So the king and Haman came to banquet with Esther the queen.
And the king said again unto Esther on the second day at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition, queen Esther? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? and it shall be performed, even to the half of the kingdom.
Then Esther the queen answered and said, If I have found favour in thy sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request: For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held my tongue, although the enemy could not countervail the king’s damage.
Then the king Ahasuerus answered and said unto Esther the queen, Who is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so?
And Esther said, The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman. Then Haman was afraid before the king and the queen. And the king arising from the banquet of wine in his wrath went into the palace garden: and Haman stood up to make request for his life to Esther the queen; for he saw that there was evil determined against him by the king.
Then the king returned out of the palace garden into the place of the banquet of wine; and Haman was fallen upon the bed whereon Esther was. Then said the king, Will he force the queen also before me in the house? As the word went out of king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face.
And Harbonah, one of the chamberlains, said before the king, Behold also, the gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman had made for Mordecai, who spoken good for the king, standeth in the house of Haman. Then the king said, Hang him thereon. So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king’s wrath pacified.
As in every classic tale, there has always got to be a dramatic climax, and here we find it in Chapter 7.
The king is determined to get to the bottom of what lays so heavily on his Queen’s heart, and again he offers to half the kingdom. It’s a contrast here between his behavior and countenance at the beginning of the Book of Esther in his arrogance and pride toward Vashti, and here in his favor and concern toward Esther.
I don’t think Xerxes was an evil king, just too easily willing to forge ahead and too quick to take advice without thinking things through.
Although Esther’s courage when she went uncalled for before the king was enough to consider, she shows incredible courage here as well. But remember, she, her staff and the Jews had been praying- and I imagine her prayers for this time before the king and his 2nd in control were fervent. Have you ever experienced a time when you pray to have the right words and courage to say them? Something so important, that you pray you won’t mess up?
I can imagine Esther must have been practicing over and over in her mind what she would say. Remember, neither of them knew that she was a Jew. She could still face a death penalty if Xerxes had a mind to.
Literally we thank God that he didn’t, in fact, his rage as she lays out hers and her people’s plight shows incredible self control in light of his past foolish and rash behavior. One can almost imagine too his quiet wrath- vein popping in his forehead maybe, red face, and frightening calm….
Haman for once shoves his pride down, out of cowardice of course, but he knows when he’s been brought down. And down he is, begging for his own life. I wonder if his wife’s prophetic words are going through his mind right now… “you cannot stand against him—you will surely come to ruin!”
If ever was a time to want to gloat over someone getting what they deserved it would be this. And I have to say, I’ve gloated over it before, but now it seems I always hear the Spirit remind me that even God doesn’t take pleasure in the death of the wicked. Justice yes, well deserved, but considering Haman, like everyone had been given plenty of chances to change his ways, remained bitter and his heart remained hardened so much as to destroy a whole race of people based on his ancient past, pride and hate of one Jewish man. Sounds kind of familiar even in our times.
But in the end, Haman does get his ‘reward’, and it was dealt by his own making, hung on the very gallows that he’d prepared for Mordecai.
God has a way of perfect and righteous judgement… But considering what we all deserve, He also has a way of perfect and unfathomable grace and mercy when we ask Him for forgiveness.
As in every classic tale, we’ve still yet to see the Happily Ever After… that part will be next week 🙂 Until then, have a blessed, safe and beautiful day all!