Pristine Grace

The Natural Presumption of Haman
by Randy Wages
The Natural Presumption of Haman

So Haman came in. And the king said unto him, What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour? Now Haman thought in his heart, To whom would the king delight to do honour more than to myself? - Esther 6:6

    In the historical narrative of Esther, we learn that Haman was not only mistaken to presume it was he who was to receive this special honor from the Persian King Ahasuerus, but that the King actually had in mind honoring Haman’s worst enemy, Mordecai the Jew.  In consideration of the recent promotion of Haman by the King to the highest position in his kingdom, Haman’s mistaken presumption is understandable.  Why wouldn’t Haman imagine that he, above all others, was the intended recipient of the King’s honor?  After all, his recent promotion would seem to suggest that he had earned this honor. His mistaken presumption was only natural.

    Likewise, it is the natural, self-consumed pride of all sinners by nature that finds us making a similar tragic and erroneous presumption – imagining that we too, will be eternally honored by the King of Kings based upon something that we likewise presume to have merited for ourselves.  Akin to Haman’s blind pride, there is a pervasive and deadly religious pride that is fostered in so many pulpits across our land and that permeates most of so-called ‘Christianity’ in our day.  It shows up in the disgusting audacity that I once manifested (and in which countless others persist) in imagining that salvation before a holy God is ultimately conditioned in some way or to some degree on that which proceeds from the sinner.

    Just as the Book of Esther shows us how God providentially used Haman’s evil intentions toward Mordecai and his fellow Israelites to result in their deliverance (rather than their intended demise), true believers (spiritual Israel) thank God that His Divine hand of providence brought the Gospel of God’s sovereign grace our way, exposing our own self-love and presumptuous religious pride and revealing to us our desperate need for His mercy and grace in Christ.  To seek salvation any other way than based solely on merits of the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work is not only mistaken presumption, but evil from which God’s people repent.