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Day 3: Chapter 3

Have you ever seen someone “unfairly” passed over for a promotion? Well, that’s what happens here. Haman is elevated by King Xerxes. He owes his life to Mordecai, but Haman gets the promotion. How will Mordecai react? How would you react?

Mordecai refuses to pay Haman honor. Is it just because he is jealous? No. Mordecai is a Jew, of course. Haman is an Amalekite. Amalekites were the arch enemies of the Jews. As it says in Deuteronomy, “When you were weary and worn out, they [The Amalekites] met you on your journey and attacked all who were lagging behind; they had no fear of God.” Not only were the Amalekites cruel, since the ones lagging behind were probably women and children, they didn’t fear God and were pagans.

So, the plot thickens. Haman starts plotting a way to destroy the Jews. Notice that he uses the “pur” or the lot to decide when he’ll actually kill the Jews. We might find it bizarre today, but the use of lots to determine the will of God was common in Biblical times. Think of choosing the 12th disciple after Judas was dead. Or Proverbs 16:33: “The lot is cast into the lap/but its every decision is from the Lord.” But, Haman was casting the lot more out of superstition; he had to wait almost a year to get his revenge.

Haman then describes the Jews to King Xerxes as people “who do not obey the king’s laws.” This was untrue, yet Xerxes doesn’t even ask who the people are. He just gives his ring, the sign of royal authority, to Haman and lets him carry out his plan. Do you think the King didn’t expect the money? Was Haman sincere in offering the money? Let’s face it… any political dealings that involve money deserve particular scrutiny, especially when lives are at stake. Did Xerxes do his job? Why does Haman have so much power? What will happen in the next installment?

Have you ever felt like your situation was dire? How would God come through? All seems lost. The die has been cast, the scene set, the destruction inevitable. Join us for the rest of Esther to be encouraged by His power and plans for you!

Key Verse:
“Keep the money” the king said to Haman, “and do with the people as you please.” ~ Esther 3:11

Questions to ponder:

  • Would God use the lot today to speak to you? Why or why not?
  • Have you ever been passed over for some honor which you felt you deserved?
  • What do you think of Xerxes giving up his ring to Haman?
  • Is Haman sincere in saying that he’ll get the money for the King?
  • Have you ever fasted? Was it for a specific purpose? What happened spiritually during your fast?
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