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When Esther finally made known to the king her request, that her life and the lives of her people be spared from the death decreed upon them, she branded the whole plot of Haman as an act of selling her and her people to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. And she was correct in this. Esther 3:9 makes it plain that Haman bought from the king the decree to exterminate all the Jews in the kingdom. And he promised the king ten thousand talents of silver, if he would agree to this slaughter. No doubt the money would come from the confiscated properties of the exterminated Jews. 

This reveals the fact that Esther was fully aware of the details in the whole plot of Haman. Most likely Mordecai told her much of the plot. Surely from him she received the information that Haman was behind the whole scheme. Mordecai knew that he had offended Haman by not honoring him as the king commanded. And he knew that Haman was getting revenge upon him in a way that would not only return blow for blow but add to Mordecai’s misery by attacking his people. The scribes who drew up the message which was to be published may also have indicated that Haman would execute this decree of the king. They may even have told Esther the details of the whole scheme. 

Esther told the king that they had been sold to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. And then she added that, if the decree were that they were to be sold for bondmen and bondwomen, she would have held her peace, although the enemy could not countervail the king’s damage. It is difficult to determine just what she meant by the enemy countervailing the king’s damage. According to some the king would suffer financial loss, if the Jews were exterminated or made to be bondmen and bondwomen. The word countervail means equal. Some therefore rule out the idea of financial loss to the king but insist that the enemy, namely, Haman is not equal or worth troubling the king in the matter of being bondmen and bondwomen. Regardless of what she meant, the point not to be missed is that she is playing up to the king. She is striving to make him think that she is so very much concerned with his well-being and does not want him to suffer damage of any kind, or to bother him with trivial matters. She is out to blacken Haman as much as she can and to get the king on her side by showing concern for him. She wants the king to know that she in no way blames him for this decree. He was to blame, for as I pointed out several times before, he accepted Haman’s slander of the Jews without any form of investigation into the matter, and even without asking for any examples of the misconduct of the Jews. He, Haman, accused the Jews of not keeping the king’s laws and of having diverse laws that kept them from being good citizens. But Esther wants the king to believe that she does not blame him for this decree. It is Haman whose life she wants ended in shame. 

When the king asked who dared to presume in his heart to do all this that Esther related to him, it became plain that he in no way linked all this with the decree that Haman got him to make. He had no scruples against all the Jews. It was not his idea to exterminate them. And when Esther speaks of the decree, he has not at all before his mind that decree. Cleverly Esther never mentioned that it was his decree and that he was the one from whom the enemy had bought this right to destroy, slay, and cause to perish. He had no smiting of his own conscience. 

On the other hand the words were no sooner out of Esther’s mouth and Haman’s heart skipped a few beats, and it was as though a knife had been driven through him. He did not know that Esther was a Jewess. He was not trying to have her slain. But he knew who she meant by her people, and was quite aware of the fact that it was his desire to exterminate the Jews. He understood now why Esther wanted him at these banquets. He knew his life was in mortal danger and that what his wife and friends had told him was true, that he would not prevail in his plot to get even with Mordecai, but would surely fall before him. He experienced what Moses said, and is recorded in Numbers 32:23, “Be sure your sins will find you out.” We may get away with our sins before man, because men are not everywhere present and all-seeing and all-knowing. But no man gets away with his sins before God. What a terrifying experience it must be for the unbeliever when he dies and at once stands before the God against whom he sinned all his life! For him death is no blessing but the end of all hope that he ever had of obtaining what he called blessings. He may die unafraid of God because he has ruled Him out of all his life and called the believers fools. But stark terror, gripping fear will strike him in the twinkling of an eye when his earthly eye closes and his heart stops beating. 

This will never be the case with the child of God. He may fear death because he knows what a sinner he is. He trusts in the blood of Christ. But he sees no reason in himself why he should be dealt with in mercy and lovingkindness. And then at once all the mists are rolled away, all his doubts and fears disappear as he is received by Christ and ushered into heavenly glories. Our sins were transferred to Christ from eternity when we were chosen in Him. And that we will see the moment physical death takes hold of us. Our sins will not find us out, but we will find out that our sins have been paid for in full, and that we are found in Christ, Who was made sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (II Cor. 5:11). 

Haman the unbeliever had no such peace when he learned that the king had found out his sin. And the king himself went into a form of shock. It shook him that someone wanted to kill his wife. And he did not yet know that Haman did not try to kill his wife, for he too was wholly ignorant of the fact that she was a Jewess. What also struck him was the fact that the laws of the Medes and Persians cannot be altered. His wife was doomed. Besides, he had lost his right-hand man upon whom he leaned so heavily. He had to go out into the garden to sort things out in his mind. He wanted to keep his beautiful wife so badly, and he depended so much on this right-hand man. But his eagerness to keep his wife, and his anger at the one who arranged to have her killed prevailed. He returned to the banquet room. His hatred, mentioned in Esther 7:7, had not abated. And now it intensifies. For Haman had approached Esther in an attempt to save his life, for he could see that there was “evil determined against him by the king.” She gave him a cold stare; and if she said anything, it did not at all allay his fears. In fact, we get the impression that his fear grew, for now he approaches even more closely to her, perhaps to take her hand and in tenderness to make a desperate plea. He fell on the bed whereon Esther was. Now that was not a bed for sleeping, but a couch. In that day they did not sit at the table on chairs but reclined on couches. Even much later, in the day when Jesus was on this earth, such was the custom. And those pictures of Him and His disciples eating the Last Passover are so wrong when they picture Him and His disciples sitting on chairs. Esther had not gotten up when the king left his dining couch to go into the palace garden. And Haman did not faint in his fear and fall upon that couch. He came close to make a more urgent plea for his life, probably asking her to speak to the king and tell him that he had no knowledge of the fact that she was a Jewess, and did not plot to kill her. But, as I began to say, the king’s wrath intensified when he saw Haman fallen on the couch. and so close to his wife. He misjudges Haman’s deed and accuses him of trying to force Esther. 

Esther makes no attempt to correct the king. Her hatred of this enemy was so fierce that she wants him put to death. And if the king’s wrong impression will seal and hasten that death, so much the more would it please Esther. She could have spared his life. It seems very improbable that in his plea for his life that Haman did not tell her in no uncertain terms that he did not know that she was a Jewess, and that instead he thought very highly of her, considered her to be the most beautiful and wonderful queen that the nation had ever had. Honesty and truth on Esther’s part would have corrected the king and not let another sin be attached to Haman. 

The king without hesitation revealed his judgment on Haman so that those in the room covered Haman’s face with a cloth, thereby indicating that he was slated for execution. The form of execution had not yet been announced. But Harbonah, one of the chamberlains in the room at that time, informed the king of the gallows that Haman had built for Mordecai’s execution. These gallows had been built no more than one day before, and quite likely that very morning. And not until Haman was hanged, and the king was assured that he was dead, was the king’s wrath pacified. Surely he had become furious upon learning that Haman got him to decree and set in motion action that would take the life away from his wife, and then caught him in what he thought was an attempt to force the queen. 

Two Scriptural truths come to mind as we consider all this history. The first is found in Psalm 76:10 where we read, “Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee: the remainder of wrath shalt Thou restrain.” The king’s wrath and Esther’s did serve the praise of God in the salvation of His people and in the way, in His covenant faithfulness, that He prepared for His Son to come in our flesh. Haman’s wrath, which would have kept God from receiving the praise of His people in their salvation, was restrained. God is in heaven and has perfect control over every creature. His counsel is fulfilled in every detail; and we shall praise Him in the new Jerusalem, when we are delivered from all our sins, for all His wisdom, power, love, and faithfulness to His church. 

The other Scriptural passage is found in Psalm 7:15 andPsalm 57:6 and in Proverbs 28:10. Let us begin with that last passage. There we read, “Whoso causeth the righteous to go astray in an evil way, he shall fall himself into his own pit.” Can it be denied that Haman tried to cause the righteous to go astray in an evil way? No, he did not attempt to lead God’s people into sin. But can it be denied that he would be touching the righteous, if he succeeded in keeping the Christ from being born? Was he not touching The Righteous One? And would there be any righteous? We need that Son of God in our flesh to make us righteous. Take note again of II Corinthians 5:21: “For He hath made Him to be sin for us Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” What is more, all our righteous deeds come out of the life of Christ in us, given to us when we are born again. And if Christ’s birth is prevented, there is no life of Christ in us, or any righteous deeds at all. There are then no righteous people. 

Then, too, can it be denied that the way to hell’s torment is an evil way? And Haman would have turned the believers from the upward way to glory to the steep slide into hell, if no Christ is born. Truly, as the Psalms above teach us, “He made a pit and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made” (Ps. 7:15). “They prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down; they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves” (Ps. 57:6). Truly God is on our side.