If Esther was a film, we would be in the pivotal scene right now – she’s finally made the ask and now the King is responding. This week we were meditating on this verse:
“The king got up in a rage, left his wine and went out into the palace garden. But Haman, realizing that the king had already decided his fate, stayed behind to beg Queen Esther for his life.” Esther 7:7
victory or not?
This verse left a very confusing feeling in the pit of my stomach. How about you? In one sense, Esther should be celebrating here, as the King is clearly angry about what has happened and so will act to reverse it. This means that Esther and her people’s lives are saved (yey!!!). And yet reading this verse, I don’t feel that sense of victory or celebration yet. There is anger and confusion and unfinished business that needs to be dealt with.
Anger is scary
Whether or not the anger is directed at Esther, being so close to someone who has lost control, and is in a “rage” can be a very scary thing. Women are weaker than men (yes we may say that is sexist, but in general that is true) and so a man in a rage who would probably be considerably stronger physically than her is not someone you want to be around, even if that anger is not at you. It only takes one wrong word or action and that rage could be redirected. So when I stepped into Esther’s shoes this week I felt fear and that maybe she was shrinking back to try and become invisible as the King worked out his feelings in that moment.
One Facebook Community member shared that as a social worker, she is often in environments where people are angry like this, and that she tries to feel sympathy, love and understanding. Perhaps Esther is empathizing with the King here, as really she has broken the news to him that someone is trying to murder her, his beloved wife. Perhaps she was praying through this for protection, strength and for the King to make the right decision in the end. It is not noted how Esther reacted to all of this so we can only guess as we step into her shoes.
Begging is scary
Anger can definitely make people act irrationally and irresponsibly, but the other thing that can do that is fear. Haman, now realising the tables have turned, is fearing for his life, is desperate and grasping at anything that might save him. The only thing left to grasp at is Queen Esther’s mercy, and so Haman starts begging and grovelling at her. Again, as a woman, this would have been pretty intimidating to have a strong man so desperately begging her for something. I imagine she was lost for words, trying to move away from him but he would be unable to stop given the state he would undoubtedly be in. What would her prayers be about that situation, I wonder?
how will the story end?
This is a bit of cliff hanger verse really, as Esther is sort of trapped between an angry man and a desperate man, with not much that she can do. This is all after the very emotionally tiring week she has had, bringing herself to approach the king and ask this huge favour. Its a miracle that she is holding it all together, and I am sure that after this event she would have collapsed into her chambers to recover and receive from God. We’ll have to wait to find out…..
There are only 2 weeks left in our Esther series, so next week we are meditating on this verse:
“Esther again pleaded with the king, falling at his feet and weeping. She begged him to put an end to the evil plan of Haman the Agagite, which he had devised against the Jews.” Esther 8:3
The story is still not over!! There is no Facebook Live discussion this week as I am full of cold, but I hope you will add your own thoughts and ideas in the Facebook Community during the week. x