Still today, Jewish families all over the world celebrate this feast of Purim. They remember the story of Esther. They praise Jehovah for her obedience and boldness, rejoicing that one more time the Jewish nation had been saved from being terminated. But the story does not finish there.
This chapter of Esther is full of blood, fighting and killings worthy of any modern film. Mordecai rose quickly into his responsibilities and his name was known throughout the realm of Xerxes. What we do not see in the verses above is that the Jewish people took no plunder!
Fear of the Jews! Neighbours had seen them praying and weeping, they had heard the wailing of the prayers and the families who thought they were all about to die. What shocked these non-Jews is that the prayers were answered! That meant that maybe, just maybe, their God was real!!
Enough is enough! How is it that the devil who causes the evil in our world, manages to convince people to think that they will get away with the wrong they are doing? Sometimes they do, often for a long time, but eventually the truth comes out and good wins.
The king came back into the room at just the right moment (not for Haman). He saw Haman pleading with Esther for his life. As often happens in moments of high emotions, the king misunderstood the situation. He reacted violently, thinking Esther was being raped, and sealed the fate of Haman.
Do you suppose Esther ate a lot at this banquet? She had been fasting for 3 days, and was probably quite hungry, but also very anxious. Or maybe she had peace of mind because she knew her God would answer her prayers, and would acknowledge the fast of her nation.
What happened was a prophetic act. Haman would be humbled and Mordecai raised to a higher position. It is interesting here that Zeresh, whether she knew it or not was prophesying the downfall of her husband. She also recognised that the Jewish people were blessed and protected by their God.
These verses always make me smile! Can you imagine the shame Haman was feeling as he obeyed the command from his king? His pride had taken a great battering, and he had completely misunderstood the situation. Several verses in the Bible speak into this situation. Pride is still a problem.
There is much in this short story of Esther about honour, but what does it really mean? For Haman, with his twisted self centred mind, it meant public respect, or promotion. I cannot imagine that when Mordecai received this honour, he appreciated it as much as Haman would have done.
Without doubt God was in this story, and the timing of events is amazing. Why could the king not sleep? How come his counsellor read that particular part of history to him? Why was Haman just there at that moment? Because God … is the only answer to these questions.