Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Auld Enemy (4)

The book Esther may be famous for being the only book in the Bible which doesn't mention God. However, it is less famous for the final clash between God's people and their ancient enemy, the Amalekites. God had declared that he would war against Amalek throughout all generations, and once again, the old conflict raises its head.

Amalek was a Satan-inspired nation which sought to destroy the people of the Jews, and therefore destroy the family line of the Messiah who was to come. By now, Israel has fallen to the Assyrians, and Jerusalem to the Babylonians. Babylon has fallen to the Medes and Persians, so Israel is well in exile.

Having won a palace beauty competition, Esther, Hadassah, has been made Queen, in place of the feminist Vashti. Esther had been raised by her cousin, Mordecai, who was of the family line of Benjamin, a son of Kish. He was a descendant of the very family of King Saul, who had messed up when it came to destroying the Amalekites.

On the opposite side, we have Haman the Agagite. Agagite meaning son of Agag, which means that we have the great- grandson of Agag king of the Amalekites on one side, and the great- grandson of Saul on the other.

Haman takes out a grudge against Mordecai as he refuses to bow in Haman's presence. Haman then persuades the king to sign an order to allow the widespread slaughter of the Jews, throughout the entire empire. Panic time.

Yet Mordecai keeps his head (literally, as well as metaphorically), and encourages Esther to speak on behalf of her people to the king. 'And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?' (Esther 4:14).

Esther is successful, the plot is overthrown, and Haman ends up on his own gallows, intended for Mordecai. Mordecai defeats his enemy, Haman, and God defeats the enemy of his people, the Amalekites, preserving his people, and ensuring that Jesus could be born under the Law to save those under the Law, and to bring salvation to all nations.

The ancient enemy is defeated, and God is vindicated! All praise to our God, who defeats our enemies and delivers us from danger!

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