Mature Class Study, teacher Josh Olmsted.

We’re living in a time when people feel entitled. It’s amazing how much people get done when they apply themselves. Haman was advancing in life. He was successful in being promoted to a position of power just below the king.

Esther 3:1-2 After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman…and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him. And all the king’s servants, that were in the king’s gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence.

Three areas for study: 1.) what steals our joy, 2.) what continually bothers us, 3.) what is the thing we feel entitled about.

What steals our joy? Haman had a type of joy because of his accomplishment. All the kings’ servants bowed down to him except Mordecai. That one thing stole his joy and ultimately destroyed him in the end. He may have sacrificed over the years to accomplish that promotion. Haman let that one thing of Mordecai not bowing take his focus and his joy.

Today judgment is a bad word to many. When we say someone should be doing something, how are we judging them? The joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Our focus on something can steal our joy. The baseball team Josh’s son is on was winning their game recently, when the other team did something right. That one thing changed the focus and attitude of Josh’s son’s team so they couldn’t even do what they were usually good at.

2.) What bothers us continually? The thorn in Paul’s flesh was continually bothering him and he prayed three times for God to remove it. God’s answer was that his grace would be sufficient. People can have opinions and always think things have to be perfect according to their opinion. That can be the one thing that takes their joy. We have to focus on good things, not on the thing that isn’t perfect in our eyes. Focusing on the thing that isn’t perfect will take away our joy.

II Corinthians 12:7-9 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Paul said there were things that bothered or burned him. Peter asked Jesus how often he had to forgive his brother (Matthew 18:21-22). Jesus said 490 times (seventy times seven) or he could have said that forgiveness has to continue. We need to be sure we get victory over the one thing and not let it turn to bitterness or a bad attitude against someone.

II Corinthians 11:29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?

3.) What is the thing we feel entitled about? We can feel like we deserve a certain respect at work that people can’t tell us what to do. We affect others by our attitude at work, at home and at church. Sometimes one person at work affects everyone by their attitude. We have differences because our differences make up the body of Christ.

I Corinthians 4:7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

Haman felt he had a right for Mordecai to bow to him because the king gave him a position. But Mordecai had a conviction to not bow to anyone but God. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego wouldn’t bow to an idol because they had a conviction from God. It was something that burned in them but they experienced a consequence. Haman had a focus because he felt he had a right. Haman had an opportunity to live the joy of his position but let his focus on Haman take his joy. The world tells young people they’ll have a great job because they went to college. But if they don’t work hard, they probably won’t get anything. One small thing can take our joy. One small thing – thankfulness – can cause us to have joy and victory!

Esther 3:3-6 Then the king’s servants…said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king’s commandment? Now…when they spake daily…he hearkened not…that they told Haman, to see whether Mordecai’s matters would stand: for he had told them that he was a Jew…Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath. And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone…wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews…