I have read the story of Esther in the Bible a lot. It has always been one of my favorite stories. Esther the Lady hero for her entire people, saving them all from death by her bravery and faith. But I came across it again recently and instead of reading it in that same light, something else popped out to me, Haman. Haman was King Ahasuerus’ principal minister; in other words,he was very important to the king in advising and helping with anything the king might need. Haman was a very proud man. He thought he was as high as the king himself. People bowed down to him, all but one man, Mordecai. Mordecai was a type of parent to Esther, he raised her as his own daughter. But Mordecai would not bow down to Haman. This angered Haman. Again, pride got the best of him. Because of Mordecai’s actions (or lack thereof), Haman decided he would kill off all the Jews, which were Esther’s people. Haman allowed pride to direct his vision. He wanted to be the one to wear the kings clothing, crown, and have everyone bow down to him, rather than to stay humble and be thankful for his high title that he held. See, like Haman, it is so easy for us to lose sight of the cross and all God has done for us in order that we might live a life of forgiveness and love, and only see what we want, or only see what we have accomplished in our lives. We often forget that what we have accomplished is only because God has given us the talent and gifts to do so. In all things we must be thankful to God, humble ourselves, and realize that it is only by God’s grace that we live and are successful and happy. Whether it be our careers that we try and climb the corporate ladder or the art that hangs on studio walls for all to see, we oftentimes can get a little prideful and say, “I did this” or “I made this happen for myself.” Yet, God sits back and gets no glory for his creation, us. Now back to Haman. He knew that he would one day be granted the joy of killing Mordecai by the gallows, so he had one built and kept in his home for when the time came. But something he hadn’t expected began to happen. One night, when king Ahasuerus couldn’t sleep, he ordered his chambermaids to bring him a book of records and have it read to him. In this book, the story of what Mordecai did, which was that he saved the king from assassins, was read to the king. The king then asked how Mordecai was thanked and the answer was that he wasn’t. So, the king called in Haman and asked “what should be done for the person who the king delighted to honor?” Haman in his pride thought to himself that the only person the king should to delight to honor would be himself, Haman, and began to tell of all the things he would want from the king. He said the following in Esther 6:7-9: “7 And Haman answered the king, For the man whom the king delighteth to honour,8 Let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which is set upon his head:9 And let this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king's most noble princes, that they may array the man withal whom the king delighteth to honour, and bring him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaim before him, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delightethto honour. Once Haman was done declaring that which he thought he deserved to be given, the king said, “make haste and go and do all of these things for Mordecai the Jew.” Now, can you imagine the heat that rose in Haman’s face?! The anger, the frustration, the embarrassment, the confusion, the hate?! Pride brings on these feelings. It blinds us to other people’s good deeds. It puts on a selfish pair of glasses and only declares what we have done in our own lives. Pride is what comes right before we are brought to our knees, right before we fall to the ground in our own self-pity. Pride comes right before the fall. Our fall. Mordecai left unchanged by the great honor bestowed upon him by the king and Haman. He went humbly back to his duties. Ashamed after adorning Mordecai in all the King’s finest apparel, Haman runs to his home and there are all of his friends and his wife. Haman tells them of all that has happened to him and they begin to tell him that his fate was coming. Haman was surrounded by people that shared his prideful mindset. When we are full of pride, we can find ourselves making friends who think the way we think, who have the same selfish mindsets, because for a prideful person, ‘why would I be friends with someone who thinks differently than me?’ is a common thought. Haman’s friends and wife did him no good in helping his situation. So, he left and went to the banquet Esther had made for him and the king. While there at the banquet, the king asked Esther what she wanted and Esther began to tell him that her and her people were to be slain, killed, and destroyed. She wished for nothing more than for her people to live. The king then asked who had declared death on her people and Esther answered saying “The adversary and the enemy is this wicked Haman.” It was then told to the king by one of his chambermaids that there were gallows built and prepared for Mordecai in Haman’s home and the king replied that Haman himself were to be hanged there. His fall came in the shape of the gallows he built for another man. But that man, Mordecai, was a humble and just man, he was a man that put his faith in God, a man that did the work of God and gave God all the glory for it. Haman was an evil man who wanted nothing but recognition and riches for himself. I’m not sure why I felt pressed to write this specific blog on the topic of pride, but my guess would be this, we are all capable of the fall. We are all capable of becoming prideful and selfish. Money has that effect on us and so does attention, friends who are likeminded. There are many things that can lead to a prideful mindset, but as we see from the story of Haman, nothing good will come of this mindset/lifestyle. Don’t believe the lie that you are above the clutches of pride, it can grab ahold of anyone it chooses. Keep yourself grounded in humbleness and give honor where honor is due. Pride comes before the fall and the fall from the top of a pedestal is a long one. Don’t place yourself there. Remember God in all things. Remember Him when you think of yourself, for He is the one who thought you up, all your gifts and talents included. Therefore, only He deserves to sit on the throne.
He gives us Roots so we can Fly. Roots and Wings.