‘After these events, King Xerxes honoured Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, elevating him and giving him a seat of honour higher than that of all the other nobles.’ (Esther 3:1)
We are not told why the king promotes Haman. Ambitious, self-seeking, proud and vengeful, Haman is a creature of his culture. He embodies the values and vision of the Persian Empire in which honour and shame are paramount. Loyal to family and friends, he seeks advancement and honour within the royal citadel. He boasts about the number of his sons to his wife as well as to his friends. Had concubines rejected by the king born sons to Haman? Yet for all his faults, Haman is made in the image of God.
Imagine you are Haman. How do you feel when Mordecai refuses to perform the public displays of deference your rank and ambition demand?
Engaging our world: We too are creatures of our culture. What aspects of Australian culture are antithetical to our faith? Have you ever tried to punish someone by whom you felt slighted?
Prayer: Lord, we confess that there is a little bit of Haman in us all. There have been times when we thought too much of ourselves and too little of others. There have been times when, humiliated, we’ve sought revenge. Forgive us. Teach us to forgive. Amen.