Where we left off last time, Queen Esther was favoured by her husband. King Ahasuerus, extended his sceptre allowing her to approach him. She, close to God after her long fast, didn’t rush in and denounce Haman’s evil plot. She invited the king and Haman to a banquet of wine.
Again the king asked her what she wanted… and again, she used wisdom, did not denounce Haman but invied the king and Haman to a banquet the next day.
Haman rushed home delighted, telling his wife and calling his friends to hear about the favour that had been extended to him, and that he was again going to a banquet prepared by the queen. What joy!
No. There was a ‘fly in the ointment’. With all the honours he thought he was receiving, one man was such an irritant, Haman couldn’t rejoice as he wanted. Mordecai kept his faith, and still would not bow to a man… not even the king’s second in command.
His wife and all his friends suggested that he build a gallows, and, since he had so much favour at the court, suggest to the king that Mordecai be hung on it.
Aside: Gallows, did not mean what we think of it nowadays. No, there was no ‘noose’ on those gallows. The original word translated ‘gallows’ means a tree, or pole. So Haman’s planned execution of Mordecai was far more painful than the quick death of a hanging. Mordecai was to be impaled, on the ‘gallows’ – pole.
Things start to turn.
The king had a restless night and couldn’t sleep. So he commanded that the record books be brought and read to him. (Perhaps he thought he would catch up with some outstanding work… or think he would fall asleep listening to it.) But in the record that was read to him, was the report of the time Mordecai saved his life. “What has been done to reward him?” the king wanted to know. “Nothing.” Was the reply. How could he reward the man who had saved him from the plotters?
Haman had just arrived to suggest that Mordecai be executed but before he had the chance to make his request, the king had a request of him. “What shall be done for the one the king delights to honour?”
Who would the king delight to honour more than me? Haman thought. So he came up with public honours he would like; to show how highly valued he was.
But Haman’s downfall was just beginning…
“Then the king said to Haman, Hasten… .. as you have suggested and do so for Mordecai the Jew who sits within the king’s gate. Leave noting undone that you have spoken.” Esther 6: 10
He had to do it. This was the king’s command. So, for the moment his plan to execute him was foiled… and he had to lead Mordecai through the streets, on horseback, wearing the king’s robe and proclaiming that the king had honoured him.
Haman went home afterwards… mourning, not rejoicing.
While he was complaining the king’s eunuchs came to take him to the banquet which Esther had prepared. Maybe now he will have the chance to speak…
God, who has NOT been sleeping in all this, is now ready to intervene…
More next week,
And remember what goes around comes around… so, tread softly, you may be treading on someone’s dreams.