Just like the leaves change suddenly in autumn, Haman’s luck suddenly changed from good to bad. Late to the banquet with King Xerxes and Queen Esther, Haman was already a bit stressed out. He sat down at the table, nervously curious about the Queen’s request. But the feast continued the next day, and still neither Haman nor King Xerxes knew what Queen Esther’s purpose for the banquet was. On the second day, once they had finished eating, King Xerxes broke the question.
“What is your wish, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.”
The words that came out of Esther’s mouth made Haman feel like crawling into snake’s hole and never coming out again.
“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. For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. If we had been sold merely as slaves, men and women, I would have been silent, for our affliction is not to be compared with the loss to the king.”
King Xerxes still had no idea who Esther was talking about, but Haman knew very well, and was shocked to find out that Esther was a Jew! King Xerxes roared with anger!
“Who is he, and where is he, who has dared to do this?”
“A foe and enemy! This wicked Haman!”
Haman was terrified, the author writes, and rightfully so. As Xerxes stepped out to get some fresh air and decide what to do next, Haman fell onto the bed with Esther, probably pleading for his life. Xerxes stepped in to see this move, and that was the last straw for him. Harbona, one of the king’s servants, mentioned the gallows that Haman had built for Mordecai. “Hang him on that!” the king shouted. And that was the end of Haman, but not the end of the threat to the Jewish nation.
Do you have Esther’s courage to stand up when others are being mistreated, to step up and speak up when injustice is taking place? Are you bold enough to stand firm in your beliefs, or do you compromise when the issues are unclear, like Xerxes? Are you persecuting people like Haman, perhaps unintentionally, and destroying people that God loves, even verbally?
Let’s ask God to give us the courage to do what’s right—the courage to stand!