We are ready to meet a new character during the time of Esther. His name is Haman. He stinks of pride and arrogance and ego. And of course, just as in our day, such people push, shove, and do whatever deemed necessary to get into positions of power. [Sounds like a couple bosses I used to have] King Ahasuerus “advanced (Haman) and set his seat above all the princes who were with him. And all the king’s servants…bowed and paid homage to Haman.” (3:1-2)
All bowed and paid homage to Haman with one exception – Mordecai. This filled Haman to the brim with wrath. The prideful always seethe when confronted by the strength of the meek. “But he disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone, for they had told him of the people of Mordecai. Instead, Haman sought to destroy all the Jews who were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus – the people of Mordecai.” (3:6) Haman, a precursor of Hitler, had his own version of the “final solution.”
I think a short history lesson here concerning Haman and Mordecai would be helpful. Mordecai was a Benjamite, a descendent of Saul, and Haman was an Agagite. Almost a thousand years previous when the Jews exited from Egypt (ca. 1445 B.C.) they were attacked by the Amalekites (Exodus 17:8-16), who’s line began with Amalek, a son of Esau (Genesis 36:12). God then pronounced a curse on the Amalekites, which resulted in their total elimination as a people. [Note to blog readers – this will actually occur later in the sequence of events that we’re looking at in Esther.] King Saul (ca. 1030 B.C.) received God’s orders to kill all the Amalekites, including their king, Agag (I Samuel chap.15); Saul disobeyed and this brought God’s displeasure. Samuel finally killed Agag. Because of his linage from Agag, Haman had a deep hatred for the Jews.
Even though centuries had passed Mordecai would never bow to the Agagite of the Amalekites, and Haman burned with hostility for the Jews. Who would prevail? Haman had all the power of the world at his disposal. He simply went to King Ahasuerus and got a decree made for all the Jews to be exterminated. It appeared to be over for God’s chosen people: No more Israel, no Messiah coming through the Jews, no redemption of the world! It seemed clear that Evil’s win was in the bag and God’s plans would be thwarted! Except…for someone who had been called for such a time as this, a woman, a woman by the name of – Queen Esther.