Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Letters were sent by couriers to all the king's provinces with instruction to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all Jews, young and old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods.
This is the totally unexpected plot twist to the book of Esther. You can't see it coming. What begins as a romance of sorts turns into a political thriller. And the main story that has taken us to this point is really the sub plot to a bigger set of world-shaping events. All of this clearly points to the sovereign hand of God in the events of the subplot to get us to the bigger issue.
And the story's main conflict is the ghastly genocide of all Jews living in Persia. One powerful man's prejudice influenced the king to declare a murderous strategy... to wipe out all Jews in one day in the kingdom. Haman planned to annihilate the entire Jewish race over a protocol snub from one Jew, Mordecai. And in the kingdom of Persia, his plan was wildly accepted and put into place.
It would take the sovereign hand of God, who had already begun defeating this plot before it was even hatched, to work to save the Jews from genocide. Haman and the king may have casually sat down to dinner after signing the death warrant for thousands of Jews, but the city itself was in turmoil over the decree. God was moving to override human pride so that His covenant with Israel could abide forever.
No evil of humankind will thwart the kingdom of God. God will bend the actions of a superpower to His supernatural control. And even though the intent and actions of people are definitively opposed to God, those actions cannot succeed in defying God's decrees. That is the rest of the story of Esther.