

Haman’s execution is a clear picture of the surety of judgment. No matter who the person is, even if he is the prime minister of a nation, he will face the judgment of God for the deeds he has done. Note the downfall of this prime minister, the highest-ranking official of Persia whose power was super-ceded only by that of the king. As soon as Xerxes heard Esther’s identification of Haman as the culprit, the king jumped to his feet in a rage and abruptly walked into the palace garden to get alone (v.7). No doubt he needed time to collect his thoughts, time to think through the conspiracy. Esther had just exposed Haman’s deception in leading him to issue the Decree of Extermination. Xerxes’ anger burned toward Haman…

  • because Haman had been so deceptive
  • because Haman had misled him into issuing the decree of extermination
  • because Haman’s conspiracy meant that his own dear wife and her adoptive father, who had saved the king’s life, would also be killed
  • because he had personally misjudged Haman’s character and promoted him to be prime minister
  • because he had made Haman the closest and most trusted advisor to the king
  • because Haman had betrayed the trust he had put in him as prime minister
  • because Haman had worked his way into the king’s heart, seemingly becoming the closes friend to the king

Haman quickly realized that the king had already determined his fate and that his only hope was to plead with Esther for his life (v.7). Therefore as soon as the king left the room, Haman arose and walked over to Esther to beg for mercy. Just as Haman reached her the king returned and saw Haman, shockingly, fall at the feet of Esther where she was reclining on a couch (v.8). Angrily, he charged the prime minister with molesting his wife. He then immediately ordered the guards to cover Haman’s face and escort him out, away from both him and the queen. By covering Haman’s face, the king was signaling his doom. A covering was placed over the face of someone condemned to death because Persian kings refused to look upon the face of a condemned person.

He was to be executed. Standing nearby was a eunuch named Harbona who attended the king. He informed the king that Haman had constructed a gallows 75 feet high by the side of his house. The gallows had been built for the execution of Mordecai. Without a moment’s hesitation, the king ordered Haman to be executed upon the gallows. The order was promptly carried out, after which the king’s fury calmed down.

The same evil that Haman had planned for Mordecai was turned against him. Haman reaped what he had sown. Whatever a person sows, he will reap, and whatever a person measures, it will be measured back to him. God’s justice will be right.  Justice will be perfectly executed by God. There will be no opportunity in the Day of Judgment to accuse God of judging someone unfairly, too lightly or too severely. Judgment will be completely accurate and precise. And there will be no escape from God’s judgment.  Turn to Jesus for forgiveness, he was executed and judged for our sins.  Thank you Jesus.


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Sources:  The Preacher’s Outline & Sermon Bible – Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, (Chattanooga: Leadership Ministries Worldwide, 2004), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “D. The Suspenseful Exposure and Downfall of Haman: A Picture of Reaping Exactly What One Sows—Justice, Measure for Measure, 7:1-10”.
Life Application Study Bible, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale, 1988), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 778-779.

About dkoop

Lead Pastor of Upwards Church: Leander & Jarrell, TX
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