The Story of Esther: Honored by the King

Haman, having received the request for his presence at a private dinner with Queen Esther and the King, felt elated at all his accomplishments. In his lifetime, he had risen through the ranks to become prince beneath the king over all his other nobles and officials. Yet when he passed Mordecai at the King’s gate, he noticed that he still would not bow before him. Even with Mordecais assured annihilation drawing near, Mordecai refused to honor Haman. Haman purposed in his heart not only to kill Mordecai and all his people, but to humiliate him in front of all men. This would show what happens when you dare to defy Haman. He hurried home and gathered his cadre to boast of his own greatness and how he alone ascended to the high place next to the King; how he was held in such esteem that even the Queen invited him to a private audience the next day. He held the world, but it meant nothing until Mordecai bowed his head. His friends suggested setting up a pole, 75ft. high, which he could use to impale Mordecai before all the world. His plan had been set in motion.
Later that night, the King was restless in his chambers and sleep eluded him. He called for the Chronicles of His reign to be read to him, and discovered the story of a servant’s faithfulness to him. The chronicles told of a time where his two trusted guards at the entrance to his chambers conspired to take his life. Somehow the man, named Mordecai, had heard of this plan and exposed it, saving the King’s life. The King inquired what great thanks had been bestowed upon his servant, and was told they hadn’t done anything. The King was indebted to this man with his very life. Something had to be done. At that moment, he heard someone entering the palace & asked them to be brought in. Haman entered the King’s chamber ready to request Mordecais head, but the King had another request in mind. “What should be done for the man the King delights to honor?”, Xerxes asked Haman. Haman, in his pride, thought the King must be alluding to him, so he fashioned his response out of his deepest desires. He replied that the King should honor his servant by bringing out his best warhorse, the robe of royalty, and put the seal of the king on the rider. Have another servant, someone of great importance, walk in front of this procession declaring, “This is what is done for the man the King delights to honor!”

 

THE TWIST
The King loved this idea. “Go at once,” the King commanded, “get the robe and the horse and do just as you have suggested. I want to honor Mordecai, the Jew – the man who sits at the city gates. Do everything you have recommended for him.” Haman stood there, stunned for a moment, wondering if this was a cruel trick. That his own desires would be fulfilled in another was bad enough, but that it would be Mordecai that would receive this honor was almost beyond what he could bear. He left the palace in a haze, and prepared the honor for Mordecai, and the humiliation for himself. He found the horse and the robe that he desired all these years, and handed them over to Mordecai. He began his descent through the city streets crying out, “This is what is done for the man the King delights to honor!” Every word stabbed like a razor against his ego, but the word of the King was at his back like a spear driving him forward until all in the city had seen Mordecai honored. Haman was utterly humiliated. He covered his head so as not to be seen by anyone, and rushed home in deep mourning. In one day his fortunes had turned, one word from the King had brought him into defeat. He could barely recount what happened to his companions, but even they realized that this was no accident. Mordecai was guided by a force greater than Haman. Hamans downfall had surely begun, and with that, there was a knock at the door – the King’s servants had arrived to usher him to the Queen’s banquet.

“This is what is done for the man the King delights to honor!”