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Esther 3 – An Old Enemy

Today we pick up in Esther 3. In this chapter we learn more about Haman and his plot to kill the Jews.

The Position of Haman

“After all this took place…” (v.1). Esther was now queen and Mordecai had saved the King’s life. It was a time of peace. The war was over and the King gave Haman “a higher position than all the other officials.” Though he had the highest position in the Kingdom, second only to the King, Haman was an evil man. Today, we may not like all those in authority over us, but the Bible teaches that we are to pray for kings and all those who are in authority. We are to respect the position even if we don’t respect the person.

The Promotion of Haman

Mordecai protected the King. He stopped the assassination attempt. We are to seek the good of the place where we live (Jer. 29:7).Would you seek the good of a bad king or bad boss? Mordecaideserved the promotion, but he didn’t get it. Haman did. How do you respond when someone else gets the promotion you think you deserve? How do you handle someone else getting a new house, new car, or raise when you don’t think they deserve it? God has enough blessings to go around. Exalt yourself and you will be humbled. Humble yourself and you will be exalted.

The Pride of Haman

In verses 2-4, we read that the King commanded everyone to bow down to Haman, but that Mordecai would not. Abraham, Jacob, Joseph’s brothers, and David all bowed before others, so what was Mordecai’s problem? Like a salute in military, bowing was instinctive in this culture, but Mordecai drew the line. He had compromised, blending in with the crowd long enough. He would not bow to Haman the horrible. Civil disobedience is found in the Bible when necessary: Hebrew midwives, Daniel and his friends, and the apostles in Acts 5. This is the exception not the norm. The norm is to show respect and be at peace. Haman is absorbed with himself. His nose is so high in the air he did not even see Mordecai standing. They had to tell him!God hates pride. Pride is what made Lucifer the devil, got Adam and Eve kicked out of the garden, caused Nebuchadnezzar to lose his sanity, and caused Haman to sign his own death sentence. Do you think you are better or above everyone else? Pride can make you go too far.

The Prejudice of Haman

Because Mordecai would not bow, Haman decided to destroy all Jews. How could one man not bowing lead to killing an entire race? Haman is nursing an old grudge. We are not born hating people. Prejudice is learned. Haman had been taught to hate all Jews. Arrogance and anger are a bad combination. People are shot in our communities today for the same reasons. Make this story personal. Who would you kill if you could?Jesus said if you hate someone you have committed murder in your heart. We are all alike on the inside. We all bleed the same color blood. God created all people in His image. We are all descendants of Adam and Eve and therefore there is only one race, the human race. Racism is sin.

The King gave Haman permission to carry out his plan. He was either lazy and not wanting to do the due diligence, or he was too busy to get all the facts. He did not listen to both sides of the story! When you first hear something, you think you know the facts. You get in trouble when you do not listen to all the facts. We need to listen to multiple sources of information.Don’t jump to conclusions. Letters were sent to the officials telling them to destroy the Jewish people. How many times have you written something or repeated something that killed another person’s reputation?

Who do you hate? What are you doing with your grudge? Jesus offers forgiveness. Only Jesus can bring peace to the war within us. Praise God the gospel tears down walls of hostility and brings peace!

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