Haman was what they call in the world, a ‘big shot’ during the days of King Xerxes written about in the Old Testament book of Esther. He was the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, and was elevated to the highest seat of nobles. (Esther 3:1, New International Version.) Later, he was to be elevated in a much different manner.
“All the royal officials at the king’s gate knelt down and paid honor to Haman, for the king had commanded this concerning him.” (Es 3:2.) When the royal officials reported to Haman that there was one man who refused to kneel before him or pay him honor-Mordecai, he became obsessed to the point of revenge against him that extended to the entire Jewish nation.
“But all this gives me no satisfaction as long as I see that Jew Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate.” -Esther 5:13, NIV.
Mordecai, you may recall, was the relative of Esther who had been asked into the King’s court. His concern for Esther led him to stay at the gate of Xerxes to keep track of her progress. While Haman was there, he happened to come upon a conspiracy against Xerxes and reported this information to save the king from harm.
Despite having saved the king, Mordecai and the entire Jewish nation came under severe scrutiny as Haman plotted to destroy them. In fact, Haman came before the king under the pretense of service with the following plan:
“8 There is a certain people dispersed and scattered among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom whose customs are different from those of all other people and who do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them. 9 If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them…” (Es. 3:8-9.)
Haman was so certain of the impending doom of the Jewish people and in particular, Mordecai, that Es. 5:14 reports that he built a gallows that was seventy-five feet high specifically for him.
Esther was made aware of the plight of the Jews and called for fasting, prayer and faithfulness on the part of her servants, relatives and all the Jews in Susa. (Es. 4: 16.) The Spirit worked through the heart of the king to the point where he could not sleep and was led to ask for the book of chronicles (Es. 6.) where he discovers that Mordecai was not properly honored for saving him from the plot against him. So, he sets out to make right this wrong and wants to find a court member to carry out the honor. As it so happens, Haman was standing in the court to ask that Mordecai be hanged and instead, is asked for a way to honor him on behalf of the king. Haman is then asked to take Mordecai before the people in great honor and realizes that his plot to destroy the nation of the Jews will become his ruin.
During this time, Esther risks her life and honors the king while she brings forth Haman’s plot against the Jewish nation. Eventually, Es. 7:9 reports that the gallows made for Mordecai was used on Haman.
“…A gallows seventy-five feet high stands by Haman’s house. He had it made for Mordecai, who spoke up to help the king.”
Finally, Haman’s family line ended with horrible finality but the Jewish nation lived on.
What questions can we ask ourselves in an effort to learn from Haman’s great loss? How can we de’Haman’ize our own walk with the real King-Jesus Christ? Perhaps these questions might help get the process moving forward.
1.) As God’s people, how do we rectify honoring authority on earth with following His call? After all, if Vashti honored Xerxes and came to him when she was called, would Esther have been able to find a place in the King’s court and be in a position to save her people? (Es. 1).
2.) How can we honor the earthly king even when we do not bow to one of his nobles? (Es. 2:19-23.)
3.) Are we consumed with punishing those who do not honor our worldly position? (Es. 3).
4.) Do we gather our friends and family in prayer and fasting to ask the Lord what our course of action should be (Es. 4:16), or do we rely on them to help us plot personal revenge? (Es. 5:14.) Are we dying on gallows built by our own hands?
5.) What is the primary difference between why Haman and Mordecai came to the king’s gate?
6.) Have we fallen into the trap of expecting others to worship us (Es. 5:6) instead of worshipping the King? (Ex. 20.3).
7.) What is the origin of the Jewish celebration called Purim? (Es. 9:19-32).
8.) Does the story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-41) compare to Mordecai’s role of sitting at the king’s gate? Can you find similarities between Mordecai and Mary? Martha and Haman?
9.) What does it mean as a Christian to sit at the feet of Jesus?
10.) In the end, who became second in rank to Xerxes and why? (Es. 10).
If while reading this you find other questions, please feel free to post them under this topic with my thanks.
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