Read the first part here
Haman left for the king’s palace with a heavy heart. He didn’t want to step into the capital for a long time and he wished he could just die. How was he to hold up his head amongst the council members of whom he was head? How would the palace maids and servants see him, seeing he had just done the basest of errands? Him? Haman!
As he approached the palace however, he began to console himself that he still had some dignity left. After all, he was going to a banquet hosted by the queen and he was the only person invited. He felt a little better about this.
On arrival at the palace, he was directed to the royal garden, used only by the king and queen. For the first time that day a smile broke out on his face. He was considered worth to dine with the king in the royal garden. ‘Now that is something’, he thought with glee.
The king and queen were seated already. “Ah, here you are” the king said with a smile when he saw him approach. Haman bowed low and apologized for his lateness. “Never mind” the king waved it off. He was in particular high spirits. Well, he was always a different person when he was around his queen. There was something about queen Esther that tamed the great king, Haman observed with disgust although he plastered a smile to his face.
“So Queen Esther here has decided to throw us a feast again today” he said addressing Haman. “I wonder what delight she has planned for tonight” the king had a twinkle to his eyes and was rubbing his belly like a child.
Suddenly, a sense of dread descended on Haman. He felt a chill go through him and the hairs on his hands stood erect. Try as he could he couldn’t shake it. He looked up and caught Esther looking at him, and that feeling became stronger. There was something in her eyes, anger? Dislike? He couldn’t really place it.
‘It must be the events of today that is making me see things’ he told himself and set out to enjoy the dainties that was served. He had never tasted anything as delicious as the meal the queen served. Each slice was a taste of heaven.
When the meal was over, the king reclined in his seat and picked his teeth quietly. Haman tried to make small talk with the queen and was praising her for the meal. The king leaned forward, a grave expression on his face.
“my queen, now will you tell me your request and I promise you that even to the half of my kingdom I will give it to you” he knew that whatever the queen wanted to ask was huge. It was definitely of utmost importance to her for her to break the law and approach him in the throne room without being summoned. If she had caught him in a bad mood, she could have been executed. But this woman sitting across from him, looking pale and unsure of herself could never do wrong in his eyes. He would grant her wish as long as it was in his power to do so.
Esther glanced at Haman and sighed. This was going to be hard. She was a woman and she was about to accuse the highest official of the whole empire before the king. She was about to challenge a royal decree signed and sealed with the king’s seal. Her palms were sweaty and her face drained of its color, her lips quivered as she opened her mouth to speak.
“My Lord” she began and looked at Haman again. “I am here to plead for my life and for that of my people. We have been targeted to be destroyed in one day and I plead that you spare my life if I have found favor in your sight”
Haman was flummoxed. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. The queen was a Jew? How come he hadn’t known about this?
“What do you mean? That you and your people are targeted for destruction? Who are your people and who is planning such heinous act? Who would dare touch my wife?”
Esther’s heart soared. She particularly picked up on the ‘wife’ part. The king had not referred to her as his queen, which though true was a bit officious but he called her his wife! This was huge. There was hope. Definitely Yahweh had looked down on her with favor. She was going to live.
When she answered, it was with a lot more confidence. “My Lord, my people are the Jews. The thirteenth day of the month of Purim has been fixed to destroy all the Jews in your empire, and that decree was sent out by none other than Haman here”
An ominous silence descended on the dinner table. Esther caught Haman’s gaze and saw fear in them. God had decided to turn his wicked plans upside down.
The king stood up suddenly, rattling some cups and plates in the process. His mind was churning. How could anyone connive to kill his wife and her people? Whatever did they do to deserve such inhuman treatment? What was wrong with his most trusted allies? Did he really have a bad sense of judgment when it came to choosing his allies? First, it was the assassination attempt that was foiled by a Jew, a relation of his wife. And now, it was a ploy by his most trusted official to exterminate his wife and all her race. It was all so incredible.
As he paced the garden, the slow realization that his wife was a Jew was sinking in. He had always been fascinated by the Jewish people and their history and here he was, married to one. He smiled at the sudden turn of events.
He returned to the banquet table still thinking of what to do to Haman. Maybe he wouldn’t be too much in a haste to determine what he would do, he remembered how he had taken a decision in anger concerning Vashti his former queen and how he had regretted the decision by the next day. If not that the gods were good to him, he wouldn’t have been able to find another queen as beautiful and wise as Esther. And she was a Jew! That thought pleased him in no small measure.
Haman realizing the magnitude of his deeds fell down on his knees as soon as the king stepped away. He knew that his fate was in the hands of a woman. A Jew! Suddenly the words of his friends came crashing through his mind ‘if this man Mordecai- of the Jewish race- had started defeating you now, then you won’t prevail against him and his people’. The words could not be any truer.
In his desperation, he forgot where he was and moved towards the couch on which Esther was seated and held her arms and pleaded for his life. It was in this position that the king met him when he returned to the banquet hall.
The king’s rage bubbled over in that instant. “Is it not enough that you have plotted to kill my wife, will you also assault her here in the palace, right before my eyes?” he thundered
And then it was over for Haman.
The king’s guard came over and covered his face with a black cloth. His fate was sealed.
A certain servant of the king, Harbona, told the king, while Haman was being taken away, about the specially designed gallow that Haman had built with which to hang Mordecai.
“Hang him on it” the king ordered the guards.
And thus Haman the son of Hammedatha came to an untimely end, a tale of one fallen from favor to dishonor, from grace to grass.
Haman fought the Jews, the covenanted people of God, God’s chosen people and lost. It is a testimony to the chosen people of God today who have ‘Hamans’ hounding them. No one touches the apple of God’s eye and lives to tell the story. Remember Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, Herod and a host of them.
Be still, God’s people, He has got you in the palm of His hands.
Author’s Note: Story adapted from the biblical accounts in the book of Esther.