So far in the book of Esther we have been introduced to the events that would lead to the extraordinary placement of a young Jewish woman at the center of power in the Persian Empire. We have also heard some of the facts of her personal story and have learned about her relative, Mordecai, who would be an important figure in the rest of this book. We need to be introduced to one more man in order for the full story to take shape. Haman, a close adviser to Ahasuerus, must be presented to the reader as the enemy of the Jews.
Haman wanted the honor that comes from the praise of men. The king promoted him and commanded that others in the king’s service give him homage. Mordecai refused. His explanation must have had something to do with his obedience to God since we are told that Mordecai told those who questioned him that he was a Jew. Haman wanted to be treated like a god among men. Mordecai would not budge.
Haman’s rage against Mordecai knew no bounds. He was not content to kill only Mordecai. His plan was to destroy all the Jews.
Since the days of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Lord chose a particular people group to be His own. Men like Haman always stood against them.
Haman schemed to achieve his goal. In his dealings with Ahasuerus he presented himself as generous and supremely concerned with the king’s honor. His lies were so effective that Ahasuerus was completely deceived. Haman would plan and even pay for the destruction of the Jews.
Men like Haman stood in the tradition of Pharaoh. Haman hated the true God and His people. He insisted that he have preeminence in everything. Even when he presented himself as a kind and loyal benefactor, he had secret schemes against those who stood in his way. He was a murderer and a liar.
The Jews and the church have always faced the wrath of Satan and his allies. Yet the Word of God assures us that the Lord will win this battle of the ages. He who died for His people loves His bride. He will not be a quiet observer forever while His beloved children are abused. He will protect us from those who would sift us as wheat. He has prayed for us that we might be saved.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Lord God Almighty, within the courts of earthly power there are many who would stand against You and Your people. Despite their angry threats and commands, we will not bow down to them in worship. We trust You with our lives. Though there are some who would desire to see the destruction of Your people, we know that You have given a sure Word for our eternal life. Your promise to work all things together for our good is very secure. It will never be changed. Help us to rest deeply in Your Word. May we not be unduly moved by the confusion and intrigue all around us.