Esther / chapter 5 (read the chapter)
Perhaps the theme of the 1965 hit by the Rolling Stones is apropos to this chapter—I can’t get no satisfaction. Poor Haman. That was his problem. It seems that no matter how “good” things got for him, it wasn’t enough: “Calling together his friends and Zeresh, his wife, Haman boasted to them about his vast wealth, his many sons, and all the ways the king had honored him and how he had elevated him above the other nobles and officials. ‘And that’s not all,’ Haman added. ‘I’m the only person Queen Esther invited to accompany the king to the banquet she gave. And she has invited me along with the king tomorrow. But all this gives me no satisfaction as long as I see that Jew Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate.’” (vs 10-13)
We live in a day and age when many are eager to solve the problems of society with money. If only the rich paid more taxes. . . If only minimum wage were higher. . . If only everybody could buy a home. . . If only everyone had a cell phone. . . And the list could go on and on. In Western society, we seem to think that making people equal by giving “more” to those who have “less” is going to solve society’s problems. Yet, there is a lot of evidence to the contrary, and this chapter of Esther is no exception.
Haman had it all, didn’t he? Wealth, a large family, honor, and prestige. Yet none of it was enough. Because of what was in his heart, at the end of the day, all Haman wanted was to see Mordecai destroyed. As long as he remained at the king’s gate, everything Haman had didn’t matter. He might as well have been the poorest beggar sitting at the city gate.
Our joy, peace, and satisfaction in life ultimately has nothing to do with how much or how little we have. It all has to do with what is in our hearts. If we don’t have the love of God in our hearts, nothing will ever be enough. On the contrary, if we live according to the principles of God’s love, we will be like Paul—content whatever the circumstances. Poverty won’t be a burden, nor riches a snare.
There is only one thing that bring satisfaction to the human heart, and it’s not money, power, or possessions. God is the only one who can offer the kind of satisfaction that lasts. Without Him, no matter what we have, we will always be restlessly searching for something else. True contentment is found only in surrendering what we have, what we want, and what we need to Him.