• William T. Howe Ph.D.

May 30, 2021

Daily Reading: Esther 1-5

Esther 3:5

And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath.

As you read the book of Esther keep two things in mind.

One is the importance of the events found in the book. Esther is the last book in a three-book series concerning the Jews return to Jerusalem and the reestablishment of Temple worship. Occurring around 479 to 472 B.C. places this story about thirty years after the Temple was rebuilt (Ezra) and about thirty years before the walls around Jerusalem were rebuilt (Nehemiah). If it were not for Esther, Jerusalem may never have been rebuilt. Also, if it had not been for her, the entire Jewish nation could have been eliminated thereby destroying the Bible and God's promised Messiah.

The second thing one should remember as this book is read is this; hatred. Hatred as seen in the life of a man named Haman is almost unbelievable. His hatred for Mordecai grew so strong that it led to a planned mass murder and total destruction of the man who allowed such hatred to grow. This hatred started in Esther 3:5. After being promoted to a lofty position (being over all the princes) Haman noticed one man who would not bow before him. Mordecai was Jewish and knew that he was to bow down to none other than the Lord God. Mordecai's cousin was Esther, he raised her as his own daughter. Haman hated Mordecai for not bowing down to him.

The hatred grew. On another day, Haman was invited to a banquet with King Ahasuerus and Esther, the queen. But upon seeing Mordecai, Haman's hatred and wrath grew. Then went Haman forth that day joyful and with a glad heart: but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king's gate, that he stood not up, nor moved for him, he was full of indignation against Mordecai. (5:9) At the first this neophyte (Haman) was angered because a man would not bow to him, now he is filled with indignation because that man would not stand for him. Hatred can never be satisfied. No matter what Mordecai did, Haman would have hated him.

Upon returning home, Haman boasted to his wife and friends about his riches, his lofty position, his glory, his advancement, and the banquet Esther was preparing for him. You would think this would be enough, but no. Esther 5:13 states: Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the kings gate. His hatred was invading every aspect of his life. This is the way it is with hate. It grows and grows until it destroys. Which by the end of the book destruction will come. Not of Mordecai, but rather of the one harboring the hate. As the saying goes "haters will hate." For there is no end of hate except through humility, repentance, and prayer. It's a power that grips it's hosts and grows to be all consuming but never satisfied.

Haman's hate led to a decree to kill all Jews in the land. Horrible. But God intervened by using a beautiful lady named Esther.

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