Solomon wrote: “He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly comes to ruin” (Proverbs 13:3). I think about this text when I read chapter 5.
On the one hand, you can excuse the king’s statement to Esther: “What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given you” as an indication of how smitten he was with his wife. How romantic! On the other hand, you have to wonder how such a cruel, thoughtless human being (remember, he has ordered the extermination of a race of people) could ever be that romantic. Was he exaggerating? He does make the statement three times.
I think it speaks to the careless and wanton way of life of this monarch. To find a wife, he would sleep with a different woman every night until he found the one he wanted. But every girl he slept with was one less girl available to be married to someone else. He asks nothing of Haman regarding the people he about to annihilate and evidences no concern for them whatsoever. He is rash, a man driven by his appetites. You interrupt the king’s day at your own peril.
He and Haman are alike in this respect. Haman has it all: wealth, family, honor, position and preference. But because he lacks the respect of one man, a Jew, he cannot be happy. Who really cares if Mordecai is disrespectful? No one respects Mordecai – at least, not through chapter five.
The seventy-five foot gallows is more than adequate to hang a man; but that’s not the sole goal. Haman wants to make an example of Mordecai – simply another example of a rash man going overboard.
But God is at work. This Jewess, Esther, a woman whose race is to be slaughtered, is offered half the kingdom of Persia. It is hers for the asking. Because she is God’s.