The Plot Revealed – Queen Esther
By Steph Nickel
Have you ever been the victim of a malicious plot? Read how God placed Esther in exactly the right place to deal with a vile plot against the Jewish people. Learn how we can respond when someone plots against us.
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Esther’s story is about Esther—and her people—although, at Mordecai’s instruction, she had not revealed her heritage to her husband, the king. This was all part of God’s bigger plan, which we see continuing to unfold in Esther 3:8-11.
In the ESV, these verses read like this:
“Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, ‘There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom. Their laws are different from those of every other people, and they do not keep the king’s laws, so that it is not to the king’s profit to tolerate them. If it please the king, let it be decreed that they be destroyed, and I will pay 10,000 talents of silver into the hands of those who have charge of the king’s business, that they may put it into the king’s treasuries.’ So the king took his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman … the enemy of the Jews. And the king said to Haman, ‘The money is given to you, the people also, to do with them as it seems good to you.’”
The king had promoted Haman and had instructed the people to bow down to him. Mordecai, a Jew, knew the only One he was to bow down to was the Lord and refused to obey. Haman became aware of this and was offended. He sought to get rid not only of one individual but also of an entire group of people. Genocide because his feelings were hurt? Talk about an over-reaction!
Haman’s Plot Appears to Work
Of course Haman couldn’t go to the king and reveal what had actually prompted him to action. He appealed to the king’s ego, making the Jewish people out to be lawbreakers, unwilling to submit to the king’s authority.
And it worked …
Still, if you’ve read the book of Esther, you see God was working out His plans and purposes despite Haman’s self-serving plotting.
What can we learn from this portion of the story?
Proverbs 16:18 says,
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (ESV).
Oh, that Haman would have learned this lesson before it was too late! Oh, that we would learn it!
We Must Learn to Handle Offense Properly.
While we likely can’t imagine ourselves in Haman’s position, perhaps we have been offended by the words and/or actions of another person. Perhaps we feel justified in lashing out at them. We must humble ourselves before the Lord and ask Him to intervene on our behalf. Our responsibility is to love and forgive our enemies. Of course, we can only do so with God’s enabling.
It’s Important not to Over-react.
Haman’s reaction to Mordecai’s refusal to bow down would have far-reaching effects—though they wouldn’t be the effects the king’s official expected.
If we over-react, the effects may be far-reaching as well. And although the Lord can and will work everything out for the good of those who love Him and are called by Him (Romans 8:28), undoing our ungodly actions and righting our wrongs will likely be beyond the scope of our ability.
When Seeking Allies, we Must Not Slant the Truth in our Favour.
Which of us, when unloading on a friend, haven’t skewed the details we’ve shared? We want to come across as the injured party. And when a direct approach doesn’t work, don’t we try to appeal to the other person’s sensibilities? It’s highly unlikely that we’ll do so with Haman’s malicious intent. Still, we must be careful to be honest with ourselves and with others, recognizing our motivation and considering the offending individual’s perspective.
As Christians, we can rest in the knowledge that the Lord is in control. We must remember Isaiah 55:8-9, which say,
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (ESV).
Although I wouldn’t say Haman is just like us, there are many lessons we can learn from how he handled adversity and offense. May we be carefully examine our own reactions when tests and trials come our way.
How can we respond in a godly way to the trials that come across our path?
- Be honest about our gut reaction.
- Pray that God would make us more like Jesus.
- Pray for the individual or individuals who offended us and seek to see things from their perspective.
- Seek godly counsel, someone who will challenge you to respond biblically.
- Rejoice in the fact that God is in control and has a plan—even when we can’t see it.
May we learn from Haman’s story and trust the Lord to work everything out in His time and in His way.
Follow the Life of Esther series:
Steph Beth Nickel is a freelance writer and editor. She is the coauthor of Paralympian Deb Willows’ award-winning memoir, Living Beyond My Circumstances, published by Castle Quay Books.
Steph is a member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and The Word Guild. She and her husband of over 30 years live in Southwestern Ontario, Canada.
Steph’s goal is to nurture and inspire. She blogs at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests. She also guest posts regularly on the topics of Christian living, writing, and fitness. You can visit her website, stephbethnickel.com, to learn more about her.
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