Have you ever wondered why we see so much evil in our generation? Have you seen or experienced hostility against those who love and try to obey God’s Word? Is this the first generation to see these things, and is there a pattern?
As we read the book of Esther, the “bad guy” is named Haman. He enters the story as a palace official who convinces the king that the Jews are traitors who should be killed and their property looted. Interestingly, as I studied Haman, I saw three characteristic that I find repeated in generation after generation.
Haman Hates God’s People
Haman had a hatred of the Jewish people that was not hidden. When he discovered that Mordecai was a Jew and refused to bow to his wishes, Haman’s hatred was revealed.
Have you seen this in our generation? There is peace until God’s people refuse to bow down and worship at the same altar as our enemies. Haman wants God’s people to acknowledge his position of power and yield to him. When God’s people refuse, the hatred that is hidden in secret comes to the light of day.
Haman Seeks the Destruction of God’s People
Haman was not satisfied with his position and the respect and riches he received from holding that position. Within the heart of Haman, he wanted more control and power. He then used his power to steal, kill, and destroy the people of God. We are warned in John that the devil seeks the same thing and uses the people he influences to destroy believers in every generation.
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10 NKJV
Although the Jews had a specific day of destruction before them, they didn’t cower! Mordecai acted and asked Esther to speak on behalf of her people. Not only did Mordecai take action, but so did Esther and the Jews of Persia.
God’s People can Defeat the Hamans of our Generation
Like the Jews of Ancient Persia, when the Hamans of our generation seek to attack the people of God, one does not have to cower!
- Prayer and Fasting: Esther called for prayer and fasting before going to the king to request the lives of her people. Not only did she and her maids pray and fast, but so did Mordecai and the Jews of Susa. Today, when we see news of believers coming under attack, we can also pray and fast, asking God to move on behalf of His people today like He did for the Jews in Ancient Persia. Not only can we pray and fast for others, but also for ourselves and our family.
- Action: God will often put His people in positions that can influence and change outcomes. God put Mordecai in the palace to hear the news regarding Haman’s plan to kill the Jews. God put Esther as Queen to influence the king to spare her people. Together, Esther and Mordecai wrote a new law allowing the Jews of Persia to defend themselves on the date previously set aside for their death. Where has God placed you? In what ways do you have influence that can change how people are treated?
- Follow Up: After Esther approached the king and had secured the survival of her people, the Jews still had to defend themselves from those trying to kill them. God had given them back their lives to live for Him. How about you? Has God spared your life when you should have died?
Finally, as we approach this time of the year, let’s remember that there will always be Hamans who oppose God’s people. But may we never forget that God will always have the last word.