Esther 6:7 – 11 So he answered the king, “For the man the king delights to honor, have them bring a royal robe the king has worn and a horse the king has ridden, one with a royal crest placed on its head. Then let the robe and horse be entrusted to one of the king’s most noble princes. Let them robe the man the king delights to honor, and lead him on the horse through the city streets, proclaiming before him, ‘This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!’ ”

“Go at once,” the king commanded Haman. “Get the robe and the horse and do just as you have suggested for Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the king’s gate. Do not neglect anything you have recommended.”

So Haman got the robe and the horse. He robed Mordecai, and led him on horseback through the city streets, proclaiming before him, “This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!”

Haman had an interesting answer for the king, don’t you think? Remember, Haman thinks that he is setting up his own reward. He was already a wealthy man, so he didn’t ask for money. He already had the highest position he could hope to attain, so he didn’t ask for a promotion. What Haman wanted, more than anything, was public recognition and respect. He wanted everyone to know how important he was.

But the Bible teaches us that we shouldn’t seek to be more important than those around us. Instead, we are to be meek and humble. We are to be servants to all. When we seek to elevate ourselves to levels of importance, it almost always backfires.

Can you imagine what Haman must have thought when the king told him to go find Mordecai, and honor him in that way? Haman couldn’t even assign the task to someone else, for the king specifically asked him to do it. Haman had to place the robe on Mordecai’s back, help Mordecai up on a horse, and lead the horse through town while yelling, “This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!”

Mordecai, the very man Haman loathed – the very man he had built a scaffold for, with plans to execute in the most humiliating way possible – was given the very honor Haman had planned for himself. Talk about a big fat slice of humble pie.

There is a lesson to be learned here, friends. God doesn’t approve of people who seek to elevate themselves. Other people don’t usually approve of it either. Most of us can spot a self-important, self-promoting person from miles away, and we usually avoid them. God honors humility. People respect humility. I would much rather give my honor and respect to a person who treats me like I’m important, than to someone who treats others as if they are nothing.

Mordecai didn’t seek to elevate himself. After saving the king, he never once complained that he was not rewarded. He probably forgot the whole incident, to be honest. He was a humble servant of the king, and he was eventually rewarded for his faithful service.

Haman, on the other hand, certainly received his come-uppance. He got what he deserved.

And so did Mordecai.

Dear Father, Please help me to remember to be a servant to others. Help me to treat others with respect, instead of seeking to elevate myself.


2 Responses to Backfire

  1. July 15, 2008 #

    I know it’s wrong to take delight in another’s misery, but…..with Haman I just can’t help it!

  2. July 15, 2008 #

    He’s one of those people we just love to hate, isn’t he?

    Lord, forgive us.

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