Friday, May 6, 2011

The Book of Esther 14

The Book of Esther 
Esther 7:1-10

So the king and Haman came to banquet with Esther the queen. And the king said again unto Esther on the second day at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition, queen Esther? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? and it shall be performed, even to the half of the kingdom.  Then Esther the queen answered and said, If I have found favour in thy sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request:  For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held my tongue, although the enemy could not countervail the king's damage.

 Then the king Ahasuerus answered and said unto Esther the queen, Who is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so? And Esther said, The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman. Then Haman was afraid before the king and the queen.

 And the king arising from the banquet of wine in his wrath went into the palace garden: and Haman stood up to make request for his life to Esther the queen; for he saw that there was evil determined against him by the king. Then the king returned out of the palace garden into the place of the banquet of wine; and Haman was fallen upon the bed whereon Esther was. Then said the king, Will he force the queen also before me in the house? As the word went out of the king's mouth, they covered Haman's face. And Harbonah, one of the chamberlains, said before the king, Behold also, the gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman had made for Mordecai, who had spoken good for the king, standeth in the house of Haman. Then the king said, Hang him thereon. So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king's wrath pacified.

Esther’s Plea
Haman has plotted against the Jewish people and become a hot-headed, prideful man with plans to murder Mordecai. But, man’s plans are not always God’s plans, therefore, Haman’s genocidal scheme will soon be put to an end.  JEHOVAH-ROI –– The God Who Sees and JEHOVAH-OR –– The Lord Is Light, are good reminders that the Lord does see all and will one day make all things known. Esther has planned another banquet and is expecting the king and Haman to attend. The king asks again what is Esther’s desire––what is her plea, her prayer or request. The king would give Esther half his kingdom to know her wishes. Esther begins with a plea, “If I have found favour in thy sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request: For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish.” The king is astonished at this news and wants to know who is responsible for this scheme and what is the purpose or motive for this plan. Surely, Esther must have taken a deep breath at that moment, and then she gave an answer, “The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman.”

Haman’s Plight
I can imagine Haman choking on his wine when Queen Esther accused him of being the one who plotted against her people, the Jews.  Of course, the Bible does not mention Haman doing this, but it does say, “Haman was afraid before the king and the queen.” (Have you ever been so afraid that you could hear your heart beating in your ears?) The king was very angry and left the room to go out into the garden–– maybe to release some tension.  Haman, realizing how furious the king was, stood up to plead before Queen Esther to spare his life. The king returns to the banquet room and finds Haman falling to the feet of Queen Esther as she is reclining upon the couch. Persian etiquette was very strict with regards to the queen and the king's harem that Haman was considered offensive by his remaining behind with the queen and not leaving with the king. Haman, falling upon the queen’s couch, set the course for his own execution. Attention is drawn to the gallows that have been built in the city square for a man that had saved the king’s life. The irony of Haman’s plot is a state of affairs that seems deliberately contrary to what Haman expected–– the outcome grave––the verdict deadly. The king will order Haman to be hanged upon the gallows that he, Haman, had expected to hang Mordecai upon.
Thought: In tragic irony, a character's actions lead to consequences that are both tragic, and contrary to the character's desire and intentions. We can see that Haman suffered from tragic irony and all his plotting and planning; all his hostility and rage ended with his own life being taken and not the life he had intended, Mordecai’s. Do we ourselves desire circumstances that would harm or injure someone we are angry with? Have we plotted and planned how we will take care of this matter even down to the final detail? 
My friend, I pray you will consider the consequences that Haman endured and endeavor to forgive rather than punish. Hatred in the heart of man is murder according to 1 John 3:15, Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Seeking revenge and not allowing God to work all things out for His glory and for your good is robbing God of His responsibility and right as EL SHADDAI, God Almighty, All-Powerful and All-Sufficient God.

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