Devotional # 83. 4/21/14. Esther 6:1-14.
Introduction. This chapter focuses on Mordecai and Haman. This is really where we start to see the tide turn for Haman. Last week (Esther chapter 5) was the seed planted by Esther, today’s chapter happens within a couple of hours of last weeks, and is the real start of God’s justice on evil Haman. Interestingly Esther isn’t even mentioned in this chapter until the end.
vv. 1-3. The king can’t sleep and instead of counting sheep he decides to have the public records read to him. The plan must be that he will be so bored that he will definitely fall asleep! But the opposite happens – he is reminded of Mordecai reporting the plot to kill him (see Esther 2; Devotional 79, specifically “vv. 21-23”). The king asks if Mordecai was ever rewarded for saving his life and finds out that he was not.
vv. 4-11. In God’s perfect timing Haman has just come into the outer court to ask for the kings blessing to kill Mordecai! Now either some significant time has gone by and its early morning when the king would be getting up or Haman was really excited about killing Mordecai and came in the very early morning. Either way, the king asks Haman what he should do for someone he wants to honor. Haman cannot picture the king wanting to honor anyone more than him so he lets his imagination go. Here’s a modern version of what Haman says: ‘have your Vice President drive this guy around in the presidential limo, announcing to millions of people lining the streets that he is your favorite.’ So the king agrees and asks Haman, of all people, to announce that Mordecai is the celebrity! Oh, the look on Haman’s face!
vv. 12-14. Mordecai gets dropped off at work, ready to keep going with his normal day. But Haman was so ashamed after it was all over that he concealed his identity and cried the whole way home. He hopes to just crawl in bed and forget the day. Maybe even be cheered up by his counselors and wife. But they give him bad news: the king has honored Mordecai and there’s no way Haman can take him down now. In fact he’ll probably end up ruling over you, Haman. But as soon as he is told that the messengers arrive to bring him to the party that Esther is throwing.
There is something about Mordecai not making a big deal about his parade that shows humility. The fact that Mordecai had never even reminded the king about saving his life shows that Mordecai didn’t really care about being famous or distinguished by his boss. I think of Proverbs 2:29 which says, “Do you see any truly competent workers? They will serve kings rather than working for ordinary people.” It is interesting how when God changes your priorities you end up doing really cool things but that doesn’t become your identity. Your identity is in the Lord and His will, that is where true peace and contentment are found.
Conclusion. The book of Esther has been setting up the vindication of all the bad stuff (slaughter of the Jews, disrespect for God, Esther having to marry an evil Gentile, Mordecai’s defamation, etc.) with Esther as the heroine who will debase Haman but that’s not the case. Here it’s God who gives the king sleeplessness, choosing the book of records, reading the part about Mordecai, having the king ask if he had been rewarded, desiring to reward him, asking Haman how to reward Mordecai, sending Haman to prepare and parading Mordecai around instead of Esther (who procrastinated several times) even doing anything. Esther’s portion comes in chapter 7 but it was God who struck first, He was working everything for good according to His purpose.