Esther: Steps in Spirit Warfare
The Darkness Deepens - Esther 3:7-15a
How awesome it is when we obediently submit to the fullness and complete control of the Holy Spirit. "Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all THAT God has prepared for those who love Him." Submission to Him is the doorway to the world of the Spirit where God dwells and fellowships with us in intimacy.
Conversely, how contemptible when the devil so deludes a person that they sell out to be an instrument of the forces of hell. Such was the case with Haman. His family heritage from the days of conflict with the Israelites in their Wilderness wanderings instilled a hatred for Jews deep in his heart. Coupled with his consuming self-aggrandizement when Mordecai refused to bow to him, Haman sealed his pact with evil. Nothing was too despicable for him!
First, he communicated with the Persian gods by casting lots to determine the day he should enforce his wicked scheme. Our mere reading "Pur, that is the lot, was cast before Haman from day to day and from month to month...", seems they were like many harmless tosses of a coin.
But realize, demons behind superstitions communicate with those who practice divination just as Haman did. Toss after toss, Haman finally knew the pogrom against the Jews should be carried out in the last month of the year on the thirteenth day.
That decided, he went to King Ahasuerus, who needed to endorse the plan for it to succeed. How deviously Haman gained the king's support!
- First, he never called Mordecai by name!
Mordecai had just saved the king's life and King Ahasuerus would have gone to his defense, if he knew it was Mordecai who angered Haman.
- Second, Haman did not cite the Jews, either.
Instead, he referred to them as "a certain people scattered and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom..."
He made the Jews sound insignificant because they did not have a homeland. Yet, he implied they would stir sedition throughout the peaceful realm, because they lived contrary to the "laws of the king."
If Haman had identified them as Jews, Ahasuerus would have remembered that Cyrus, the first king of Persia, was commissioned by God Himself to send the exiled Jews back to Israel. Further, Cyrus had personally allowed the Jews to contribute wealth toward the cost of their rebuilding Jerusalem and the Temple. Ahasuerus would not have allowed the Jews' extermination and would have dealt harshly with Haman, instead.
- Further, Haman did not specify which law Mordecai had violated.
How whiney if he had said to Ahasuerus, "Mordecai won't bow down to ME according to your edict!!" Hardly enough of an excuse to eradicate the remnant of a nation! Instead, he generalized the incident to include all the Jews and many of the king's laws.
- See how deviously Haman transferred the onus of needing to destroy the Jews to the king.
"...it is not in the king's interest to let them remain."
- By this time Haman was ready to clinch the deal. He made the king think it was his own idea
when he added, "If it is pleasing to the king, let it be decreed that they be destroyed..." In essence, he said, "Notify your realm, King Ahasuerus. Tell them to wipe out these people!! And for the extra cost of such an undertaking (the pogrom), I'll contribute 10,000 talents of silver from my own bank account to underwrite the expense." Haman sweetened the deal with a bribe.
Yes, Haman was deceptive like his father, the devil. He drew the king into his plan, until Ahasuerus even assumed responsibility for it!
Haman crafted his words so carefully King Ahasuerus gave him his signet ring, signifying Haman could carry out the pogrom at his own discretion in the king's name! And, for good measure, Ahasuerus told Haman to keep all his silver, too. Haman really had the king in his pocket!
Thus far, his plan succeeded flawlessly! He summoned the king's scribes and began dictating the stipulations of the edict. Every Jew, man, woman and child, was to be killed on the thirteenth day of the last month of the Jewish year! A copy was handwritten for every province, language and people group within the realm, being translated accordingly. Certainly it was a far more arduous task than standing at a copy machine in today's office, preparing packets for a corporate managers' meeting!
Insidiously, Haman tacked one more diabolical hook at the end of each document: The people who wiped out each Jew--man, woman and child--were "to seize their possessions as plunder." What an enticing lure to make sure the job was done thoroughly! Those who killed a Jew would make a killing, too! How utterly wicked.
Once the scrolls were written and rolled, each was sealed officially as Haman pushed the king's signet into the still soft wax. Messengers impelled by royal command rode from the palace in all directions to deliver the documents to their intended destinations...while Haman and King Ahasuerus sat down to have a beer together--or
No! That happened in Nazi Germany when Hitler and his generals gloated after Kristallnacht or exterminations at Treblinka and Auschwitz! Same plot, different generation. Now satan is repeating it on a global scale by trying to annihilate the Jews and take back the land of Israel. But it's not going to work this time, either! Doesn't anyone who hates the Jews get it? God is managing the environment, so His people can meet corporate, oops! kingdom goals! And guess what? They are!
Next time we'll see the roles Mordecai and Esther played as the plot unfolded.
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