Haman’s No Good, Very Bad Day

Its amazing what a single day can bring. For Haman, his final day began with a sense of anticipation. He was waiting in the outer court of the palace at the crack of dawn to ask the king for permission to kill Mordecai. His plan was to impale Mordecai on a 75′ pole that he had set up in his front yard, and he was anxious to get quick approval.

His first setback came with the king’s command to honor Mordecai by parading him around the city square, dressed in the king’s own clothes and riding the king’s own horse. Haman himself had to lead Mordecai through the square proclaiming that the king wanted to honor Mordecai. Obviously this left Haman in a bad spot– the very man he wanted to brutally execute was the one he was forced to honor.

Haman slunk home with his head covered (Esth 6:12), only to hear his wife and advisors tell him that, since Mordecai was Jewish, Haman was doomed. Then, “as they were talking,” he was quickly taken off to the banquet with the king and Esther. Perhaps he thought his day would turn out okay after all. He was the only one dining with the king and queen, and that was an honor, right? But things went from bad to worst. Esther gained the sympathy of the king by asking for her life, and then riled up his anger against whoever would have presumed to endanger the queen, and then the queen pointed out that the culprit behind the plot was none other than Haman.

And what was the final nail in his coffin? He forgot his manners. While the king fumed in the nearby garden, Haman broke every rule of the royal house by “falling on the couch where Esther was” (Esth 7:8). There were very strict rules prohibiting any contact, or even close physical proximity, between courtiers and the women of the harem. When he saw this, Ahasuerus blew his top, as would be expected, and had Haman impaled on the very pole he had set up at his house for Mordecai (Esth 7:9-10, NIV). In the course of a single day Haman went from being on top of the world to being on top of a pole, dead.

For those who know the way of wisdom, this is not surprising. “The righteous is delivered from trouble, but the wicked takes his place” (Prov 11:8). “He who digs a pit will fall into it, and he who rolls a stone, it will come back on him” (Pro 26:27). Haman doesn’t seem to have known those things. Sometimes God is really patient in punishing evil (2 Pet 3:9), but when he decides to act, nothing stands in his way. For Haman, it all shook out in a single day.

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