Lead me and guide me today, my Father.
Read Esther 7
7 So the king and Haman went to Queen Esther’s banquet, 2 and as they were drinking wine on the second day, the king again asked, “Queen Esther, what is your petition? It will be given you. What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted.”
3 Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor with you, Your Majesty, and if it pleases you, grant me my life—this is my petition. And spare my people—this is my request. 4 For I and my people have been sold to be destroyed, killed and annihilated. If we had merely been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept quiet, because no such distress would justify disturbing the king.[a]”
5 King Xerxes asked Queen Esther, “Who is he? Where is he—the man who has dared to do such a thing?”
6 Esther said, “An adversary and enemy! This vile Haman!”
Then Haman was terrified before the king and queen. 7 The king got up in a rage, left his wine and went out into the palace garden. But Haman, realizing that the king had already decided his fate, stayed behind to beg Queen Esther for his life.
8 Just as the king returned from the palace garden to the banquet hall, Haman was falling on the couch where Esther was reclining.
The king exclaimed, “Will he even molest the queen while she is with me in the house?”
As soon as the word left the king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face. 9 Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs attending the king, said, “A pole reaching to a height of fifty cubits[b] stands by Haman’s house. He had it set up for Mordecai, who spoke up to help the king.”
The king said, “Impale him on it!” 10 So they impaled Haman on the pole he had set up for Mordecai. Then the king’s fury subsided.
a Esther 7:4 Or quiet, but the compensation our adversary offers cannot be compared with the loss the king would suffer
b Esther 7:9 That is, about 75 feet or about 23 meters
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHave you ever been accused of something you didn’t do? Were you able to defend yourself?
Esther’s appeal to the king, who has reiterated his offer of generosity at this second banquet, is carefully constructed. Her petition, in effect, reveals her full identity. She appeals to the king’s feelings for her on her own behalf, and then on her people’s, explaining that it’s only their extreme peril that justifies her plea (3,4). Xerxes immediately assumes (correctly) that this is down to a particular individual—and Esther exposes the king’s most highly honored noble as the architect of the plot (6).
Meanwhile Haman, who has been rushed to the banquet straight after the humiliating parade, may or may not have had his wife’s and advisors’ words (6:13) in his mind. But as far as he knew he was still high in the king’s and queen’s esteem, and of course was still unaware of exactly who Esther was. Haman’s exposure as the villain of the piece enrages the king; his attempt to plead for his life is misinterpreted, and that is the end of him (8–10)! But it’s not—yet—the end of the plot.
In situations of pressure, it matters how we respond; choosing our words (and actions) carefully and prayerfully is important. Do you make it a habit to pray before you respond in difficult situations?
God, I pray that my conversations will be “full of grace and seasoned with salt” (Col. 4:6) so that You will be honored.
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