Remember that story at the end of Esther 2 where Mordecai, through Esther, revealed a plot against the king? Esther told Ahasuerus this life-saving news in the name of the relative who had been like a father to her. The account of treachery and deliverance was entered into the records of the king with the name “Mordecai” attached to it.
At the end of Esther 5, the situation for Mordecai and the Jews looked desperate. If Haman had his way, Mordecai would hang high upon a gallows before Esther had even revealed her request to the king that her people be saved.
God had a better plan and it began with the restlessness of Ahasuerus during the earliest hours of a new day. The king called for the reading of the “book of memorable deeds.” He heard about Mordecai’s role in saving his life and wondered if anything had been done for him.
Someone else was up and ready for action as the sung began to rise. Haman was waiting in the king’s court with enthusiasm for his new plan to put Mordecai to death. When the king called for an adviser, Haman was there. The king would use Haman to honor Mordecai rather than to kill him.
What a turnaround! Haman was certain that the no one in the kingdom was more worthy of honor than himself. Instead this proud official would have to lead the horse of the royally-robed Mordecai through the square of the city shouting, “Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor.” The arrogant enemy of the Jews had hoped to kill his adversary, but now it was Haman who was mortified.
The dejected man returned home to his wife and friends. They had a different message than the one they gave him earlier. At the end of Esther 5 they advised, “Let a gallows fifty cubits high be made, and in the morning tell the king to have Mordecai hanged upon it.” But now their words contained a more sober assessment of the challenge that Haman would face in seeking to destroy the Lord’s chosen people: “If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of the Jewish people, you will not overcome him but will surely fall before him.”
The stage was now set for the destruction of Haman. Just then the king’s overwhelmed adviser received a summons to come to Esther’s second feast.
What a difference a few hours can make! It was Friday night when Jesus was lifted up to die. His enemies thought that they had achieved their objective. At that very moment he was atoning for our sins. Early in the morning on the first day of the week he had risen from the dead. Within a few weeks the Holy Spirit would be poured out upon the church and the centuries-long proclamation of a resurrection kingdom would begin.
Another surprising day is coming for those who persecute the people of God today. One night when even the light of the moon is eclipsed and darkness seems to reign everywhere, the sound of the great festival trumpet will be heard throughout the entire earth. The King will come again. His adversaries will be utterly defeated and His beloved children will be greatly honored.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Sovereign Lord, You will never forget our acts of faithfulness, for they are gifts of Your own free grace. Even if we simply give a cup of cold water to a child in Your Name, this small work of mercy and decency will be remembered by You. What great things You have planned for Your servants! We do not yet see all the glories of the age to come, but we know that there is much good that is planned for Your elect. You will bring about our vindication at just the right time.