Honoured With Enemy’s Hands

Esther 6:1-14

Just a night before Mordecai‘s execution at the gallows, the king could not sleep, and asked that the book of the chronicles be brought out and read. When he heard the part that told of how Mordecai revealed a murder plot against him, he asked what reward had been given to Mordecai for this. The answer was none!

While the king was still considering, Haman came to the court and the king sent for him, asking him what he thought should be done to the man the king wishes to honour. Haman thought to himself that surely there would be no other to be honoured than him, so he made a very bold request for a robe worn by the king, and a horse ridden with a royal crest to be given to the man.Furthermore, such man should such adorned, put on the horse and be paraded all around the city by of the king’s noble men, proclaiming that thus shall be done to the man the king delights to honour.

I can imagine the look on Haman’s face when the king commanded him to quickly do exactly that for Mordecai – his arch enemy. He could not refuse the king’s order, so he obliged in shame. At the end, he went home mourning and sorrowfully, while Mordecai returned to the king’s gates.

God is the one that prepares a table in the presence of our enemies. He turned the plot of the enemy against him, and cause honour to come from a very unlikely hand, that of the enemy’s. All this happened at the darkest moment when the Jews were still awaiting what would be their outcome based on Haman’s evil plot to annihilate them. Surely Mordecai needed no more further proof that God had already taken charge of the situation, and rather than prevail, their enemy would surely bow before them.

Some verses to remember

11 Then took Haman the apparel and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and brought him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaimed before him, Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour.

 

The Banquet and The Gallows

Esther 5:1-14

Three days ahead, and it was time for Esther to approach the king. So, she put on her royal garments and went to the inner courts. When the king saw her afar, he favoured her and held out his golden sceptre. So Esther was able to go to the king without being put to death. Beyond this, the king even asked her what she wanted, and promised to give even up to half of his kingdom – what a favour! Esther however told him, she would love to have him and Haman at a banquet she would be preparing for them.

So, the king sent for Haman, and they both went in the evening for a wine banquet with Esther. The king then probed further for what Esther wanted, but she delayed and requested that the king and Haman return the next day for another banquet, and then she would make her request! The king obliged her this request.

Is it not surprising how God‘s favour works. We should remember that before now, Esther had not seen the king for up to thirty days, but she now had appointments with him for three times within the spate of two days. Prayer goes and works where wits would dare not!

Haman then left the palace feeling glad at being specially invited by the queen to banquet with the king, but when he saw Mordecai at the gates, his countenance dropped because the “stubborn Jew” would still not bow to him or show any sense of fear, despite pending death threats to his whole people. So when Haman got home, he called his family and friends, and boasted about his achievements and status, his invitation to dine with the king and queen alone, but also his frustration at Mordecai’s stubbornness. So the advised him to build gallows and request from the king that Mordecai be hung there on, then he could proceed to his banquet later on in the evening happily. This pleased him, and the stage was set for the next day!

Everything is happening so fast, you wonder where it would all lead to! Come along!

Some verses to remember

2-3:  And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre. Then said the king unto her, What wilt thou, queen Esther? and what is thy request? it shall be even given thee to the half of the kingdom.

14:  Then said Zeresh his wife and all his friends unto him, Let a gallows be made of fifty cubits high, and to morrow speak thou unto the king that Mordecai may be hanged thereon: then go thou in merrily with the king unto the banquet. And the thing pleased Haman; and he caused the gallows to be made.

 

Nehemiah’s Prayer

Nehemiah 1:1-11

As we concluded the book of Ezra yesterday, we moved on to another leader who showed great love and concern for the wellbeing of his country and its people. Nehemiah was a cupbearer for Artaxerxes in Shushan palace, but when he heard that those who were left of the captivity were in great affliction, and the walls of Jerusalem broken down, he broke down and wept for days, fasting and praying before God.

Nehemiah, in similar fashion like Ezra, made the sin of the people his own sin. He prayed before God for forgiveness and mercy, reminding God of his promise for restoration. He knew their plight was due to their sin, but he also remembered that God promised that if they repented, they would be restored.

As the first chapter closes, Nehemiah prayed for favour before the king, as he would need the king’s permission if he were to leave his role in the palace to attend to the problems in his home country. What happens next? We will soon discover.

Some verses to remember

4  And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven.