Speaker: Pastor Dave Hwang
Scripture: Esther 3:1-6
"After these events, King Xerxes honored Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, elevating him and giving him a seat of honor higher than that of all the other nobles. All the royal officials at the king’s gate knelt down and paid honor to Haman, for the king had commanded this concerning him. But Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor.
Then the royal officials at the king’s gate asked Mordecai, “Why do you disobey the king’s command?” Day after day they spoke to him but he refused to comply. Therefore they told Haman about it to see whether Mordecai’s behavior would be tolerated, for he had told them he was a Jew.
When Haman saw that Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor, he was enraged. Yet having learned who Mordecai’s people were, he scorned the idea of killing only Mordecai. Instead Haman looked for a way to destroy all Mordecai’s people, the Jews, throughout the whole kingdom of Xerxes."Agagite- descendant of King Agag of the Amalekites
Mordecai- descendant of King Saul Holy crap... poetic justice much?
I Samuel 15
Amalekites- fierce opponents to the ways of God
Saul's command was to kill all of the Amalekites
- He fails to follow through
- Spares King Agag ----> Agagites
The building of God's people always takes place in a hostile environment.
Just because the opposition isn't visible doesn't mean it isn't hostile.
Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
Wherever the people of God are, there will be forces working in opposition.
"And I will put enmity
between you and the woman
and between your offspring and hers
he will crush your head
and you will strike his heel."
Hostility is the given
The reality of spiritual war
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete."
This reality not to be trivialised or secularised.
Forces us to reassess our priorities.
Helps us to make our decisions accordingly
It wasn't until Haman surfaced that Esther became the woman we know and respect.
She realised the very real threat.
Rose up in her God-given role
I Peter 5:8
"Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
When we see there is a clear and present danger, it should change everything.
The undergirding is that we are aliens and wanderers.
Battle of coming into the Promised Land in a New Testament context.
Satan's greatest deception: Indifference to or ignorance of his existence.
Mighty warriors - valiant in Jesus' name
Valley of dry bones in Ezekiel- God raising up a mighty army
How do we fight?
Not against people- no need to hate people
Go to the source- fight against those powers
Not with physical weapons- not the way the world fights
1) Truth- sound doctrine
Need to know the Word
Sword of Truth
All the power we need
We don't know the Truth of the Word of God: No wonder we're getting beat down
We need to know the schemes of our enemy
- He deceives the people of God to live with sin un-dealt with: Contaminates everything
We need to take sin seriously
Shun what is wicked
Satan wants sin in our lives- yeast
- He deceives us to have split allegiance
A servant cannot have two masters: You will love one and hate the other
Idols of good- things that aren't inherently bad that become more important than God
Divides our hearts
- He blinds us to our true identity
Royal rulers - might warriors - leaders of the peoples
We think too little of ourselves
We are trading the eternal for the temporal
Trading in the Glory of God for the Glory of Man
2) Pray- the only way to fight things in spiritual realms
Angels go to war on our behalf
Ephesians 6: All about prayer
Pray on all occasions
Matter of intimacy and function
Prayer is the act of keeping us alert and awake in the spiritual realm
The one thing Satan will attack is our prayer life
Intimacy in God and power in God
We need to guard the precious things of God
Our prayer life needs to be fought for.
The foundation for prayer is God's Word.
Engage in spiritual warfare.