Haman Plans To Kill
9Haman was feeling great as he left. But when he saw Mordecai at the palace gate, he noticed that Mordecai did not stand up or show him any respect. This made Haman really angry, 10but he did not say a thing.
When Haman got home, he called together his friends and his wife Zeresh 11and started bragging about his great wealth and all his sons. He told them the many ways that the king had honored him and how all the other officials and leaders had to respect him. 12Haman added, “That's not all! Besides the king himself, I'm the only person Queen Esther invited for dinner. She has also invited the king and me to dinner tomorrow. 13But none of this makes me happy, as long as I see that Jew Mordecai serving the king.”
14Haman's wife and friends said to him, “Have a gallows built about 22 meters high, and tomorrow morning ask the king to hang Mordecai there. Then later, you can have dinner with the king and enjoy yourself.”
This seemed like a good idea to Haman, and he had the gallows built.
The King Honors Mordecai
1That night the king could not sleep, and he had a servant read him the records of what had happened since he had been king. 2 When the servant read how Mordecai had kept Bigthana and Teresh from killing the king, 3the king asked, “What has been done to reward Mordecai for this?”
“Nothing, Your Majesty!” the king's servants replied.
4About this time, Haman came in to ask the king to have Mordecai hanged on the gallows he had built. The king saw him and asked, “Who is that man waiting in front of the throne room?”
5The king's servants answered, “Your Majesty, it is Haman.”
“Tell him to come in,” the king commanded.
6When Haman entered the room, the king asked him, “What should I do for a man I want to honor?”
Haman was sure that he was the one the king wanted to honor. 7So he replied, “Your Majesty, if you wish to honor a man, 8get someone to bring him one of your own robes and one of your own horses with a fancy headdress. 9Tell one of your highest officials to place your robe on this man and lead him through the streets on your horse, while someone shouts, ‘This is how the king honors a man!’ ”
10The king replied, “Hurry and do just what you have said! Don't forget a thing. Get the robe and the horse for Mordecai the Jew, who serves as one of the king's officials!”
11Haman got the king's robe and put it on Mordecai. He led him through the city on the horse and shouted as he went, “This is how the king honors a man!”
12Afterwards, Mordecai returned to his duties in the king's palace, and Haman hurried home, hiding his face in shame. 13Haman told his wife and friends what had happened. Then his wife and his advisors said, “If Mordecai is a Jew, this is just the beginning of your troubles! You will end up a ruined man.” 14They were still talking, when the king's servants came and quickly took Haman to the dinner that Esther had prepared.
“There are six or seven kinds of people the Lord doesn’t like: Those who are too proud or tell lies or murder, those who make evil plans or are quick to do wrong, those who tell lies in court or stir up trouble in a family” (Proverbs 6:16-19).
Haman, proud and evil, fits this description. One minute he is bragging to his inner circle about his wealth, his many sons, and the honours he receives. The next, he is furious at being slighted by Mordecai and is easily persuaded to build gallows and request that the King hang Mordecai. Haman relishes the idea that after the hanging, he will spend a cozy evening with the King and Queen.
But Haman’s plans and expectations for honour unravel. Random circumstances? No. People with spiritual eyes spot God’s presence and power at work in and through the “circumstances” to provide protective care for His people.
The king has a sleepless night and calls for a bedtime reading. As he listens to the royal historical annals, he hears the account of how Mordecai uncovered the assassination plot to kill the king. Learning that Mordecai was not rewarded for saving his life, Xerxes, ironically, asks Haman for advice. God sets the stage for Mordecai to receive delayed honours.
Haman is so full of himself that when he suggests the honoured man wear the King’s robe, be seated on a regal horse and be led by an official in a parade before the people, he thinks he is the man to be honoured. The ironic reversal is that instead of watching Mordecai be hanged, Haman winds up exalting his hated enemy. Mordecai is in the honour parade. In the providence of God, evil Haman will go down to ruin.
God of providence, who deals out justice and mercy. You bring down those who exalt in evil and raise up the humble who cry out for protection and safety. We honour and love you. Amen.