MIRROR MIRROR ON THE WALL
Calling together his friends and Zeresh, his wife, Haman boasted to them about his vast wealth, his many sons, and all the ways the king had honored him and how he had elevated him above the other nobles and officials. Esther 5:11
Haman despised the God of the Jews. Therefore he could not see that his ‘seeming’ place of honor was not only temporary, but deceiving. Because his appetite for power and revenge blinded him, he did not begin to consider that an invitation to Esther’s table might mean something other than affection. He was going to step into a web from which there would come humiliation and defeat.
I don’t know anyone who respects a bragger. Whether a politician or a family member, it makes the audience roll their eyes. The boaster is deceived by thinking that telling of his exploits will impress people. It does the opposite.
My roots go back to a quaint New England village. In that town of 1200, there lived a ninety-five year old man. He was a family acquaintance and present at most functions growing up. He was a kind of Haman. He had amassed a small fortune at others’ expense and money and power were his gods. He won an election that made him the town’s supervisor and his ego grew to epic proportions. I grew up hearing him boast of his political victories. His rhetoric of self-promotion was similar to the pompous talk in today’s scripture.
This man in my past assessed a person’s worth by how much they loved him! If he was fawned over, he returned it with a buttery kind of speech that would make most people blush. Cross him however, and you became an enemy. His life was characterized by extreme narcissism. Ethically, he was bankrupt, and morally, he was dangerous.
In the end, he became very ill. Those who surrounded him were scavengers, out to benefit from his will. He could trust none of them. Those who clamored for his riches massaged his ego for self-gain and he became aware of it too late. What he had spent a lifetime building was ultimately left to two con artists who spent it all in three years. Today, these two women are poor and worse off than before taking part in their get-rich schemes.
The man of integrity walks securely.It’s a Proverb worth remembering.
Let me learn from history, not by repeating it. Amen.
Originally published Tuesday, 23 April 2019.