6 That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles,the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him. 2 It was found recorded there that Mordecai had exposed Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, who had conspired to assassinate King Xerxes.
3 “What honor and recognition has Mordecai received for this?” the king asked.
“Nothing has been done for him,” his attendants answered.
4 The king said, “Who is in the court?” Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the palace to speak to the king about impaling Mordecai on the pole he had set up for him.
5 His attendants answered, “Haman is standing in the court.”
“Bring him in,” the king ordered.
6 When Haman entered, the king asked him, “What should be done for the man the king delights to honor?”
Now Haman thought to himself, “Who is there that the king would rather honor than me?” 7 So he answered the king, “For the man the king delights to honor,8 have them bring a royal robe the king has worn and a horse the king has ridden, one with a royal crest placed on its head. 9 Then let the robe and horse be entrusted to one of the king’s most noble princes. Let them robe the man the king delights to honor, and lead him on the horse through the city streets, proclaiming before him, ‘This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!’”
10 “Go at once,” the king commanded Haman. “Get the robe and the horse and do just as you have suggested for Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the king’s gate. Do not neglect anything you have recommended.”
11 So Haman got the robe and the horse. He robed Mordecai, and led him on horseback through the city streets, proclaiming before him, “This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!”
12 Afterward Mordecai returned to the king’s gate. But Haman rushed home, with his head covered in grief, 13 and told Zeresh his wife and all his friends everything that had happened to him.
His advisers and his wife Zeresh said to him, “Since Mordecai, before whom your downfall has started, is of Jewish origin, you cannot stand against him—you will surely come to ruin!” 14 While they were still talking with him, the king’s eunuchs arrived and hurried Haman away to the banquet Esther had prepared.
(Esther chapter 6 NIV)
Haman’s life was all about Haman – his pride and self-centeredness were everything to him. Even his desire to murder Mordecai was out of a selfish desire to harm the one person who did not publicly honor him.
Mordecai, on the other hand, was the same before and after the king’s honor – he took care of his duties before the king’s proclamation, as went back to his place of business at the king’s gate after the ceremony was over.
God, in His Divine Providence, was once again working behind the scenes, orchestrating the salvation and protection of His people, and preparing to execute justice against Haman, who desired to annihilate the Jews from Persia. Even Haman’s wife and friends recognized God’s hand at work to protect the children of Israel (v. 13).
May we be like Mordecai, and keep our focus on the Lord through both good times and bad, when our very life is being threatened, and when being praised by the king, and everything in between.