Vol.X No.IX Pg.3
November 1973

Haman's Hang-Up

Dan S. Shipley

In the book of Esther we read of a successful man by the name of Haman who allowed his pride to become his downfall--or hang-up. After Esther became queen, King Ahasuerus promoted Haman to a position above all the other princes in his court. Haman delighted in recounting how he had been advanced above the others and how that only he was invited to a special banquet with the king and queen. He even thought, To whom would the king delight to do honor more than to myself? Haman had a bad case of the big-head!

The proud seem to have the least patience with those who fail to recognize their greatness, so Haman was filled with wrath when Mordecai the Jew (Esthers foster father) bowed not down nor did him reverence. At the suggestion of his wife and friends, Haman had a gallows prepared for hanging Mordecai while at the same time, unknown to him, the king was preparing to honor the same lowly Mordecai. Mordecai was honored. Haman mourned. His intent to destroy the Jews in the kingdom was revealed to the king and proud Haman never had held his head higher than when hung from the gallows he had made for Mordecai. As God says, pride goeth before destruction.

Big heads and proud hearts will always be a hang-up for Gods people. To every Haman God warns, be not proud (Jer. 13:15). Number one on a list of things hated by God is the proud look (Prov. 6:17) and every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord (Prov. 16:5). It is obvious, then, that pride is sin as plainly stated in Prov. 21:4, and often a deceptively subtle sin at that. So much so, that some have been known to pride themselves in their humility! It is as obvious as it is detestable in others, yet seldom detected within self. Therefore, every Christian would do well to search his life often and carefully for such sin.

Too, pride has a lot of promoters that need identifying. One of the more prominent ones is achievement. As with Haman, promotion may promote pride. Almost anything that advances one above others is apt to advance self—esteem as well. Success usually comes hard; success with humility comes even harder. Especially is this true with financial success. Nothing promotes pride quicker than a little money and: material possessions. God warns the wealthy not to be high-minded (1 Tim. 6:17) nor to glory in their riches (Jer. 9:23). Other pride promoters to be wary of are education, nationality, association with the somewhat of society —or almost anything else that would gain the praise and plaudits of the world.

Finally, pride must be viewed as an especially dangerous sin in regard to its effects. Not only does it make men forget God (Deut. 8:14-18), it hinders repentance because the proud are reluctant to admit wrong-doing. It makes saving face more important than saving the soul. Pride not only makes one think too highly of himself, it makes him think too little of the Mordecais about him. It resents reproof and correction (Prov. 15). No wonder God resisteth the proud. . . (Jas. 4:6)