12 Afterwards Mordecai returned to the king’s gate. But Haman rushed home, with his head covered in grief, 13 and told Zeresh his wife and all his friends everything that had happened to him. His advisors 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!’ 14 While they were still talking with him, the king’s eunuchs arrived and hurried Haman away to the banquet Esther had prepared.” NIV

What a contrast is drawn between the quiet equanimity of Mordecai, who just returned to his normal life after being so feted (12a), and Haman, for whom the world had caved in (12b,13). Everything that mattered most to him had slipped through his fingers. There is surely dramatic irony in the last sentence of (14) as Haman is ‘’hurried’’ away to a banquet, but we sense he is being escorted to his doom – especially in the light of verse 13. He is not in control. The brakes have failed and the car is hurtling downhill to the cliff edge. There is nothing he can do.

I was thinking about the idyllic domestic scene painted in the song, ‘home on the range.’ Home is the place ‘where never is heard a discouraging word.’ This was not Haman’s experience!! He didn’t receive a sympathetic, ‘There, there now’ from his wife and advisors. Rather, they articulated a key theological truth about the role of Israel in God’s purposes (13). Throughout their long history, the Jews have repeatedly been abused, opposed and persecuted, but God’s Word to Abraham remains ever true:

‘’I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse…’’ (Genesis 12:3)