Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | January 21, 2016

“Pride goeth before the fall”

Today’s devotion comes from Esther chapter 5.

“1 Now it came about on the third day that Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace in front of the king’s rooms, and the king was sitting on his royal throne in the throne room, opposite the entrance to the palace.  2 When the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, she obtained favor in his sight;  and the king extended to Esther the golden scepter which was in his hand.  So Esther came near and touched the top of the scepter.  3 Then the king said to her, “What is troubling you, Queen Esther?  And what is your request?  Even to half of the kingdom it shall be given to you.”  4 Esther said, “If it pleases the king, may the king and Haman come this day to the banquet that I have prepared for him.”

5 Then the king said, “Bring Haman quickly that we may do as Esther desires.”  So the king and Haman came to the banquet which Esther had prepared.  6 As they drank their wine at the banquet, the king said to Esther, “What is your petition, for it shall be granted to you.  And what is your request?  Even to half of the kingdom it shall be done.”  7 So Esther replied, “My petition and my request is:  8 if I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and do what I request, may the king and Haman come to the banquet which I will prepare for them, and tomorrow I will do as the king says.”

9 Then Haman went out that day glad and pleased of heart;  but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king’s gate and that he did not stand up or tremble before him, Haman was filled with anger against Mordecai.  10 Haman controlled himself, however, went to his house and sent for his friends and his wife Zeresh.  11 Then Haman recounted to them the glory of his riches, and the number of his sons, and every instance where the king had magnified him and how he had promoted him above the princes and servants of the king.  12 Haman also said, “Even Esther the queen let no one but me come with the king to the banquet which she had prepared; and tomorrow also I am invited by her with the king.  13 Yet all of this does not satisfy me every time I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate.”  14 Then Zeresh his wife and all his friends said to him, “Have a gallows fifty cubits high made and in the morning ask the king to have Mordecai hanged on it;  then go joyfully with the king to the banquet.”  And the advice pleased Haman, so he had the gallows made.”  Esther chapter 5.

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Haman had it all, but his pride let the very small and righteous act of Mordecai (of not standing up or trembling before him) bother him.  And, his irritation grew into his anger.  And, his anger grew into his plot to kill Mordecai.  And, we will later see in Esther chapter 7 that his plot grew into the death, not of Mordecai, but his own death.

“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”  Proverbs 16:18.  (Although normally I cite verses in New American Standard Version, I use King James Version for this verse, because many of us remember from childhood the simple and summary phrase from this verse:  “Pride goeth before the fall.”)

“But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.  Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin;  and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.”  James 1:14-15.

But, there is hope!

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.  For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.  Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are:  immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”  Galatians 5:16-24.

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