Big Idea: God humbles the proud and exalts the humble. This is a central theme in Jesus’ teaching and throughout God’s work in redemptive history. We can live a life of joy as we become forgetful of ourselves and mindful of God’s glory waiting on our future glorification.
I. Telling the Story
A. Haman just happens to be there.
B. The king asks how to show honor. (6a)
C. Vanity on display (6b-9)
D. The parade and a full course of humble pie (10-11)
E. After all the fanfare and excitement, Mordecai just goes back to work. (12a)
F. Taking comfort in murder (12b-13)
II. Timeless Truth and Living Differently
A. God humbles the proud and exalts the humble.
B. God gives opportunities to repent in less painful events, hoping that we will take advantage of these chances.
- Have you had an experience where it seemed at the time to be a coincidence but upon looking back you see God’s leadership in that moment? If so, please share your story.
How do you know if it was God or if it just happened that way? In your theology, does God control every detail directly or is there room for cause-and-effect realities that God set up and preserves through His power?
- Can you honor someone without creating an occasion for pride? Is there a difference between recognition and enabling pride? As Christians, how well do you think we handle recognition? Do we do too much (hero worship), or too little? Is it possible to celebrate good things without encouraging people to puff up their vanity?
- Why do you suppose God chose to humble Haman with the very instruments of his pride? What does this tell you about God?
- After this parade, Mordecai just goes back to work. Have you ever had this kind of anti-climactic experience? How do you handle the anti-climax of coming off the mountain and just heading back to work?
- Has God ever given you the opportunity to repent and then increased the pain and consequences until you finally did? Why would God take that approach?
- If God loves His people, why would he allow them to experience really painful circumstances? Is it loving to discipline people in this manner? Is it loving not to discipline people in this manner?
- What does it mean for to humble yourself? How do you do that?