Because of his intense hatred for Mordecai, Haman has manipulated King Xerxes into passing a law that sentences every Jew in Persia to death. Esther is trying to persuade the King to change his mind. As we pick up the story, Esther has just invited Xerxes and Haman to attend a banquet she’s planning just for them. That made Haman feel pretty special.
Esther 5:9 “Haman went out that day happy and in high spirits. But when he saw Mordecai at the king’s gate and observed that he neither rose nor showed fear in his presence, he was filled with rage against Mordecai.”
Mordecai would not bow down to Haman. He was not afraid of Haman like everyone else in the kingdom. Mordecai knew the truth about Haman’s schemes and motives. One minute Haman is “in high spirits” and the next he’s “filled with rage against Mordecai.” It’s just like someone flipped a switch.
Any joy or pleasure the devil may be promising us is purely temporary. Any pleasure, any high we may get from sin slips away very quickly. One minute we’re feeling high; on top of the world; in full control; invincible and the next we’re either filled with rage or filled with guilt and shame or filled with hopelessness and despair. The pleasure is gone but the pain lingers on. Sin only produces a moment of pleasure, but it creates a lifetime of regret.
Esther 5:10a “Nevertheless, Haman restrained himself and went home.”
Haman wanted to kill Mordecai there and then, but he decided to stick to his original plan of killing all the Jews on a day that had already been set up.
Esther 5:10b-12 “Calling together his friends and his wife…Haman boasted to them about his vast wealth, his many sons, and all the ways the king had honored him and how he had elevated him above the other nobles and officials. ‘And that’s not all,’ Haman added, ‘I’m the only person Queen Esther invited to accompany the king to the banquet she gave. And she has invited me along with the king tomorrow.’”
Remember, when we see Haman, we think of Satan, the enemy of Jesus, the true King. Satan is the one who wants to rule the world and be the king; the one who wants to be worshipped and feared by everyone in the kingdom.
Haman was boasting about his enormous wealth; his many sons; about being honored by the king and been elevated above all the nobles and officials. He brags about being the only one, other than the king, who’s been invited to Esther’s banquet.
“My vast wealth…my many sons…the many ways I have been honored and exalted. I’m the only one Queen Esther has invited.” I, Me, My – That’s the heart and definition of sin and the Bible says we all have it.
The spirit that lives in Haman lives in all of us and it makes us believe we’re the center of our world. It turns us into enemies of God. It’s called our carnal nature, our sinful, human nature. It’s a boastful spirit; a self-centered, arrogant pride that demands attention and constantly needs feeding, pampering and stroking. But look what happens when we allow our sinful, human nature to control our lives.
Esther 5:13 “’But all this gives me no satisfaction as long as I see that Jew Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate.’”
I’ve done it all and I have it all; a lot of money; a great job; a nice family. People respect and fear me. But I’m still not content. I’m still not complete. I’m still empty. Something is still missing. Mick Jagger said it best when he said, “I’ve tried and I’ve tried and I’ve tried and I’ve tried; but I can’t get no…satisfaction.” I still can’t find peace. When I accomplished all my goals and came to the end, there was nothing there.
Satan is the ultimate sinner and no one is more unsatisfied than he is. The devil’s trying to grab it all. But he is not; he cannot and he never will be satisfied and neither will we if we keep believing his lies.
Esther 5:14a “His wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, ‘Have a gallows built, seventy-five feet high, and ask the king in the morning to have Mordecai hanged on it.’”
There, at his home, Haman, his wife and his family design a diabolical plan, not just to kill Mordecai, but to humiliate and publicly disgrace him as well; a plan to frighten and terrorize his followers and cause the rest of the world to hate them.
Hang him on a gallows. Not with a rope like they did in those old western movies. Take him up on a hill were everybody can see him and impale his body on a seventy-five foot stake. That’s the kind of “gallows” they used in ancient Persia. This is what will be done to the one Haman delights to disgrace. Have Mordecai’s body impaled on a stake and convince the king he’s doing the world a favor.
In his home, a place we lovingly like to refer to as “the pit of hell;” Satan and his family; the devil and his angels, drafted their diabolical plan, not just to defeat and kill Jesus, but to humiliate and disgrace Him as well; a plan to terrorize His disciples and cause the rest of the world to hate them.
Hang Him on a gallows. Take Him up on a hill where everyone can see Him, nail Him to a cross and let Him hang there until He’s dead. Take my word for it. Trust me. You’ll be doing the world a favor.
Esther 5:14b “’Then go with the king to the dinner and be happy.’ His suggestion delighted Haman, and he had the gallows built.”
Haman is happy again and his plan is put into motion. Lord willing we’ll go on from here next Tuesday. Thanks for being in God’s Word with Pastor Buj.