Friday, July 11, 2014

"All This Availeth Me Nothing"

Are you ready to do something scary? I want you to put yourselves in the station of Haman. Now let's not worry about the questions regarding his morals at the moment. Let's instead look solely at the privileges King Ahasuerus has given him.

You are practically second in command of the Persian Empire. The king has gone so far as to tell those in the king's gate to bow down to you when you pass by. The king has delegated his legislative powers to you with limited discretion. You carry the king's ring that seals all official documents on your own finger. On top of all that, you have been invited twice to a banquet where only the king and queen are present (remember that you know nothing of the queen's plot to expose you as the enemy of her people).

So why with so much privilege and wealth would you possibly be upset? The king subjects to all your will! What could make you say that, "All this availeth me nothing."

Well, let's find out. In Esther 5:11-13, we find our answer.
"And Haman told them of the glory of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and all the things wherein the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the princes and servants of the king. Haman said moreover, Yea, Esther the queen did let no man come in with the king unto the banquet that she had prepared but myself; and to morrow am I invited unto her also with the king. Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate."

You see, Mordecai has refused to bow to Haman. Now that this has been brought to his attention, he can't seem to be content.

This hurt pride has even caused him to seek the lives of all of Mordecai's people. But that decree is not being implemented fast enough for Haman at this point. He decided that he must hang Mordecai as soon as possible.

Now don't worry, Haman's plans to hang Mordecai are instead turned into him praising Mordecai for saving the king's life. Ultimately, Haman is even hanged upon the gallows he prepared for Mordecai. The Lord does love some poetic justice.

But today I am more interested in the desire to hang Mordecai itself rather than the way the Lord protected Mordecai in this situation.

Haman has everything that anyone could ever really ask for. He had no reason to complain about anything at all. But the simple truth is, greed is never satisfied. When our goal is our own benefit and station, no matter how many privileges we find, we will always be able to find something that is wrong in our life. There is always something that can bring you down.

In Haman's case it was his pride being insulted and his position disrespected. But what is it in our lives today?

We may even have received many blessings from the Lord and yet found one thing in our life that God has chosen for whatever reason to withhold. What is our focus then in this point? Is it on all that he has provided or is it on that which we don't have?

Typical human nature would have us focus upon that which we don't have and on the struggles in our life. But we can strive to not be like Haman in this way, and acknowledge the Lord's blessings instead.

It's as the Doctor says,
"The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa the bad things don’t always spoil the good things and make them unimportant."

Yes, I did just quote the Doctor to make a spiritual point. He never intended it that way, but hey, the Lord can always have greater use for such things. If you want a more spiritual admonition, look to I Thessalonians 5:18,
"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."

Now I may not be a Bible scholar yet, but I'm pretty sure that means that in every circumstance (no matter how trying) we should be giving thanks for the Lord. And that maybe just maybe we should acknowledge what God has provided for us and thank Him for that, rather than accuse Him of being a tyrant for withholding one thing from our life.

It's an outlook change. An outlook change that is very pleasing to the Lord. Trust me, although it's easy to act like Haman, it is possible and beneficial to search for the good things in life. As a good friend of mine constantly says,
"There's always something to smile about."  

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