After honouring Mordecai, Haman returns to his wife and friends with his tail between his legs (Esther 6:12). He has lost face. He is feeling deeply shamed. When he tells his wife and friends what happened, they respond with something remarkable: ″Since Mordecai, before whom your downfall has started, is of Jewish origin, you cannot stand against him-you will surely come to ruin!″ (v. 13).
I can just imagine what Haman is thinking: ″Oh great, why didn’t you tell me that before! You told me to build a pole for him and now you change your tune!″
According to scholars, the word ″fall″ in the book of Esther is tied to Haman and his fate. He causes the lot to ″fall″ to determine the day to carry out his edict (Esther 3:7). King Xerxes then tells Haman to carry out all the tasks to honour Mordecai: ″Do not neglect anything you have recommended″ (6:10), which in Hebrew literally means ″do not let a thing fall of all that you have said″. Now Haman’s advisors tell him that his downfall has begun and certain doom awaits him (v. 13).
Although Haman’s advisors only mention ″the Jews″, the fate of the people of God can’t be detached from the actions of God. Thus, God’s hidden hand can be detected yet again. His work is even sensed by Gentiles, who anticipate the reversal of the fate of the Jews.
Then, before we know it, Haman is hurried away to Esther’s next banquet (Esther 6:14). He will experience more ″falling″ very soon.
We don’t know how these Gentiles can sense Haman’s downfall. Perhaps they know something of the history of the Israelites. In the Bible, the survival of God’s people bears witness to His power (e.g. Malachi 1:2-5). Indeed, all God’s actions in judgment and salvation testify to all peoples that He is ″the Lord″ (e.g. Exodus 7:5; Ezekiel 36:23). Elsewhere in the Bible, foreigners recognise and then respond to who God is. For instance, in the Old Testament there are the sailors on Jonah’s boat (Jonah 1:14) and King Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 3:28-29). In the New Testament, there is the centurion who declares that Jesus is the Son of God (Matthew 27:54). Praise God that He makes His salvation known to all the earth!
Read Psalm 98. Who or what ″shouts for joy to the Lord″ (Psalm 98:4)? From this psalm, name at least two things we can praise God for.
In your life, how can you testify about who God is?