Filled with hatred, Haman plotted and schemed against Mordecai. “When Haman saw that Mordecai was not bowing down or paying him homage, he was filled with rage” (Esther 3:5). But even worse, “when he learned of Mordecai’s ethnic identity, it seemed repugnant to Haman to do away with Mordecai alone. He planned to destroy all of Mordecai’s people, the Jews, throughout Ahasuerus’s kingdom” (Esther 3:6). Like Adolph Hitler, Haman planned to exterminate the entire Hebrew race!
When would the genocide begin? Tomorrow? Next week? No. To determine the date, Haman rolled the dice. “In the first month, the month of Nisan, in King Ahasuerus’s twelfth year, the pur—that is, the lot—was cast before Haman for each day in each month, and it fell on the twelfth month, the month Adar” (Esther 3:7). Mordecai and his fellow-Jews would live for eleven more months. Then on the thirteenth day of Adar, the last page on the calendar, the Jews would suffer mass execution.
Do you believe in haphazard chance, in a lucky roll of the dice? Was it coincidental, accidental luck that gave the Hebrews an eleven-month reprieve? Isn’t it more likely that the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe stepped in, that God’s providential grace and mercy controlled the outcome? I believe He did. I believe He still does.
Armed with vicious hatred and an evil plan, Haman approached the king. “There is one ethnic group, scattered throughout the peoples in every province of your kingdom, keeping themselves separate. Their laws are different from everyone else’s and they do not obey the king’s laws. It is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them. If the king approves, let an order be drawn up authorizing their destruction, and I will pay 375 tons of silver to the officials for deposit in the royal treasury” (Esther 3:8-9).
Quick question: Where was Haman going to get “375 tons of silver”? I suspect that he was going to pilfer it from the estate of a jillion dead Jews.
What was Xerxes thinking when Haman skipped into the throne room with his sinister plot? Maybe he was drunk. Maybe he signed anything and everything that his Prime Minister set before him. And maybe Xerxes, controlled by evil, had no regard for human life. With the scrawl of his royal quill, their fate was sealed. In eleven months, every Jew would die!
“The royal scribes were summoned on the thirteenth day of the first month, and the order was written exactly as Haman commanded… It was written in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed with the royal signet ring. Letters were sent by couriers to each of the royal provinces telling the officials to destroy, kill, and annihilate all the Jewish people—young and old, women and children—and plunder their possessions on a single day, the thirteenth day of Adar, the twelfth month” (Esther 3:11-13).
Today, mankind has an evil enemy. He intends to “steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10).
Like a ravenous, hungry predator, “your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
Take heart. Providentially, sovereignly, Almighty God is in control! The lion’s on a leash! “The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support you” (1 Peter 5:10).