"The Man The Kings Delights to Honor"

In our series in Esther, we have come to the turning point of the story. (You can listen to the sermon HERE.) . This is the beginning of the downfall of Haman. In focusing on the emotional life of Haman and zeroing in on the sin of pride, we come face to face with our own emotions and the pride behind them.

As we get a window into this man’s heart, we see one of the most blatant displays of what we know as pride. What C. S. Lewis referred to as “The Great Sin” which is the sin that is behind every sin. 

Definition: Pride is a heart absorbed with “self.” Pride forces us to focus on ourselves and forces us to make everything in life about us. It is a gravitational pull inward. It says, “I am all about me and my life!”

James 1:1-10. The root of conflict and God's remedy:

1 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 4 You adulterous people!  Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? 6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

CS Lewis wrote, pride is the “complete anti-god state of mind.”

“Pride renders faith impossible.”

But there is hope! We can obtain humility from the Man Whom The KING delighted to honor.

“We have our pride from Adam; we must have our humility from Christ.” ~ Andrew Murray

APPLICATION QUESTIONS:

  1. If pride is the heart focused on self, in which areas do you find this to be true?
  2. If comparison reveals pride, where are you most tempted to compare yourself with others - favorably or unfavorably?
  3. When you're angry, what do you want? 
  4. When you're feeling sorry for yourself, what were you hoping for?
  5. What steps do you need to take to cultivate humility?