Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Esther - Die Hard

Esther 7:6b-10 Then Haman was terrified before the king and queen. The king got up in a rage, left his wine and went out into the palace garden. But Haman, realizing that the king had already decided his fate, stayed behind to beg Queen Esther for his life. Just as the king returned from the palace garden to the banquet hall, Haman was falling on the couch where Esther was reclining. The king exclaimed, "Will he even molest the queen while she is with me in the house?" As soon as the word left the king's mouth, they covered Haman's face. Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs attending the king, said, "A gallows seventy-five feet high stands by Haman's house. He had it made for Mordecai, who spoke up to help the king." The king said, "Hang him on it!" So they hanged Haman on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the king's fury subsided.

Such a series of bad decisions comes to light in these verses. In an instant, Haman realizes that he will be killed. The king leaves, he could've immediately ordered him to be killed, but he doesn't - he leaves. Perhaps he was wanting to think it over - to not do anything rash - to count to ten, if you will. Maybe the king, because of his feelings for Haman, wanted to not be so hasty as he was with Vashti. This may or may not be true, but when he walks back in to the dining room any hope Haman may have had for grace - was dashed because, again, he had made a bad decision.

Haman was begging the queen for his life. How awkward was this for Esther? This man whom she has only had dinner with once before, sitting at her feet. We are not told anything more than that his intentions were to save his neck, but I'm sure that's not what it looked like when the king walks back in and sees Haman all over his queen. If any anger had subsided with the fresh air, this was sure to double it.

The guards then took him away - what I find fascinating here is that - First, the guard who takes Haman away is aware of the gallows that Haman had built only a day before. It's not like there were paparazzi taking pictures and putting them in newspapers every morning - how did THIS guard come by THIS information... Second, how bold was this guard to offer this information to the king - how did he know it would be relevant for this situation. Wasn't the guard at all afraid that to speak to the king, especially during his fury, might be risking his own neck?

So all this irony comes to light at the end of chapter 7, Haman is killed on the gallows he made for Mordecai. The question is, towards the end, all these decisions sort of snowball and the end comes so quickly. Would there have been a moment when Haman could have turned it around? Sometimes we do the same thing - we make a few bad decisions, then all of a sudden our world seems to go spiraling out of control - how do we stop it? Is there a place where we could have made a change before our life got so off track? Absolutely. When Haman when back home after walking Mordecai around town, and got the advice from his wife and friends that he shouldn't be messing with the jews - he could've torn down the gallows - then at the first start of dinner he could've apologized to the king and told the story there. Too much pride. How do we do it in our own lives? Humble ourselves, admit we are wrong, and apologize to the King. Doing the right thing is never easy - but the end results are always amazing.

0 wonderful insights: