Reading through the book of Esther lately . . .

I want to talk about someone that is rarely the subject of any sermon or Christian lesson. His name is Haman – the close friend of the king and bitter enemy of the Jews. Haman’s life is filled with honor, wealth, popularity, and prestige. Everyone has to bow in his presence. But there is one Jew who refuses to do so. His name is Mordecai – the uncle of Queen Esther.

No matter what is going for him, Haman cannot get past Mordecai’s refusal to worship him. When you get to chapter 5 of the book Haman has issued a decree that all the Jews in the land are to be annihilated just because of Mordecai’s defiance. And a little later, Haman is talking about his life with friends and family . . .

  • Esther 5:10-13 . . . Calling together his friends and Zeresh, his wife, [11] 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. [12] “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. [13] But all this gives me no satisfaction as long as I see that Jew Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate.”

I want to point out those words, “But all this gives me no satisfaction as long as . . .”

For all intents and purposes Haman’s life is awesome. Pleasure, prominence, and power. But it’s all unsatisfying because of one man. One small issue leads Haman to ask for the destruction of an entire race. One area he can’t control leads him to a life out of control.

Isn’t that human nature at it’s finest. We let one area of our lives affect our whole life.

You know what happens when we do that? We start making terrible decisions. Haman’s bitterness over Mordecai led to his request that the Jews be killed, which led to Esther telling the king about this, which led to the king’s anger because Esther herself was a Jew, which led to the King’s decree that Haman and his sons be hung on the gallows Haman had built for Mordecai.

There will always be something in your life you won’t be happy with. (Hopefully it’s not that someone won’t worship you!) But it may be a troublesome relationship, a habit you want out of your life, or a difficult aspect of our work. Don’t let it destroy the whole.

Paul’s thorn in the flesh was terribly bothersome – but he choose to declare God’s grace sufficient.

Doing the same could save us from a host of misery.