TODAY’S SPECIAL: Esther 3:1-15

TO CHEW ON: "When Haman saw that Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor, he was enraged. Yet having learned who Mordecai’s people were, he scorned the idea of killing only Mordecai. Instead Haman looked for a way to destroy all Mordecai’s people, the Jews, throughout the whole kingdom of Xerxes." Esther 3:5,6

Haman smiled as he walked around the palace. It made him feel good when everyone knelt to him as he went by. Lately life had been altogether excellent. King Xerxes had given him a position above all the other officials. He had even passed a law that everyone should bow to him. He really was pretty special!

Just then he caught sight of someone who wasn’t kneeling. He glared at the man but still that man wouldn’t bow. This must be Mordecai, that Jew he’d been told about. He’d heard that these Jews wouldn’t bow to anyone but their God.

Haman sees Mordecai who will not bow (Artist unknown)

Now his day was wrecked. He couldn’t get that picture of Mordecai out of his head. How could he get back at him? He could have him killed. But that was too easy. Suddenly he had an idea. He would go big. He would take care of all these Jews.

First he wrote a law that said on a certain day everyone in the land should kill all their Jewish neighbors - even the children and babies. Next he showed it to the king and got him to stamp it with his ring. Finally he sent the new law out by messengers. They read it in every part of the kingdom.

The new command: All the Jews are to be killed - Artist unknown

Haman may have been cruel, scheming and vindictive. But behind all that was pride. He wanted to be known as the greatest. He wanted everyone to bow to him.

What is pride? It’s having feelings that you’re better than others. It’s being arrogant and filled with conceit over yourself and your importance. God has strong feelings about proud people. He opposes them, but blesses those who are humble (James 4:6).

Do we love it when people praise us for having a beautiful voice, being smart, good at sports, artistic, or any number of other things? Love of praise and recognition is natural, but also dangerous. For it’s a form of pride. Let’s ask God to show us where there is pride in our lives and then help us to deal with it.

PRAYER: Dear God, please show me the pride in my life. Help me to become humble. Amen.

MORE: Proud - Who Am I?

Pride got a lot of people in the Bible into trouble. Can you name the following proud people?

1. I am a beautiful angel who was thrown out of heaven when I wanted to be equal with God. Who am I? (Isaiah 14:12-15 NKJV) ___________

2. I am a king who got leprosy when I insisted I offer the sacrifice instead of the priests. Who am I? (2 Chronicles 26:16-19) ______________

3. I am a king who became insane when I took the credit for all my success. Who am I? (Daniel 4:28-33). ______________

4. I am an army general who almost didn’t get healed from my leprosy when I was too proud to bathe in the muddy Jordan River. Who am I? (2 Kings 5:9-14) _______________

Naaman Uzziah Lucifer Nebuchadnezzar