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January 30, 2011 – Esther 7

Click here to read Esther 7 on BibleGateway.com

It’s easy to forget that the folks in the Bible are people just like us modern-acrats. It seems like they are so distant from us in time (and usually in space) that it’s hard to relate. For instance, do sheep and millstones mean much to us today? But they were as common as Mt. Dew and lousy reality TV back in the day. So it’s nice when the Bible reminds us that peeps are peeps, no matter when or where they lived.

Take Mr. Xerxes. King of all Persia; he of the ridiculously short fuse and the creative punishments. In today’s story, he and his bestest bud Haman are dining with Queen Esther for the second time, and this time Esther drops the matzo bomb on him: his wisest of wise men, Haman, is really a genocidal spazweasel.

COUNT TO 10….

We can all agree that Xerxes actually shows remarkable restraint at the news. He doesn’t smack Haman in the noggin or even arrest him. Instead, he goes out to get some fresh air and ponder this new set of circumstances. As we’ve seen in the past, Xerxes is not known for reasonable discourse, so we should give him his props in this instance.

Meanwhile, Haman realizes he’s into it up to his chinny chin chin,and he’s got only one chance: beg Esther, the Jewish Queen, to have mercy on him. Wouldn’t you know it, in his haste to get to the begging, he trips and falls right into Esther’s lap right at the time when the king comes back.

YOU LOOKING AT MY BIRD?

This is when Xerxes shows he’s as red blooded as a Texas cowboy. He was ok with the planned annihilation of a good portion of his populace, and even with the slightly less obvious implication that his trusted adviser deliberately kept him in the dark regarding the full details of his plan. But what he won’t stand for is someone messing with his lady.

The king comes in, sees Haman apparently in the act of trying to get his groove on, and his self-restraint flies away like a hotdog wrapper at the ball park. He immediately orders Haman’s execution (on his personal gallows, no less), the guards march him out, and the fall of Haman is brought to completion.

Now we come to the crucial part: How do we make a spiritual application out of this Days of Our Lives episode? Just this: God’s plan can happen in an instant. One minute Haman was planning his retribution against Mordecai, counting his imminent wealth and power, and reveling in the halls of the powerful. But with one sentence from Esther (under God’s guidance, of course), the world was turned around.   Once again we are reminded, as so often in the book of Esther, that when God’s plan is in motion, it’s unstoppable.

That’s reality.

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