Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: WIN (02/14/19)
TITLE: HAMAN'S BATTLE
By Jude Harris
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Mordecai stood erect, refusing to bow before him. Haman clenched his fist and glared, then turned and left. He marched down the street, swinging his arms, scattering women and children from his path. He'd find comfort at home where his friends sat at his table, waiting to celebrate his good fortune.
The first time he’d noticed this man’s defiance, he bristled. “What is this foolery? Am I not the greatest, save the king? Don't all worship me? He will NOT win this battle!”
Then it was told him, “He is a Jew.”
“A Jew who thinks he is above our law?” he asked.
Day after day, Mordecai refused to bow. Haman’s temper burned until it filled every corner of his soul. The flames of anger soared higher and higher consuming him until only something great could extinguish his inferno. The lot was cast. The day was chosen. His plan was set in motion. Annihilating Mordecai’s entire race, not merely him, seemed only logical.
But today, when coming from the queen’s quarters in such great spirits, this rat seemed intolerable. The day of the great punishment was too far away. He needed retribution NOW!
At home, his friends met him with cheers. “Here! Here! Great Haman!” they shouted. “Tell us!” they cried. “Tell us about the queen!”
Haman gloated. “She is as beautiful as you hear, but more! And only I, with the king, sat at her fine table!”
He waved his arms across the room. “Look around you! My land, my home, my many sons. Am I not the most powerful man, save the king?” Cheers erupted in the room.
“But!” he cried, slamming his fist on the table, tipping over two goblets, spilling wine. “This evening, after dining with the queen, I had to face such defiance from that rat, Mordecai! I cannot enjoy my good fortune, until he who mocks me, is finished!
The room hushed. Then Zeresh, Haman’s wife, leaned over and whispered in his ear.
“See here! My cunning wife has the winning solution!” he shouted.
That night, Haman watched from his bedroom window as the men pounded nails into the gallows, the thud of the hammers sounding through the night air.
“Tomorrow this time, Mordecai will hang,” he told his wife.
Before dawn, Haman rushed to the palace seeking permission to hang his foe. But before he could speak, the king called out.
“Haman! What should be done for the man the king delights to honor?”
Haman’s self-importance reigned again. Thinking who else but himself would he want to honor, he described to the king an elaborate plan, seeing himself all the while.
“Oh, King! Nothing but the royal robes, the crown, and someone to herald that this is the man who the king delights to honor!”
“Yes! Bring in Mordecai and do exactly as you’ve described!” the king exclaimed.
Haman's face turned to chalk, his hands trembled. Rather than watch his nemesis hang he would be leading him through the streets and heralding that his was the man the king delights to honor!
Within hours, the river of truth twisted and turned, tumbling over Haman’s deeds and washing out his wicked soul. That evening Haman’s body, not Mordecai’s, hung limply from the gallows. 'Twas but his own importance that had hung him there and all that self-importance vanished with him into the dark, night air.
Philippians 2:3 ESV Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
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