A Bad Day for Haman Becomes a Great Day for the Jews
JULY 22 - Nº 203 Esther 6:12 – 10:3
After parading his most hated enemy through the streets of Susa and declaring how great he was, Haman rushed home. He had been humiliated! When his friends heard what had happened, they realized that Haman didn’t stand a chance. Obviously, Israel’s God was on Mordecai’s side. Before they could come up with a plan to help their friend, the king’s servants arrived to escort Haman to Esther’s second banquet. After they had eaten, King Xerxes asked Esther one more time what she would like him to do for her. Esther knew that she had to speak up now or never.
“Your Majesty, if it is okay with you, would you please grant me my life and spare my people,” she pleaded. “If you don’t do something, my people and I will be annihilated!” King Xerxes was shocked and irate! “Who would do such a thing to you?” he demanded. Esther turned and pointed at Haman. “Our enemy is this wicked man!” she blurted out. The king was so upset that he couldn’t speak! Up until then he had not known the details of the proclamation Haman had issued, nor had he known that his wife was one of the people Haman was trying to eradicate (see #201 - July 20). He got up and walked into the garden so he could think things through. Haman was terrified. He ran over and fell down next to Esther and pleaded for his life. When the king walked back into the room, he saw Haman lying next to the queen. He shouted, “Are you going to molest the queen, too!” Servants rushed over and grabbed the wicked man. One of them informed the king that Haman had just erected a pole near his house and that he planned to use it to impale Mordecai, the man who had saved the king’s life. “Use it to impale Haman instead!” the king demanded. Haman died on the same pole he had erected for Mordecai. King Xerxes was surprised to learn that Mordecai was related to Queen Esther. He was happy to bring Esther’s cousin into the palace. He assigned him Haman’s former position and gave him everything that had been in Haman’s estate. Mordecai became the highest-ranking official in the government—second only to the king. Esther went before King Xerxes once more. She begged him to put an end to Haman’s evil edict. But it was illegal, and therefore impossible, to revoke the official law that Haman had made in the king’s name. So, Xerxes gave Mordecai the power to write a new one. It granted the Jews in every city the right to defend themselves. They could destroy, kill, and annihilate anyone who tried to attack them. Couriers were sent all over the kingdom to deliver the new edict. When they read it, the Jewish people rejoiced. Many of the citizens of Persia decided to become Jewish because they feared what the Jews might do to them. On the day that had been set for the slaughter, even the government officials were ready to defend Esther’s people. Anyone who dared to attack the Jews was killed. That day and the next, all their enemies were destroyed. The Jewish people gathered in their cities for a feast that became an annual festival known as the Feast of Purim.
The willingness of Mordecai and Esther to stand up for their God and their people impacted the history of the Jewish nation forever. Is God asking you to do something selfless and brave to help someone else? You never know the significance such a decision could have or how many lives it might impact!