This is a story demonstrating what not to do in more ways than one. We should never let circumstances dictate our behavior. Our behavior should be the same no matter what happens, if we trust in God. Our foundation should be so inground in us that we don’t react to circumstances, like those without God. People without God act like Haman. Haman was an angry man filled with bitterness towards one man.
Have you ever been in a room with someone like Haman? You can cut the negative tension with knife. They are not the only ones who feel it, everyone in the room is can feel it! As well as not wanting to be in the same room with the other person, you talk about it to whoever will listen, and hope that they will side with you. This is what happened in our story of Esther today. It was Mordecai the Jew vs. Haman. Just the presence of Mordecai made Haman’s blood boil. The world is big enough for everyone, but Haman didn’t know that. He and his followers had one motive in mind—get rid of Mordecai. He didn’t want it to look like a personal vendetta against Mordecai, so he conspired with the king to have all Jews killed. What he didn’t know, because she kept it to herself, was that Queen Esther was Jewish, and King Xerxes liked Queen Esther very much, enough to give her up to half of his kingdom.
Sometimes it is frightening to ask someone for a favor, for fear that they will reject our request. But if we never ask them, they will never know what you want, and you will never get what you need. The worst they could do is say “no”, but what if they complied? In Esther’s case, she could get a no, and she could have been killed. Esther was a brave, brave woman. She was willing to risk her life for others. She could have been selfish, after all, she has never told anyone that she was a Jew. But she loved her uncle, her fellow people and most of all her God. So, off to the king she went to see if she could save her people. Queen Esther and King Xerxes and Haman had a little dinner. And guess what? Haman was invited back again tomorrow.
Haman left the palace that day happy, beaming. And then he saw Mordecai sitting at the King’s Gate ignoring him, oblivious to him. Haman was furious with Mordecai. But he held himself in and went on home. He got his friends together with his wife Zeresh and started bragging about how much money he had, his many sons, all the times the king had honored him, and his promotion to the highest position in government. “On top of that”, Haman continue, “Queen Esther invited me to a private dinner she gave for the king, just the three of us. And she’s invited me to another one tomorrow. But I can’t enjoy any of it when I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the Kings Gate.”
His wife Zeresh and all his friends said “Build a gallows seventy-five feet high. First thing in the morning speak with the king; get him to order Mordecai hanged on it. Then happily go with the king to dinner.” Haman liked that. He had the gallows built. (Esther 5: 9-14 The Message)
Haman’s first mistake is listening to his friends and wife. His second mistake was having the gallows build. He must have had a lot of hatred in his heart to build the gallows in the middle of the night. Wisdom is very necessary in discerning wise counsel vs. foolish counsel. And, most things done in anger don’t turn out the way you plan. But he acted out with his emotions flaring wildly, another mistake he has made over and over. You will be judged the way you judge others. Haman was heading for judgement day.
That night the king couldn’t sleep. He ordered the record book, the day-by-day journal of events, to be brought and read to him. They came across the story there about the time that Mordecai had exposed the plot of Bigthana and Teresh—the two royal eunuchs who guarded the entrance and who had conspired to assassinate King Xerxes.
The king asked, “What great honor was given to Mordecai for this?”
“Nothing” replied the king’s servants who were in attendance. “Nothing has been done for him.”
The king said,” is there anybody out in the court?’
Now Haman had just come into the outer court of the king’s palace to talk to the king about hanging Mordecai on the gallows he had built for him.
The king’s servants said,” Haman is out there, waiting in the court.”
“Bring him in,” said the king.
When Haman entered, the king said, “What would be appropriate for the man the king especially wants to honor?” (Esther 6: 1-6 The Message)
God has a sense of humor, sometimes at our expense. But Haman wasn’t laughing as he was escorting Mordecai around the town square. But that was just the beginning.
Tides turn quickly! One moment you are on top of the world, and the next, the wind has been knocked out of your sails. The way events have been perfectly aligned, is so God! Perfect timing is in God’s hands.
All through time, God has been faithful to those who take a stand for Him! There was Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and now there is Mordecai. Individuals who made a choice to stand for God no matter what. To refuse to bow their knee to any other god. When someone honors God in this way, the blessings keep coming to give them the courage to keep standing. When, God is for someone, nothing can be done to harm that person. God’s angel armies come to fight for them! They may not know it, and, they may not know how it will look, but for those with a strong constitution for God, even if they are killed for their beliefs, will be blessed. I know that death doesn’t sound like a blessing, but death is only temporary, and your soul, if it belongs to God, will be in His presence, with a beautiful crown designed especially for those who die for their faith.
King Xerses killed Haman and gave his estate to Esther. Mordecai became Haman’s replacement. Non-Jews were converting, because it was dangerous not to be a Jew. A decree was issued to allow the Jews to defend themselves. Many were killed by the Jews, but no plunder was taken. Afterwards they took it easy and celebrated with much food and laughter. Laughter is so important and cleansing. It changes your outlook. It lifts your spirits. It is good for the soul. This became an annual celebration.
Queen Esther was a woman to be imitated. She loved God, her family, and did the right thing even when it was hard. She was brave even though she was scared to death. She was created for such a time as this, to free her people from oppression. She was an orphan who was used by God to change the world. Hallelujah, what a legacy.
Likewise, Mordecai left a legacy for men to imitate:
Mordecai the Jew ranked second in command to King Xerses. He was popular among the Jews and greatly respected by them. He worked hard for the good of his people; he cared for the peace and prosperity of his race. (Esther 10:3 The Message)
Am I leaving a legacy?
Father God, Your handprints are all over Esther and Mordecai. Even if Your name is never mentioned, You are there with them. They may have had meek and hard beginnings, but You raised them up to be faithful to You, when the time was right. You like to use the weak, so they are aware it is not them, but You! Father God, I need to build my faith so that no matter what happens I will stand for you and not falter, even if it means dying for you. Please give me the strength to stand in all circumstances. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!