After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him…
I. THE INSECURITY OF EARTHLY GREATNESS. The king in this story was exposed to the plot of Bigthan and Teresh. From it he was saved by the intervention of Mordecai, though by and by to fall beneath the assassin's blow. Great are the perils of the great. Their lives often, behind all the splendour that takes the public eye, a sad story.
II. THE DIVINE FORESIGHT OF AND PREPARATION FOR COMING EVIL. The plotters, Bigthan and Teresh, paid the penalty with their lives. But what had that plot to do with the great story of this book — Israel's deliverance from Haman? Much, for mark, the plot was detected by Mordecai. The news was conveyed to Esther, and by her to the king. Thus God's design for Israel's deliverance precedes Haman's design for Israel's destruction Oh! the Divine preparations! How God goes before us! Does Jacob look round upon famished Canaan? Lo! by the hand of long-lost Joseph, God has prepared for him a house in Egypt. Do we come into peril? Before we reach it God has been preparing for us a way of escape. His love is older than our sin — than all sin.
III. THE DIGNITY OF CONSCIENTIOUSNESS IN LITTLE THINGS. Mordecai would not bow to Haman. Not from disloyalty. He had stood by the king and saved him from the plotted death. Because — this is the reason he gave — because he was a Jew: and Haman, he knew, was the Jews' enemy. Others bowed — he could not. A little thing, do you say, to bow to Haman? but s little thing may have much effect on others, as this had on Haman — on ourselves; and, often repeated, is not little in its influence. He had conscience in this matter, and to defile it had not been a little harm. Conscience can appear in little things, but it deems nothing little that affects it, that expresses it. The early Christians would rather die than cast a few idolatrous grains of incense into the fire. Many an English martyr went to the prison and the stake rather than bow down to the wafer-god of Romanism. In little things, as some would deem them, we can take a stand for Christ.
IV. THE WICKEDNESS OF REVENGE. Had Haman a just grudge against Mordecai? Let him have the matter out with Mordecai alone? No; that will not suit him. He would punish a whole nation. The proud became the revengeful. If a man is humble and has a lowly estimate of himself, he will bear in silence the contempt and unkindness of men. But pride is easily wounded — sees slights often where none were intended. On a great platform we see, in the case of Haman, to what sin wounded pride will hurry a man. And to what a doom! We need to beware. Are none of us ever tempted harshly to judge a whole family because of the conduct of one of its members? to say, in the spirit of Haman, he is bad — the whole lot is bad? "Hath any wronged thee?" says Quarles, "be bravely revenged; slight it, and the work is begun; forgive it, and the work is finished."
V. THE PATIENCE OF FAITH. The king's life had been saved by Mordecai. But no honour had come to him for the service — no reward. And now an edict is out against him and his nation, dooming them all to death. And does he regret the stand that he has taken? Does he loudly complain of the king's ingratitude? He keeps silence. God will think on him for good. Oh, troubled one I oh, darkened life! oh, soul tempest-tossed, "only believe." The clouds will pass — will melt into the eternal blue!
(G. T. Coster.)
Parallel VersesKJV: After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him.