annoying isn’t he? It’s his pride and self-love that makes him unattractive, at
least to me. Apparently, his wife and friends thought he was pretty wonderful.
They were just as arrogant. They enjoyed associating with someone who had made
such an impression on the king. Who wouldn’t want to be around someone with
great wealth who had also been promoted over all the other officials and
leaders of the land.
Pride can be a slippery slope. There is helpful pride and there is harmful pride. It is good to take pride in your work, so that you work harder, are more productive, and truly care about the final outcome. It is good to take pride in your health, so that you care for your body, get enough rest, eat healthy food, and exercise to keep your body strong. But when we take pride in our power or our prestige, it can often set us apart from others.
Were you holding your breath as Esther approached the king? She had feared for her life. On the third day of the fast, Esther did as she had said she would. She broke the law and entered the inner court to see her husband without being summoned first. Her heart must have been thumping. Yet she knew her God was with her.
How relieved she must have been to see the welcoming smile on the king’s face. And when he spoke these words, I’m sure she just about melted onto the floor. “What do you want, Queen Esther? What is your request? I will give it to you, even if it is half the kingdom!” He clearly adored her. He seemed very glad to see her. Surprised perhaps, but glad.
I loved Mordecai’s words, “Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this.” The decree for death of the Jews was rocking the community, but Esther hadn’t heard. What she did know came from reports that Mordecai was in mourning. Whatever could have happened? The queen must be beside herself because they were family. If Mordecai was so distressed, the news would surely not be good and would also affect Esther.
So Esther used her resources to find out what was troubling Mordecai. It was bad. Mordecai told her she needed to plead with the king and use her influence. But Esther was afraid because approaching the king without being summoned just wasn’t done. He hadn’t asked for her in weeks, so she was even more fearful. But she knew Mordecai was right.
Haman was not pleased with Mordecai. In fact, he wanted Mordecai to die. Better yet, all of Mordecai’s people should die, too. They were all different. They followed their own rules. It was time to cleanse the kingdom of every last one of them. That would surely please the king. There would be no more blatant disrespect for the king’s rules for the kingdom.
Why did Mordecai refuse to comply with the expected behavior of bowing to Haman? We’re not told why Haman was promoted by the king. We do know that this promotion made Haman the most powerful man in the kingdom (besides the king, I’m sure). Presumably, with that much power comes respect, and people were expected to respect this powerful man. Mordecai could not bring himself to show respect. Did he know something about Haman? Or, did he reserve his bowing to God?
The king has a lot of eunuchs in his employ. I suppose it makes sense with all the beautiful women in the king’s harems. It must have been more prevalent in that culture. That aside, two of the kings eunuchs who were the guards to the king’s personal quarters were disgruntled about something. so much so, they were conspiring to kill the king. They would, after all, have perfect opportunity being so close to the king.
Somehow, Mordecai heard about their plot to kill the king. It’s not entirely clear whether he overheard it or heard it from other employees of the king. You know how rumor mills can be rampant in a workplace. Mordecai was not going to keep this information to himself. He had an “in” with the king so he told his cousin, Esther, about the plan.