At the time of my last post, Esther had decided to speak to the king. What she actually did was throw him—and the villainous Haman—a banquet. That night, Haman showed his friends exactly how what kind of man he was. “Haman recounted to them the glory of his riches, and the number of his sons, and every instance where the king had magnified him and how he had promoted him above the princes and servants of the king.” He added, “Queen Esther let no one but me come with the king to the banquet which she had prepared; and tomorrow also I am invited by her with the king.” (Esther 5:11-12) I think, How boastful! How arrogant! How self-absorbed! Yet, I squirm because I see in him a bit of myself.
Haman reveals even more of his character when he impulsively builds a gallows for the one person in the kingdom he can’t stand—Mordecai. As Haman’s on his way to the palace, the king, who’s been up reading the record of how Mordecai saved his life, encounters Haman in the courtyard and says, “What is to be done for the man whom the king desires to honor?” But Haman hears what he wants to hear, assumes he’s the man the king wants to honor, and ends up escorting Mordecai to be honored around the city. I can almost feel his mortification.
There’s lots more to the story, which is full of irony, but I won’t spoil the end for those who haven’t yet read it. Suffice it to say that Mordecai and Queen Esther turned out to be the heroes, the Jewish people fought Haman’s attempt to exterminate them, and, because of the events in the book of Esther, the Feast of Purim became an annual holiday.
Congratulations to you who are reading along! We’re two-thirds of the way on our journey through the Bible.
From August readings for Days 23, 24, and 25
Esther 5-6, 7-8, and 9-10
Proverbs 16:17-33, 17:1-14, and 17:15-28
Luke 20:1-8, 20:9-19, and 20:20-26
Titus 3:9-15, Philemon 1-11, and 12-25