Aggrandizing The Enemy

By Johnny Tatum




1 After these events King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him and established his authority over all the princes who were with him.

Haman has been elevated.

2 All the king's servants who were at the king's gate bowed down and paid homage to Haman; for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai neither bowed down nor paid homage.

3 Then the king's servants who were at the king's gate said to Mordecai, "Why are you transgressing the king's command?"

4 Now it was when they had spoken daily to him and he would not listen to them, that they told Haman to see whether Mordecai's reason would stand; for he had told them that he was a Jew.

5 When Haman saw that Mordecai neither bowed down nor paid homage to him, Haman was filled with rage.

Picture: Mordecai represents Holy Spirit, and Haman represents our flesh.

Application: What is going on here?

For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another. (Galatians 5:17)




We have been saying Haman is a picture of our flesh, but how do we know that? There is a textual way to tell.

Haman is an Agagite and he is the son of Agag (descendant of Amalek). The Israelites fought Amalek (descendant of Esau) in the wilderness.

Going Back Further: Jacob represents the Spirit and Esau represents the flesh.

Before Then: Isaac represents the Spirit and Ishmael represents the flesh.

Classic Picture: Whenever I see a photograph of the Masque of Omar, which is located on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, I realize that it is a picture of the flesh winning a battle — a descendant of Ishmael's taking over Isaac's place on the Temple Mount. And the battle between Isaac and Ishmael (or the batter between Israel and Amalek) has continued on through the generations.

How did this battle begin? Let us see.

1 Samuel 15

1 Then Samuel said to Saul, "The Lord sent me to anoint you as king over His people, over Israel; now listen to the words of the Lord."

2 "Thus says the Lord of Hosts, 'I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he set himself against him on the way while he was coming up from Egypt.'"

3 "'Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.'"

It sure seems brutal to destroy children and innocent animals.

Picture: This is a picture of the flesh.

Application: There is to be no mercy in the flesh.

7 So Saul defeated the Amalekites, from Havilah as you go to Shur, which is east of Egypt.

But Saul did not complete his God-given task…

8 He captured Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.

9 But Saul and the people spared Agog and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were not willing to destroy them utterly; but everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed.

[There is a lot of repetition here so we will catch on (see and understand).] Saul did not spare the bad things; he destroyed the bad (despised and worthless) things. Saul spared the good (the best and all that was good) things; that was wrong.

Picture: The flesh brings ideas that are bad things (sin), but those are not a problem — Holy Spirit kills those immediately [whether we confess them or not]. But it is the so-called good things, which the flesh brings to us that cause the problem.

Application: Sin does not grieve Holy Spirit; actually, sin is no problem for Him because:

  1. Holy Spirit sees it being committed by the old man, who is already crucified.
  2. When Holy Spirit sees sin, He kills it.

Note: Sin is a major problem for sinners [including everybody] because — apart from God's intervention — we can suffer consequences of our sin, and [unconfessed] sin robs a believer of the joy of his relationship with the Lord God.

We grieve Holy Spirit not by doing/thinking bad things, but by doing/thinking so-called good things.

  1. We accept things [coming from our flesh] that seem to be good and right.
  2. Holy Spirit grieves, because He knows what it is going to do to us.

Holy Spirit certainly does not see this as sin; it just grieves Him.


Mordecai and Haman have access to the King Ahasuerus, and they both want to influence the king.

Picture: Our flesh and Holy Spirit have access to our will, and both want to control it.

Haman goes to the king as a friend.

Picture: Our flesh always comes to us as a friend wanting our will; that is why the flesh can be so difficult to spot. Bad thoughts coming into our mind are easy to spot, because that is just our raw flesh. However, the best work of our flesh is to get us to think something is good, when really it is not.



6 But he disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone, for they had told him who the people of Mordecai were; therefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews, the people of Mordecai, who were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus.

Haman wants to kill Mordecai; however, he cannot directly attack him, so Haman comes up with a periphery target — Mordecai's people (the Jews). Haman calls for the killing of all the Jews.

Picture: That is what our flesh does to us; it is very subtle — an idea [of the flesh] will pop into an individual's mind that is on the periphery of what he is trying to do. Why? The flesh wants us to get our focus off of the Lord, off of Messiah. Again, the flesh is not going to say Stop thinking about Messiah Jesus because we would know from where that thought originated.

However, the flesh does get us to think about ourselves. Why? Because if the flesh can get the individual to exalt himself in his mind, then, by default, the individual's mind is off Messiah Jesus, and the flesh has won that battle.

Haman seeks to kill ALL of the Jews. Now that must have been a hard sell for Haman since he would have known he could not barge in front of the king and just say Let us kill all of the Jews! So Haman determines to look like a good guy (decent, reliable man) and to be subtle.

Picture: Our flesh also has a hard sell because he cannot say Forget this redemption thing; Let us not talk about Holy Spirit; I hate Him. Why not? Because we would recognize the flesh and reject those thoughts. Instead, the flesh chooses to be religious and give the appearance of being a good guy.

Back To The Picture Of Saul And The Amalekites: The flesh wants us to believe that there is something that we should do, which is in our self interest, when actually, it will put us into trouble.

The main thing the flesh would like for us is—

  1. To not know about our new nature,
  2. To not study about Holy Spirit, and
  3. To not understand the battle between our flesh and our spirit (new nature).

The flesh is winning that one in a big way! Today, believers know almost nothing about the battle between the flesh and the spirit.

A Closer Look: I searched the Internet for Bible studies about the flesh and the spirit; there is not anything available. Why not? Because people are not interested in this unending battle; obviously, that is not what the flesh wants. Getting biblical believers to be apathetic about this whole thing is the greatest way for the flesh to stifle believers and to grieve Holy Spirit.




Satan works in the lives of unbelievers like the flesh works in the lives of God's people. Satan does not denigrate (belittle) God to the unbeliever, because that would be too obvious and socially unacceptable. However, he does exalt SELF, which works hand-in-hand with our flesh. If Satan can get human begins to exalt themselves then he automatically gets them away from the Lord God, which is exactly what he wants.

Picture: That is exactly what the flesh wants from us — for us to exalt ourselves.

Question: How do we curb the flesh?

We would want to say:

Any good thing that I do is because Holy Spirit is doing it through me, and anything that I do in my own strength is going to be bad — even if it seems good to me.


Haman approaches King Ahasuerus to convince him to act on his horrible plan — to kill all of the Jews…

7 In the first month, which is the month of Nisan, in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, Pur, that is the lot, was cast before Haman from day to day and from month to moth, until the twelfth month, that is the month Adar.

8 Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, "There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from those of all other people and they do not observe the king's laws, so it is not in the king's interest to let them remain."

9 "If it is pleasing to the king, let it be decreed that they be destroyed, and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver into the hands of those who carry on the king's business, to put into the king's treasuries."

Notice how Haman presented it — these rebellious people do not follow the king's commandments and they are of no profit to the king. Why keep them around if they are a burden, a cancer? Just cut them out. And if the king is to follow Haman's advice, not only is the problem solved but the king also has ten thousand talents of silver. Why not do it?

Picture: That is what the flesh does to us — it convinces us to do things that seem good to us for our own SELF-interest that, really, are going to backfire on us.

When he mentions the king's laws, Haman says Their laws are different.

Picture: When the flesh comes to us, he tells us the same thing — does he not?


Another Law The Flesh Hates:


Believers are under the Law of Holy Spirit, which is the Law of Liberty (the Law of Life). Before our redemption, we were under the Law of Sin and Death.

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. (Romans 8:2)

Who operates best in the realm of the Law of Sin and Death? The flesh does. Remember that in a morbid way, our flesh seeks out death because that is where he lives. Our flesh does not want us following this new Law — the Law of Holy Spirit — because our flesh does not want us to be free. Our flesh wants us back under the old Law [of Sin and Death] because that is where flesh is king!

By the way, the flesh does not want biblical believers to go back into immorality; he just wants them to perform under the old Law. And in our flesh we think We do a pretty good job. As long as we are right there, we are in the flesh.

Know that part of it is trying to do good things in ourSELVES, which is what grieves Holy Spirit. Blatant sin does not grieve Holy Spirit because He just kills that. He can deal with sin easier than with SELF-righteousness, because Grace can work in the presence of sin; however:

Grace cannot work in the presence of legalism

Definition: Legalism = Trying through self-effort to obey the Law.

Sin pops up and Holy Spirit chops off its head. SELF-righteousness comes up and Holy Spirit is grieved; however, as we will see later, even that is good news!


Haman goes to King Ahasuerus…

9 If it is pleasing to the king,

Meaning If that is what you really want to do.

Picture: Do you see how the flesh operates?

let it be decreed that they be destroyed,

Look at this…

and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver into the hands of those who carry on the king's business, to put into the king's treasuries.

Look at the way Haman words that. He does not say I will give you ten thousand talents; he does say I will put it into the hands of those who carry on the king's business — to put it into the king's treasuries. Indirectly, Haman is saying I will pay you money to kill the Jews. And Haman convinces King Ahasuerus that it will turn out for the king's best interest.

Picture: It sounds so good (so right) to our flesh.

Application: That is the great thing our flesh does to us. We have a tendency to want material riches rather than riches in Messiah Jesus. The flesh reinforces that by convincing us to do things for our material benefit and for taking care of ourselves; however, the problem is that it will not work.

That is why the health-wealth preachers — those who teach If you do or say x-y-z, you will have good health/gain financially — have the very lowest of flesh. [Notice that Haman was a health-wealth person.] Or again, church communities who build material monuments to themselves, but they ignore the spiritual lives of the people in the church and in the community, have the lowest flesh. [That is Our Lady of Haman Church -sic!]


If Haman would have come in and said Let us kill all Jews, the king would have recognized that Haman was a lunatic. However, Haman subtly presents his plan In the king's best interest, and he offers money. Gradually, Haman suckers the king into an unbelievable plot, and the king willingly buys into it.

Picture: Believers tend to buy into the plans of their flesh through their wills.

10 The king took his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite.

This is repeated so we will remember that Haman, an Agagite, is a picture of our flesh.

the enemy of the Jews.

Picture: Holy Spirit is resisted, and our will gives authority to our flesh — our real enemy.

11 The king said to Haman, "The silver is yours, and the people also, to do with them as you please."

Picture: We give our best resources to our flesh.

12 Then the king's scribers were summoned on the thirteenth day of the first month, and it was written just as Haman commanded to the king's satraps, to the governors who were over each province and to the province according to its script, each people according to its language, being written in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed with the king's signet ring.

13 Letters were sent by couriers to all the king's provinces to destroy, to kill and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and to seize their possessions as plunder.

14 A copy of the edict to be issued as law in every province was published to all the people so that they should be ready for this day.

Picture: That is what our flesh would like to do with our spiritual life — entirely wipe it out!

The king believes what he is doing is correct.

Picture: That is what grieves Holy Spirit — we agree with what our flesh is saying. Our flesh convinces us that we are doing something good — though we are not — and that grieves Holy Spirit. Why does it grieve Him? Because our response to our flesh [and not to Holy Spirit] is going to backfire (produce an unexpected and undesired result) on us; Holy Spirit hates to see that.

Something Important To Remember:

When Holy Spirit is grieving, even that is good news!

15 The couriers went out impelled by the king's command while the decree was issued in Susa the capitol; and while the king and Haman sat down to drink, the city of Susa was in confusion.

That is why the king (a picture of our will) and Haman (a picture of our flesh) have a drink together.

Picture: Once we follow our flesh for our own SELF-interest, we will make a stupid decision — which seems like it is not a bad decision because, at first, everything appears to be okay.

However, inevitably, something else will follow. Look again at the same verse, which says that after the two had a drink — there was confusion.

Application: There might be one way to tell if we made, at the time, what seemed to be a good decision, but really it was not. We think At first, it looked good to me; I thought that it would be in my SELF-interest and that it would be a good thing for me to do. But then we admit I neglected to pray — listen to Holy Spirit's guidance, His counsel — about this matter. Typically, what happens next?

It could be very well that we have done what the king has done. We bought into something our flesh told us [through our own ideas] that seemed good and right at the time, but now we realize it is not that way; in fact, it appears that it may even backfire on us. Even so, the great news is—

There is a way out!




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