So , it’s been a long time since the last time we looked at Esther. Does anyone remember what’s happened so far?
Esther had been taken from her cousin, Mordecai, as one of many young women who were to be offered to the king as a potential new queen after he got rid of the previous one and, through an unlikely but amazing string of events, Esther won favour with the king and was chosen to become queen. At the same time, a man called Haman rose in power and was offended when Mordecai refused to bow to him. He was so offended that he wanted to kill the whole of the Jewish race, kill all of Esther’s people. The king agreed for a decree to be issued that meant a day would come when every Jew would be killed. However Esther didn’t know about this but when her cousin Mordecai informed her, she turned to God who we’ve been seeing working quietly behind the scenes, pulling together all the strands that seem to coincidences. We return just after Esther has invited King Xerxes and Haman to a second banquet rather than revealing her request to the king straight away.
Have you ever been having a really good day and you’re in a really good mood then one little thing seems to spoil the whole day and your mood suddenly changes? Our emotions are so fragile and unpredictable and of course Haman was no different. At the point we return, he is chief adviser to the king and very powerful. He has succeeded in forming a plan to eradicate the Jews and had got the king to sign the decree so no one could change it. It even seemed that the queen favoured him among all the nobles as she had invited him alone to a banquet with the king. It’s most likely that Haman didn’t think it could get any better.
Read Esther 5 v 9 – 14
9 Haman went out that day happy and in high spirits. But when he saw Mordecai at the king's gate and observed that he neither rose nor showed fear in his presence, he was filled with rage against Mordecai.
10 Nevertheless, Haman restrained himself and went home. Calling together his friends and Zeresh, his wife,
11 Haman boasted to them about his vast wealth, his many sons, and all the ways the king had honoured him and how he had elevated him above the other nobles and officials.
12 And that's not all, Haman added. I'm the only person Queen Esther invited to accompany the king to the banquet she gave. And she has invited me along with the king tomorrow.
13 But all this gives me no satisfaction as long as I see that Jew Mordecai sitting at the king's gate.
14 His wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, Have a gallows built, seventy-five feet high, and ask the king in the morning to have Mordecai hanged on it. Then go with the king to the dinner and be happy. This suggestion delighted Haman, and he had the gallows built.
As you can see, Haman’s mood rapidly changed when he passed Mordecai and received no recognition for his status. It sent him into a rage and he rushed home immediately to boast to his wife and friends about all he had and was and yet said that Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate took all the satisfaction away.
Haman was a proud man, boasting about everything, and yet he was also very ungrateful. He had a lot to be grateful for yet he was consumed by his hatred for this one man.
It can be easy to let one little thing ruin our mood however it’s important to try keep things in perspective. We shouldn’t get into a rage over a little thing but try to remember all the reasons why you were in a good mood and try and keep everything in perspective. It doesn’t always seem easy at the time but if you look at the positives, the little thing we got wound up over often seems a little pathetic. If we just take that little extra time to think then we can avoid responding like Haman. While being a better person isn’t what makes us right with God, that doesn’t mean that trying to be a better person is pointless.
When we’re in a bad mood or having problems, we often want to be able to talk to friends or family to help us out and give us some advice. Unfortunately, Haman was mixed in with the wrong people and he was given bad advice. They clearly assumed that the king would go along with whatever Haman wished and advised Haman to build gallows first in anticipation of the king’s approval in the next day or so to Mordecai’s death. This was a big mistake. It is a bad idea to assume anything and I’m sure you’ve heard of the phrase ‘pride before a fall’.
Haman mixed with the wrong crowd. It may have seemed that his friends were supporting him but they were encouraging him in the wrong direction. They were advising him to do what was wrong rather than what was right. What about you? Think about your friends? Do they encourage you to moan about your parents, lie and break rules or do they encourage you to be honest and try and get on better with your family? If it is the first, they are probably not the greatest friends to have around. It is much better to have friends that encourage and help you in the right ways.
So now we leave Haman “happy and high in spirits”. There’s the pride and next we see the fall!
· Latest book read: Still reading "Friends Like These" I should really finish it.
· Latest film/TV/ watched: The End of Time (part 2. Just after finishing part 1)
· Latest music listened to: Currently "This Time Tomorrow" by Mike Lombardo. Although it's now changed to another song of his called Joke.
· Latest food/sweets/whatever eaten: A Chocolate coin!
· Programs and web pages currently open: In Google Chrome:
Alien President, Snails: Brothers in shells, Cylinder and Miserable, Fort Paradox, The application page for a Doctor Who exhibition pilot, Matt's Blog, (the usual offenders! lol), Blogger in draft: new post, Esther 5 on Bible Gateway, Blogger in draft: my last post, facebook (on a conversation under one of my statuses that is getting rather long and is of Whovian origin); Windows Live Mail, Microsoft Word x 2, Serif Page Plus 11, Windows Media Player.