5/10/18 “A Bad Day for an Evil Man” (Daily Bible Reading: Esther 6-8)


“Then the king said to Haman, ‘Hurry, take the robe and the horse, as you have suggested, and do so for Mordecai the Jew who sits within the king's gate! Leave nothing undone of all that you have spoken.’ So, Haman took the robe and the horse, arrayed Mordecai and led him on horseback through the city square, and proclaimed before him, ‘Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!’” (Esther 6:10-11).

Haman had plotted to destroy all of the Jews of Esther’s day because her cousin Mordecai had refused to bow down before him (Esther 3:1-15). Even though it involved risking her life, Esther approached the king to plead for herself and her people. But instead of immediately pleading with the king, Esther invites the king and Haman to a banquet (Esther 5:1-5). During this banquet, Esther invites the two of them to return to another banquet she is giving the next day (Esther 5:6-9).

As he joyfully departs from the banquet, Haman’s joy is turned to rage when he sees Mordecai at the king’s gate (Esther 5:9). He goes home and brags to his friends and his wife about his riches and the power he now holds. However, he tells them that this “avails him nothing so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate” (Esther 5:13). His wife and friends suggest that, before Haman goes to the banquet Esther is having the next day, a gallows be made upon which to hang Mordecai (Esther 5:14). He follows their suggestion and plans to ask the king to hang Mordecai the next day.

However, an interesting thing happens that night. The king has insomnia and in order to be put to sleep, he has someone read some records of the chronicles to him. It just so happens that the particular record they read has to do with when Mordecai had uncovered an earlier plot by two of the king’s eunuchs to murder the king (Esther 6:1-2, cf. 2:21-23). The king asks, “What honor or dignity has been bestowed on Mordecai for this?” (Esther 6:3). As he finds out that nothing has been done for Mordecai, Haman walks into the court prepared to request that the king hang Mordecai upon the gallows he has just made (Esther 6:4-5).

The king asks Haman, “What shall be done for the man whom the king delights to honor?” Haman, thinking the king must want to honor him, suggests that the king should have one of his princes lead the man through the streets wearing a robe the king has worn, riding on one of the king’s horses, and proclaim “Thus shall be done to the man whom the king delights to honor” (Esther 6:7-9). As the opening verses indicate, the king tells Haman “What a great idea!” and has Haman go and do this for Mordecai (Esther 6:10-11). As he returns to complain to his family and friends about his bad day, Haman is called to the banquet Esther has prepared. During this second banquet, Esther will reveal her identity, plead for herself and her people, and point out the evil which Haman has done. The king then has Haman hung on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai (Esther 6:12-10).

To say the least, Haman had a bad day! His evil plots had come back on himself. As I read these chapters I am reminded: “The wicked plots against the just, and gnashes at him with his teeth. The Lord laughs at him, for He sees that his day is coming” (Psalm 37:12-13). Haman’s day had come! Today, I will rejoice that I serve a just God who rewards the righteous and punishes the wicked!

“Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger and forsake wrath; do not fret--it only causes harm. For evildoers shall be cut off; but those who wait on the Lord, they shall inherit the earth” (Psalm 37:7-9).