December 3, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“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!’ Afterward Mordecai returned to the king’s gate. But Haman rushed home, with his head covered in grief, and told Zeresh his wife and all his friends everything that had happened to him. His advisers and his wife Zeresh said to him, ‘Since Mordecai, before whom your downfall has started, is of Jewish origin, you cannot stand against him—you will surely come to ruin!’ While they were still talking with him, the king’s eunuchs arrived and hurried Haman away to the banquet Esther had prepared.”—Esther 6:11–14 (NIV)
I’d wager that most, if not all of us, have dealt with a hater before. It’s that person who finds any reason they can to hate you. And if you haven’t dealt with a hater yet, then maybe you’re the hater! Regardless of whether you’re one or have dealt with one, there are few haters who are on Haman’s level.
Haman was a two-faced individual. On the one hand, he wanted to have Mordecai killed, along with every other person of Jewish origin. On the other, he praised King Artaxerxes and claimed to have the king and his kingdom’s best interests at heart. Haman hated the Israelites, especially Mordecai, and he hated anyone that would stand in his way for self-glorification. The condition of Haman’s heart was hideous, but he concealed his hatred with flattery and sycophantic behavior.
Let’s take a look at other historical haters who came before Haman and see how things ended up for them. Consider Cain, the first-born son of Adam and Eve. Cain killed his younger brother Abel because of his hatred towards Abel and the favor he had from God. As a result of murdering his brother, Cain was under a curse and marked on his forehead. He was driven away from his family and under the constant threat of retaliation and the burden of shame for his actions.
Next, let’s consider Pharaoh, the king of Egypt who hated and enslaved the Israelites. Moses came to Pharaoh with God’s command to allow His people to go free. Pharaoh refused God’s command 10 times—even at the expense of his own people and economy, which were decimated by the plagues God brought against them. Pharaoh ultimately lost his kingdom, his entire army, his first-born son, and his own life because of his hatred.
Haman, Cain, and Pharaoh were all haters. Yet, despite their hatred and wicked intentions, God gave each of them a fair chance at repentance. With Cain, God said: “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it” (Genesis 4:6–7 NIV).
With Pharaoh, God sent Moses and Aaron to perform signs and wonders and to plead with him to listen and allow the Israelites to go free. With Haman, God showed favor upon the Israelites and Mordecai and spoke through Haman’s advisors to warn him about his eventual downfall, if he persisted.
Don’t allow haters to bring you down, and don’t allow your hatred for others to bring you down. Stop the cycle of hatred by seeking favor from God by confessing your sins and repenting of them. God is a loving God who desires that all men and women would come to repentance and be saved (1 Timothy 2:1–7; 2 Peter 3:8–9).
Pause: Do you have any hatred hidden in your heart? Have you prayed for those who hate you?
Practice: Read 1 Timothy 2:1–7.
Pray: Lord, Your Word says, “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Romans 5:10 NKJV). Lord, I used to be a hater against You. However, You loved me enough to forgive me and reconcile me through the sacrificial offering of Your Son, Jesus. You have given me many chances to repent and to turn from my old ways. I pray for those who hate me and release any hatred I have in my heart. Create in me a new heart, one that is free of hatred and that seeks peace with You and those around me. Amen.
John Madge has been on staff with Calvary for over 4 years, serving as the Digital Systems Manager in the Communications Department. In 2019, he went on his first mission trip with Calvary Chapel to Hungary in order to support local missionaries and churches and share the gospel with locals. John enjoys living an active lifestyle through sports, fitness, and the occasional Zumba class. He has a deep desire for others to know the love of God in Christ Jesus and is a huge mental health advocate. He also hopes to be fluent in Spanish one day.