I read this today, and it made me think, so I thought I would share it with you, hopefully it will make you think a bit too.
The Great King, Artaxerxes, writes the following to the governors of the hundred twenty-seven provinces from India to Ethiopia and to the officials under them.
Having become ruler of many nations and master of the whole world (not elated with presumption of authority but always acting reasonably and with kindness), I have determined to settle the lives of my subjects of lasting tranquility and, in order to make my kingdom peaceable and open to travel throughout all its extent, to restore the peace desired by all people.
When I asked my counselors how this might be accomplished, Haman–who excels among us in sound judgment, and is distinguished for his unchanging goodwill and steadfast fidelity, and has attained the second place in the kingdom–pointed out to us that among all the nations in the world there is scattered a certain hostile people, who have laws contrary to those of every nation and continually disregard the ordinances of kings, so that the unifying of the kingdom that we honorably intend cannot be brought about.
We understand that this people, and it alone, stands constantly in opposition to every nation, perversely following a strange manner of life and laws, and is ill-disposed to our government, doing all the harm they can so that our kingdom may not attain stability.
Therefore we have decreed that those indicated to you in the letters written by Haman, who is in charge of affairs and is our second father, shall all–wives and children included–be utterly destroyed by the swords of their enemies, without pity or restraint, on the fourteenth day of the twelfth month, Adar, of this present year, so that those who have long been hostile and remain so may in a single day go down in violence to Hades, and leave our government completely secure and untroubled hereafter.
(This is from the apocryphal additions to Esther, it is not Scripture.)
King Artaxerxes was convinced by the evil Haman that the Jews, due to their keeping of their own laws, rather than obedience to some of the king’s, in particular obeisance to Haman, were harmful to society and to the peace and stability of the kingdom. Because of this, it seemed best to kill every last one of them.
We aren’t diasporic Jews, but in a sense we too are aliens in a world that is not our own. Will the societies we live in turn on us like King Artaxerxes did? My mind wanders to the holocaust of World War 2 and to Christians currently living in heavy persecution in Muslim countries.
We live in a culture that is increasingly hostile to Christians, not because of Christ, in what they say, but because of our biblical views and what that says about the way people live. We know, of course, that this hostility toward Christian values is really hatred toward God, but many seem to think that we are the trouble makers in society. (John 15, Romans 1) We “hate the gays” as some clearly unbiased journalist has recently said. As society continues to seek further perversions, as it is wont to do, we will likely be seen as all the more divisive and against the common peace.
We know, in the book of Esther, that God worked through Esther and Mordecai to save the Jewish people, who Satan saw fit to destroy to kill off God’s chosen people, and more importantly to prevent the birth of the Christ. Will God deliver us should it come to this? Or, will this perhaps be part of the great tribulation that the Left Behind* series has engrained into my mind?
Of course, as usual, I have more questions than answers here, but, I think it is something worth thinking about.
*Regarding “Left Behind,” I’m not a dispensationalist, or a rapturist, though, I am well aware that my reading of Revelation and the other Apocolyptic writings in the Bible are likely negatively influenced by being taught those things early on.