We read a perfect example of this today in Esther 5 – 7.
First, notice Haman’s pride. Even though he has numerous privileges second only to the king, “Yet all this is worth nothing to me, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate” (Esther 5:13). What he doesn’t realize is that this limit in submission was decreed by Someone even greater than Ahasuerus – it was decreed by God. Yahweh said to Abraham, not to Agag, “I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). Haman’s desire for so much attention, even in violation of Yahweh’s decree for His chosen people, reveals the pride in his heart. Therefore his friends and his wife prophecy his doom: “If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of the Jewish people, you will not overcome him but will surely fall before him” (Esther 6:13).
Second, notice that Mordecai’s salvation and exaltation occur in line with Ahasuerus’s egotistical and corrupt dominion. There is no miracle to save him, only
one night of insomnia for the king, a reading from the royal chronicles, a forgotten detail: “What honor or distinction has been bestowed on Mordecai for this?” (Esther 6:3) Remember our observations yesterday about Esther 1 – 4; the well-being of the non-privileged depends on how much they benefit the privileged and their avoidance of any action that displeases them. Mordecai has performed a great benefit for the king – it’s impossible to do any better! It is an injustice that it has not been rewarded; he must be honored immediately. Notice that in the midst of so much pride and self-centeredness, our holy and just God knows how to work to protect His own. Not even a ruler’s pride or unjust government can hinder His powerful arm.
Third, Haman’s fall occurs in the midst of this corrupt dominion – he simply displeases the king by threatening his queen. Ahasuerus is not angered by a grave injustice planned against one of the minorities under his reign. He doesn’t stop to consider the well-being and justice of the underprivileged residents in the capital. He’s upset by the treatment of his preferred wife, and that offense is worthy of death. Though His name is not mentioned here directly, we enjoy the irony of Yahweh’s justice: “So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai” (Esther 7:10).
Because of the salvation and justice rendered in the midst of Ahasuerus’s egotistical dominion with no mention of Yahweh’s name, Esther’s testimony of salvation is very different from any we have read so far in the Bible. But even though salvation came through Yahweh’s hidden hand in Esther 5 –7, we can testify alongside Mary: “He has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate” (Luke 1:51-52).