The king honors Mordecai
Read Part One here.
Read Part Two here.
Have you ever had one of those nights when you toss and turn and finally give in, get up, make a cuppa sleepy time tea, and open a book? I sure have, more than a few times too. Well, this particular night, King Ahaseurus was stirring and sleep just wouldn’t come. He called one of his servants on duty and asked him to get the “book of the records of the chronicles,” and had the servant read to him aloud. (Esther 6.1-3)
Lo and behold the written record of those rascals, Bigthana and Teresh, was read. Do you remember them? They were the two eunuchs at the door who had schemed to kill the king and Mordecai caught wind of it and immediately told Esther and Esther told the king and bam, those two scoundrels were hung at daybreak. Remember? (Esther 2.21-23)
King: “Servant, what type of honor was paid to Mordecai for saving my life?”
The king’s servant replied, “Nothing sir.”
King: “Tell me who is in the outer court this very hour?” [Did he see a shadow or hear someone arrive?]
The kind’s servant replied, “It is Haman my lord.”
King: “Let him come in to me.”
Haman gets his
So Haman enters the inner room and the king asks him a simple question. “What shall be done for the man whom the king delights to honor?” Now, Haman thought the king was talking about him! His reply is priceless:
Oh! lord, let a royal robe be brought which the king has worn and a horse which the king has sat upon, one with the royal crest upon his head. Let the one you wish to be honored be arrayed in these kingly items and then be paraded through the city square and proclaimed, “This is what will happen to any man whom the king wishes to honor!”
The king: “Oh yes! A wonderful idea – go, do all that you said and have Mordecai taken through the city streets and square, all the while YOU proclaim that the king is honoring him!”
Haman did obey the king, much to his chagrin. He took the royally-robed Mordecai through the streets for all the people to see and then Haman ran home, depressed, mourning, with his head covered. He had some words with his wife Zeresh, who belittled him and then the king’s eunuchs came to get Haman to take him to Esther’s house for dinner. (Esther 6.7-14)
Esther’s second banquet
The three of them were enjoying wine and cheese when the king once again asked Esther, “Esther, my darling Queen, what can I do for you? I will give you up to one-half of my kingdom if you should ask.”
Esther, lifts her face and looks the king straight in his eyes, “O king, if I have found favor with you and if it pleases you, please save me and my people from the annihilation that is to come upon us by the sworn testament of one of your own men.”
The king is aghast and replies, “Who for the kingdom’s sake would do such a thing as to kill you and your people, Queen Esther?”
Esther dabs at the corners of her mouth and says, “Why, king, the one who declared this wickedness is your one and only evil Haman.” (Esther 7.1-6)
Haman makes a fool of himself
King Ahaseurus rises from the table with such fire in his eyes and anger in his heart and runs to the palace garden. Haman stays in the banquet with Esther and throws himself across Esther’s couch begging for his life. King Ahaseurus returns to the dining hall and in a fury yells at Haman,
WILL YOU ALSO ASSAULT THE QUEEN WHILE I AM IN THE HOUSE?
The king’s words weren’t even out of his mouth when his servant, Harbonah a eunuch, covered Haman’s face and pointed out the windows at the very same gallows that Haman had built to hang Mordecai from, exclaiming, “Look! Haman wanted Mordecai, the man who spoke good on the king’s behalf, hanged on those gallows.
The king was outraged and shouted, “Hang Haman on it!”
So, they did and when the king saw it, his wrath subsided. (Esther 7.7-10)
Esther saves the Jews
In Esther chapter 8 we learn several important things. Esther has found full favor with King Ahaseurus – with Haman now out of the picture the king gave to Esther “the house of Haman.” This meant his house and family.
Esther told the king that Mordecai and she are related. At this news, the king took off his signet ring and gave it to Mordecai. *Remember* Haman had the signet ring until his death and it was removed when he was hung. Esther appointed Mordecai to be “over” the house of Haman.
Although Haman is dead, the irreversible decree, to kill all the Jews, remains in effect. Once again Esther finds herself before the king, falling at his feet, pleading for mercy.
My king, I beseech you to counteract the evil of Haman and the deadly scheme he devised against the Jews.
The golden sceptor is held out toward Esther – again. Now, Esther stands before the king and says,
If it pleases the king, and if I have found favor in his sight and the thing seems right to the king and I am pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to revoke the letters devised by Haman, the son of Hammerdatha the Agagite, which he wrote to annihilate the Jews who are in all the king’s provinces. For how can I endure to see the evil that will come to MY PEOPLE? Or, how can I endure to see the destruction of my countrymen? (Esther 8.5-6)
The rest of the story
Ahaseurus dealt with the problem by authorizing Mordecai to write a decree, in the king’s name. The decree stated that the Jews could legally fight back if assaulted.
The Jews had nearly nine months to prepare for their defense. When the day of Haman’s decree arrived, they were well prepared to defend and they killed a large number of those who assaulted them.
Esther is rewarded for fearing God (not men), for her intense intercession, and for being willing to sacrifice her own life and defending the unity of her people. A feast was proclaimed in honor of Esther – The Feast of Purim – this commemorative feast lasted two days. It is a happy celebratory feast and includes gift-giving, celebration, and the reading of the entire book of Esther. This feast is celebrated every single year by the Jewish people one month before Passover.
Lessons for us
So, what are our take-away’s from this incredible story of Esther, Mordecai, and the king? I can only speak for myself, so here goes:
- Regardless of political rulers and the powers that be, God is sovereign over all and His will will be done.
- I want to align myself with God and His plans and purposes in my life.
- I would rather see God’s purpose fulfilled in my life then to give way to the pressure to perform (thank you, Steven Furtick).
- CALLING is vitally more important than CLOUT.
- Obedience trumps opportunity, every.single.time.
How about you?
Let me know in the comments something that stands out and resonates with you in the wonderful story of Esther the Queen.