INSPIRATIONAL WOMEN OF THE BIBLE
IN PART Three OF THIS FOUR PART SERIES ON QUEEN ESTHER, WE WILL LOOK AT ESTHER 5-6, DIG INTO THE LIVES OF THE CHARACTERS, AND HAVE REAL TALK ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING IS THE BOOK OF ESTHER.
ESTHER IN THE BIBLE
LET'S TALK ESTHER CHAPTERS 5-6
Esther approaches her husband, the king, knowing fully that he could end her life and decide her fate in one second. Xerxes likes his wife and not only spares her, but offers to grant her request and give her anything she wants. Esther doesn’t straight up ask Xerxes to save the Jews at this moment. It’s unclear and hard to tell what Esther was doing. Maybe she clammed up and was stalling for time. Maybe it was her plan all along to invite Xerxes to dinner two nights in a row. Either way, she takes the plunge and risks it all. He comes to dinner with Haman, knowing she hasn’t asked the real question she came to ask yet, and she invites Xerxes and Haman to dinner one more time.
Here’s where the irony and drama get wild again: this is an incredibly juicy story! Xerxes can’t sleep that night, and based on the text he’s probably not snuggled up to his bae Esther. Xerxes asks someone to read the records to him to help him sleep. Get on the crazy train, because they read the part where Mordecai tells Esther of the assassination plot and saves Xerxes’ life. What’s even crazier is that Haman shows up right then to talk to the King about an early execution for Mordecai on the gallows he just had built!
Xerxes asks Haman how he could honor someone. Haman thinks he is the it-boy and gives Xerxes all of his requests to honor himself. The King agrees to Haman’s ideas and, surprise! Xerxes tells Haman to go give Mordecai all the riches, gifts, and the horse Haman suggested! Not only that, Haman is the one who has to lead Mordecai through town for a parade honoring him, and all the while the king is totally clueless that Haman was on his way to talk to Xerxes about executing Mordecai!!! This is WILD. When I was writing this and reading through the story again, I could not close my mouth, my jaw was on thee floor. Can you imagine Haman’s absolute shock?! You can’t make this stuff up!
Here’s another lesson we can learn from Haman: sometimes when we are so prideful, selfish, and wrapped up in ourselves and what we want, we miss what’s right in front of our faces. Haman believes the lies of racism with all of his heart and his life has become consumed with it. He is obsessed with defeating Mordecai and everyone that shares his heritage and religion. He is so consumed with himself and has convinced himself to his core that the lies he was told are true.
His life is fueled by hate, destruction, and a desire to hurt others. The version of this in our lives is hopefully not this extreme, but the lesson still rings true: pride, selfishness, and lies can derail a person and ultimately destroy them. Haman desperately needs God and his love, but he is too preoccupied with destroying God’s people to look for Him.
What are you prideful about? Where do you struggle with selfishness? God is the only true solution to heal our problems and deepest wounds. In what ways do you need God to work on you and your heart?