Irony of an Adversary

The treachery of Haman informs the entire plot of the book of Esther. His malice spills out from practically every page. He existed unnamed at the banquet in which the military minds of Persia planned their march on Greece. In his pride he plotted against God’s people with the intent to destroy them entirely. He considered himself equal to the king, and  his arrogance and desire for recognition fueled his disappointment when he did not get his way. However, in the end, due to Mordecai’s leadership and Esther’s faithfulness, the plot by which he hoped to exalt himself and destroy God’s people led to his own ruin. When the king learned of his plan against Mordecai and the Jews, he essentially signed Haman’s death warrant. “Now Harbonah, one of the eunuchs, said to the king, ‘Look! The gallows, fifty cubits high, which Haman made for Mordecai, who spoke good on the king’s behalf, is standing at the house of Haman.’ Then the king said, ‘Hang him on it!’ So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the king’s wrath subsided” (Est. 7:9-10). Thus, all of the planning and plotting of a wicked mind set on the destruction of God’s people led instead to his own.

The drama recorded in the book of Esther has all the elements of a good story, including a plethora of irony. However, the destruction of Haman also points to a greater irony contained within the whole of scripture. Like Haman, Satan existed unnamed in the beginning as God’s creation faced the earliest of moral decisions. He plotted to destroy God’s creation by corrupting them through temptation, and seemingly his plan worked exactly as he had hoped; however, he underestimated the wisdom of God. The very act by which he hoped to destroy all hope for mankind instead sealed his own fate. For in the aftermath of Adam and Eve’s sin, the LORD made a promise just as ironic as the fate of Haman: “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel” (Gen. 3:15). Ultimately, when Satan thought he had overcome God Himself by sending Jesus to the cross, he was laying the groundwork for the Lord’s victory over him and the means by which the Lord would offer victory to the rest of mankind as well (1 Cor. 15:24-27, 54-57; Heb. 2:14-15). Satan laid a trap for mankind, but in carrying it out, he determined his own doom (Matt. 25:41). That, my friends, is irony at its finest! “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isa. 55:8–9).

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