“Money” – A Case Study – Part III: Prosperity and Arrogance.

Be sure to check out “Money-Money-Money” dated July 16, 2021.

History has recorded many interesting stories about people in leadership roles and how prosperity influenced their lives. Part III: Prosperity and Arrogance describes leaders whose wealth went to their heads. Just because you have wealth does not mean you have wisdom. All too often arrogance and emotion are infused into decision-making rather than wisdom. Money and influence do not make one wise especially when the arrogance of leadership is weaponized against others.

Ancient history records the story of a King [1] who, after learning of a coup directed at him, promoted a man named Haman to a leadership position in which he would be on the alert for such hostile activities. The irony of this appointment was that Haman hated the man (we’ll call him Mort) who got wind of the assassination attempt and informed the King through his niece the Queen. Haman hated this man because he would not suck-up to him like everyone else did. Mort was Jewish and as such he believed he should not bow down or worship anyone beside God. Hatred was Haman’s primary motivation in assembling documents for the King to sign authorizing both Mort and all Jews to be annihilated on a prescribed day in the future.

The Queen proposed an elaborate banquet that would provide her the audience with both the King and Haman allowing her to inform the King of Haman’s conspiracy. Haman, being quite enamored with himself, was overjoyed to be included in such a prestigious event. He was totally preoccupied with himself – – –

Haman recounted … the glory of his riches… and every instance where the King had magnified him and how he promoted him above the princes and servants of the KingHaman [remarked] even the queen let no one but me come with the King to the banquet which she had prepared…”[2]

Kissing up to Haman, his friends suggested he build gallows in front of his house so they could all have a front-row seat for the hanging. The upcoming banquet was the perfect time for Haman to lay out the details to the King.

Instead, it dawned on the King than nothing special was ever done for the man who had save him from assassination. When Haman arrived at the banquet the King inquired, ‘what should I do for a man that I wish to honor?’  As a finely-tuned chauvinist he wondered to himself, ‘who would the King wish to honor more than me?’ Envisioning himself, Haman suggested, “Bring a royal robe which the King has worn, and the horse on which the King has ridden, and on whose head the royal crown has been placed; and let the robe and the horse be handed over to one of the King’s most noble princes and let them array the man whom the King desires to honor and lead him on horseback through the city square…”[3] It must have come as quite a shock when the King commanded Haman to have all that done for Mort – the man Haman intended to kill! Haman followed the King’s orders, but soon was whisked off to the banquet prepared by the Queen.

After some small-talk and a glass of wine the King inquired what was on the Queen’s mind.  I’m sure with some trepidation in her voice the Queen explained that she and her people (the Jewish people) “have been sold – to be destroyed, to be killed, to be annihilated.”

Who is he, and where is he, who would dare do such a thing?[4] the King asked. 

With that, Haman was identified as the enemy! What irony that such a man would be hung on the very gallows he had prepared for the man he hated so much!

If you see the extortion of the poor, or the perversion of justice and fairness in the government, do not be astonished by the matter. For the high official is watched by a higher official, and there are higher ones over them! [5]

The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on those who are evil and those who are good. [6]

[1] The entire story is taken from the book of Esther. The King is Xerxes, called Ahasuerus in the Bible; he ruled the Persian Empire from 485 to 465 B.C.

[2] Esther 5:11

[3] Esther 6:6-9

[4] Esther 7:4

[5] Ecclesiastes 5:8

[6] Proverbs 15:3

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