Are you feeling less than satisfied these days? Join the crowd. What with political turmoil all around, mass shootings on the rise, demonstrations in countries we rarely even hear about, fires raging out of control all across Canada, the United States, Australia, etc…. It seems that every time you turn on the news, there is never anything good. And we’ve said yet nothing about climate control issues!
Haman knew all about unsatisfaction. When he saw Mordecai sitting at the palace gate and refusing to bow to him when he passed by, he became livid: “But when he saw Mordecai sitting at the palace gate, not standing up or trembling nervously before him, Haman became furious.” (Esther 5:9b NLT). He went home complaining, and before the night was over he had built a gallows 75 ft high. All he needed was the king’s permission to hang Mordecai from that gallows.
We saw that Esther 5:9b tells us how angry Haman was when Mordecai didn’t bow to him at the palace gate, angry enough to build a gallows to hang Mordecai on. But when we look at the first part of Esther 5, we see that when Haman passed Mordecai at the palace gate, he was actually returning from a banquet with Queen Esther and the King, and the Bible says that Haman was, “a happy man as he left the banquet!” (Esther 5:9a NLT). He was, up until the moment when he exited the palace and some Mordecai, feeling very, very happy!
How is it that he can feel so happy one minute, and the next minute he becomes so upset, dissatisfied, angry?
This, actually, is not the beginning of Haman’s story. When Haman was first appointed as the King’s right-hand man, all others were expected to bow down to him. Mordecai, however, “…refused to bow down or show him respect.” (Esther 3:2b NLT). Once Haman found out about this, “…he was filled with rage. He had learned of Mordecai’s nationality, so he decided it was not enough to lay hands on Mordecai alone. Instead, he looked for a way to destroy all the Jews throughout the entire empire of Xerxes.” (Esther 3:5-6 NLT).
It is true that Haman’s anger at Mordecai and the Jews in general may have stemmed back hundreds of years to the time when King Saul was commanded to kill all of the Amalekites (See1 Samuel 15). Their king was Agog, and we know that Haman was an Agagite…. We have no solid proof of this, however; but what we do know is that Haman was angry because he could not control Mordecai’s behaviour and because he felt his authority was being threatened!
I think I can relate to Haman. I don’t know how many times I have been teetering on the brink ecstasy, only to find myself crashing down into the depths of depression, anger and dissatisfaction when just one simple thing happens! Take, for example, when I’m out hiking. I feel like I’m on top of the world. I’m surrounded by God’s beautiful nature, it is peaceful and quiet, I’m breathing fresh mountain air and I’m experiencing the thrill of climbing God’s beautiful mountains and seeing the spectacular views that are our reward at the top. I am in my “heaven on Earth”. Yet how quickly my ecstasy can change into anger, disappointment and dissatisfaction the moment someone says, “We’re out of time, we have to go back.” Or, “I can’t go any further, this is too difficult.” I get upset, of course, because I want to continue to experience the ecstasy that I get when I’m hiking in the mountains. The fact that I can’t go on, however, doesn’t change the stunning mountain views. It doesn’t alter in the least the beautiful greenery that still surrounds me. It doesn’t even smother out the sweet mountain smells or the peaceful sound of the birds flitting through the trees. So why is it then, that I suddenly become so dissatisfied?
The answer, of course, is that I’m upset because I am not getting my way.
Let’s learn some vital lessons from Haman…and from me! Let’s learn that even when bad news strikes, it doesn’t erase all of the good that is already around us. We can continue to enjoy the blessings God gives us with a happy heart. True, whatever it is that has made us unhappy may not go away; but that does not have to rob us of every joy God has given us. And when we take the time, even in the midst of bad news, to remember that we continue to be surrounded by God’s blessings, it will boost our faith and make our current set of problems seem so much easier to bear.
I challenge you to try this the next time bad news strikes. If you are feeling full of joy only to encounter something that suddenly makes you feel unhappy, don’t let that erase the joys that are still in your life. Continue to praise God for His mercies and His blessings and His grace, for when you do, the problem, although still there, will seem to shrink in importance. It will be forced take its rightful place, one that is not at the foremost of all of your thoughts and actions.
If Haman have tried this, then perhaps that gallows, that would eventually become his own death instrument (see Esther 7:9-10), would never have been built. Hey, the Book of Esther might never have been written!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, andScriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, withAnswers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.