Esther 6






CONFER IT ON MORDECAI (vs. 1-11). It is among the objects

of the writer of Esther to show how the smallest circumstances of life,

those most generally regarded as left to chance, work together for good to

such as deserve well, and for evil to such as deserve evil. He now notes

that the turning-point in Haman’s and Mordecai’s fortunes was the

apparently trivial circumstance of Ahasuerus on a particular night being

troubled with sleeplessness. This led to his having the book of the

chronicles read to him (v. 1). Another seeming chance caused the reader

to include in what he read the account of Bigthan’s and Teresh’s

conspiracy (v. 2). This brought Mordecai’s name before the king, and

induced him to ask the question, “What honor and dignity hath been done

to Mordecai for this?” The question could only be answered in one way —

“There is nothing done for him” (v. 3). Such neglect being a gross breach

of Persian law, and a great dishonor to the king who had allowed it,

Ahasuerus naturally takes the matter up with earnestness. Something must

be done at once to remedy the neglect, some agent must be found to set it

right, and so the king asks, “Who is in the court?” Morning has probably

arrived during the reading, and Haman, impatient to get the king’s consent

to Mordecai’s execution, has come with the dawn to prefer his request.

The king is told that Haman waits without, and sending for him, anticipates

the business that his minister had intended to lay before him by the sudden

question, asked the moment he has entered, “What shall be done unto the

man whom the king delighteth to honour?” It was natural that Haman,

after the favor shown him on the preceding day, should imagine himself

the person aimed at, and should therefore fix upon the very highest honor

that was within the range of his conceptions (vs. 8-9). He thus became

the suggester of honors for Mordecai which might otherwise not have

occurred to any one. Ahasuerus, full of the idea of his own neglect, and

ready to make any reparation, consents to all that is proposed, and,

unaware that there is any unpleasantness between Haman and Mordecai,

bids his minister confer the honors which he has suggested (v. 10). The

royal command cannot be disputed or evaded, and so Mordecai is escorted

through the city by his enemy, who had expected about that very time to be

superintending his impalement (v. 11).


1 “On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring

the book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the

king.” The book of records of the chronicles. Compare ch.2:23, where the

title is given more briefly, as “the book of the chronicles.”  See also ch.10:2.

The character of the book has been already explained (see comment on

ch.2:23). They were read. Either because the king could not read himself

(‘Ancient Monarchies,’ vol. 4. p. 184), or because the sound of a man’s voice

might (it was thought) induce drowsiness.



The Sleepless (v. 1)


We are not surprised to read that “on that night could not the king sleep.”

Not, indeed, that there was anything in Ahasuerus (Xerxes) to make us

expect a restless night; he appears to us here, as elsewhere, as a painful

illustration of human heartlessness. That many thousands of his subjects

were about to be butchered in order that his coffers might be filled should

have caused the monarch many a troubled day and many a sleepless night;

but such was the character of the man that no one suggests the impending

massacre as the explanation of the king’s restlessness. He had reached that

fearful spiritual condition in which human life was of no account to him so

that his power might be continued and his pleasures multiplied or secured.

It is a striking instance of Divine providence. He who “holds the king’s

heart in His hand” (Proverbs 21:1), who can touch with the finger of His

power the secret springs of our thought and feeling, now sent troubled thoughts

to this Persian king. That Lord of heaven, Keeper of Israel who slumbers not

nor sleeps (Psalm 121:4), now gave a wakeful night to this earthly

monarch. He was interposing on behalf of His chosen people. God willed

that the sovereign should not slumber in order that he might thus be led to

have “the book of records of the chronicles brought and read before the

king,” and Mordecai’s services be thus brought to his royal notice. Little

did Ahasuerus, as he tossed his restless head on the pillow, imagine that a

Divine hand was laid on his troubled brain. As little do we know when the

finger of God is working on us, with us, for us, or mercifully against us.

Thinking of the sleepless sons and daughters of men, we may have in view:


  • THE SLEEPLESS WHOM WE PITY. We do well to pity with heartfelt

compassion those who tell us that they cannot sleep at night. Scarcely a

sentence comes more plaintively from human lips. Well does one of our

own poets write —


“Pity! oh, pity the wretches who weep,

For they must be wretched who cannot sleep

When God Himself draws the curtain.”


Whether it be pain, or trouble, or sorrow that causes the sleepless hours,

we may pity sincerely and pray earnestly for these.




Ø      tenderly nurse the sick through the livelong night, or

Ø      sympathetically attend the sorrowful in their sleepless hours, or

Ø      are “about the Father’s business,” seeking the salvation of



It is the women who “watch” the best. There were, humanly speaking, at

least three women who could have watched that “one hour” (Matthew

26:40), and would not have been found asleep by the agonizing Master.

Few of the children of men are more worthy of our admiring affection than

those self-denying sisters who watch so patiently lest there should be need

of the ministering hand or the comforting word.



are those in every city who cannot sleep because they cannot forget. They

shut their book at night; but have soon to sigh:


“Oh God! could I so close my mind

And clasp it with a clasp.”


They pay in restless hours the dark penalty of vice or crime; they are

pursued and punished by dread of the wrath of God or of the justice of

man, or by the rebuking of their own conscience. For such there is no

remedy or escape but confession, reparation, forgiveness, human and

Divine. “Return on thy way” at once.



who cannot sleep because of “great searchings of heart;” who are asking

that old new question, “How shall mortal man be just with God?” who will

give themselves no rest till the way of peace is found, till they have “peace

with God through Jesus Christ.”  (Romans 5:1)  There are none anywhere

so deserving and demanding, so certain to receive, the tender sympathy and

delicate help of those who minister in the gospel of the Saviour.


Ø      THE SLEEPLESS WHOM WE HOPE TO JOIN. On the other side of

the river of death is a land where that which has been will not be, where we

shall change this “body of our humiliation,” and shall be clothed upon with

the “body of His glory.”  (Philippians 3:21)  There will be no sleeplessness like

that of which we have spoken; no weary tossing, no heartache, no distress,

no agitation. But there will be sleeplessness of another kind, for there will be

no more need of long periods of unconsciousness and inactivity there. There

will be “no more fatigue, no more distress,” no more exhaustion; and therefore

“there will be no night there”  (Revelation 21:25; 22:5), and no sleep, but

ceaseless, tireless, unexhausting energy; there they serve Him “day without

night.” These we hope one day to join. Let us live “in Christ;” then shall we

“fall asleep in Him” (I Thessalonians 4:14), and then shall we awake in the

morning of an everlasting day where the shadows never fall, a land full of




2 “And it was found written, that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and

Teresh, two of the king’s chamberlains, the keepers of the door,

who sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus.”  It was found written.

See the last words of ch. 2. Bigthana.  “Bigthan” in Ibid. v.21; “Bigtha”

in ch.1:10. The Persian name would be best represented by the fullest form

of the three.


3 “And the king said, What honor and dignity hath been done to

Mordecai for this? Then said the king’s servants that ministered

unto him, There is nothing done for him.”  The discoverer of a conspiracy

against the life of the king would in any country have been regarded as

entitled to some reward. In Persia, where “royal benefactors” formed a distinct

class, and had their names inscribed on a special list (Herod., 8:85), it was

especially incumbent on the monarch to see that every such person received a

return proportioned to the value of his service. Ahasuerus seems to have

supposed that some honor or dignity must have been conferred upon

Mordecai, though he could not recollect what it was; and it is difficult to

understand how the omission to reward him had occurred, unless there was

a prejudice against him among the high court officials, who may have

known that he was a Jew, though his fellow-servants did not (ch.3:4).


4 “And the king said, Who is in the court? Now Haman was come

into the outward court of the king’s house, to speak unto the king

to hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him.”

The king said, Who is in the court? Probably some high

officer of state was required to be always in attendance upon the monarch,

to take his orders at any moment. Now Haman was come. Early morning

is a common time for the transaction of business at an Eastern court.

Haman was so anxious to get the business on which he was bent

dispatched, that he had come perhaps even before daybreak, and was

waiting in the outer court, to get, if possible, the first audience. This haste

of his to effect Mordecai’s destruction led to his being the person deputed

to do him the highest honor.



A Sleepless Monarch and a Wakeful Providence (vs. 1-4)


The place of this verse fully vindicated by its contents. When its position is

observed in the original it is found to be very nearly the bisection of the

book. Certainly it is the critical point, the hinge on which the deep moral

and religious interest of the history turns. There is a sense in which it might

seem that up to this point the reader has but groped his way. He has asked

for a little more distinctly religious light and speech. He craves to see a

Divine presence, and to hear the accents of a Diviner voice than have been

hitherto vouchsafed. Perhaps these are still withheld in their fullest

manifestation, but it can no longer be felt that any vital element of evidence

is absent. The night in question was the night between the two banquets of

Esther, the night before the almost certainly foregone conclusion of

permission to hang Mordecai on the new-made gallows of Haman.

Everybody was not in on the secret. Neither Esther, nor Mordecai, nor the

king himself knew of the project. Yet from a merely human point of view it

was all but certain. How the night passed for Esther and for Mordecai we

know not. Both had to acknowledge distinguishing mercies which the

preceding day had brought. But they both knew that one crisis happily

passed did but usher in another, and if this should not issue as favorably,

vain were the promise of the day before. Likely enough, then, the solemn

hours of that night were counted by them with wakeful anxiousness. For

what issues of life or death hung upon the next day. Haman’s night invites

not a solitary sympathy. This much we may surmise about it, that it was

disturbed by the noise of those who “made the gallows” (ch.5:14;

here, v.4; 7:9), and that its length was not prolonged over-far into the morning.

But the storm-center travels toward the night of Ahasuerus, and there very

soon it threateningly hangs. Ahasuerus was not a good man; he was not a

good king. How otherwise could he have permitted an insufferably vain,

self-seeking minion like Haman to be such a welcome and close

companion? How could he have committed to such a subject an authority

so dangerously approaching his own? Yet, as we have before seen

(ch. 1:4), there was a certain large lavish way about Ahasuerus —

the outside of a certain kindliness, impulsiveness, unthinking trustingness

within, which proved a heart not callous. These qualities did indeed

harmonize well with what we read elsewhere of Xerxes, and how his

feelings so overcame him when, from his throne of marble, he reviewed his

innumerable troops crossing the Hellespont, and reflected upon human

mortality. Ahasuerus was thoughtless and rash — the very things that

cannot be defended in either king or man — but he was not yet abandoned

of every higher presence; he was not yet “let alone.” As the word of God

here detains us to make special remark on the sleepless night of this king,

and exhibits it as the very crisis of the providential history under relation,

let us note:





Ø      We observe, and with some surprise, that there seems not the slightest

disposition on the part of the king, or of any one else, to attribute it to a

physical cause, nor to minister to it any physical antidote. Neither the

soporific of a drug or of drinking, nor the soothing of music, nor any

diversion are offered to it. Nor is it possible to suppose — as will hereafter

appear — that “the book of records of the chronicles” was sent for under

the expectation that it would serve simply to amuse, or to dissipate thought

and kill time.


Ø      However harassing it may have been, it seems to have been endured till

morning. The brief description which follows the statement, that the

king’s sleep fled that night, argues that what ensued happened all in close

connection, and so as to end with an hour that found men gathered in their

usual way in the gate, and Haman arrived (doubtless not late) in the court.

This would give time for thought’s growth into determination.


Ø      Whether the sleeplessness of the night was occasioned by any moral

thoughtfulness or not, it was in this direction that the mind of Ahasuerus

ran. Sleepless hours are often enough weary hours, yet perhaps more than

we think they open opportunity and offer choice to us. They ripen the

thought of iniquity, as they were at this very time doing for Haman; or

they are precipitating thought of good quality and beneficent result, as

they were now doing for Ahasuerus. Either, then, the sleeplessness of

Ahasuerus was occasioned by a moral movement of things within, or it

turned to that use. In either alternative there was a moral strangeness and

significance about it. The dark and imperfect religiousness, which was all

that can be claimed for it in and of itself, does in some senses add to its



Ø      The thoughts of that sleepless night did not die away. Generally, how

soon they do pass away, like the dreams of deep sleep. They are “like the

morning cloud and the early dew; as the chaff that is driven of the

whirlwind out of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney.” Nature’s

darkness, human stillness, even the body’s attitude of repose, all favor

highly-stimulated forms of thought. The sleepless night is often memory’s

field-day. Regrets and new resolutions meet together; repentance and

remorse alternate; the thoughts of happier days and the projects of more

innocent ones crowd the mental rendezvous — but with dawn they have

trooped away. But now not so with the. thoughts of the sleepless night of

the King Ahasuerus. They last, and they lead on to action. Purpose and

determination do not die away. They live, and to good purpose. In his own

way, and for once true to his light, though a light that burned lurid and

low, he will hearken to his “law and testimony,” if haply they have

anything to say to him.





Ø      The evidence of the simple facts of this night is in favor of the

interference of some external cause. It is not straining facts to take this

view of them, it would be restraining their legitimate force not to do so.

There is no known cause for the restlessness, but it is decided. The two

things that might have been expected to constitute a cause evidently exert

no influence. The proximate effect, for all that, nevertheless looks in that



Ø      The kind of use to which the sleeplessness is turned argues not only

external interference, but the external interference of One above. This

man, a most extremely unpromising subject on whom to work, is

wrought upon practically to religious purpose. Thought, and reading,

and listening, and question, and action follow one another in quick,

orderly, Divine kind of succession.


Ø      The means employed are like those of Divine operation, very simple,

awhile mistakable for most natural events.


Ø      The beneficent nature of the results of that night — opportune, to the

exact moment of time — and the exceeding greatness of them evidence

together a merciful wakeful Providence. That Providence is ever

wakeful when men are most deep asleep, but is not then least

wakeful when sometimes it bids us wake and keeps us sleepless.

(“Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor

sleep.”  Psalm 121:4)


5 “And the king’s servants said unto him, Behold, Haman standeth in

the court. And the king said, Let him come in.”  The servants looked into

the court, and seeing, somewhat to their surprise, Haman there, mentioned

him to the king. They would naturally mention the highest official whom

they saw in attendance.


6 “So Haman came in. And the king said unto him, What shall be

done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honor? Now

Haman thought in his heart, To whom would the king delight to do

honor more than to myself?  7 And Haman answered the king, For the

man whom the king delighteth to honor,”  Haman thought in his heart.

Literally, “said in his heart” i.e. “thought.”


8 “Let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and

the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which is

set upon his head:”   To wear a dress previously worn by the king was, under

ordinary circumstances, a breach of Persian law (Plut., ‘Vit. Artax.,’ 5); but the

king might allow it (Herod., 7:17) or condone it (Plut., 1. s.c.). The horse that the

king rideth upon. Rather, “a horse that the king hath ridden.” And the crown

 royal which is set upon his head. Rather, “and that hath a crown royal set on his

head.” Some peculiar ornament by which the royal steed was made conspicuous is

intended, not his own crown, which even Xerxes would scarcely have

allowed another to wear. See vs. 9 and 11, where the dress and the horse

are referred to, but the crown, as an adjunct of the horse, not particularized.


9 “And let this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of

the king’s most noble princes, that they may array the man withal

whom the king delighteth to honor, and bring him on horseback

through the street of the city, and proclaim before him, Thus shall

it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honor.”

Compare the honours given to Joseph in Egypt (Genesis 41:43).



Whom the King Delighteth to Honor (vs. 6-9)


It does not seem that Ahasuerus had any intention at this time to humiliate

Haman. His whole mind was set upon restitution and compensation to

Mordecai, whom he had so long neglected. As he had no knowledge of his

favorite’s dislike to the Jew, his only motive in requiring Haman to lead

Mordecai through the city was to show his gratitude to his humble friend

and benefactor. The honor which Mordecai received was indeed, in its

circumstances, very unusual, yet perhaps not unparalleled. Doubtless the

minister thought he was preparing honor for himself when he was really

unconsciously arranging a triumph for the man whom he hated, and whose

death he was compassing. The magnificence, the royal splendor of the

Jew’s progress through the city afforded satisfaction to the king’s heart,

whilst they were as gall and wormwood to Haman. For Mordecai was “the

man whom the king delighted to honour.” God, having reconciled and

pardoned the penitent sinner through Jesus Christ, the Mediator, takes

pleasure in putting upon the accepted and beloved all the honor He can

bestow and we can receive.




PRESENT STATE. The change between Mordecai in sackcloth and ashes,

uttering a loud and bitter cry, and Mordecai upon the king’s horse, and

arrayed in royal robes, is as nothing compared with the contrast between

the impenitent and unforgiven sinner and THE JUSTIFIED AND




PRIESTS UNTO GOD.” (Revelation 1:6)  The Jewish exile clad in regal

attire may be a figure of the Christian whom God crowns and honors,

whom He exalts to His favor and unites to His Son.






GLORIOUS ANGELS. Mordecai was led through Shushan by “the first

minister of the crown.” For the children of God are provided the

ministrations of the angels, who “are sent forth to minister for them who

shall be heirs of salvation.”  (Hebrews 1:14)




came to take his place in the palace, at the door of which he had sat, and

to wield power over the empire, so those whom the heavenly King

delighteth to honor:


Ø      shall enter His presence,

Ø      share His joy, and

Ø      sit with His Son upon the throne of dominion.  (Revelation 3:21)


10 “Then the king said to Haman, Make haste, and take the apparel and

the horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew,

that sitteth at the king’s gate: let nothing fail of all that thou hast

spoken.”  Make haste. The king will have no more delay in a matter

which has been delayed far too long. Haman is to “hasten, and confer the

honor at once. Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth in the king’s gate.

Mordecai’s nationality and his employment were probably mentioned in the

book of the chronicles. From these the king has learned them, and he uses

probably the very phrase of the records. Let nothing fail. Observe every

particular of honour that you have mentioned; let there be no omission of

one jot or tittle.


11“Then took Haman the apparel and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai,

and brought him on horseback through the street of the city, and

proclaimed before him, Thus shall it be done unto the man whom

the king delighteth to honor.”  It was impossible for Haman

to excuse himself; there was no ground on which he could decline the

office thrust upon him. Reluctantly, without a word, he performed the

king’s bidding.



FRIENDS (vs. 12-14). There was as yet no real reason for Haman to feel depressed,

or to regard himself as having lost favor with the king. He had been made an

instrument in another man’s honor, and had suffered a disappointment; but otherwise

he was situated as on the day preceding, when he “went forth” from the palace

“joyful and with a glad heart” (ch.5:9). But he seems to have had a presentiment of

impending calamity. All had as yet gone so well with him that the first

vexation seemed like a turn in the tide, ominous of coming evil. And the

fear of his own heart found an echo in the hearts of his wife and friends.

Among the last were some who had the reputation of being “wise men” —

perhaps Magians, acquainted with arts from which it was supposed they

could divine the future. These persons ventured on a prediction. “If

Mordecai, before whom thou hast begun to fall, be of the seed of the Jews,

thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely (or utterly) fall before

him.” With this evil presage ringing in his ears, Haman quitted his house,

and accompanied the palace eunuchs who had been sent to conduct him to

Esther’s second banquet.


12 “And Mordecai came again to the king’s gate. But Haman hasted to

his house mourning, and having his head covered.” And Mordecai came again

to the king’s gate. Returned, i.e., to his former condition and employment. The high

honor done him was regarded as sufficient reward. Having his head covered. Like

David when he fled from Absalom (II Samuel 15:30; compare Psalm 44:15).



Glory Exchanged for Woe (v. 12)


“Boast not thyself of to-morrow,” says the wise man, “for thou knowest not what

a day may bring forth.”  (Proverbs 27:1)  Yesterday Haman was full of exultation

and of boasting; his place was by the throne; his enemy was at his feet. This

morning that enemy is in favor; his own position is imperiled; his vaunting seems

vain; his prospects gloomy. As Haman goes to his house, after executing the king’s

behest, his heart is filled with apprehensions.




He covers his head, as not daring to look any one in the face, as fearing

that disgrace and disaster are at hand.


Let us remember the vicissitudes of human affairs and  “Put not your trust in

princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.”  (Psalm 146:3)

Let us remember to humble ourselves before the mighty hand of God, that He

may exalt us in due time.  (I Peter 5:6)  It is better to come before Him in lowliness

and contrition now than to appear before Him in shame hereafter.


13 “And Haman told Zeresh his wife and all his friends every thing that

had befallen him. Then said his wise men and Zeresh his wife unto

him, If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou

hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt

surely fall before him.”  His wise men. Magians, perhaps, whom he was in

the habit of consulting concerning the future. On the supposed prophetic powers

of the Magians see Herod., 1:107, 120; 7:19; Duris, Fr. 7, etc. If Mordecai be of

the seed of the Jews. It is difficult to understand how this could any

longer be regarded as doubtful. His fellow servants knew it (ch.3:4); Haman

knew it (ibid. v. 6); Ahasuerus knew it (supra, v. 10). The “wise men” profess

to regard it as uncertain, perhaps to give their words a more oracular character.

Thou shalt surely fall.  Rather, “thou shalt utterly fall.”


14“And while they were yet talking with him, came the king’s

chamberlains, and hasted to bring Haman unto the banquet that

Esther had prepared.”  This is a custom not elsewhere mentioned as Persian,

but quite in accordance with Oriental ideas. The polite host sends his servants

to escort guests of importance from their own homes to the place of entertainment.



Exaltation and Humiliation (vs. 4,14)


  • HASTE. Having seen the gallows prepared for Mordecai overnight,

Haman was early astir next morning. He was in the court of the palace

while the king was yet having the chronicles read to him, resolved to seize

the first moment to get permission to hang the Jew. His plan of revenge

was to be executed and done with long before the hour of the queen’s

banquet (Proverbs 1:16). “The children of this world are wiser,”

because more diligent, “in their generation than the children of light.” If the

self-denial and earnestness with which men pursue evil and worldly things

were equally exhibited by all the righteous in pursuit of the things of Christ,




  • COINCIDENCE. When the king wanted an adviser at that early hour,

Haman happened to be in the court. The thoughts of both the king and his

favorite happened to be occupied and excited by the same man. The haste

of Haman to get Mordecai hanged happened to meet the haste of the king

to get him rewarded. Faith can often discern the marks of a Divine

providence in what men call accidents or coincidences. Belief in a living

God is inconsistent with belief in any “fortuitous concourse.”


  • ERROR. The question put by the king to Haman at once led him

astray. Whose honor would the king delight to promote if not that of the

man on whom he had already bestowed such unusual distinction? His vain

heart betrayed him. How greedy is vanity. How selfish are the slaves of sin.

The answer of Haman was shaped by his own desires. The honor he

suggested would have been foolish and worthless as given to any other

person than himself. But the only thing left for his ambition to aspire to

was such a public and resplendent exhibition of the royal delight in him as

that which he described. A man of evil does not easily suspect good feeling

or good purpose in any associate. He projects himself into his judgment of

others. Thus he is very liable to make mistakes. His whole life is a mistake

an error from beginning to end.


  • DISAPPOINTMENT. When the king commanded Haman to do unto

Mordecai every whit of what he had recommended, the blow that fell on

the astonished favorite must have been heavy. That the man for whom he

had made a gallows should receive the honor which he had proposed for

himself! what a reversing of things. There are many disappointments and

reverses which attract our entire sympathy, but we can only rejoice when

the expectation of the wicked is cut short. It was a fit measure of justice

that Haman should have proposed the honour which Mordecai was to

wear. Judgment pursues the evil-doer. In the end all his hopes will be



  • HUMILIATION. Haman had not only to see done, but to do, what the

king commanded. He was the “one of the king’s most noble princes” who

had to array Mordecai in royal apparel, and place him on a horse, and lead

him through the city, and proclaim before him, “Thus shall it be done to the

man whom the king delighteth to honour.” And all this he did to the man

whom he most hated, and for whom he had erected a gallows. It was a

bitter humiliation, but there was no escape from it. Those who climb to

worldly greatness by wrong ways HAVE TO EAT MUCH DIRT!  They

sharpen the knife that will sooner or later enter their soul.


  • EXALTATION. Mordecai yielded himself up to the king’s mode of

honoring him. He put himself in the hands of Haman, and went quietly

through the whole process. It was a triumph that might be justly enjoyed,

and one too that promised greater things. God was manifestly with His

servant. Unseen influences were at work. The attempt to deliver Israel was

prospering. This public honor would strengthen Esther, and have some

effect on the king. The bad man who led the Jew’s horse and proclaimed

his favor with the king was declining in power, and the desired

redemption of a devoted people was drawing near. Thus GOD


enemies serve them. Amidst much darkness and fear He causes His light

to shine, and gives His servants bright indications of a coming victory.


  • HUMILITY. A Haman would have been intoxicated by such an

honor as was conferred on his enemy. To Mordecai the parade through

the city was but an empty pageant, except in so far as it might contribute to

his purpose of saving Israel. Hence we find him, after putting off the royal

robes, returning to his post at the king’s gate. The passing honors of the

world make no change in those who are weighted with the pursuit of

honors which THE WORLD CANNOT GIVE!   Their chief desire is to

be at their post and do the work given them by a higher than an earthly

master — “to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with their God”

(Micah 6:8). It required no effort for Mordecai to descend from his

momentary exaltation to his humble position as a palace servitor. His duty

was in the king’s gate. How blessed to be able to subordinate all merely

personal or earthly things TO THE SERVICE OF GOD!


  • OMENS. The result of that morning’s proceedings was depressing

to Haman. He retired to his home again to consult his wife and friends.

How different his tale now from that which had inspired him and them the

night before. The tall gallows in the courtyard was a gaunt mockery. The

shame that had so unaccountably overtaken its lord laid a cold hand on the

hearts of all his household. The fear of Israel, that strange people who

trusted in a God of gods, entered strongly into their thoughts, and made

their words ominous. The conviction was felt and expressed by them that if

Mordecai were a Jew, Haman had already begun to fall, and that a

disastrous end was inevitable. History affords many instances of the power

of omens to destroy the happiness and hope of bad men. The silent

workings of Divine providence have their effect on the wicked as well as

on the good. In the one they inspire a fear which saps energy and skill; in

the other they work a faith which gives strength and light. King Saul is not

the only one whose heart and hand have been paralyzed by superstitious

fears arising from a rebellion against DIVINE RULE!   In the path of the

wicked specters of a holy and avenging power are ever rising up to throw

blight on their aims and hopes.  THERE IS A JUDGMENT EVEN IN




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