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Legends and Lessons

Legends and Lessons – Reversal of Fortune (Esther 8:2)

Today’s Reading: Esther 8-10

Today’s Reflection: Esther 8:2

And the king took off his signet ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.

Subject:  Haman

Background:  Haman the Agagite had been promoted to chief of all King Ahasuerus’ officials, basically making him the second most powerful person in the Persian empire, at that time the most powerful kingdom on earth.  But the only trait Haman possessed in greater capacity than ambition was pride.  When the king asked Haman, ‘what should be done for the man whom the king delights to honour?’ he assumed the king must be speaking of him, so on the spot Haman devised the most lavish ceremony possible to honour himself (Esther 6:6-11).  Perhaps Haman’s ruthlessness was even greater than his pride.  When Mordecai refused to bow before him, not only did Haman want to kill him but the entire Jewish people (Esther 3:1-6).  But for Haman, he had a special set of gallows created for his public hanging (Esther 5:14).

The turn:  The first sign that Haman’s pride and ruthlessness were turning against him came when he realized that the man the King wanted to honour wasn’t Haman.  It was actually Mordecai, who had long before foiled a plot to kill the king but never been properly rewarded for his service.  The second was when Haman realized his plot to destroy the Jews would also ensnare the king’s beloved wife and queen, Esther.  When his attempt to plea for her mercy was misinterpreted as an attempt to attack her, the king immediately had Haman put to death, hung on the same gallows he had built for Mordecai (Esther 7:7-10).  In the end, Mordecai was given authority over the House of Haman, quickly advancing him to a top role in the king’s court.

Lesson:  In short, do not mess with God’s people.  The death Haman planned for Mordecai ended up becoming his own.  The honour Haman desired for himself ended up going to Mordecai.  God has a habit of bringing about such reversals of fortune where his children are concerned (like Daniel, who’s enemies conspired to have him thrown into the lion’s den but ended up being consumed by those same lions while Daniel walked away unscathed in Daniel chapter 6).  So when you find someone has targeted you for your faith in God, don’t try to take matters into your hands (Romans 12:19).  Patiently and prayerfully wait on the Lord.  God may well be working around to delivering to your enemy the same fate he intends for you.

Romans 12:19 – Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

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