Haman's Fall Before The King And Queen - Esther 7:1-10
Last week we saw that the momentum in this story has completely shifted by the providential hand of God from Haman to Esther. On the previous night before Haman had a 70’ gallows built in his yard on which he could kill Mordecai. Then early in the morning he went to the king’s palace to get permission to execute righteous Mordecai.
Little did he know, however, that the LORD had kept the king up all night. At that time the king called for the book of Chronicles, the book of Memorable Deeds, and had it read to him. It was then that the king was reminded that he had never rewarded Mordecai for saving his life and he acted very quickly to right the wrong. Haman was entrapped by his own pride, arrogance and conceit; and instead of being able to ask the king for permission to kill Mordecai, he was told to be the principle player in honoring him.
Haman was crushed and humiliated after having done this and he returned to his family and friends hoping to receive some comfort but it did not happen. They said to him, “If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of the Jewish people, you will not overcome him but you will surely fall before him.” Then read these words in Esther 6:14, “And while they were yet talking with him, the king’s eunuchs arrived and hurried to bring Haman to the feast that Esther had prepared.”
At this point, the momentum has completely shifted. Haman is beginning to see that his kingdom is falling apart and he is powerless to stop it. Everything is out of his control; not that it was ever really true that he was controlling any of these events. God raises up and he tears people down.
Our text this morning is Esther 7:1-10,
So the king and Haman went in to feast with Queen Esther. 2 And on the second day, as they were drinking wine after the feast, the king again said to Esther, “What is your wish, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” 3 Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be granted me for my wish, and my people for my request. 4 For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. If we had been sold merely as slaves, men and women, I would have been silent, for our affliction is not to be compared with the loss to the king.” 5 Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther, “Who is he, and where is he, who has dared to do this?” 6 And Esther said, “A foe and enemy! This wicked Haman!” Then Haman was terrified before the king and the queen.
7 And the king arose in his wrath from the wine-drinking and went into the palace garden, but Haman stayed to beg for his life from Queen Esther, for he saw that harm was determined against him by the king. 8 And the king returned from the palace garden to the place where they were drinking wine, as Haman was falling on the couch where Esther was. And the king said, “Will he even assault the queen in my presence, in my own house?” As the word left the mouth of the king, they covered Haman's face. 9 Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs in attendance on the king, said, “Moreover, the gallows that Haman has prepared for Mordecai, whose word saved the king, is standing at Haman's house, fifty cubits high.” And the king said, “Hang him on that.” 10 So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the wrath of the king abated.
Our text begins in Esther 7:1 with these words, “So the king and Haman went in to feast with Queen Esther.” There are two passages of scripture that come to mind as I consider Esther in this moment. First, I think of Psalm 23:5-6. I can see her saying these words to herself, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” She will soon ask King Ahasuerus for her request; but ultimately she is continuing to look to the LORD for deliverance.
Secondly, I think of Psalm 123 as a Psalm that she might remember at this time. There we read,
To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens! 2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he has mercy upon us.
3 Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us, for we have had more than enough of contempt. 4 Our soul has had more than enough of the scorn of those who are at ease, of the contempt of the proud.
The King Honors The Queen
Esther 7:2 says, “And on the second day, as they were drinking wine after the feast, the king again said to Esther, ‘What is your wish, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.’”
This is the third occasion in which the king has sought to hear Esther’s wish and to act upon her request. Three times the king has brought this up to Esther. Three times the king has taken the initiative to hear from Esther about what she would desire to have. He has promised to give her up to half his kingdom on all three of these occasions. He has not wavered, backed off, seemed intimidated or seemed hesitant to hear what she has to say.
One of the reasons that I mention this is because in two of my commentaries on Esther they mentioned that King Ahasuerus was not able to sleep in Esther 6:1 because he was afraid of what the queen might ask for. They suggest that the king may have regretted having promised Esther that he would give her up to half of his kingdom. For example David Firth said this, “...it is perfectly possible to understand why the king might not have been able to sleep. If our exegesis of 5:7-8 is correct then the king may be aware that Esther is about to (quite literally) take him up on his promise of up to the half of his kingdom. Ahasuerus might not be the brightest king that ever lived, but even for him this would be a perfectly plausible reason for sleeplessness.”1
I would have to disagree with this line of thinking and the conclusions that come from it. We have seen that the king has trusted the word of many foolish people so far in the book of Esther. We have also seen that the king quickly gives wicked Haman his signet ring and full authority to institute an evil plan against the Jews. None of these events made him loose one moment of sleep even though it should have done so. We have also seen that Esther has been honored by others over and over again because of her dignity and grace.
I find it hard to believe that the king, even as foolish as he has been, cannot sense that there is something different about Esther. She is humble, gracious, compassionate, contented and wise; and no husband looses a moment of sleep because of these qualities in their wife.
Proverbs 31:10-12 – An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She doe3s him good, and not harm all the days of her life.