Scripture Focus: Esther 6.12-14
Haman rushed home, with his head covered in grief, and told Zeresh his wife and all his friends everything that had happened to him.
His advisers and his wife Zeresh said to him, “Since Mordecai, before whom your downfall has started, is of Jewish origin, you cannot stand against him—you will surely come to ruin!” While they were still talking with him, the king’s eunuchs arrived and hurried Haman away to the banquet Esther had prepared.
Reflection: With Friends Like These
By John Tillman
It is little wonder that Jews celebrate Purim with melodramas. Haman’s fall is a masterpiece of dramatic ironies. It is too good of a story not to be acted out with some flair.
When the king asks Haman how to honor someone, Haman assumes it is himself, so Haman’s answers are his own desires. Haman wants to wear the king’s clothes, to ride the king’s horse, to sit in power as the king. But in a reversal of Matthew 7:12 Haman must do unto another what he wanted done unto himself. And not just anyone—to Mordecai!
Haman’s friends and family recognize this as a foreshadowing event—a sign that Haman is doomed. They say, “Well, Mordecai’s Jewish so…of course you are going to lose.” If only they had led with this realization…
Haman’s friends and his wife are worse than no help. They helped him get into this situation.
They endorsed his complaining about Mordecai’s refusal to bow. They supported his self-glorifying bragging. They smiled at his name-dropping about dining with Esther and the King. They encouraged him to wield his governmental influence to have Mordecai killed. They advised him to build the towering pole to impale Mordecai on. Then they blame Haman for having a bad idea to go after a Jew in the first place.
When life starts to crash down around us because of our sins and poor choices, the people who helped us get there, won’t be there to help us out. Like the prodigal son, we have to come to our senses alone in our pig sty. Unfortunately, Haman doesn’t get that chance.
All of us are individually responsible for our actions before God. There are no free passes for having bad friends.The company we keep has a huge effect on the decisions we make and the outcome of our lives. Our friends help us to keep sinning or to repent. Our friends help us to nurse our anger, or to forgive slights against us. Our friends help us to entrench ourselves in our opinions, or to open ourselves to be influenced by facts, reason, and the scriptures.
May we choose our friends more wisely than Haman.
May we dive deep into the accountability and grace available to us in relationships founded in the church and in God’s Word.
Divine Hours Prayer: The Morning Psalm
Happy are those who act with justice and always do what is right!
Remember me, O Lord, with the favor you have for your people, and visit me with your saving help… — Psalm 106.3-4
Esther 6 (Listen -2:40)
Romans 1 (Listen -5:56)
Read more about The Mingled Prayers of Exiles
Lord, we pray today as the exiles prayed, with mingled sorrow and joy.
Read more about The Exodus and The ReturnI
n the return from Babylon, freedom comes slowly over generations and is accomplished by faithful obedience.