Esther 6 Thursday, March 18, 2010
You’ve probably seen the popular poster that reads: “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”
If anybody had said that to Haman as he left home early in the morning and hurried to the palace, they would have been wrong. They should have said, “Haman, today is the last day of your life!”
11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
6:1-3. During the night before Esther’s second banquet, Xerxes was unable to sleep (cf. Dan. 6:18). Because of the king’s sleeplessness he asked for some of the chronicles (court annals; cf. 2:23) to be read to him. Sometimes, as is known by many people with insomnia, reading can help put a person to sleep! Through Xerxes’ insomnia God caused him to learn about Mordecai’s deed. Of all the texts that could have been selected by the librarian (from the records of Xerxes’ 12 years of rule up to that time), the one that contained the account of Mordecai’s uncovering the assassination plot (2:21-23) was read to the king.
When Xerxes asked what honor Mordecai had been given for saving the king’s life (about five years before; cf. Es. 2:16 with 3:7), the king found that he had not been rewarded. Undoubtedly a bureaucratic oversight had occurred. However, if Mordecai had been immediately rewarded for his saving the king there would have been no need for the elaborate plan which would soon be carried out by the king through the mouth of Haman (6:6-10). Once again unusual circumstances worked to preserve God’s people. God wanted the king to stay awake because He had something to tell him.
When Haman was ushered into the king’s presence, he must have felt honored. And when the king asked . . . What should be done for the man the king delights to honor? the egotistical Haman was beside himself with joy and enthusiasm. He thought that the king was speaking about him.
8 Let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which is set upon his head:
Persians were a people who believed strongly in signs and meanings i.e. when men of Athens Greece came to ask help against the Spartans the Persian leader “Darius” asked them to bring him dirt and water from Athens they did not knowing that stood for the Persians were claiming the country of Greece as now being part of the Persian government!
This sign sitting on the kings’ horse and wearing his robe showed importance and that he would have a part in the Kingdom “perhaps claim to the throne someday!”
The Persians were a very superstitious people, and the advisers saw in the events of the day a “bad omen” for Haman’s future. Perhaps they were also familiar with God’s covenant with Abraham (Gen. 12:1–3), or maybe they just knew Jewish history. At any rate, they saw Haman falling from his place of prominence; and this dire prediction should have brought him to the place of humility and repentance.
While Haman was discussing his misfortunes with his wife and advisers, the king’s eunuchs arrived at the door to escort Haman to the queen’s banquet. He had planned to go “merrily” to the feast, with Mordecai safely out of the way (5:14); but now everything had changed.
What would happen next? And what was the mysterious petition that Queen Esther would reveal at the banquet?