Devotional Week 44 Monday
Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
Jeremiah 29: 11
My Father Planned It All
“What though the way may be lonely,
And dark the shadows fall;
I know where ever it leadeth,
My Father planned it all.
The sun may shine tomorrow,
The shadows break and flee;
‘Twill be the way He chooses,
The Father’s plan for me.
He guides my halting footsteps
Along the weary way,
For well He knows the pathway
Will lead to endless day.
A day of light and gladness,
On which no shade will fall,
‘Tis this at last awaits me
My Father planned it all.
I sing through shade and sunshine,
And trust what’er befall;
His way is best – it leads to rest;
My Father planned it all.”
Harriet H. Pierson
Today’s Study Text:
“Now Haman was come into the outward court of the king’s house, to speak unto the king to hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him. And the king’s servants said unto King Ahasuerus, ‘Behold, Haman standeth in the court.’ And the king said, ‘Let him come in.’ So Haman came in. And the king said unto him, ‘What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour?’ Now Haman thought in his heart, ‘To whom would the king delight to do honour more than to myself?’”
“Nurturing The Embers of Hope”
“It’s All About Me” Part 45
“An egotist is a person of low taste – more interested in himself than in me.”
How does it make me feel when the person I’m with only thinks of themselves?
What can I learn from Haman’s egotistical behavior?
“Big egos are big shields for lots of empty space.”
“Self-love, so sensitive in its own cause, has rarely any sympathy to spare for others.”
Madame de Stael
Haman was a man on a mission. Prodded on by his wife Zeresh and his advisors, Haman arrived at the court of King Ahasuerus, early in the morning, with the hope that within a few hours, his nemesis Mordecai would be eliminated forever!
As we read the details of Haman’s excursion, it becomes apparent that Haman did not understand the relationship between Queen Esther and Mordecai. And since his mind was so very focused on himself, he had given little thought to what was going on in the lives of those around him.
Interestingly, as we proceed in our studies regarding the events in Shushan, it appears that quite possibly, Haman’s activities and egotistical behavior led him to be held in contempt by the other chamberlains in the palace. Indeed, it seems that Haman’s elevated sense of himself had blinded him to the fact that those with whom he associated, were actually put off by his behavior.
In Esther 6: 5, the king’s servants appeared almost eager to have Haman come before the king and help in the honor that was to be bestowed upon Mordecai. Thus, with the arrival of Haman in the king’s presence, we find King Ahasuerus asked him a rather simple question, “What would be appropriate for the man the king especially wants to honor?”
Immediately, Haman’s mind was set in motion as he began to ponder such an inquiry. Author Miles Franklin has a very unique take on the type of behavior which is shown by the Haman’s of this world whose viewpoint is misdirected by the “myself” complex. Franklin underscores the fact that, “only a very small percentage can regard conditions from any but a selfish point of view or conceive of any but their own shoe-pinch.” This vivid description really stopped me short for the last couple of weeks I had a great deal of swelling in my left foot which subsequently caused my toes to be pinched by my shoes. And frankly, when your own foot is aching, it can truly become difficult to sustain a caring attitude toward another’s suffering at that time. But Haman chose to live with a pinched toe attitude all the time!
In his terrific book, Hidden Patterns, author George Dickinson, describes this particular palace scene in a most descriptive manner:
“Haman came in with all aplomb of an intimate friend of the king, and quite proud of himself, too. He always stood at the head of the line, and the king seldom made him wait long. This day was auspicious, thought he. The king was calling him in without any fuss or waiting.
Brushing aside formalities, the king put to Haman the question uppermost on his mind: ‘What shall be done to the man whom the king is delighted to honor?’ he inquired.”
It would have shown a broad spirit of inclusiveness if Haman had inquired who it was that the king wished to bestow his esteem on. But Haman, so focused on himself, couldn’t even entertain the thought that there might be someone, other than himself, that the king wished to venerate. As Pastor Charles Swindoll observes, “When the king asked the question, who does Haman immediately think of? Himself, of course. Who else? This is the guy who carries around four cartridges of slides about his own promotion and shows them every chance he gets. This is the guy who talks about how much money he makes, how many kids he has, how necessary he is to the king, how important he is. Who else would the king want to honor but him? This is my moment he gloats. So let’s see, what could be done for me?”
But Haman had forgotten that our God, the Creator of the Universe, puts kings up and takes them down. And this fact is true for all the “Haman’s” of the world who feel it necessary to scoff in the face of God. The great commentator Matthew Henry helps us understand more clearly, the way our Father in heaven works, especially when it relates to those whose egotistical behavior makes them act as though they are bigger and better and brighter than our heavenly Father.” Word is brought to Haman in the court, ‘Let him come in,’ says the king, the fittest man (in the king’s eyes) to be made use of both in directing and in dispensing the king’s favour; and the king knew nothing of any quarrel Haman had with Mordecai…Haman thinks he has the fairest opportunity he can wish for to solicit against Mordecai, but the king’s heart is as full as Haman’s, and it is fit to let the king speak first…Haman concludes that he himself is the favorite intended, and therefore prescribes the highest expressions of honor that could, for once, be bestowed upon a subject.”
It does us all well to consider what a pit we can fall into when we choose to live our lives, thinking that everything is all about me. Authors Claire and Curt Cloninger summarize the world of “me, me, me” in this way; “A lifetime of putting yourself at the center of your own universe will turn you into a caricature of low ideals and degrading habits. It will sink you into the mire of competition, trap you in a cycle of never-satisfied desires, and steal from you the joys of simple serenity.”
What will our choice be? Haman’s “me” world or the call of our Master and Lord, “If any person wills to come after Me, let (them) deny themselves, disown yourself, forget your own interests and take up your cross daily and follow Me, cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and if need be, in dying also” (Luke 9: 23, Amplified Bible).
“If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light! Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness and fears.”
The Indispensable Person
“Sometime when you’re feeling important
Sometime when your ego’s in bloom,
Sometime when you take it for granted
You’re the best qualified in the room.
Sometime when you feel that your going
Would leave an unfillable hole,
Just follow these simple instructions
And see how they humble your soul.
Take a bucket and fill it with water
Put your hand in it up to the wrist.
Pull it out, and the hole that’s remaining
Is a measure of how you’ll be missed.
You can splash all you want when you enter,
You may stir up the water galore;
But stop, and you find that in no time
It looks quite the same as before.
The moral in this quaint example
Is to do just the best that you can;
Be proud of yourself, but remember
There’s no indispensable man.”
The Bible Friend
“She is impossible to get along with, because she thinks she’s impossible to get along without.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus