Because of his hatred for Mordecai the Jew, who refused to bow down to him, Haman tricked the King into signing a decree to kill every Jew in the kingdom. When Mordecai found out, he asked Queen Esther to plead with the King. But Esther didn’t rush things. She invited the King and Haman to a private banquet. This made Haman even more puffed up.
Calling together his friends and Zeresh, 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.” (Esther 5:10-12)
A lot can happen overnight. The King couldn’t sleep that night so he called for the chronicles of his reign to be read to him (maybe they were so boring they would make him sleepy!). He found something in there about Mordecai. Next morning, Haman was at court early.
When Haman entered, the king asked him, “What should be done for the man the king delights to honor?” Now Haman thought to himself, “Who is there that the king would rather honor than me?” (Esther 6:6)
But the King wasn’t thinking of Haman, he was thinking of Mordecai. All the wonderful things Haman suggested, thinking they would come to him, went to Mordecai. Not only did Haman have to see Mordecai honoured, but as the King’s chief advisor, he had to perform the honouring!
Jesus taught humility, to think of yourself less than others and allow others to raise you up if they want to. Don’t seek honour, then you won’t be disappointed.
When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’
Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’
Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 14:8-11)
[Bible Illustrations by Sweet Media]
Ann Marie Thomas is the author of three medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, is out now. Find out more on www.annmariethomas.me.uk