Revelation 14; Esther 5:1-6:13; Psalm 106:24-48
What’s it like to sit on top of the world? Have you ever wondered that? Have you ever experienced that? Haman felt that way. Xerxes had honored Haman’s request to exterminate the Jews. He had just been honored by the Queen, or so he thought. There was just one little problem: Mordecai. That Jewish interloper wouldn’t pay him homage. And so, he hatched a scheme to get rid of Mordecai – having no idea that Mordecai not only was due honor but that he was Esther’s cousin.
He built an amazingly tall gallows – presumably so everyone could see his triumph and that no one would ever cross him again. Then, as he entered the king’s presence to ask permission to hang Haman, the king posed a question that Haman thought meant to honor him. “How should I honor someone who deserves it?” Haman responded with how he thought he should be honored.
What Haman didn’t know was that the king had been reading the night before and realized that not only that Mordecai had saved his life, but that he had never been honored for it. These words shocked Haman. “’Go at once,’ the king commanded Haman. ‘Get the robe and the horse and do just as you have suggested for Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the king’s gate. Do not neglect anything you have recommended.’” (Esther 6:10)
What happens when your world crashes in? Haman must have asked himself that question all the time he was leading a horse through the street with Mordecai seated on it while proclaiming, “This is what the king does to honor a man who deserves honor.” Haman’s world crumbled because of the hatred in his heart, not only for Mordecai, but also for the Jews. When our success is fueled by or infected by hatred, we are headed for a quick fall. Check your heart: do you harbor hatred for anyone or any group of people? Remember that anyone you hate is a person for whom Jesus died. How can we end that hate and find ways to show them the redemption of Christ and the love of God?
Lord, I see those who abuse Your people and I am tempted to hate them. But I remember that You died for them, and forgave them. Help me to respond to abuse and persecution with Your love and draw people to You.