The specious debates underway in the United States today over the much publicized visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, are mere window dressing for a deep and abiding evil that has existed for millennia. The last time this evil was so evident, it ultimately led to the deaths of an estimated eleven million people. This time may be even worse.
It is absolutely astounding that just a few generations after such evil atrocities, the world appears to be inexorably marching down the same path as our grandparents. The undeniable historical patterns are being manifested in the Middle-East, Europe and even America. Recent accounts in Paris and College campuses here in America unveil the relentless force of demonic mindsets.
It is notable that Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the United States Congress today as Jews around the world are preparing to celebrate the Feast of Purim. This celebration commemorates the actions of another Jewish man named Mordecai who also become Prime Minister. While many Jewish people were exiles in modern day Iran, a wicked government official named Haman devised a genocidal plot to destroy Mordecai and all his race. Through manipulation and lies, the King was convinced and ordered the Jews destroyed. Using an ancient divination tool called a Purim, the date was determined and the decree went out so that people could prepare to kill the Jewish people and confiscate their land and possessions.
After learning of the plan, Mordecai tore his clothes and begged God for help. He sent word to the Queen – who just happened to also be his adopted daughter – asking for help. Even though she knew her actions could very well result in her own death, her sense of responsibility and integrity prevailed and she intervened.
“ … Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” Esther 4:14 (NLT)
God gave her grace, and the King had Haman impaled on the same sharpened pole that he had constructed to kill Mordecai. Mordecai was given Haman’s place of honor in the kingdom.
Unfortunately the crisis was not yet resolved. By law, the King’s decree could not be reversed once it had been signed with his ring. Although he gave Mordecai the authority to deal with the crisis, the Jewish leader could not simply call off the massacre. Instead, using the governmental power entrusted to him, Mordecai gave the Jewish people the arms and authority to defend themselves. And defend themselves they did. After two days of fighting, 75,000 of the would-be thieves and murderers were dead and God’s people were safe.
Although I am certain that Mordecai and Queen Esther would have loved to have lived in peace and comfort as their high positions might have afforded, there are times when other things and other people are more important. During these times, we often learn that there is no way around, the only way is through. God grant us the courage, integrity and grace to stand tough in modern times as Mordecai and Esther did so many years ago. And God grant peace and protection to Your people in Israel. (Psalm 122:6) Amen!