Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Evil plans

The Bible is very specific about the exact time Haman chose to speak to the king and get permission. Ironically, this was the month of the Passover, when the Jews celebrated their release from slavery in Egypt. Now, this month would be when their annihilation was decided.

To make sure he got what he wanted, he chose his words carefully, using language so inflammatory as to ensure that the king would agree with him:
'Haman then spoke with King Xerxes: “There is an odd set of people scattered through the provinces of your kingdom who don’t fit in. Their customs and ways are different from those of everybody else. Worse, they disregard the king’s laws. They’re an affront; the king shouldn’t put up with them. If it please the king, let orders be given that they be destroyed. I’ll pay for it myself. I’ll deposit 375 tons of silver in the royal bank to finance the operation.” '

So of course the king said yes! We have had no indication so far that Xerxes was anything but selfish and capricious: now we add greed to his list of unpleasant characteristics. He accepted Haman's payment, but magnanimously gave Haman the confiscated wealth of all the about-to-be-murdered Jews. (He must have been incredibly rich to forego so much wealth as would have belonged to an entire people.) And so he gave the royal seal of approval, literally: his signet ring.

How foolish of the king to put so much trust in a man of violence.

Oh, how Psalm 52:2 speaks truth about Haman: "You plan brutal crimes, and your lying words cut like a sharp razor."

Things are looking bad for the Jews... I try to imagine how I would feel in the same situation, knowing that a licence to kill was being printed and it was only a matter of time when I would be attacked and brutally murdered.

As is happening even now to Christians in Iraq.

Imagine the fear, the terror, the feeling of helplessness and powerlessness.

Esther 3:7 - 11

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