Summary: Revenge belongs to God and God alone.
THE REACTION OF HAMAN’S REVENGE
Some two thousand years ago a man on his way to work in a vineyard passing through the suburbs of Shushan, the capital of Persia, going down one of the avenues he saw a man hanging from the gallows near the royal palace.
The body was swaying to and fro with the morning breeze, and vultures circling about.
As the man stood there staring at the body, another worker came along and asked "Who is that hanging there?" The man told him "That is the body of Haman."
The man said "What! You don’t mean Haman the king’s prime minister, who lived in the capitol building with the carved lions at the gate?"
Yes replied the man. It is him. The king’s Prime Miniseter who had these gallows built for the Jew Mordecai, The foster father of the queen.
But yesterday the king commanded that Haman himself be hanged on these gallows which were intended for Mordecai. It was in all the papers."
The headline was this "Haman hanged on his own gallows." That was the reaction of Haman’s plot for revenge.
The book of Esther is one of the most fascinating books of the Bible. It is very readable with the pictures it paints of palaces that could have come out of the Arabian Nights.
In this book men rose and fell; The proud are brought to their knees, and the humble are raised up. Princes and nobles party while the common people are left to worry about what comes in the morning. Plots and conspiracies are hatched and frustrated, you’d think you were reading a script for some soap opera on TV. Love, hate, pride, fear, revenge, faith---all these passions and emotions, worthy and unworthy, which sweep through the souls of men, appear in this unforgettable book.
This is one of two books in the Bible in which the name of GOD does not appear. But although HIS name does not appear you can feel HIS providence, HIS sovereignty, and HIS truth appears on every page.
Let’s take a moment and look at the backdrop to this great story. Because of her pride she would not go into the banquet of Ahasuerus, the Xerxes who invaded Greece and was defeated at Salamis, and display her great beauty for the King’s drunken princes and noblemen. So Queen Vashti was set aside; and the beautiful Jewess Esther, put forward by her cousin and foster father Mordecai, was elevated to the throne.
Now about this same time Haman was promoted to the second place in the Persian Empire. He undoubtedly won his post by his great ability as an administrator.
Like so many other leaders, Haman did not belong to the nation he was the prime minister of. He was not a Persian but an Amalekite, a people hostile to the Jews. Napoleon was not a Frenchman, but an Italian Corsican; Hitler was not a German, but an Austrian; Stalin was not a Russian, but a Georgian; Joseph was not an Egyptian, but a Hebrew.
So Haman became second in command of the Persian Empire. He was not a Persian but an Amalekite. He is one of the most graphically painted characters in the Bible and certainly one of the most ugliest-Monstrous in pride, hate, revenge, conspiracy, and appalling in his final fate and judgment.
Yet there are things about Haman from which we can all study and gain, as we watch him hang from those gallows which he had built for Mordecai, seventy-five feet high. Imagine the height of those gallows. Haman was going to have Mordecai seen from all around.
When Haman was elevated to his lofty post, everyone showed him reverence. When he came down the steps of the palace, or drove around the capital, all the men bowed to him and showed him honor.
All except one and that one was the Jew Mordecai, The queen’s foster father. This one exception to the chorus of praise and adoration with which Haman was greeted with everywhere filled him with mortification and rage.
It cast a shadow over all his fame and splendor. It was the one fly in his ointment, which as the wise man said, "causes the whole ointment to stink."
We don’t know why Mordecai refused to bow to Haman. Maybe they didn’t like each other. It could be that one was a Jew and the other an Amalekite.
Perhaps on Haman’s uniform there was some sort of idol and because Mordecai was a believing Jew he refused to bow down.
Whatever the reason, it was a conspicuous display of courage and independence. For the general habit is to bow down and honor those who are honored by others.
THE FOOLISHNESS OF PERMITTING ONE THING TO RUIN HAPPINESS
The first important truth that is preached by Haman’s hanging body with vultures swirling above is the foolishness of permitting one thing to ruin happiness and poison the soul.