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Pride and the Downfall of Haman – the Life of Esther

By Steph Nickel

Pride has brought about many a downfall from grace. Steph continues her series about the life of Queen Esther as the noose begins to tighten around her archenemy, Haman.

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A Review of the Life of Esther

We’ve been working our way through the book of Esther, learning how this young woman and others in the story were, in some ways, just like us and the lessons we can learn from them.

Esther, the beautiful young Jewish woman who was taken from her home and family by royal decree and became queen.

Mordecai, Esther’s wise and devoted guardian, the man who counseled Esther to keep her heritage a secret until the right time but who refused to disobey the Lord by bowing to the king’s official.

Enter the protagonist in the story. The powerful and egotistical Haman.

Haman, at the urging of his wife and friends, has hatched a scheme to remove the thorn in his side by hanging Mordecai on the gallows. He believes, by doing so, his life will be perfect.

pridePride Goes Before Destruction

However …

This man’s story is a perfect example of Proverbs 16:18: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (ESV).

Let’s look at the next section of the story. As we read excerpts from verses 1-12 of Esther 6, let’s prayerfully consider the lessons the Lord would teach us.

Verses 1-2 reveal how insomnia can be a good thing. “On that night the king could not sleep. And he gave orders to bring the book of memorable deeds, the chronicles, and they were read before the king. And it was found written how Mordecai had told about … two of the king’s eunuchs, who guarded the threshold, and who had sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus” (ESV).

It seems the king had forgotten all about the incident and he asked, “What honor or distinction has been bestowed on Mordecai for this?” (v.3) (ESV)listen to stephanie button

Haman Before the King

After being told that nothing had been done to honour Mordecai, for some reason, the king asked who was waiting to see him. When his servant told him that it was Haman, the king had him come in.

Haman was incredibly arrogant and when the king asked in verse 6, “What should be done to the man whom the king delights to honor?” … Haman said to himself, “Whom would the king delight to honor more than me?” (ESV)

Haman was in his glory. Now he could gain even more honour and glory for himself. It was as if the king was handing him a blank cheque as it were—or so he thought.

Haman laid out his plan. In Esther 6:7-9, we read, “For the man whom the king delights to honor, let royal robes be brought, which the king has worn, and the horse that the king has ridden, and on whose head a royal crown is set. And let the robes and the horse be handed over to one of the king’s most noble officials. Let them dress the man whom the king delights to honor, and let them lead him on the horse through the square of the city, proclaiming before him: ‘Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor” (ESV). 

prideThe Man Who the King Honors

The king was thrilled with the idea. And then Haman learned who the king had been talking about. In verse 10, the king gives Haman his orders. “Hurry; take the robes and the horse, as you have said, and do so to Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the king’s gate. Leave out nothing that you have mentioned.”

After Haman did all this for the one man he despised, “Mordecai returned to the king’s gate. But Haman hurried to his house, mourning and with his head covered” (Esther 7:12 ESV).

How ironic! Instead of watching Mordecai hang from the gallows, Haman had to lead a processional in his honour.

Esther’s Romantic Suspense Novel

Esther has all the elements of an intriguing romantic suspense novel—and every word of it is true. While we can read through it and delight in how things unfold, we must be careful to learn from those who set a good example and avoid the mistakes Haman made.

Is there someone in your life who causes you grief? Someone you would distance yourself from if you could? Someone you complain to family and friends about?

prideEsther Provides Lessons to Learn

While I highly doubt any of us would plot another’s death, there are lessons we can learn from this portion of the story.

If we’re honest, maybe the other person is in the right. Mordecai wouldn’t bow to Haman because he knew this was an honour only God deserved. And even if the person who troubles us is not seeking to honour God, the Lord does have lessons He desires to teach us in our situation. And He does call us to love our enemy, as it says in Matthew 5:44.

There are times we cannot avoid the other person, and instead of trying to do so and allowing them to bring out the worst in us, we must seek to obey the Lord’s command in Philippians 2:3: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (ESV).

A Right Time to Take a Stand

Over the years, I have definitely been guilty of allowing my frustration and sense of injustice to spill out. Sadly, I often did so in front of my husband and children. There is, of course, a right time to stand against injustice, but venting to family and friends and influencing how they view the other person or persons—especially fellow believers—is not the way to go about it.

There is so much more to be learned from this incredible book of the Bible. I encourage you to read it and ask the Lord what lessons He would have you learn.


Steph Beth NickelSteph Nickel

Stephanie is a freelance writer and a contributor to our Christian internet radio station, HopeStreamRadio.  Read and hear more from Steph Nickel on the contributor’s page or at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests.

Stephanie’s show, “Family Life Lessons,” airs from Monday to Friday on HopeStreamRadio.


More About the Story of Esther

Introducing Hadassah – The Story of Queen Esther

A Plan for Esther’s Life – The Story of Esther

A Plan Thwarted by Esther & Mordecai

The Plot Revealed – Queen Esther

Mordecai and Queen Esther – How to Glorify God

Power Corrupts – Esther, Mordecai and Haman

The Story of Esther – A Wise Plan and an Evil Scheme

Pride and the Downfall of Haman – the Life of Esther


Images courtesy of:

Peacock – Alexas_Fotos

Sleeping Man –olichel

Horse – Joachim_Marian_Winkler

Man  – aamiaraimer


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