Haman’s Evil Plot
JULY 20 - Nº 201 Esther 2:19 – 4:17
Every day Esther’s uncle Mordecai sat at the King’s gate with the decision makers and men of influence. One day he overheard two of King Xerxes’ officers conspiring to assassinate him. He immediately sent word of the plot to Queen Esther, who in turn reported it to the king. When the king investigated and found that Mordecai was telling the truth, the officers were put to death. The details of the incident were recorded in the king’s chronicles. Not long after this, a man named Haman was promoted. He became the highest-ranking officer in the empire. Everyone was ordered to bow down to him when he walked by. However, Mordecai refused to honor Haman in this way. The explanation he gave for his actions was that he was Jewish. Perhaps he knew that Haman was a descendant of Agag, the king of the Amalekites, and that the Amalekites had dishonored the Jews since the time of Moses (see #47 - February 16). Or perhaps it was because he did not want to bow down to anyone other than God. Regardless, when Mordecai’s disobedience was pointed out to Haman, the powerful official was filled with rage. He schemed and came up with a plot to kill all the Jews in Persia. Then he went to see the king. Haman informed Xerxes, “There are people in the empire who separate themselves from everyone else. They do not obey your laws because they have their own. They will undermine your leadership if we don’t get rid of them. I would be happy to come up with a plan to annihilate them. As a matter of fact, I am willing to pay for the operation myself.” The king was impressed with Haman’s allegiance to the kingdom, so he gave him permission to create an official plan and issue a royal decree. The decree was posted all over Persia stating the exact date that all the Jews were to be exterminated. When Mordecai learned about this, he tore his clothes. He put on sackcloth, covered himself with ashes, and went into the city wailing loudly. When Esther’s attendants informed her that Mordecai was mourning outside the city gate, she sent a servant to find out what was wrong. Mordecai explained Haman’s plot. Then he gave the servant a copy of the decree and told him to show it to the queen. He instructed the servant to ask Esther to go before the king and beg him to have mercy on her people. Esther sent the following message back to Mordecai: “No one is allowed to go before the king without an invitation. Those who do are put to death—unless he points the golden scepter toward them granting them special permission. But it has been 30 days since the king even talked to me.” Mordecai replied: “Don’t assume that you will escape just because you live in the palace. If you don’t help, God will save His people another way, but you will still die. I believe this is the reason you were given this royal position!” Esther then responded: “Tell all the Jews in Susa to fast for three days. They are not to eat or drink anything. My servants and I will do the same. Then I will go stand before the king even though it is against the law. And—if I die, I die!”
God was working in Esther’s life long before she knew it. The poor, orphaned, Jewish girl wasn’t crowned the Queen of Persia for her own glory. God had a far greater purpose in giving her that position—she was to save the Jewish nation! But fulfilling God’s purpose took commitment. Esther had to be willing to put her life on the line.