“So, Haman took the robe and the horse, arrayed Mordecai and led him on horseback through the city square, and proclaimed before him, ‘Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honour!’” (Esther 6:11).

It’s difficult, perhaps, to imagine an empire so vast, so encompassing, and ruled by one man’s word. The great communist powers of the twentieth century often had a “strongman” at the helm, but behind them was a “central committee” that wouldn’t hesitate to depose a leader if the need arose.

But Persia under King Ahasuerus was vastly different. Yes—he had his satraps and his counsellors, but the king’s word was the final word, and it was a word spread far and wide. (It is in the book of Esther that we read of the first postal service; the couriers dispatched with royal decrees to every part of the empire.)

And yet, like Josef Stalin of Soviet Union fame, Ahasuerus could be swayed by close confidants. Haman, who indulged a long-standing hatred of the Jews, determined to exterminate them, not knowing that Ahasuerus’ beloved new queen Esther was herself a Jew. Her uncle Mordecai had relayed crucial information that stopped a plot on the king’s life, and the monarch remembered.

In the middle of his planning a genocide, Haman was commanded to parade Mordecai the Jew around the city, with Mordecai clothed in the finest robes, and Haman shouting words of honour before him. We know Haman’s fate: The king, outraged at his servant’s plot and conduct before Esther, had Haman hanged. Mordecai inherited Haman’s property.

God’s timing is perfect, as is His memory. Those who honour God, as Mordecai and Esther did, will themselves be honoured!

Lord, guide my steps that I may honour You openly.

For Further Study: Esther 1–9; Ecclesiastes 11:1; Luke 6:38

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