September 24 (Daily reading: Esther 6-10) When King Xerxes received Esther and offered her up to half of his kingdom, the door was opened for turning the tables on Haman’s proposed genocide of the Jews. First, in God’s timing, Haman was forced to honor Mordecai because Mordecai had revealed a plot to assassinate the king. Then, Haman had built a gallows to hang Mordecai, but when the king saw Haman for who he truly was, “they hanged Haman on the gallows which he had prepared for Mordecai” (7:10). After these events, the king gave the signet ring that Haman had worn to Mordecai, so that he was second in rank to the king (10:3). The Jews were granted the right to protect themselves, and through God’s care and providence, were spared from annihilation.
Ian Thomas has suggested an allegorical interpretation of Esther in his book, “If I Perish…I Perish.” I can only allude to it here, but in the age-old battle between good and evil, we know this: “The flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another” (Gal. 5:17). In this allegory the king represents the soul, where decisions are made. Haman represents the flesh (sinful nature) and Mordecai represents the Holy Spirit. When the king made the bad decision to give the signet ring of authority to Haman, evil (the flesh) ruled. When the king made the good decision to hang Haman and give the ring of authority to Mordecai, the evil sinful nature was replaced by good (the Holy Spirit). “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace” (Rom. 8:5-6, NIV).
– Al Gary
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