Awaken Biblical Commentary – Esther’s Message for Israel Haters Today

Awaken Biblical Commentary – Esther’s Message for Israel Haters Today




The narrative and lessons from the book of Esther are not just for Sunday school.  They are true for today and a warning that those who conspire against Israel should heed.

Despite the fact that few Christians have read the entire Bible once, let alone daily and multiple times as God would have us do, most of us in the church – whether true or only professing Christians – have heard the story of Esther.

It’s a quick and riveting read.  The king of Persia deep-sixes his queen because she disrespects him.  That creates a vacuum around the throne, so all the virgins in the land are vacuumed up into the palace for try-outs to become the next queen.

One of the virgins happens to be Esther who is a Jew; yet Mordecai, Esther’s uncle who raised her, warns that she should not divulge her Jewish heritage.  In the meantime, Haman rises to power under the king.  He gets massively bent out of shape when Mordecai, whom he knows is a Jew, fails to pay him the homage he pridefully thinks he deserves by bowing down to him.

Haman is an Agagite, which is a critical aspect of the narrative.  Agag was king of the Amalekites.  In the time of King Saul and the prophet Samuel, God gave the command for Saul to devote to destruction all of Amalek, meaning he was to completely annihilate all their men, women, children, and even animals.  In a case like this, the reason is that God knew these people were genetically corrupted by the DNA of the sons of God who initially came from heaven to procreate with human women.  Because Jesus came to save lost humanity initially through the Jews, that meant they could not intermarry with such people having compromised bloodlines.

Saul disobeyed God by only destroying what he determined was worthless among the Amalekites.  He also spared King Agag.  Samuel came along, knowing how Saul had rebelled in his absolute duty to God.  This was one of several instances with Saul that caused God to strip him of the kingship of Israel.  Samuel did the final work for God in place of Saul by hacking King Agag to death with a sword.  In relation to all this, the prophet declared in 1 Samuel 15:22-23:

Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
as in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
and to listen than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is as the sin of divination,
and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
he has also rejected you from being king.”

In other words, disobedience to God brings severe consequences because it is likened to witchcraft and idolatry, two things the Lord hates with a passion because of how people suffer from pursuing those abominations.

This incident with King Saul, Samuel, and King Agag occurred around 1025 BC.  The story of Esther takes place in the neighborhood of 475 BC, or around 550 years later.  Keep that in mind.

The real reason Mordecai wouldn’t bow down to Haman was because of his reverence for God.  Bowing down to this mere man would have been contrary to God’s commands to worship Him only.  Haman wouldn’t have necessarily known this, nor cared.  His ego was fueled by his pride, which demanded everyone pay him the respect he thought he deserved.  What made the situation worse was that Haman had a long memory.  In his mind, the killing of King Agag, his distant relative, had never been accounted for.  This remained a blood lust leading to a blood feud between his people and the Jews, one that he was determined to avenge despite the fact that it came from an encounter 550 years previously.  That’s a long time to hold a grudge.  It brings to mind what the author said in Hebrews 12:15:

See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;

It was this root of bitterness that ended up causing Haman’s downfall.  That demise came when Mordecai and Esther learned of Haman’s evil plan, which was to kill all the Jews in the entire Persian kingdom.  After fasting and prayer, Esther went to her king-husband, revealed the nefarious plot, and it was brought back down on Haman’s head.  He was hung from the very gallows he had erected for the Jews, and all the Jewish people throughout the land were given the means to fight back and destroy their enemies.

As is often pointed out, God isn’t even mentioned once in this account, but He is very much at the center of it in preserving His people.  This is our lesson for today.

The Hamas terrorist attack upon Israel on October 7, 2023 was brutal and directed at the civilian population.  Any right-thinking people – Christians especially, who are supposed to be people of the Word – should have not only decried this atrocity, but also come together in support of Israel against her enemies.  This category of enemies includes around 85% of the Palestinian people themselves who approve of what was done to the Jews.  Instead, what happened quickly after the attack is that the world turned against Israel by blaming her and saying it was only right and just that Hamas did this.

One expects the world to be antisemitic and to hate the Jewish people.  Where such antipathy toward Israel should not come from is the Christian church.  We have the Bible as God’s very Word.  It clearly shows His love for Israel.  How foolish can a Christian be to oppose that which God favors?  But that’s exactly what has happened.  A very large percentage of the church has taken the position of supporting the so-called Palestinians and criticizing and condemning Israel.

The parallel for us to understand is that God will not tolerate anyone coming against the apple of His eye, the nation of Israel.  His blessings and curses are clear in Genesis 12:3, and they remain to this day.  If you bless Israel, God will bless you.  If you curse Israel, God will bring those very curses back on your own head. You who condemn the Jews for pride and arrogance, twice condemn yourselves.  Count on it.

We see in Esther 9:2,5 what occurred in this respect:

The Jews gathered in their cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus to lay hands on those who sought their harm. And no one could stand against them, for the fear of them had fallen on all peoples.

 The Jews struck all their enemies with the sword, killing and destroying them, and did as they pleased to those who hated them.

It was God who caused the fear of the Jews to come upon their enemies.  It was God who enabled them to rise up and destroy those who had planned to kill the Jews.  The church in particular should understand the dynamic at play.  Sadly, many in the church, pastors included, do not.

Just as God working behind the scenes delivered the Jews from the hand of Haman, He will likewise do the same today.  However, not only will He enable Israel to completely defeat Hamas so they are no longer a cancer in their midst, but I believe God will also bring recompense in some way to Christians who oppose Israel.

I can envision the defeat of Hamas and the rest of Israel’s enemies both inside and outside her borders.  How it will play out for the church, who should staunchly stand with Israel but generally is not, I don’t know.  What I do know is that I wouldn’t want to be among those who will be recipients of God’s wrath for coming against Israel.

To have God’s Word and then to ignore its truths is inexcusable.  This is not simple ignorance; this is willful disobedience.

As God’s children saved by the grace of Jesus Christ, we of all people should have some understanding of God’s character regarding the promises He makes.  We should take the lesson of Esther to heart, heeding God’s Word, and pleasing Him through our obedience.  To do otherwise is a foolish and dangerous road to walk.

4 Responses to “Awaken Biblical Commentary – Esther’s Message for Israel Haters Today”

    • Reply Gary Ritter

      Zephaniah 2:7 gives us the rest of the story:
      The seacoast shall become the possession
      of the remnant of the house of Judah,
      on which they shall graze,
      and in the houses of Ashkelon
      they shall lie down at evening.

      • Reply Robin McCann

        I know. Isn’t it wonderful? I’m trying to picture when though. During 7 years? Hmm

        • Reply Gary Ritter

          Likely. What I can envision is that during the Great Tribulation (last 3 1/2 years) these areas become abandoned through depopulation from persecution. Verse 7 follows during the Millennium.

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