Emails to God – Hoist By His Own Petard (Esther 5:9-14)

26 Jun

9 Haman went out that day happy and in high spirits. But when he saw Mordecai at the king’s gate and observed that he neither rose nor showed fear in his presence, he was filled with rage against Mordecai. 10 Nevertheless, Haman restrained himself and went home.

Calling together his friends and Zeresh, his wife, 11 Haman boasted to them about his vast wealth, his many sons, and all the ways the king had honored him and how he had elevated him above the other nobles and officials. 12 “And that’s not all,” Haman added. “I’m the only person Queen Esther invited to accompany the king to the banquet she gave. And she has invited me along with the king tomorrow. 13 But all this gives me no satisfaction as long as I see that Jew Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate. ”

14 His wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, “Have a pole set up, reaching to a height of fifty cubits, and ask the king in the morning to have Mordecai impaled on it. Then go with the king to the banquet and enjoy yourself.” This suggestion delighted Haman, and he had the pole set up.

Dear God, I suppose you could say that Haman was setting himself up to be hoist by his own petard. While I have used this saying before, and understand the gist of it, I didn’t really “know” what it meant until I looked it up this morning. Apparently, it is from Hamlet. Two men were plotting against Hamlet and he ended up turning the plot against them so that their names were replaced with his and they were killed by their own plan. Technically, a petard is a bomb.

So what is the lesson for me? It seems that the big one is that I should be careful to not set traps for people so that they can eventually be turned against me. The anger and vengeance that I display towards others can always come back to haunt me. It is hard to find fault with graciousness, but the person who walks around with bitterness and anger is hard to be around.

Father, as I try to figure out how to be the husband and father I need to be, let it begin with this concept—that I would be able to lead with all of the fruits of the spirit from Galatians 5:22 with my family. Help me to be loving, patient, peaceful, kind, good, gentle, faithful, and in control of myself. If Haman had had these characteristics instead of the hubris and arrogance he allowed himself then he would probably have lived a little longer. He was obviously smart and valuable for the king to have around, but he was insecure and arrogant—words that have been used to describe me. Help me to reject those attributes and to embrace humility and graciousness instead.


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Posted by on June 26, 2012 in Esther


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