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©Kris Gerbrandt

Chapter 6:14-7:10 (ESV)

Posted on December 01, 2023  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 6:14-7:10 (ESV) - While they were yet talking with him, the king's eunuchs arrived and hurried to bring Haman to the feast that Esther had prepared.

So the king and Haman went in to feast with Queen Esther. And on the second day, as they were drinking wine after the feast, the king again said to Esther, “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.” Then Queen Esther answered, “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.” Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther, “Who is he, and where is he, who has dared to do this?” And Esther said, “A foe and enemy! This wicked Haman!” Then Haman was terrified before the king and the queen.

And the king arose in his wrath from the wine-drinking and went into the palace garden, but Haman stayed to beg for his life from Queen Esther, for he saw that harm was determined against him by the king. And the king returned from the palace garden to the place where they were drinking wine, as Haman was falling on the couch where Esther was. And the king said, “Will he even assault the queen in my presence, in my own house?” As the word left the mouth of the king, they covered Haman's face. Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs in attendance on the king, said, “Moreover, the gallows that Haman has prepared for Mordecai, whose word saved the king, is standing at Haman's house, fifty cubits high.” And the king said, “Hang him on that.” So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the wrath of the king abated.

Question to consider: Why is this story so satisfying to us?

As creatures who are made in the image of God, one of God’s attributes that exists in us is a desire for justice. Even though the animal kingdom may have a sense of balance when you consider the food chain, that balance is not achieved out of instinct and not out of an innate sense of righting a wrong. Because of sin, we often get justice wrong. Justice can be satisfied by two measures: judgment and mercy. God administers justice with a perfect combination of judgment and mercy whereas we tend to overcorrect on judgment and misapply mercy. As the world moves further away from God, justice becomes corrupted and often delivered unequally or unfairly.

My frustration with stories today is that heroes don’t always act heroically, and villains often are portrayed in a way that garners sympathy so that the lines of good and evil are muddy, and it becomes hard to know who to root for. Good and evil are portrayed with an Eastern mindset as two equally opposing forces that are locked in an eternal struggle. Scripture, however, teaches that all things were created good, evil is the corruption of the good, and we hope for evil to repent and  be restored to goodness. This act of reconciliation can only happen if mercy exists which is rare in modern storytelling.

When we come across a story like Esther, it is extremely satisfying because there is no question about who is the hero and who is the villain, and just when you think the villain is going to prevail, justice is rightly delivered and the hero wins. We can cheer when the wickedness of Haman is finally discovered by the king, and Esther and Mordecai are vindicated. 

We also can appreciate the deep sense of irony in that the prideful Haman was forced to serve Mordecai, the one he despised, and at the moment Haman expected to be exalted, he ended up groveling for his life. Even in Haman’s attempt to grovel, he failed, for the king “coincidentally” walked in at the moment Haman’s pleas looked like an assault on the queen. The ultimate irony is that Haman was then hung on the very gallows he had built for Mordecai. It is obvious that the king’s eunuchs had no love for Haman, for we get the sense that they were pretty eager to seize Haman and suggest the mode of execution.

Today’s passage ends with justice being properly served, and all that is left is to tie up loose ends and restore balance between the Persians and the Jews.


Dear heavenly Father, thank You for revealing Your nature to us to rightly administer justice. Please help us to be patient and trust that You are in control of all things and bringing about Your plan of restoration and reconciliation. While we wait, please stir up in us a desire for mercy and peace toward our neighbor as we proclaim the good work of Christ in reconciling us to You. Amen.