Esther 6:1-14 – Delayed Gratification

Read Esther 6:1-14

A sleepless night. Can you relate. The king was tossing and turning and unable to sleep. What did he do? Asked for a book of his history. Normally, people would be looking for something to lull them to sleep. Reading these pages of his successes and led to him remembering Mordecai’s rescue. Was it any coincidence that he just happened to want his book and realize that Mordecai had never been rewarded for his actions?

You can bet Haman didn’t have any problem sleeping since his wife and friends had given him the great idea the day before to impale Mordecai once and for all on the pole he had prepared. He was ready to see the king first thing, and the king was eager now to talk with him. Little did Haman know both men had Mordecai on their minds!

We’re not told exactly how long ago Mordecai had saved the king’s life, but clearly it had been forgotten. Now that it had been brought back to the king’s remembrance, something was going to happen. But what? Haman would help him think through the proper celebration. Do you think Mordecai was even expecting special treatment. Delayed gratification is always appreciated.

Can you think of a time when you received a honor for some action that had happened much earlier? Perhaps you have been the reward giver. Is there someone now that you should be thanking for the good they have done?

Haman was more than happy to help the king think through the best way to honor someone. He was no doubt picturing himself adorned in the king’s robe and riding on the royal steed. Imagine his surprise when the tables turned and he was to do all of this for Mordecai. Seriously? Talk about a punch in the gut! We can probably all think of a time when we were passed over for a promotion, recognition, or something we thought we deserved. It’s a hard pill to swallow.

But for Mordecai. What was he thinking? Had he even forgotten saving the king’s life? Was it just something he did because he knew it was the right thing to do? Or, did he have ulterior motives and expect the royal treatment, having wondered all these days why the king had not been more grateful. Sometimes we do things to help others with no expectation of return. If I had to guess, I’m thinking Mordecai was more of that thinking. No matter, he is having his day of glory at last.

As for Haman, he is dejected. Even his wife is now telling him to let go of his issue with Mordecai. What do you make of her comment? “Since Mordecai—this man who has humiliated you—is of Jewish birth, you will never succeed in your plans against him. It will be fatal to continue opposing him.” To me, not only does it foreshadow what is about to happen, but it tells us that Jews are special. Special in the eyes of the Lord. God watches over them and protects them in ways hard to understand.

Take some time today to just be still in God’s presence. Think through your life and what you are grateful for. Is there anybody you are grateful for that needs to hear a word from you?

Let’s pray. Lord, thank you for another word of wisdom in your word. May I never take for granted how you love me and provide for me. May I be a shining light to others as well. I want to reflect you and your goodness in all I say and do. May I never be so full of my own abilities that fail to rely on you. May I never expect a reward but be ready to accept one when it comes my way. May you be exalted! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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