No Rest for the Wicked

Read: Esther 6:4-14

Then the king said to Haman, “Hurry; take the robes and the horse, as you have said, and do so to Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the king’s gate. Leave out nothing that you have mentioned.” (v. 10)

Haman can’t sleep either. He is like the people the psalmist describes who “plot mischief while on their beds” (Psalm 36:4). He is so anxious to set his mischief in motion that he gets up and heads to the royal court. To his delight he finds that the king is already up. Even more delightful is the king’s question: “What shall be done for the man whom the king wishes to honor?”

People don’t often expect the Bible to be funny, but it’s hard not to laugh out loud at what happens next. “Whom would the king wish to honor more than me?” Haman asks with the flawless logic of a megalomaniac. Without missing a beat, Haman describes an elaborate parade in his own honor. The speed with which he comes up with the details suggests that he may have had this fantasy before!

Haman’s dreams become a nightmare when the king orders him to “do so to the Jew Mordecai.” Even the members of Haman’s fan club scramble to distance themselves from him when he returns home to lick his wounds. Their words seem to recognize that Haman is no match for Mordecai’s God. —Carol Bechtel

As you pray, ask God to help you remember that “though the wrong seem oft so strong, God is the ruler yet” (“This Is My Father’s World,” by M. D. Babcock, 1901).

About the Author

carol bechtel

The Rev. Dr. Carol Bechtel is Professor of Old Testament at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan where she has taught since 1994. Dr. Bechtel preaches and teaches widely and is a General Synod Professor of Theology in the Reformed Church in America. She served as President of the RCA’s General Synod and moderator of its General Synod Council. She also serves as the Executive Director of the American Waldensian Society. Her publications include a commentary on Esther for the Interpretation series, and several Bible study books and curricula.

She now lives in Holland, Michigan with her husband, Tom Mullens. They have four children and seven grandchildren. Her hobbies include singing, cooking, gardening, and the Celtic harp.


I Am