Ester has been saving up her answer to the king’s question for two days. It is time for the big reveal. One that will rock both men’s worlds!
Ester’s second feast is ready. The king is ready to go into it and finally find out what Ester’s request is. He has been waiting for two days. Haman is occupied at home with predictions of failure after his debacle with Mordecai where instead of being granted permission to hang him he is made to honor him throughout the streets of Susa. The dinner bell is ringing! Let’s join our story as it continues to unfold.
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“What should I do” pleads Haman to his advisors. “If I simply wait for the appointed day, Mordecai will fall with the rest of the Jews.”
“I don’t know. But…” replies his wife.
A pounding on the door stops the conversation. Haman hurries to open it and sees two of the king’s eunuchs standing there. His face goes white with fear. Haman quickly swallows his fear before speaking. “What news do you bring?”
“It is time for the feast the queen has prepared. You are to come in all haste.”
Haman breathes a sigh of relief. “Of course.” With a quick glance back at those filling his house he hurries with the eunuchs to the palace. “At least something is going right today” he thinks as they make their way through the streets.
The king is waiting when Haman arrives. Haman bows low before him and apologizes for his tardiness. “Please forgive me my lord, for I was detained by urgent matters.”
The king waves his apology away. “Let us not keep the queen waiting any longer.”
Ester honors the two men again by personally serving them from the sumptuous dishes set before them. The meat is roasted goat, seasoned to perfection by Ester’s own hand. Mordecai taught her well how to cook before she was taken for the king’s haram. There are three different breads presented, each a special recipe of her people. Dates, figs, plump grapes, and nuts fill bowls in the center of the table. Leaks and a bed of fresh greens complete the offerings for the meal. The wine is the finest vintage available. A table truly fit for a king. Ester keeps the plates full and the cups filled.
The king is beyond satisfied with the meal AND his hostess. He reclines back on his couch as Ester clears away his dishes and refills his cup again. “You my queen have outdone yourself. But it is time you gave me your answer. ‘What is your wish, Queen Ester? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled’ (verse 2b).”
Ester has been preparing for this moment for the last five days. Three of them in prayer and fasting and the last two in winning the king’s utmost favor. Ester kneels before Ahasuerus before speaking. With her head bowed slightly to show her humility she presents her request. The request meant to save her people from utter destruction.
“If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be granted me for my wish, and my people for my request…” Ester raises her eyes to meet the king’s. He clearly sees the anguish in her face. Ester clutches her hands to her chest as she continues. “…For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated…” Ester releases her hands and spreads them wide as she continues. “…If we had been sold merely as slaves, men and women, I would have been silent…” She drops her hands into her lap, “…for our affliction is not to be compared with the loss to the king” (verses 3-4). Ester drops her head and waits the king’s answer.
She doesn’t have to wait more than a beats of her heart before Ahasuerus responds with outrage.
“Who is he, and where is he, who has dared to do this?” (verse 5).
The moment Ester has been waiting for. She raises her eyes and locks onto Ahasuerus’. “A foe and enemy!…” She raises her trembling hand and points, “…This wicked Haman!” (verse 6).
All the blood drains from Haman’s face as the realization hits him. Queen Ester is a Jew! He knows in an instant that his life hangs by a thread and he feels the scissors poised to make that final cut.
(to be continued)
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Talk about a life changing moment! One minute Haman is enjoying all the honor Ester can bestow and the next, her words have him dangling over the abyss. If Haman had known Ester was a Jew would it have changed anything he did? Would he have excused Mordecai’s behavior? If he knew that Ester and Mordecai were related would he have bowed down to Mordecai instead? The servants in the palace knew the two were connected. Did they know they were related too? They certainly didn’t bring this information to Haman when they questioned his take on Mordecai not bowing to him. I have a feeling that Haman’s hatred wouldn’t have included the whole race if he had known Ester’s heritage. He might still have hated Mordecai but he would NOT have orchestrated genocide knowing the queen would be caught up in it.
Haman took the actions of ONE person and condemned a whole race for it. He didn’t even go to Mordecai and inquire as to why he refused to bow to him. Do we do this? Actually, this is the very definition of racism. Taking the actions of one person and applying them globally to their entire race. Expecting everyone of that race to behave in the same manner and condemning them for it without even trying to understand the motivation behind the behavior. Mordecai had his reasons for not bowing down to men, and Haman would never know them.
It’s time to listen! Look behind the ‘behaviors’ that are different from yours. Get to know the person as an individual, not just a skin tone or race label. Yes, there are some behaviors that seem to be common to some cultures but people are MORE than just the race they were borne into. We are each unique individuals and worthy of being known for ourselves.
Father God, thank You for showing me where this applies in my life too. I was having trouble thinking of a time I may have acted like Haman, anger with one person spilling over onto others. I try HARD not to judge people and to find reasons behind their actions. I also work hard at treating people as individuals but I am NOT perfect. I’m certain I have acted this way at some point and I want to repent for it. Help me live with love instead of looking for opportunities to hate. Let me show love; Your love.