The King’s Pleasure and Displeasure

So King Xerxes and Haman once again go to dine with Queen Esther and after the meal while they are reclining drinking their wine, just as many today have coffee after a meal, the king once again addresses the queen.  Wanting to finally hear her petition and request, he signaled to her that he is willing to grant it.  Remember, he has had the entire evening to contemplate whether or not he would be willing to grant what was sure to be a large request, even up to half his kingdom.  He must have loved and trusted her greatly to be willing to grant a large request before even hearing it.

 

Esther, the Queen, finally answers, but also prefaces her request.  “If I have found favor with you, oh king, and if it pleases your majesty…”  Remember our definition for favor and our discussion about being pleasing.  Both of those things still apply.  She is seeking his pleasure and reminding him that she does please him and is deserving of his favor and grace. 

Then came the petition and request.  She asks for her life and the sparing of her people.  She is finally identifying who she really is to her own husband.  She is a Jew.  If her people have been sold to destruction, slaughter, and annihilation, then so has she.  In doing so, she is choosing to stand with her people, which is more important to her than being the Queen of Persia. 

Who will the king choose?  The Jewish girl he married unknowingly or the Queen of Persia?  Will he deny who she really is and deem her guilty of treason for deceiving the king? 

Esther then says and does something profound – something other Jewish women of faith have done in the past.  She is about to stand in the gap, so to speak, and give her husband a very strong warning.  She is truly a daughter of Sarah and Rebekah.  Think on that a moment and hopefully one day we can discuss that as well.

 

She carefully lets him know that if they had merely been sold as slaves she would have said nothing.  But, then she begins to paint the real picture of danger that her husband has gotten himself into.  This danger is the danger of incurring the wrath of God. 

You see the words, “because no such distress would justify disturbing the king” could also be translated, “… but this adversary could not reckon the king’s loss.”  I believe the latter to be the better and more accurate translation and it definitely fits the context of the whole book better. 

Remember that Haman had offered to compensate the king through money and plunder for the annihilation of the Jews from his kingdom.  Also remember that Esther even knows the amount Haman offered.  However, that large earthly sum could not even begin to compare to the loss he would suffer at God’s hands for annihilating the people of God. 

Also, notice the word “our”.  She is not just saying that the enemy, Haman, is the adversary of her and the Jews, but of her husband as well.

 

Xerxes definitely gets the point and demands to know the identity of the adversary.  Who is the man who would oppose my wife, my Queen and her people and dare to come between me and my wife?  Who?

 

Esther then finally reveals the adversary and enemy.  Note that both words from the Hebrew can be translated adversary or enemy.  The one she would name is an enemy of enemies who is based on pure wickedness and evil.  It is the wicked Haman.

 

It was Haman.  The one Xerxes thought he could trust to have his back.  The one he had trusted to not betray him when there seemed to be enemies all around.  It was Haman who attempted to come between him and his wife and bring the wrath of God upon him.  Is there any greater betrayal?

 

Let’s not forget that Haman is setting right there listening to the king and queen as they begin to understand together that Haman has betrayed them.  You see, as long as they were apart and Esther was the only one knew the truth Haman was safe.  However, Haman was in real danger after the King and Queen came together and worked together as one.  Haman knew of the king’s love and respect for his wife and queen and that he would be willing to fight for her.

 

Make no mistake about it, our King is willing to fight and protect us as well.  The enemy knows that when we stand with Yeshua, stand together as Yeshua’s Bride in His will, then he is in trouble.  That is why he seeks to divide us so much and keep us separated from the will of our King.  We too are in a battle of annihilation and we must stand together with our King and identify our true enemy and shine light into his darkness.

 

The enemy knows his fate and knows it has already been decided.  Notice this was true of Haman as well and when the king gets up to leave in his rage, Haman begins to beg Esther for his life.  I believe the king leaves to seek some self-control.  He wants this rage and wrath to be properly directed and controlled. 

Let’s also not forget how skillfully Esther handled this.  Even though she made it clear that the king would suffer loss from incurring the wrath of God, she was very careful to point the responsibility and ultimate blame on Haman and not Xerxes.  I think that is the real reason she had Haman come to these banquets, so that when she finally revealed the truth she would have the enemy to point directly to.  I also find it interesting that Haman begs for his life from the one he sought to kill – knowingly or not.

 

Xerxes returned from the palace garden—where he had sought to think things through, to find Haman at the feet of his wife, a place that was forbidden to all except him.  The passage says that he “fell” to her feet.  I think you will find it interesting to know that the word “fell” can also be translated “to cast down oneself or lots, to die, to perish, to slay, or to smite out”.  This whole business started with the casting of lots.  I don’t think it is just a coincidence that that idea is also used here.  Haman knows in order to live he must cast himself down and die to what he wanted.

 

Once again Xerxes’ anger or hot displeasure spikes again and he even accuses Haman of attempting to molest the Queen right under his nose.  The word for “molest” can also be translated “to subjugate, to conquer, or to bring into bondage.”  The king was very aware of the position Haman was taking and what he was trying to accomplish.  His motives were clear.  How brazen was this enemy?

 

It is at this point we realize Xerxes might not have left the room just to calm down, but also to bring attendants to arrest and execute Haman.  We see Harbona, perhaps one of those who had escorted Haman to the banquet.  This would have given him the opportunity to learn of the gallows Haman had been built for Mordecai.  Harbona, speaks up and lets the king know about the gallows.  Then Haman, who is now under a covering, hears the order of the king for him to be hung on those same gallows.  The words his wife and friends had spoken to him of his ruin were quickly coming to pass.

 

Then the King’s anger subsided.  This subsided anger was the idea of allaying ones passions through secreting them, it was a flood abated.  The anger literally washed off of him.  Now there was work to be done.

 

In the Name of our King,

Vicky

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