…so that the Jews themselves gained the mastery over those who hated them.
Perhaps we could talk about this verse, not in terms of Jews slaughtering people who hated them, but in terms of gaining mastery over your sinful nature. The Book of Esther’s background is based in the fact that the Jews had been taken over, forced to become subject to a foreign king, and his other subjects didn’t like the Jews much. They believed different things, behaved somewhat differently, and generally pissed off people groups around them. Sounds kind of like the way Christians can feel about the Holy Spirit’s guidance when His urgings are counter to our cultural norms. So these people groups wanted to get rid of the annoying Jews; we could call those groups all the worldly traits that try to clamor over the Godly voice whispering inside each and every Christian. The Jews dealt with their dissenters by killing them and having a huge party afterwards.
Thankfully, we Christians don’t need to do that today, but we do need to learn a lesson from the ancient Jews’ behavior. They didn’t tolerate people who hated them or tried to make them conform, and Christians today need to be aware that in a million subtle and unsubtle ways our culture is trying to do the same thing. “Be tolerant,” we hear from all sides. “Don’t say yours is the only right way because that might offend somebody who disagrees.” “It’s OK to sleep with your boyfriend if you really love him; if it wasn’t, why would everybody else do it?” “Accumulating nice things is the most important goal in life.” The cultural urgings seep in easily but can quickly become a dangerous clamor that, in essence, wants to kill our true Christianity. Instead of letting our faith be massacred in a thousand different ways, we need to learn from the Jews in the Book of Esther who proactively fought for their beliefs. We need to defend ourselves against insidious cultural messages and firmly hold to what’s true, what’s right. Don’t let your faith just slide; before you know it, your Christianity will have been killed by the culture. In reality God’s message should have overcome the world’s rather than letting the world overcome it. It’s time to get proactive like the Jews and get rid of cultural lies that we harbor within ourselves.
News: had Calc today as well as an IQP conference with Lesley. We brainstormed well and are coming up with what’s looking like a pretty cool IQP. Now if only we knew where to get this information…
– KF –