Devotional # 84. 4/28/14. Esther 7:1-10.
Introduction. Last week we read that the king’s sleepless night interestingly led to Mordecai being honored by Haman. This was awkward since Haman had planned a mass genocide against the Jews because of his hatred towards Mordecai. Remember last week we ended with Haman being escorted to the feast that Esther was throwing (Esther 6:14)? We pick up our story right where last week’s left off.
vv. 1-4. Haman and the king are brought into the feast that Esther has prepared in order to reveal Haman’s wicked plot. The king is really interested by what her ulterior motive is. But the king is gracious and tells Esther, for a third time, that he will give her up to half of everything he owns. He is really excited at this point, he’ll finally hear what she has postponed for 24 hours! So Esther lays the cards on the table. She explains exactly why she brought them there: she and her people are scheduled to be murdered. It’s interesting that she would have kept quiet (“held my tongue”) if they would have been sold into bondage, however they would have been alive; genocide is as bad as it can get.
vv. 5-8. If you thought chapter 6 was vindication for all the evil Haman had done this verse alone is where the levy of justice breaks wide open! The horrible puppet master is unveiled and is “terrified“. The human spirit that cheers for the underdog and hungers for justice doesn’t get to see true recompense very often, this side of heaven, but here it is in full form.
After Esther points the finger at Haman the king is so mad that he has to take a walk. It is interesting that the king took the time to cool off. He probably was trying to process how the man he had trusted and raised up could have deceived him. Sometimes it incapacitates us when we hear news that shocks us. Haman knew that the king was very angry with him so he begs Esther for mercy by kneeling down and grabbing on to her. The king thinks he is trying to rape her. Notice that as the word left his lips the guards immediately moved in and grabbed Haman. They were just servants and couldn’t touch a high official but the eunuchs knew what to do right away. And they covered Haman’s face, which was “a preparation for execution” (Source 1).
vv. 9-10. The eunuch named “Harbonah” (mentioned in Esther 1:10 but spelled “Harbona”) directs the king’s attention to the gallows that Haman had built for Mordecai. It doesn’t take the king long to realize that it would be a fitting sentence to hang him on those very gallows. I find it interesting that after Haman was executed “then the kings wrath subsided.” What a picture of God’s judgment! God is long suffering as he was with Haman through the course of at least 5 years but when the time is determined for judgment it is swift and only this can appease our LORD. Thankfully Jesus died for our sins and appeased that holy wrath of judgment but I would hate to be the person who doesn’t accept that substitution.
Conclusion. What a great story! Esther holds it together for this long and finally gets to reveal that she is a Jew and that Haman has planned her people’s annihilation. It makes us feel good that the wrongs were righted but that’s not always the case on earth. This story helps us understand that whether in this life or the next, absolute, unquestionable justice will be given by God. This chapter seems like the climax to the story but interestingly there are still three chapters left in the book. What else is there to talk about? You should read ahead and find out!