A REVERSAL OF FORTUNES
Lord, help me to love and respect all people.
Read ESTHER 6
6 That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him. 2 It was found recorded there that Mordecai had exposed Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, who had conspired to assassinate King Xerxes.
3 “What honor and recognition has Mordecai received for this?” the king asked.
“Nothing has been done for him,” his attendants answered.
4 The king said, “Who is in the court?” Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the palace to speak to the king about impaling Mordecai on the pole he had set up for him.
5 His attendants answered, “Haman is standing in the court.”
“Bring him in,” the king ordered.
6 When Haman entered, the king asked him, “What should be done for the man the king delights to honor?”
Now Haman thought to himself, “Who is there that the king would rather honor than me?” 7 So he answered the king, “For the man the king delights to honor, 8 have them bring a royal robe the king has worn and a horse the king has ridden, one with a royal crest placed on its head. 9 Then let the robe and horse be entrusted to one of the king’s most noble princes. Let them robe the man the king delights to honor, and lead him on the horse through the city streets, proclaiming before him, ‘This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!’”
10 “Go at once,” the king commanded Haman. “Get the robe and the horse and do just as you have suggested for Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the king’s gate. Do not neglect anything you have recommended.”
11 So Haman got the robe and the horse. He robed Mordecai, and led him on horseback through the city streets, proclaiming before him, “This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!”
12 Afterward Mordecai returned to the king’s gate. But Haman rushed home, with his head covered in grief, 13 and told Zeresh his wife and all his friends everything that had happened to him.
His advisers and his wife Zeresh said to him, “Since Mordecai, before whom your downfall has started, is of Jewish origin, you cannot stand against him—you will surely come to ruin!” 14 While they were still talking with him, the king’s eunuchs arrived and hurried Haman away to the banquet Esther had prepared.
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.
“Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ” (Eph. 2:3–5).
Again, God is not mentioned, but I think many believers would suspect that the circumstances described here add up to what is sometimes called a “God-incidence”! The king couldn’t sleep—maybe all the rich food at the party brought that on! The book brought to him just happens to contain the section describing Mordecai’s initiative in saving the king’s life recently (Esth. 2:18–23). He discovers that Mordecai has not been rewarded for this. Haman happens to be in the court hoping to gain approval for his unusual method of executing Mordecai. The king asks him what the best way is to “honor” someone (6). Haman’s vanity makes him think this person must be him, and he can just see himself being paraded around the city dressed as royalty and “honored” by all. Then the axe falls! It is not Haman—it is of all people Mordecai whom the king has in mind. What is worse, Haman is instructed to himself lead the procession, showcasing this hated man! He returns home in despair. His friends and family this time offer no comfort at all! Verse 13 features an ongoing understanding (perhaps stemming from the Daniel stories) that Jews are mysteriously protected: that is why Haman would “come to ruin”!
One wonders what Haman is feeling as he gets himself together to attend Queen Esther’s second banquet! He has no idea of Esther’s Jewish origin and is probably thinking that this is at least his final form of enjoyment before his inevitable demotion. But such is not to be. Some of the questions this chapter raises for us might be about actions and consequences, about the meaning of “honor,” or how good friends should really act!
Ask God to help you to be the kind of friend who will not just support without question, but challenge when challenge is needed and support when support is needed.
Lord, give to Your people a sense of supernatural discernment when we must deal with those who may not have our best interest at heart.
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