Pride and arrogance will bring destruction.

So Haman got the robe and the horse. He robed Mordecai, and led him on horseback through the city streets, proclaiming before him, “This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!” – Esther 6:11

King Xerxes was unable to sleep one night, so he ordered that the official records be read to him. The servant read a passage describing how Mordecai relayed a message to the king that his two servants had planned to kill him. To reward Mordecai, the king desired some way to show his appreciation. Then, as he was thinking of how to repay Mordecai, Haman walked into the palace. He asked Haman how one, whom the king desired to honor, should be rewarded. Haman gave a long list of royal treatments this person should receive, as he imagined himself being the recipient. However, the king told Haman to do all he’d said for Mordecai the Jew.

Solomon had written hundreds of years before that pride comes before destruction and arrogance before a fall. Haman learned the hard way about the evident truth and reality of Solomon’s proverb. Haman ended up dressing Mordecai in royal robes and parading him up and down the streets of the capital city on horseback and proclaiming that this is how the king rewards people he deems worthy.

Whereas Haman had boasted in his heart how the king must have wanted to honor him and grant him gifts, Mordecai merely reported the plot to kill the king out of humility. Mordecai sought nothing for himself; he just did the right thing. Haman, however, was selfish, greedy, and proud. He wanted all the glory for himself. His certainty of being honored actually cost him face time with the king and ended up humbling himself before his enemy that the king promoted and honored.

Jesus said that the man who exalts himself would be humbled while God will lift up in time the one who humbles himself. Mordecai lived out a beautiful example of Jesus’ universal truth. James put it this way, “God gives grace to the humble, but resists the proud.” Haman puffed up and was brought low through humiliation. Mordecai humbled himself to help save the king, and God raised him up and granted him favor in the king’s eyes.

Which example will you follow? Mordecai, or Haman? The choice is yours to make. Choose well.

Father, I see an excellent portrayal of your word in the life of Mordecai. He humbled himself before the king of Persia and before you. Then he was exalted to a level of high respect with Xerxes, and you granted him, later on, wealth, honor, and position for the betterment of your people. Help me to have the humble servant’s attitude like Mordecai. Help me to always remain humble before you and to never let that snake of pride to rare up and try to sink its poisonous fang into my heart, as it had in Haman. I don’t want you to resist me. I want to draw nearer and nearer to you. May you be lifted up from the earth to draw all men unto you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.