It is Dangerous to be Proud (Esther 6:1-11)

Today we read about the beginning of the end for Haman. We have spoken already of his rather expansive view of himself. It is a struggle we all have at times — to not find ourselves thinking of ourselves as the center of the universe.

There is a really interesting video “out there” that I have seen people post online. And it begins and ends by saying that “You are not the center of the universe.” (Click HERE to see it on YouTube.)  It then goes on to talk about the size of things in the universe, beginning with the moon and progressing through all of the planets and up to our sun. It then shows how small the sun is compared to the other stars — the largest of which it would take an airliner 1100 years to fly around it one time. And yet this is just a speck in the sky of billions of stars in our galaxy — one of billions of galaxies. So, yes, we are not the center of the universe.

Before we say more, let’s read the passage again. And we are immediately struck by the providential hand of God working out of sight, in the dark, behind the scenes …

6:1 That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him. 2 It was found recorded there that Mordecai had exposed Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, who had conspired to assassinate King Xerxes.

3 “What honor and recognition has Mordecai received for this?” the king asked.

“Nothing has been done for him,” his attendants answered.

4 The king said, “Who is in the court?” Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the palace to speak to the king about impaling Mordecai on the pole he had set up for him.

5 His attendants answered, “Haman is standing in the court.”

“Bring him in,” the king ordered.

6 When Haman entered, the king asked him, “What should be done for the man the king delights to honor?”

Now Haman thought to himself, “Who is there that the king would rather honor than me?” 7 So he answered the king, “For the man the king delights to honor,8 have them bring a royal robe the king has worn and a horse the king has ridden, one with a royal crest placed on its head. 9 Then let the robe and horse be entrusted to one of the king’s most noble princes. Let them robe the man the king delights to honor, and lead him on the horse through the city streets, proclaiming before him, ‘This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!’”

10 “Go at once,” the king commanded Haman. “Get the robe and the horse and do just as you have suggested for Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the king’s gate. Do not neglect anything you have recommended.”

11 So Haman got the robe and the horse. He robed Mordecai, and led him on horseback through the city streets, proclaiming before him, “This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!”

Having a balanced view of self is oft difficult. We may tend to think too highly (more common), though some may go to the other extreme. But we are encouraged in Romans 12:3-5 with these words …

12:3 – For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

Even what we possess in terms of positive assets — be it intellect, talent, energy and health — is all the gift of God. And the encouragement of the passage is to think about how those gifts and abilities contribute to the good of others, even as the strengths of others serve us well as contributory toward minimizing and making up for our limitations and liabilities.

It is dangerous to think more highly than we ought to, and this is because it will lead to foolish decisions and exposures. We may find ourselves being unwise and in the middle of a situation for which we are unprepared and cannot find a means of extrication.

This is essence of the Scripture that says, “The highway of the upright avoids evil; those who guard their ways preserve their lives. Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.  (Proverbs 16:17-19)

Don’t be a Haman … it just ain’t safe!

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About Randy Buchman

I live in Western Maryland, and among my too many pursuits and hobbies, I regularly feed 3-4 hungry blogs. I played college baseball, coached championship cross country teams at Williamsport (MD) High School, and am the editor of a Baltimore/Maryland sports blog called "The Baltimore Wire." My main profession is as the lead pastor of a church in Hagerstown called Tri-State Fellowship. And I'm active in Civil War history and work/serve at Antietam National Battlefield with a Guides organization. Occasionally I sleep.

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