Esther 5:9 – 14 Haman went out that day happy and in high spirits. But when he saw Mordecai at the king’s gate and observed that he neither rose nor showed fear in his presence, he was filled with rage against Mordecai. Nevertheless, Haman restrained himself and went home.
Calling together his friends and Zeresh, his wife, Haman boasted to them about his vast wealth, his many sons, and all the ways the king had honored him and how he had elevated him above the other nobles and officials. “And that’s not all,” Haman added. “I’m the only person Queen Esther invited to accompany the king to the banquet she gave. And she has invited me along with the king tomorrow. But all this gives me no satisfaction as long as I see that Jew Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate.”
His wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, “Have a gallows built, seventy-five feet high, and ask the king in the morning to have Mordecai hanged on it. Then go with the king to the dinner and be happy.” This suggestion delighted Haman, and he had the gallows built.
Well, well now. Haman is certainly the big man, isn’t he? And he wants to make sure everyone knows it. As soon as he leaves Esther’s banquet, he tells everyone he knows how important he is. He wants to make sure they are all appropriately impressed with him.
You would think that a big, important man like Haman would be able to simply ignore a little nobody like Mordecai. After all, Mordecai was just a lowly judge. Mordecai certainly wasn’t dining with the queen. Why did he even matter?
But Haman wasn’t really a big man at all. He was very small, in my opinion. He was petty. And in my experience, the smaller the person, the bigger the mouth. The smaller the person, the more they have to convince those around them of their importance.
These are the people who gossip, and slander, and act maliciously. They put others down in order to make themselves feel higher. They brag about their accomplishments, and they are miffed when others don’t recognize their importance.
I don’t want to be a small person, like Haman. But I must confess, there have been times when I have acted small and petty. There are times when I should ignore some minor grievance, yet I make big deal out of nothing, simply because of my pride. And for those times, I am embarrassed and ashamed.
Jesus, in Mark 9:35 said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” Poor Haman. He wanted to be first. He wanted to be great, but he just didn’t know how to go about it. And it was his own pride and pettiness that later caused his demise. After all, if he hadn’t gotten mad because Mordecai wouldn’t bow to him, we probably wouldn’t be reading this story today.
I wonder what havoc I have caused, what bad feelings, what hurt has come about because of my smallness. I wonder how often, in trying to make myself look good, I have actually caused others to think poorly of me. I don’t want to be like Haman. Instead, I want to be like Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:6 – 11
Dear Father, Please forgive me for the times I have been petty. Forgive me for the times I have bragged. Please help me to be like Jesus, and be the servant of all.