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Here we have in this chapter the final ruin of Haman. Esther, at the banquet, presents her petition; prays for her life, and the life of her people: accuses Haman of his villany. The king orders his execution.
(1) ¶ So the king and Haman came to banquet with Esther the queen. (2) And the king said again unto Esther on the second day at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition, queen Esther? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? and it shall be performed, even to the half of the kingdom.
It should seem that the king was as anxious to know and to answer Esther's request, as she was to present it. He again repeats what he had twice said before, that to the half of his kingdom, let her request be what it might, it should be granted. Here, Reader! pause and consider, that if this poor heathen was so jealous of his honor to fulfil his word, what must thy God be to fulfil his promises? He that graciously proclaims himself as the faithful God. Deuteronomy 7:9 . Oh! for faith to give the Lord the honour due unto his name!
(3) Then Esther the queen answered and said, If I have found favour in thy sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request: (4) For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held my tongue, although the enemy could not countervail the king's damage.
Is not this petition of Esther, spiritually considered, very suitable for the petition of every poor sinner before a gracious God, in Christ? Are we not sold? have we not indeed sold ourselves by sin, by iniquity, and transgression? And had our slavery been for God's glory, how could we have stood up for deliverance from it. But when it is for the triumph of Satan; oh! surely Jesus will rescue us from the wrath to come, and take us from the power of the enemy.
(5) Then the king Ahasuerus answered and said unto Esther the queen, Who is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so?
No doubt the king must have been greatly surprised at the nature of this request. But, Reader! our petitions are all known, and all answered before they are delivered. He that hears prayer, is the Awakener of prayer, as well as the Rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
(6) And Esther said, The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman. Then Haman was afraid before the king and the queen.
How delightful was this honest boldness. The righteous are bold as a lion. Think of Haman's terrors: his own conscience accused him: he needed no other. Alas! what an awful day will that be to the sinner, when standing before the judgment-seat of Christ. Oh! for grace now in the day of grace to flee from the wrath to come!
(7) ¶ And the king arising from the banquet of wine in his wrath went into the palace garden: and Haman stood up to make request for his life to Esther the queen; for he saw that there was evil determined against him by the king. (8) Then the king returned out of the palace garden into the place of the banquet of wine; and Haman was fallen upon the bed whereon Esther was. Then said the king, Will he force the queen also before me in the house? As the word went out of the king's mouth, they covered Haman's face.
What passed in the king's mind is not known; but it should seem that he returned with more anger, and the situation of Haman, fallen down before Esther in a way of supplication, tended but to inflame his passion the more. All was graciously arranged by the providence of the Lord, to hasten on the ruin of Haman. Behold, Reader! how wisely and securely the Lord orders all things for the accomplishment of the sacred purposes of his will.
(9) And Harbonah, one of the chamberlains, said before the king, Behold also, the gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman had made for Mordecai, who had spoken good for the king, standeth in the house of Haman. Then the king said, Hang him thereon. (10) So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king's wrath pacified.
It is not the smallest evidence of the general worthlessness of Haman's character, that this Harbonah was so ready to suggest to the king the gallows Haman had erected to hang Mordecai upon. Thus he fell into his own snare. And the very method he had taken for the destruction of a man who had never injured him, proved his own death. Pause, and contemplate the sure end of the ungodly. And what a display is made of the Lord's providential superintendence through all. So let all thine enemies perish, O Lord. But let them that love thee be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might.
READER! do not let the history of this wretched man Haman pass away from thy mind, without leaving the suitable reflections the review of such an awful character ought to occasion. What our blessed Lord said of some in his days seems applicable to some in all the days of the Church; Ye are (said Jesus to them) of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do; he was a murderer from the beginning. And what a resemblance doth the character of Haman bear to such a stock? His hatred to poor Mordecai, stirred up by the evil spirit, disdained to show itself against an individual only; the whole race shall die. Inflamed by power, by pride, and a troop of evil passions, he prosecutes his implacable malice, and to the attainment of this one object he would sacrifice every other. Pause, Reader, as you contemplate the man. Recollect that the same depravity is every man's by nature; and, but fur grace, the evil which one man feels disposed to do, all would feel disposed to do. Nothing makes the difference, but the sovereign, free, restraining, preventing, and renewing grace of God in Jesus. Oh! for a thorough sense of this upon the heart! Oh! for a more awakened knowledge of our infinite and eternal mercies in Jesus. Oh! forever blessed, blessed be God for Jesus Christ.
One word more before we quit this chapter. See, Reader, in Either's suit obtained, after all the difficulties which seemed to lay in the way, that the cause of God's people can never be overlooked, nor forgotten. Hence, then, let us gather a renewed evidence that in Jesus and his great salvation are everlastingly secured to his people all the blessings contained in redemption. Trials, and difficulties, and seemingly impossibilities of deliverance, may, and must indeed, beset the people of Jesus in their way: but never forget this; Jesus is everlastingly pursuing one invariable plan of happiness concerning them. Oh! for grace to love Jesus, and to know Jesus as a friend, even when in his providences he seems to frown as though he was an enemy. Oh! for grace to lean won one arm, when with the other he is correcting; to cleave to him, when we cannot take comfort from the darkness of his ways towards us. By and by (the soul saith) he will appear to my joy: I shall behold his face in righteousness. I know that all the ways of the Lord are mercy and truth. Things are now dark; but the morning will come. Oh! for grace, then, to wait the Lord's time, and to be convinced that all things must and do work together for good to them that love God, and are the called according to his purpose.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Esther 7". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29