In II Samuel 16, we read where David was cursed by Shimei, a family member of Saul. He threw stones at David, calling him a “bloody man” (v. 6-7). Though Abishai wanted Shimei to die, David spared his life. He reasoned that if God wanted Shimei to curse him, then he would not fight it (v. 9-11). David allowed Shimei to live, and he lived into the reign of Solomon (I Kings 2:36-46).
Why are these facts relevant to us? They are relevant because the descendants of Shimei lived to see the rise and fall of the kingdom of Judah. They saw the rise and fall of Babylon and the emergence of the Medo-Persian empire. In these generations, Shimei’s descendants gave birth to Jair, and finally, Mordecai and Esther were brought into the world (Est. 2:5, 7).
Think about this for a moment. Had David not spared Shimei’s life, would there have been a Mordecai to raise Esther? Would there have been Esther to save the Jews? I believe in God’s providence and know He would have made a way to spare the people if they had not been born. However, they were born, and because they were born, we see an exciting thing occurring. By the providence of God, a descendant of Judah (David) spared a descendant of Benjamin (Shimei), so that a descendant of Benjamin (Esther) could spare all of Judah! The actions described in Esther are what finally allow Christ to come into the world!
I doubt David ever thought about the descendants of Shimei when he spared him that day in II Samuel 16, but thanks be to God, it happened! I doubt Shimei thought that someday his descendants would save the lives of David’s descendants, but I am thankful to God that they did! Our Savior’s lineage was hanging in the balance in the days of the Persian Empire. Thanks be to God that Christ was spared, and He became the Savior for those under the Old Covenant and the people living today (Heb. 9:15; I Pet. 1:18-19)! All because David spared Shimei!
- Jarrod M. Jacobs
(A special thanks to #1 Son who said, “Hey Dad, did you notice …”)
Many times in the Scripture, we are warned about the dangers of falling into the pit you have dug. The point being that if one plans on harming another, he must beware because he will end up being hurt by his plans! Read passages like Proverbs 26:27, Ecclesiastes 10:8, and Psalm 7:15-16 and heed the warnings given by inspiration (II Tim. 3:16-17).
Haman was living proof of this truth. He had “dug a pit” by building gallows for Mordecai. This happened because of his anger and envy that so blinded him to reality that he listened to his wife’s suggestion and built gallows on which to hang Mordecai (Est. 5:14). However, those gallows would not be used to kill Mordecai. Instead, Haman ended up being hanged on the very gallows he had made for Mordecai (Est. 7:6-10)!
Emotions like anger and envy not only motivate a person to act in harmful ways, but it is often the case that the person harboring these emotions is harmed! I have not seen many exceptions to this. Look back to Genesis four, and see that when Cain acted in anger toward his brother, he ended up the worse for it. Even today, we remember the godly action of Abel (Heb. 11:4) and are repulsed at the actions of Cain (Jude 11)! Anger, envy, pride, and the like do not help us at all. Instead, one who is controlled by these things will end up harming himself physically as well as emotionally and spiritually!
Yes, the man who digs a pit for someone else will end up falling in it himself! Don’t be that person! Listen to the Lord and love your neighbor (Matt. 22:39). Allow yourself to think about the true, the just, the lovely, things of good report, virtuous, praise-worthy, etc. (Phil. 4:8-9). Live a life of joy, not anger, love, and not hate, and you will be blessed when you do (Jn. 13:34-35)!
- Jarrod M. Jacobs
When Belshazzar hosted a drunken feast using the utensils that came from the Temple, the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and wrote “Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin” in the plaster of the wall. These words spelled death and destruction for Belshazzar and Babylon (Dan. 5). It is this event that has given rise to the statement we use today when we say someone has “seen the handwriting on the wall.”
Not too many years later, a man had an experience that mirrored those events in Daniel 5. After Ahasuerus told Haman to parade Mordecai before the people in the square or plaza around Shushan, he returned home humiliated. Upon telling his wife and friends what happened that day, they told Haman that since this is so, he will surely fall before Mordecai (Est. 6:13). The plans of Zeresh and the others (Est. 5:14) were dashed when they heard what had happened. Thus, they voiced their warning to Haman (Est. 6:14).
Would Haman listen? Would he heed the “handwriting on the wall”? Haman faced imminent danger as he went to the Queen’s second banquet (Est. 7), just as Belshazzar faced imminent danger on that dreadful night in Babylon (Dan. 5:30). What choice would he make? He still had a chance to change things at this time.
Will we read -- not the writing on the wall, but the writing in the Book (Eph. 3:4)? The Bible warns us about sin and its consequences (Rom. 6:23; Jas. 1:14-15; Rev. 21:8). When we read these words, we are made aware of the expectations God has for us (Jn. 14:15; Col. 3:17; Rev. 22:14). Will we pay attention to His writing and obey, realizing that our days on earth are numbered (Heb. 5:9; Ps. 90:12)? There is a Hell to avoid and a Heaven to accept, and our “second chance” to get it right is now (II Cor. 6:2)!
Don’t be like Haman, who, when warned, refused to listen. Heed the warnings from God and from others who love you and want you to be saved (Heb. 12:1-2; Mk. 16:16)! Tomorrow may be too late!
- Jarrod M. Jacobs
The first twelve verses of Esther 6 are some of the funniest in the Bible, in my opinion. Perhaps we have not thought this way before, but there is nothing like reading about a man who is as arrogant as Haman getting his “comeuppance”! Solomon said, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov. 16:18). While this is not the “fall” we will read about later in the book; this is definitely a “plot twist”!
When Haman was approached by the king to get some advice on how to honor someone (Est. 6:6), it was the height of arrogance for Haman to think that the king must have been planning to honor him! His thought process was, “Who else could it be?” Ironically, the king intended to honor Haman’s sworn enemy, Mordecai, for his work in stopping an attempt on his life (Est. 2:21-23, 6:1-3). How embarrassed Haman was when his recommendations were followed, and he was given the order to honor Mordecai and parade him through town!
“When pride cometh, then cometh shame” (Prov. 11:2). Haman would experience the truth of this verse first-hand. Haman’s pride would bring suffering to him just as Nebuchadnezzar’s pride brought suffering to him (Dan. 4:30-37). The Edomites were noted as asking, “Who will bring me down?” only to have God respond, “I will bring thee down” (Obad. 3-4).
God has ways to turn man’s pride into a humbling experience! This is because “whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted” (Matt. 23:12). Haman learned this lesson the hard way! Let us learn from Haman and humble ourselves now (I Pet. 5:5-6).
- Jarrod M. Jacobs
In Esther 5, we read that Esther approached the king with a request that he and Haman come to a banquet she had prepared (Est. 4:16; 5:1, 4). The king graciously accepted, as did Haman, and while at the party, they were invited to yet another (5:5-8). After this, Haman went home but saw Mordecai along the way (5:9). Mordecai refused to bow to Haman as before (3:2-5), and this brought Haman’s anger to a boil. When he got home and told his wife about the party he had gone to and the opulence of the king’s house, he told Zeresh, “Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate” (Est. 5:13). How petty!
The wise man said, “Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?” (Prov. 27:4). Envy is a dangerous emotion. It motivated the brothers to sell Joseph and prompted the Jews to kill Jesus (Mk. 15:10; Acts 7:9). It caused Paul to be run out of Thessalonica (Acts 17:5) and has been the cause of many more sinful actions throughout the years. In the case of Haman, his envy would not allow him to enjoy anything so long as Mordecai was living. Truly, envy will ruin a life, and it will jeopardize one’s soul!
Let us check our attitude toward our fellow man. Love others, don’t envy them (Matt. 22:39). Beware of envy because nothing good comes from it.
- Jarrod M. Jacobs