So the king and Haman went to Queen Esther’s banquet, and as they were drinking wine on the second day, the king again asked, “Queen Esther, what is your petition? It will be given you. What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted.” Esther 7:1-2
Much had transpired since the last banquet just 24 hours before. Haman had gone from the elation of dining with the king and queen to the humiliation of parading Mordecai through the streets proclaiming his honor. Haman knew in his heart that his plot would be undone. What he didn’t know was that the other shoe was soon to drop.
Haman gathered what little dignity he had left and attended another banquet with the king and queen. If anything, his ego needed some re-inflating, even though he had been warned by his wife, his advisors, and the circumstances of that day.
Pride is a powerful and dangerous trait. The Bible says, “The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished” (Proverbs 16:5).
Now, if we were completely humble, we could sit back and gloat a little bit. “Those prideful, you-know-whats are going to get theirs.” The problem is that we struggle with our pride too. I don’t say this for us to fear punishment. God’s grace has removed the punishment of our sin (Romans 8:1). But, we do need to be aware of the dangers of our pride.
“In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God” (Psalm 10:4). Is there room for God in our thoughts? Do we seek after God? Or in our life and actions are we telling God, “I’ve got this.” Jesus only did the things that He saw His Father doing (John 5:19). Are we better than Jesus that we can figure things out on our own? That doesn’t mean that we’re bad people. It just means that we’re proud.
Haman’s pride led to his downfall. Mordecai’s humility led to God’s success. Which side of the equation do you want to be on? What does it mean for you to humbly submit yourself to God? What does it mean to release your stubborn pride?
You hold the key to God’s work in your life. As long as you insist on your way, God will give you what you want. Sometimes that’s the worst thing that can happen to us. If you want a life beyond what you can create for yourself, humility is the path.
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