Recently I was reading the book of Esther and came across again, an interesting woman named Zeresh. I say again, cos I’m sure I had met her before during previous readings but this was the first time I really paid any attention to her. Do you know her? Do you remember her?
So some background story. Zeresh was the wife of Haman, who was a powerful official under King Xerxes. He was close to the king and could make decrees which got the king’s approval and signet ring, Other officials of the king respected him and even bowed to him, He had great wealth and many children. Zeresh was married to such a powerful man.
Haman had all this but one thing nagged at him. There was a fellow named Mordecai who served at the King’s gate who wouldn’t bow to him (Mordecai was a Jew). Mordecai’s act peppered Haman badly. And he decided to destroy not just Mordecai but all the Jews in the entire country. And he set the plan in motion.
One day Haman gathered his wife Zeresh, and his friends and he bragged to them about his great wealth, his children, the honours the king had given him, his promotions over other nobles and officials, his private dinner with the king and queen …then he ended by saying “But this is all worth nothing as long as I see Mordecai the Jew just sitting there at the palace gate. ”
Enter Zeresh.. “So Haman’s wife, Zeresh and all his friends suggested, Set a sharpened pole that stands twenty-five meters tall and in the morning ask the king to impale Mordecai on it. When this is done, you can go on your merry way to the banquet with the king. This pleased Haman and he ordered the pole set up”
As I met Zeresh in that verse (advice) I got thinking.
- Zeresh was a confidant to her husband. Her husband had a ‘sensitive ‘ problem and he trusted her enough to share it with her. Some men have been accused by their women that they aren’t carried along, that the men don’t tell them things, don’t confide in them, don’t share problems with them, don’t make decisions with them. She had this, and didn’t make the best of it.
- Could Zeresh have dared to stand out as the lone voice of reason in the midst of her husband’s friends?
- Zeresh joined her husband’s friends to give him a killer advice. Zeresh had an opportunity to steer her husband away from the hatred that consumed him, but wasted it.
- Was Zeresh like-minded to Haman before marriage (maybe this evil way of thinking was the attraction they had)? Was she a good woman before marriage but got changed along the line during the course of marriage to a man who harboured evil thoughts? Is it possible that the kind of person Haman was influenced her to start thinking like him?
When someone (husband, wife, family, friend) takes you into confidence about an issue, what kind of advice do you give?
Would you dare to be the lone voice of reasoning / Godly advice on an issue?
Do you waste opportunities to bring someone back on the right track?
What are your core values? What are the core values of your friends, significant other? Would your values stand in the face of a trial?
I asked myself some of these questions as I encountered Zeresh. I had forgotten there was a woman like her in the Bible but she gave me something to meditate on and some prayer points.
Father may I never be a wife like Zeresh, may I never push my husband to think or do evil. May I not fuel his evil thoughts or actions. That with wisdom from you I would give godly advices and steer the feet of my loved ones from evil. That I would not waste opportunities to be light and salt. Rid my heart of evil thoughts, plans. I uproot every negative emotion trying to take root in my heart. Thank you father for your grace. Amen.