Esther 3 Outline
– Mordecai refused to bow down to Haman (Esther 3:1-6)
– Haman obtained permission from the king to kill the Jewish people (Esther3:7-15)
Esther 3 Summary
King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the Agagite to the highest officials in the palace. The king commanded everyone in the kingdom to bow down to Haman. Everyone except Mordecai bowed down to Haman. The palace officials tried to persuade Mordecai to bow down to him. Mordecai refused to bow down to Haman because of his Jewish religion. When Haman learned about this, he was furious and wanted to kill Mordecai. Later, Haman found out that Mordecai is a Jew. When he learned that Mordecai is a Jew, he sought to destroy the whole Jewish community in the kingdom.
During the 12th year of King Ahasuerus reign, in the month of Nisan (the first month), Haman suggested to King Ahasuerus about a group of reckless people who refused to keep the king’s laws. He persuaded King Ahasuerus to write a law and destroy this group of people. After that, he will credit 10,000 talents of silver to the king’s treasury. The king gave him his ring so that he can use it to seal the letter. Haman had the secretaries write letter that all Jews should be attacked and killed on the 13th of Adar (the twelfth month). A copy of the letter was read aloud in the wall city of Shushan. King Ahasuerus and Haman sat down to drink wine but the people were confused and don’t know what has happened.
Esther 3 Bible Study
1. Haman has lots of bad pride in his heart
The incidents recorded in the book of Esther happened around 483 B.C. At that time, the Jews were already allowed to return to their homeland to repair and rebuild the city of Jerusalem. Zerubabbel was responsible for leading the Jews in their return journey to the homeland. Some Jews chose to stay in Babylon and not moved back to their homeland after settling there for years. The book of Esther was referencing to these Jews, whom Haman had plotted to persecute and kill on the 13th of Adar (the twelfth month).
In those days, it is normal for people to bow down to kings and high officials. Haman was too much in wanting to kill the whole population of the Jews because he assumed that they won’t bow down to him as well. Haman actually wants everyone to respect and worship him like God. Mordecai was a righteous and faithful man. He was faithful to his belief and refused to bow down before Haman even if it means he has to die.
2. Never blindly obey commands that deny your Christian faith
Like Mordecai, we should not blindly obey the commands of the governments and other institutions if it clashes with our Christian faith. Nowadays, there are a lot of Christians receiving negative influences from the pagans. We must take caution not to bow down and worship anyone else except God. No matter what, we must not sacrifice our faith because of fear of physical oppression. We may pay respect to the government which is in authority but we must only worship God.