Esther Prepares a Banquet
5 On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace, in front of the king’s quarters, while the king was sitting on his royal throne inside the throne room opposite the entrance to the palace. And when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, she won favor in his sight, and he held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter. And the king said to her, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given you, even to the half of my kingdom.” And Esther said, “If it please the king, let the king and Haman come today to a feast that I have prepared for the king.” Then the king said, “Bring Haman quickly, so that we may do as Esther has asked.” So the king and Haman came to the feast that Esther had prepared. And as they were drinking wine after the feast, the king said to Esther, “What is your wish? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” Then Esther answered, “My wish and my request is: If I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to grant my wish and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come to the feast that I will prepare for them, and tomorrow I will do as the king has said.”
Haman Plans to Hang Mordecai
And Haman went out that day joyful and glad of heart. But when Haman saw Mordecai in the king’s gate, that he neither rose nor trembled before him, he was filled with wrath against Mordecai. Nevertheless, Haman restrained himself and went home, and he sent and brought his friends and his wife Zeresh. And Haman recounted to them the splendor of his riches, the number of his sons, all the promotions with which the king had honored him, and how he had advanced him above the officials and the servants of the king. Then Haman said, “Even Queen Esther let no one but me come with the king to the feast she prepared. And tomorrow also I am invited by her together with the king. Yet all this is worth nothing to me, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate.” Then his wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, “Let a gallows fifty cubits high be made, and in the morning tell the king to have Mordecai hanged upon it. Then go joyfully with the king to the feast.” This idea pleased Haman, and he had the gallows made.
Esther 5 Commentary
by Hank Workman
“The arrogance of your heart has deceived you…”Obadiah 3:3
Prayer and fasting led Esther to act. It was probably one of the scariest things she had ever had to do. Stretched beyond her limit, she literally walked into the throne room in faith her God would protect her. True to form, God did.
The tactic she spoke of to the King actually has some debate believe it or not. Some commentators think she was stalling. Others believe that at that moment she was unsure of how to address the issue of Haman and his plans to wipe her people off the planet. However, it seems from the outcome after the invite to the private party she would host for the King and Haman there was one more piece of the puzzle that needed to be snapped together. God was in this moment of her waiting. If the words didn’t come to her at that moment, it was because full disclosure was not ready to be told.
Many times we have a set agenda of how we want to see something go down. This is particularly true when it comes to a confrontation or a difficult conversation. The reliance however of what God is doing behind the scenes must always be waited upon so the impact of what He wants to accomplish through the conversation can be dealt with. What needed to be dealt with was a significant rising of Haman’s emotions and behavior that would suddenly turn things on its head.
Although he was so filled with pride after having been invited to a private dinner, it meant nothing to him. Yes, he values himself above all others, going all the way back to the opening problem of Mordecai not bowing before him. But even such an invitation seemed irrelevant as he is consumed with sheer hatred for Mordecai and his people. His pride is off the charts. His insecurities are driving him. His arrogance blinding.
Arrogance is not only destructive but deeply harmful to others. It destroys relationships, places barriers between oneself and usually everyone. It develops an unteachable spirit. The arrogant person is deceived. It is what pushes people to do very foolish things. It causes them to speak without thought. The most arrogant people I know usually have no voice of reason in their circle. They never admit they’re wrong. They never own their mistakes. They shift the blame continually. They’ve driven people off who simply don’t want to be part of their life any longer.
Step back. Take a look at your current relationships? What is the basis of such? Do you have people who can freely speak into your life? Do you accept their words or justify your actions ad-nauseum? Have you been deceived and blinded by your own arrogance? This not only is affecting your current relationships but the most important relationship of all, the one you hold with God.
Esther 5 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
This is an interesting chapter. Many commentators and scholars will be quick to point out the timing was not right for Esther to make her ask. It’s hard to know. Did God prevent Esther from saying anything because it wasn’t the right time or did He allow her grace because she just couldn’t get the words out? Was it divine sovereignty or human will? Hold that thought. We will return to it in Chapter 6.
In the meantime, God allows time for Haman to continue to do… uh… Haman-like things. Boasting and carrying on like a fool, he continues to illustrate just how insecure he is. His fixation on Mordecai was obsessive and at this point was overtaking his life. This was the chink in his armor. His life wouldn’t be complete until Mordecai worshipped him or died.
Think about that for a moment.
This attitude of Haman’s was not only crazy but also satanic. If Satan cannot get us to worship him he will be happy to pepper us with his repulsive tactics and eventually take our lives. But notice what the text says about Mordecai. He was not afraid of this monster.
That day Haman left full of joy and in good spirits. But when Haman saw Mordecai at the King’s Gate, and Mordecai didn’t rise or tremble in fear at his presence, Haman was filled with rage toward Mordecai.Esther 5:9 HCSB
Mordecai and Esther are in a similar predicament. Both are facing tangible fears. Both must muster up courage in the face of potential suffering. Both must rely on their God who sits far above earthly kings and officials. If there is anything to cling to in this chapter, it is to stand in awe at the perseverance and faith of these two believers. They would not back down from what God had called them to do. Yes, they would be pushed to the brink, but even in the darkest times of their life, they were being secured by the mighty hand of their Father!