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The Scriptorium

Be Careful Whom You Trust

You could be misled. Esther 3.7-15

Return from Exile: Esther 1-5 (4)

Pray Psalm 28.8, 9.
The LORD is their strength,
And He is the saving refuge of His anointed.
Save Your people,
And bless Your inheritance;
Shepherd them also,
And bear them up forever.

Sing Psalm 28.8, 9.
(Angel’s Story: O Jesus, I Have Promised)
Our strength are You, O Savior, our strong defense and sure.
Anointed with Your favor, we rest in You secure.
Save us, and bless us, Jesus, upon us turn Your face.
With shepherd’s care, Lord, keep us forever in Your grace.

Read Esther 3.1-15; meditate on verses 7-15.


1. What did Haman ask the king to do?

2. How did the king respond?

“So, king, there’s this people, scattered throughout the empire, who are different from us. I’m thinking we should kill them all.”

“Sounds good to me. Where do I sign?”

Haman was a prideful, wicked, scheming, vengeful, murderous person. He was willing to destroy every Jew in the Medo-Persian empire, and to get the king to do his dirty work for him, just to get back at Mordecai (vv. 8, 9).

As for Artaxerxes? He seems to be a trusting person—perhaps a little too trusting. It didn’t occur to him to check out Haman’s claim. The Jews were different, it’s true. But they were neither subversive, violent, nor disobedient to proper authorities. Send a few runners around to all the provinces, king, and see whether that’s not the case.

Instead, the king gives “his signet ring” to Haman, who promises to pad the royal treasury for his murderous plan; and the king writes and issues a decree to every province “to destroy, to kill, to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day” (vv. 11-13). The decree was sent by dispatch to every province, calling all the citizens of the empire to make ready for the day. The action didn’t even make sense to the citizens of the empire (v. 15).

“So, king, how about a pint?” (v. 15)

The inhumanity of Haman and the foolhardiness of Artaxerxes are on full display here. Just because someone is in a place of authority—civil or ecclesiastical—doesn’t mean we have to trust everything we’re told. We worship God and serve Him. Let’s make sure that whatever we decide to do lines up with His will, not just some leader’s.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Here we have on full display, the mind of a hideous terrorist killer at work.
Every generation has a cruel sampling of them.
They are perverted by sin. And their sin affects multitudes of innocents.
They are self-serving haters, captive to Satan.

Throughout history this horrible scene is replayed:
“A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping, and mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more” (Jer. 31.15; Matt. 2.18).

“That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun” (Eccl. 1.9).

But through the power of the Holy Spirit, we will never become a hater, because we will listen to the warnings of Solomon: “The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray” (Prov. 12.26). And as Jesus said about the Pharisees, “if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch” (Matt. 15.14). We must keep a close guard on our own hearts. “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” (Prov. 4.23). We must prefer to be careful and avoid the ditch.

As Paul warned: “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10.12).

I’m pretty sure Ahasuerus did not wake up one morning in the month of Nisan, in the twelfth year of his reign (Esth. 3.7), intending to annihilate an entire race of people; but because he was not being careful about his friendships and acquaintances, nor ruling diligently over his own heart, that is exactly what he did.

For most of us, our range of power and influence is not on the scale of a king, but we are God’s people—children of The King. Therefore, we must watch our hearts, and overcome our sinful tendencies toward deviations from God’s laws. We must be continuously mindful of our actions. For we can do much damage to the reputation of the Kingdom of God by displeasing behaviors and uncareful living.

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable…that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation” (1 Pet. 2.9-12).

Your Personal Mission Field needs you to “Be Careful Whom You Trust” (Prov. 3.5, 6).

For reflection
1. Why is it so important that we daily refresh and renew our souls in the Word of God?

2. How do you know when some thought or suggestion or word of advice might be leading you off the path of righteousness?

3. How can believers encourage one another in being careful about what we listen to and whom we trust? Whom will you encourage today?

Without some acquaintance with the human heart, and the history of mankind, we should not think that any prince could consent to a dreadful proposal, so hurtful to himself. Let us be thankful for mild and just government. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Esther 3.7-15

Pray Psalm 28.1-7.
Thank God for “mild and just government”, and pray for the leaders of your church and nation. Call on God to keep their actions within the framework of His covenant and promises. Ask Him to empower you today as a firm and faithful witness for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Sing Psalm 28.1-7.
(Angel’s Story: O Jesus, I Have Promised)
I cry to You, our Savior, O, be not deaf to me!
Lord, speak to me with favor, lest I should dying be.
Hear now my supplications when for Your help I cry.
Receive these, my oblations, before Your throne on high.

Lord, count me not among those who walk in sinful ways.
With words of peace their tongue glows while evil fills their days.
Your works they disregard, Lord, while evil fills their hands.
Destroy them by Your Word, Lord, and let them no more stand.

Blessed be the Name of Jesus, for He will hear our prayer.
His strength protects and shields us with mercy and with care.
In You our heart rejoices; You help us by Your Word.
To You we raise our voices to praise and thank You, Lord.

T. M. and Susie Moore

Two books can help us understand our own captivity and lead us to seek revival and renewal in the Lord. The Church Captive asks us to consider the ways the Church today has become captive to the world. And Revived! can help us find the way to renewal. Learn more and order your free copies by clicking here and here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available free by clicking here.


T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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