Reading through the Bible together
Esther’s second banquet was a great success and lasted into the next day. Again, the king asked her what her request was, and promised it will be done. This time, Esther replied.
Esther knew the king’s—her husband’s—strengths and weaknesses, and her answer was carefully planned. First, she begged him to spare her life, confident of his affection for her. The king’s eyes must have been wide with surprise as she described the plan of annihilation against her and her people. The king demanded to know who would do such a thing. Esther bravely pointed to the king’s dearest advisor and exposed him for the enemy he was.
Haman was terrified. Esther must have been trembling. The king, enraged, stepped outside. How could he change a decree sealed with his own ring? How could he save his own dignity? How could he admit that his own right-hand man had deceived him.
Inside, Haman knelt before the queen, throwing himself upon her couch, begging for his life. This man who was enraged by a Jew—Mordecai—who refused to bow before him, now bowed before a Jewish woman. The king came back inside, and Haman’s posture gave him an excuse to save his own dignity. He accused him of assaulting his wife, and as the words left the king’s mouth, the servants covered Haman’s face. His fate was sealed. One of the eunuchs quickly suggested the gallows built for Mordecai should be used. The king agreed and Haman was hanged on the gallows that his pride had built for Mordecai.
The character of King Ahasuerus is very troubling. His only redeeming quality was his affection for Esther. He authorized the annihilation of innocent women and children, all without questioning the slightest detail. He had no hesitation about profiting financially from it, either. He was self-absorbed, boastful, and a disinterested leader. The eunuchs at the banquet knew of Haman’s gallows and were more aware of the political movements in the kingdom than the king.
The king’s inability to lead; pay attention to detail; and to think for himself allowed Haman to pass the decree. These character flaws worked to Esther’s advantage. He readily believed her version of events was the truth. It was no accident that God allowed the beautiful, wise Esther to enter the beauty contest. He indeed needed her for such a time as this to save His people.
Voice of Prophecy