The quiet Jewish girl was chosen as queen… the king made a great feast and proclaimed a holiday in the provinces.
Happily ever after? No, not quite. She had an enemy, although neither he nor she knew that at the time.
Enter Haman… an ambitious man it seems, and his ambition was rewarded. King Ahasuerus promoted him, and all the kings servants who were in the kings gate were ordered to bow to him. And so they did… all except Mordecai. Infuriated, Haman sought revenge. This one man refusing to bow and pay homage to him, had a deeper reason. There was a long-standing racial hatred between Agagites and the Jews… and Mordecai was a Jew, and Haman was an Agagite.
Where did the hatred come from? Back in history in the reign of King Saul (before King David), the prophet Samuel ordered Saul to kill the Amalekites who were lifelong enemies of the Jews. King Saul only part obeyed, sparing the king Agag, so Samuel executed him instead.
Generations later, the hatred is still there and here was a chance to get rid of the Jews in the land. By holding to his faith and refusing to bow to a man, Mordecai, gave Haman the opportunity to exterminate ALL the Jews in the land. He went to the king “There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from all other people’s, and they do not keep the kings laws…” Esther 3: 8)
So it started, the plot to exterminate the Jews in all the provinces. King Ahasuerus reigned over one hundred and twenty-seven provinces from India to Ethiopia. What vengeance! Haman is given the king’s signet ring to issue the order and the letters were written, sealed with the king’s ring, and sent out.
In the Medo-Persian empire, in those days, when a command was written and sealed it could not be revoked. This was a death sentence for all the Jews. In a sadistic twist, Haman sent the letters out in the first month of the year, but the extermination was not to be carried out until the twelfth month. A long time to live with the knowledge of what would happen…
Mordecai mourned loudly and publically. Esther and her people needed help. As yet, Esther didn’t know… nor did anyone at the court know she too was Jewish.
The command could not be cancelled, but would God allow His chosen people to be exterminated?
More next week,
Till then, tread softly because you may be stepping on someone’s dreams