Thought for the Day
Verse 17 – Pleasure-seekers will not become rich. Thousands waste money by making entertainment, partying, gambling, or illicit sexual encounters a lifestyle. Those who make pleasure their god, become addicts to pleasure. They become enslaved to the thing that initially gave them happiness. Virtues such as unselfishness, serving others, and saving, quickly disappear when a person’s world revolves around pleasure. This verse does not refer to occasional celebrations, but warns against living for continual pleasure.
Verse 18 – The schemes of the wicked against the righteous often end up turning against them. The story of Esther exemplifies this as recorded in the book of Esther in the Bible. Beautiful Esther, keeping her Jewish identity a secret, was made Queen to King Ahasuerus, king of the Persian empire. Because of his commitment to God, Esther’s uncle, Mordecai, refused to bow to Haman, the king’s chief official. In revenge, Haman plotted to kill not only Mordecai, but also all of the Jews. The king gave Haman authority to create the edict and Haman sent orders throughout the empire that all the Jews were to be destroyed on a certain date.
Mordecai informed Esther of Haman’s actions, asking her to plead with the king for her people. Esther agreed to try, even though the king might have her put to death. She instructed Mordecai to have all the Jews in Susa pray and fast for her for three days before she went to the king. Because of their prayer and fasting, Ahasuerus was favorable to Esther. Esther requested that he and Haman come to a banquet she had prepared. At the banquet, Esther asked that he and Haman return the next day to another banquet, saying she would present her petition then. As he went home, Haman, proud that only he had been invited to accompany the king to the queen’s banquet, took offense again at Mordecai. That night he had a gallows built on which to have Mordecai hanged.
That night, Ahasuerus had the records of memorable deeds read to him and discovered that Mordecai had once saved his life, but never been rewarded. The king asked Haman what should be done for a man that the king wanted to honor. Thinking that the King meant to honor him, Haman told the King that the he should be dressed in the king’s royal apparel, a crown placed on his head, and led through the city by one of the King’s princes, on the king’s own horse. Ahasuerus then told Haman to do all this for Mordecai. Haman went home in bitter humiliation. After this, he was summoned to Esther’s second banquet, where Esther revealed Haman’s plot against the Jews, and petitioned for her people. In the end, Haman was hanged on the very gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai; thus illustrating the Biblical principle that the wicked will fall into the pit that they dig for the righteous. God will always have the last word.