Daily Bible Reading Reflections

Blessed Beyond Measure, Yet Miserable

Today’s Bible reading is Esther 5 and 1 Peter 4.

“I can’t even list all the amazing blessings, but they’re trash to me as long as I don’t have…”

What an ugly, shortsighted, self-centered attitude. In the early chapters of the Old Testament book of Esther, Haman the Agagite has risen to prominence in Persia, set by King Ahasuerus above all other officials. “And all the king’s servants who were at the king’s gate bowed down and paid homage to Haman” (3:2) … all except a Jewish man named Mordecai. The “slight” fills Haman with such fury that he devises a plan to destroy every Jew in the kingdom.

How does a human heart sink to such darkness?

In Esther 5, Haman has enjoyed a feast with the king, arranged by Queen Esther herself. He’s even been personally invited to another feast with the royal pair tomorrow! He leaves joyful and glad of heart. “But when Haman saw Mordecai in the king’s gate, that he neither rose nor trembled before him, he was filled with wrath” (5:9).

How does a human heart become so self-centered?

When Haman gets home, he can’t wait to tell his wife and friends all about what he has enjoyed: the splendor of his riches, all the promotions with which the king has honored him, how he has advanced beyond every other official. “Even Queen Esther let no one but me come with the king to the feast she prepared. And tomorrow also I am invited by her together with the king. Yet all this is worth nothing to me, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate” (5:10-13).

Blessed beyond measure, yet miserably fixated on the most trivial of things. “All this is worth nothing, so long as…” What an ugly, shortsighted attitude.

But that got me thinking. I see it, plain as day, in Haman. Do I suffer from a similar blind spot? The God and Father of my Lord Jesus has blessed me in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (Eph 1:3). The Son of God died for me. By grace I’ve been granted access to confidently draw near to the throne of the universe’s Lord.

“I can’t even list all the amazing blessings, but I don’t have…”

“God has forgiven me over and over a debt I could never repay in 10,000 lifetimes, but you don’t realize what that guy over there did to me…”

“The Holy Spirit bears witness that I’m a child of God, a fellow heir with Christ, but she has … and I’ve always wanted … so I can’t even look at her without feeling resentful and bitter.”

“I’m heaven-bound, but I’ve never been able to … and I’m going to be upset with God if he doesn’t…”

Really? Isn’t that the root ugliness we can so easily spot in Haman? Blessed beyond measure, but miserably fixated on the most trivial of things. Maybe looking through that lens will help us remember the call of Hebrews 13:5 today.

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for [God] has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Is he enough?