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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

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Haman was the King’s right-hand man, and all were ordered to bow before him. Mordecai refused to bow before Haman.  As a good Persian government-employee we can assume that Mordecai freely bowed before the king, but not Haman. When Haman learned of this disrespect, he was incensed. 

 

Haman was full of pride, greed and envy; not unlike Lucifer. And yet, Mordecai’s refusal to bow before him probably had nothing to do with these character flaws. Haman and Mordecai’s differences were as thick as ancestral blood.

 

Haman was a descendant of the Amalekites; a historical enemy of the Jewish people. Soon after escaping Egypt the ancient Israelites were attacked by the Amalekites, and God Himself declared a lasting enmity between the two peoples. Later, King Saul—Mordecai’s ancestor—went to war against King Agag and his people. Saul did not complete the task the way God asked, and so He replaced Saul with David.  Bowing before Haman, the Agagite, would be a great humiliation and a sign of disobedience for Mordecai, the Benjamite.

 

Haman’s wrath would not be satisfied with Mordecai’s life alone.  His pride would be avenged only with the death of every Jew in Persia.  Lots were cast to decide which day to slaughter the Jews.

 

Without naming his enemies, Haman tells King Ahasuerus a story of a “different” people scattered throughout the kingdom. Apparently with no regard for these “different” people, the king carelessly hands over his signet ring. The law is written by Haman, sealed with the king’s ring and delivered throughout the kingdom. The blunt, cold language of the decree in verse 13 is shocking, and the significance of the words should not be lost on us. No Jew, young, old, child or woman, was to be spared. Haman even offered to pay the king handsomely—the equivalent of about 6 months’ tax earnings—for the privilege.

 

This story closely parallels the last-day events described in Revelation 13 and 20. The death decree goes out to the kingdom to be rid of God’s people. Gog and Magog are descriptions of God’s enemies, and those words are derived from Agag. Revelation predicts a last-day replay of this story for Christians. Thankfully, the story of God’s people in ancient Persia does not end in chapter 3. The great controversy is nearly over, and we know the ending is a happy one.

 

Jean Boonstra
Voice of Prophecy