There are certain laws that really don’t change, like the law of gravity. It basically says that things tend to fall downward, or what goes up must come down. There is the second law of thermodynamics, which says that all things are breaking down. Then there is the biblical law of sowing and reaping.
This law is illustrated dramatically in the book of Esther. This Old Testament book tells the true story of King Xerxes who ruled over Persia, the superpower of the day. The king decided to throw a great feast, and all the kingdom was invited. Everyone was getting very drunk, and people do crazy things when they are drunk. So the king decided that he wanted to parade the beautiful Queen Vashti before his subjects. Vashti wanted nothing to do with it, and she flat out refused.
This created a national crisis, and the advisers to the king convinced him to get rid of Vashti and replace her with another queen, lest there be rebellion among all the wives in the kingdom. So they decided to hold a beauty contest. All the attractive young virgins of Persia were eligible to be in this contest, and many had the hope of winning and becoming the next queen. A young girl named Hadassah, also known as Esther, who had been raised by her older cousin Mordecai, entered the contest because it was required. Much to the chagrin of the Persian girls, no doubt, Esther won and became the queen. God was setting his people in place for the work he was about to do.
Then a villain named Haman emerged. Second only to the king himself, he was strutting about one day and noticed that everyone bowed before him out of fear, except Mordecai. This angered Haman to the point that he not only wanted to kill Mordecai for this act of rebellion, but he wants to kill Mordecai’s people as well.
Haman used his influence with the king, and the king unwittingly signed off on a decree stipulating that in 11 months, every Jew in the kingdom would be killed, and their property would be plundered.
So Mordecai and his fellow Hebrews were sentenced to death. Mordecai went to his cousin Esther and reminded her that God did not allow her to win that beauty contest so she could live in the lap of luxury. God put her in that position to use her influence for good.
It was a dicey situation for Esther, because if she approached the king without being summoned, she could lose her life in the process. So she asked Mordecai and all the Jews to fast and pray for her as she prepared to approach the king.
Man has his will, but God will always have his way. And when the king saw Esther, he welcomed her. So Esther invited the king and Haman to a banquet. That night, the king couldn’t sleep, so he ordered that something from the history of the Persian Empire be read to him. One of the aides read to him the story about Mordecai’s foiling the plot against his life. Then the king learned that Mordecai had never been rewarded for saving his life. As Esther and Mordecai were asleep, God was at work. It was all coming together.
The next morning, to his dismay, Haman was required to parade Mordecai through the streets on one of the king’s horses, wearing the king’s royal robes. To add insult to injury, at the banquet Esther gave for the king and Haman, she revealed Haman’s plot to destroy the Jews. The king ordered Haman to be hanged on the very gallows he had prepared for Mordecai.
For Haman, the chickens came home to roost. He reaped what he had sown. The Bible says, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”
God is always present and at work, whether we feel him or not. Interestingly, God’s name is never specifically mentioned in the book of Esther, yet he was present in every scene and in the movement of every event, bringing everything toward his intended purpose. And the same is true in your life.
We often expect God to intervene in big, supernatural ways. And he will do that. But a lot of times God is working in the details. God can take impossible situations and turn them around for his glory. Things looked bleak in the beginning of this book: an indifferent king, a wicked Haman in power, a paralyzed people condemned to a certain death, and Mordecai headed to the gallows. But the people prayed – and God intervened.
The story ends with Mordecai in Haman’s position of power, the Jews were saved from a certain death, and Haman swinging by his own rope. That is called perfect justice. So keep praying about your particular situation. What even appears to be a bad thing may ultimately turn out to be a good thing. Sometimes disasters can turn out to be great opportunities for God to work in your life.
Everything we do eventually will bear some kind of fruit. It is the law of sowing and reaping.
If what we are sowing is bad, then the harvest will be bad – either when deeds come to fruition in this life or when they are exposed at God’s judgment seat on that final day. There are no secrets with God. No matter how cleverly it may be hidden, no matter how well it is disguised, the Bible says our sin will find us out.
It may happen tomorrow, or it may not be revealed until we are in eternity. But it will find us out. We have God’s word on it. That is what happened to Haman. He devised a wicked plot, and he ended up hanging on the very gallows he built for someone else.
The good news is that if you are sowing spiritual things, you will reap blessings in your life. The Bible says, “He who sows righteousness will have a sure reward.”
Every day when you get up, the decisions you make and the actions you take will have an effect on your character and destiny. It has been said, sow a thought, reap an act; sow an act, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny. What kind of crop have you been planting lately?