“Then Haman told them of his great riches, the multitude of his children, everything in which the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the officials and servants of the king.” (Esther 5:11 NKJV)
You just know that things are going to go bad for Haman when you get to this part of the story. OK, perhaps you realized it earlier because he had it out for Mordecai and God’s chosen people, but if you didn’t before, you know it now. In God’s economy, “you don’t count your money when you’re seated at the table.” Hezekiah got that news when he showed the Babylonian officials all of his wealth. Haman went home and bragged to his family and friends about all that he had and how great he was. If his braggadocio attitude wasn’t enough, he was still ungrateful and wanted more because Mordecai was a thorn in his flesh whose very existence made him miserable. Not satisfied with the decree that would put an end to all Jewry, he was egged on by his family and friends to hang Mordecai from the highest tree, even if he had to build it himself.
Haman was a bad actor, no doubt about that. Still, there are some things we can learn from his mistakes. The first is an old biblical principle that pride goes before destruction, and Haman’s story is an amazing example of that truth. Remember how all this started: Haman had been honored before the king and everyone except Mordecai bowed before him. He was so incensed that he got the king to arrange for the destruction of all the Jews. What if Haman had laughed Mordecai’s slight off? What if he had found another way to get back at Mordecai? His pride wouldn’t let him do that – and he suffered in the end. Think about that when someone doesn’t give you the honor you think you deserve. Second, learn to be satisfied when things are good enough. As far as Haman knew, all the Jews would soon be destroyed – why worry about when Mordecai left this earth? In his thirst for vengeance, though, because Mordecai wouldn’t give him the honor he thought he was due, he built his own gallows. There are many people who aren’t satisfied with enough to live on, and they seek more and more. They find out that they’re at the top of the heap, but none of the people who they used to interact with came along, because “success” had changed them so much…and not for the better. Don’t let the search for fame or fortune cause you to lose the people you love.
Lord, Haman is such a great example of how not to act. Remind me of the folly of seeking satisfaction in anything except Your grace.