|Haman, Zeresh and friends - Artist unknown|
TO CHEW ON: "Then his wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, 'Let a gallows be made fifty cubits high, and in the morning suggest to the king that Mordecai be hanged on it; then go merrily with the king to the banquet.' And the thing pleased Haman; so he had the gallows made." Esther 5:14
All Haman's honors amount to nothing in the face of Mordecai's continued disdain for him. Haman can't seem to get the better of that little man and it rankles him beyond all the feel-good emotions aroused by the king's and queen's honors.
At such a time, there's nothing like a sympathetic, imaginative—and ruthless—wife. Zeresh is such a one. She is the first person Haman wants to see on arriving home (Esther 5:10). He knows she'll salve his hurt ego.
She does more. Proposes he build a gallows of 50 cubits (75 feet) on which to hang Mordecai. This will ensure that his death is a public spectacle.
But then, as we read on, we see that events turn against Haman. Zeresh sees it too. She can read the tide as well as anyone and tells it like it is (Esther 6:13).
Zeresh is an example of a great wife in several ways. The fact that she is the first one Haman wants to see on coming home with hurt feelings tells us that she is a sympathetic and supportive mate. He knows she is on his side. Later when things start to go sideways, she is honest about what she sees—another good trait in a wife.
However, she uses her influence to encourage Haman to do evil—more evil than he has planned. She feeds his base emotion of envy with fantasies and then concrete plans of revenge, which eventually come back to bite him (Esther 5:14; 7:9-10).
As partners and friends, let's learn from Zeresh. Like her we should be supportive and honest. But unlike her we can resist the urge to ramp up evil, instead influencing our spouse or friends toward good— that is toward love and forgiveness and away from hatred and revenge.
PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to be a partner and friend who spurs others on to love and good deeds (not hatred and evil). Amen.
MORE: "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds" - Hebrews 10:24 NIV
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked NIV are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.