Dream word – CONTENTMENT
“So Haman came in, and the king asked him, ‘What shall be done for the man whom the king delights to honour?’ Now Haman thought in his heart, ‘Whom would the king delight to honour more than me?’ And Haman answered the king, ‘For the man whom the king delights to honour, let a royal robe be brought which the king has worn, and a horse on which the king has ridden, which has a royal crest placed on its head. Then let this robe and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king's most noble princes, that he may array the man whom the king delights to honour. Then parade him on horseback through the city square, and proclaim before him: “Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honour!”’” NKJV
Proclamation, provision, peace and power
I was awoken in the night with these words in my ears and I believe it is because they mean something to me, indeed, they are special to many and to most.
Our text for tonight is taken from the story of the wicked Haman! He hates the Jews but is about to have is hatred and jealousy found out and gruesomely rewarded. The evil which he intended for others and their families is about to be visited upon him and his family! It’s historical fact, and yet it still makes a great operatic score and oratorio, and dare I say, that it would also make a fantastic pantomime! Maybe I go too far!
Haman, just a chapter previously has been boasting about being blessed by the king, most evidently seen in his richest, his children, his status and so forth. These things most certainly meant something to Haman, that’s for sure. Now for tonight, let’s lay aside Haman’s megalomaniacal tendencies and obvious demonisation and look at his desires. Speaking as a man, I find that, frighteningly, his desires and satisfactions are in fact the same strong driving forces which I find in me and I tell you, their fulfilment are also seen as marks of blessing even in the church, for who does not want to be seen to be blessed by the King, seen to be honoured by the King, seen to be provided for abundantly by the King, seen to be granted peace and seen to be given power to reign by the King? Yes in our society, possessions are power but in the church, possessions are not only power, but they are affirmed to be outward proclamations of providential blessings and divine honour from the King, and Oh, what peace such possessions bring us, and oh what accompanying power they can bring to us within the church. Maybe I go too far.
There is everything that is Biblical about laying up for ourselves treasure in heaven. There is everything Biblical about longing to hear in heaven those most marvellous of words ever spoken to any individual, “Well done you good and faithful servant!” Yes, there is everything Biblical about seeking crowns and commendations in heaven. In heaven, in heaven, in heaven! The New Testament is a heavenly book and for Christians all of this heavenly seeking, makes us other-world people, makes us strangers and pilgrims, makes us true disciples of Christ.
It seems to me that we have, for convenience’s sake, maybe even for covetousness’s sake, taken the Old Testament material and the earthly promises and blessing made to Israel, and made them New Testament signs of accomplishment, badges of honour if you will, marks of a man of God in this world and I tell you that the desire in me to possess these things, is a great one and it is fanned into roaring flames by the church of today.
Tell me, just what is your rod of measuring success, both yourself and for other men? Might the following of this lie also get you hung on a gallows? Maybe I go too far. What do you think?
Listen: “These are the things I want you to teach and preach. If you have leaders there who teach otherwise, who refuse the solid words of our Master Jesus and this godly instruction, tag them for what they are: ignorant windbags who infect the air with germs of envy, controversy, bad-mouthing, suspicious rumours. Eventually there's an epidemic of backstabbing, and truth is but a distant memory. They think religion is a way to make a fast buck. A devout life does bring wealth, but it's the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. Since we entered the world penniless and will leave it penniless, if we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that's enough. But if it's only money these leaders are after, they'll self-destruct in no time. Lust for money brings trouble and nothing but trouble. Going down that path, some lose their footing in the faith completely and live to regret it bitterly ever after.” (1 Timothy 6:2-10 from THE MESSAGE)
Pray: Lord come temper all my desires with the honesty of heaven, in Jesus name I pray, amen.
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