Destruction and Deliverance
It has been observed that no proud man ever received the respect and regard which he thought was due to him. Such was the case for Haman. It wasn’t sufficient for him to have everyone else treating him with reverence when there was a Jew named Mordecai who refused to. Haman’s fury was clearly over the top. He had a problem with Mordecai, but his anger was such that even the man’s death would not be enough for him. Every one of that man’s people also had to be destroyed.
How does one Jew saying “no” result in a desire to destroy the entire Jewish community? Haman’s conniving, malicious pursuits represented the activities of his spiritual father, the Evil One (John 8:44). Satan understood that the Deliverer-King, the serpent-crusher promised in Genesis 3:15, would come from the Jews, the descendants of Abraham, and so he was committed to their destruction. This also explains Herod’s overreaction centuries later in killing every male child under the age of two (Matthew 2:16). These weren’t just the frenzied actions of desperate men; they were Satan’s attempts to obliterate the Messiah.
When Haman went to the king with his plot, the king (who made decisions based solely on what pleased him in the moment) was easily manipulated, and the edict was written (Esther 3:8-11). Significantly, it was given on the thirteenth day of the first month—the day before the celebration of the Passover (3:12; Leviticus 23:5). In the shadow of the news of this pogrom that was due to descend on them in twelve months’ time, the people of God gathered to remember God’s miraculous intervention when they were in an impossible situation in the bondage of Egypt. The edict of Haman pronounced that their destruction was inevitable—yet the terror they faced was an occasion for them to look to Him who had promised that He would keep them to the end. Would they act in mistrust and fear, or faith?
The people of God would eventually discover that the very means planned for their destruction was the means God would use for their deliverance (Esther 7:9-10). This points us forward to the cross of Jesus, where the method by which the Evil One sought to destroy God’s purposes was the means God used for the great victory Christ achieved.
At times you may live in the grip of fear because you are in what seems to be an impossible situation. When you do, remember this: “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe” (Proverbs 18:10). There is not one promise that God has made that He will not keep, whatever the Evil One may seek to do. You can rest in the confidence that comes from knowing that God’s word and promises will never pass away, and that the darkest moments are often used by God to bring His greatest victories.
In You Do I Take Refuge
A Shiggaion1 of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning the words of Cush, a Benjaminite.
1O Lord my God, in you do I take refuge;
save me from all my pursuers and deliver me,
2lest like a lion they tear my soul apart,
rending it in pieces, with none to deliver.
3O Lord my God, if I have done this,
if there is wrong in my hands,
4if I have repaid my friend2 with evil
or plundered my enemy without cause,
5let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it,
and let him trample my life to the ground
and lay my glory in the dust. Selah
6Arise, O Lord, in your anger;
lift yourself up against the fury of my enemies;
awake for me; you have appointed a judgment.
7Let the assembly of the peoples be gathered about you;
over it return on high.
8The Lord judges the peoples;
judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness
and according to the integrity that is in me.
9Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end,
and may you establish the righteous—
you who test the minds and hearts,3
O righteous God!
10My shield is with God,
who saves the upright in heart.
11God is a righteous judge,
and a God who feels indignation every day.
he has bent and readied his bow;
13he has prepared for him his deadly weapons,
making his arrows fiery shafts.
14Behold, the wicked man conceives evil
and is pregnant with mischief
and gives birth to lies.
15He makes a pit, digging it out,
and falls into the hole that he has made.
16His mischief returns upon his own head,
and on his own skull his violence descends.
17I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness,
and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.
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