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A Prayer and Fasting Devotional

“And the king said, ‘Hang him on that.’ So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the wrath of the king abated. “ - Esther 7:10

He was blindfolded; he couldn’t see anything.  But what he heard and felt terrified him. His head was spinning with what had overtaken him. The plan had seemed to come together better than he had ever dreamt.  He had planned things out meticulously. 

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Things had fallen into place beautifully.  Not only was King Xerxes going to exterminate his enemies—the Hebrews—but there was hope that one particular Jew would get his comeuppance.  The arrogant Jew, Mordecai, was going to see that he should have been more…respectful.  

But then, to his amazement, everything changed.  In his terror, he searched his mind for what could have gone wrong. What detail had he missed? Who had changed this situation? Somehow, someway, the plan had completely fallen apart.  And now, rather than Mordecai hanging from the gallows he had constructed, he himself was sentenced to death in that very same place. Surely the Queen had been a part of his downfall; he’d always known there was something ‘off’ about Esther. But there is no way that woman had the power to overturn all that he had worked so hard.

He could hear the triumphant voices of his enemies. He could feel the rough coarseness of the rope around his neck. And then, the floor beneath him was gone…he was falling.

With that, Haman, the enemy of the Hebrew people, died the death he had planned for his adversary.

The story of Esther illustrates many truths.  One of them is that when God’s people seek Him through fasting, God loves to respond to the cries of His people.  But second, Esther also teaches us that despite how entrenched evil may seem to be— how definite its victory appears—God’s ability to overturn evil can happen in the most simple of ways.   In Esther, the entire destiny of God’s people is saved through one apparently benign act: in Esther 6:1 the King of Persia, Xerxes, providentially experiences a sleepless night.  In the midst of the near destruction of his people, God kept Xerxes awake…and through what occurs in those moments of insomnia, the unraveling of the evil plans of Haman begins.

Our world is a dark place.  As I speak, there are wars and rumors of wars.  Brothers and sisters in Christ are at risk around the world.  Here in the West, many long established biblical convictions are been hastily dismissed in a wave of secular progressivism.  There is significant cause for concern.

Are you concerned?  Fast.  Seek the Lord.  While the situation might seem beyond our power, we should not fear.  Our sovereign Father is aware of all things.   He will save…perhaps through dramatic acts…or maybe through a sleepless night.  Either way, evil will eventually hang on its own scaffold. 

Jim Black
Ministry Director at Columbia