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FLY IN THE OINTMENT

Life in Persia was going well for Esther and Mordecai.  Isn’t that some kind of a signal for trouble?  If the devil is the “Lord of the Flies” then Haman is definitely one of his flies.  He’s on the job for his boss.

After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him.  And all the king’s servants, that were in the king’s gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence.  Then the king’s servants, which were in the king’s gate, said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king’s commandment?  Now it came to pass, when they spake daily unto him, and he hearkened not unto them, that they told Haman, to see whether Mordecai’s matters would stand: for he had told them that he was a Jew.  And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath.  Esther 3:1-5

Why do those who prosper have to lord over others?  Are they so insecure on the top that they feel compelled to weigh down every potential climber around them?  I am provoked by this in my travels too.  People who live in Arizona’s retirement communities may have a house in the north and another in the Sun Belt.  Some travel back and forth in a third house on wheels.  I do that too, but it is only a 16 foot version.  When they have their secure retirement, a house, medical insurance and warm weather they should be care free, right?

So why would they come running out the front door screaming about a dog that leaves a few footprints on their gravel yard?  If the owner was guilty of leaving a pile, perhaps a complaint is justified.  But one went on to suggest that I get rid of my dog.  I had lost my career, my wife, and my home at the time.  If she were willing to give up all that herself, perhaps she would then understand why I wanted to keep my last friend.  Well Haman saw a little man who revered God more than man.  He could not let someone else threaten his big fat pride.

And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had shewed him the people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.  In the first month, that is, the month Nisan, in the twelfth year of king Ahasuerus, they cast Pur, that is, the lot, before Haman from day to day, and from month to month, to the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar.  And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king’s laws: therefore it is not for the king’s profit to suffer them.  If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed: and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king’s treasuries.  Esther 3:6-9

Haman was not satisfied to punish one man once he learned that his entire nation was available for slaughter.  Someone had made Haman aware that Mordecai was a Jew.  Why should Haman punish one offender when he could exterminate his entire race? 

Casting Pur or lots seems to be a game of fortune like dice that was used to get a spiritual date for destroying the Jews.  These spirits are not the Holy Spirit of course, but their demonic influence pointed to the month of Adar.  This is roughly February or March on our calendar. 

So Haman went to the king to have the Jews executed just because their customs were different, claiming they were all disobedient.  Being a high prince and advisor, he found no questions from the king.

And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews’ enemy.  And the king said unto Haman, The silver is given to thee, the people also, to do with them as it seemeth good to thee.  Then were the king’s scribes called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and there was written according to all that Haman had commanded unto the king’s lieutenants, and to the governors that were over every province, and to the rulers of every people of every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language; in the name of king Ahasuerus was it written, and sealed with the king’s ring.  And the letters were sent by posts into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey.  The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was published unto all people, that they should be ready against that day.  The posts went out, being hastened by the king’s commandment, and the decree was given in Shushan the palace. And the king and Haman sat down to drink; but the city Shushan was perplexed.  Esther 3:10-15

So the king approved Haman’s plan to kill the Jews, and provided the funds and the authorization needed.  The notices were published in every language for the gentiles to kill every man women and child of Israel on the appointed day.  Their homes and goods were all to go to the other people of the land.  Haman was satisfied, but the cities of Persia were a bit troubled.

This was distressing for the Jews.  I believe it was so also for many of the gentiles of their communities.  Even during the darkest hours of Nazi Germany there were people of conscience who resisted Hitler’s evil empire.  The White Rose Movement was a student protest group that published pamphlets against the Nazi atrocities.  Their leaders were later beheaded by the Nazis.  In every period of history there have been a few people of conscience.  I believe many Persians were appalled by this, even as some Iranians resist the religious fanaticism of their government today.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Rose

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