Our current Wednesday night Bible study is of the book of Esther. Obviously the story centers on this young Jewish girl caught up in a political struggle of life and death for her people.
But, when one stands back and considers the whole picture, he will see another angle and another personality share an almost equal billing. (In the story.)
I speak of Haman, the Agagite. Probably be good to dress him in a long black coat, and a floppy wide brimmed black hat. His handlebar mustache needs to curl in a snarl. Our wonderful Daniel has passed off the scene in the march of world empires and the current King of the World, Xerxes has need of a new right hand; this Haman will be placed into a position second to the King of the World. It is strange that these Kings of the World have to have Mediterranean people in close proximity. Haman hates Jews and the focus of that hatred is centered on Mordecai, an older cousin of Esther. Haman suddenly holds a high place in the king's cabinet and really capitalizes on his position. Mordecai has no regard for any human god who would replace his true and living God. Faithful Jews had been that way from the beginnings of their captivity by the Babylonians.
As we study Haman, it doesn't take long to realize his selfish pre-occupation with himself. What you might call a person who thinks of himself as a self made man. He has earned his position next to the King of the World, at least that is what he thinks his position is. Mordecai has become the only thwart to his aspirations.
When we read the whole story, we must come to the conclusion that hatred for the Jews was not Haman's problem alone. That hatred flowed through a contingent of the population of Ahasuerus' empire. Xerxes was his official title, God's word refers to his common name. The Jew haters will actually be listed later in the text.
The purpose of this article is to make some assumptions and hopefully some assertions about the character of Haman. His unmitigated drive to get rid of Mordecai plays an important part in his destruction, but his conceit is the ultimate cause of his downfall. It is important for any human being to recognize the normal balance between two extremes; bottom of the barrel low esteem or overboard self estimation. Haman was so wrapped up in himself that he had no idea of an alternative outcome to his scheme to destroy all Jews. His building a gallows 75 feet high is one indicator of his obsession. His one track mind did not allow him to think rationally when the King of the World asked on how to honor a special person. Haman's selfish brain assumed too much.
What can you and I learn? If you are lost, don't hate Christians! IF you are saved, realize, as Jesus said, "the world hated me before it hated you." Jn 15. Sometimes we will find ourselves in a situation where we will feel the heat of someone's hatred. It will not be a Christian, for Christians cannot hate their brother. 1Jn 2,3,4. There will be those who show their hatred by gossiping shamelessly. They will take measures to damage your name or your situation. They may even try to do you physical harm. The book of Esther is a guide book. Most of the time hatred shows up is when we are determined to walk and talk as Jesus would have us walk and talk. If you publicly state that you want to be in God's perfect will, the world doesn't like that and will do any thing they can to destroy you. Haman was ready to destroy all Jews with his focus on Mordecai. As far as we know, Mordecai never said one word to Haman.
One final thing here. We should never forget that the situation had gotten out of hand for Mordecai, Esther and their people. Nothing they could do. That is when God began his moves.