Esther 9:5 – 17 The Jews struck down all their enemies with the sword, killing and destroying them, and they did what they pleased to those who hated them. In the citadel of Susa, the Jews killed and destroyed five hundred men. They also killed Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha, Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha, Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai and Vaizatha, the ten sons of Haman son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews. But they did not lay their hands on the plunder.
The number of those slain in the citadel of Susa was reported to the king that same day. The king said to Queen Esther, “The Jews have killed and destroyed five hundred men and the ten sons of Haman in the citadel of Susa. What have they done in the rest of the king’s provinces? Now what is your petition? It will be given you. What is your request? It will also be granted.”
If it pleases the king,” Esther answered, “give the Jews in Susa permission to carry out this day’s edict tomorrow also, and let Haman’s ten sons be hanged on gallows.”
So the king commanded that this be done. An edict was issued in Susa, and they hanged the ten sons of Haman. The Jews in Susa came together on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar, and they put to death in Susa three hundred men, but they did not lay their hands on the plunder.
Meanwhile, the remainder of the Jews who were in the king’s provinces also assembled to protect themselves and get relief from their enemies. They killed seventy-five thousand of them but did not lay their hands on the plunder. This happened on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar, and on the fourteenth they rested and made it a day of feasting and joy.
I wish that this story had a happier ending. It would have, if everyone had just decided to play nice. The Jewish people did not want to harm anyone; they didn’t even take the plunder that they had a right to take. They wouldn’t have hurt anyone, except in self defense. But sometimes, boys just want to be boys, and fight. And it appears that some of the pagans, including the ten sons of Haman, wouldn’t leave well enough alone. In spite of the new decree, they tried to kill the Jews.
But the Jews had God on their side. And these folks should have known better than to mess with God’s chosen people. The Jews won each battle hands down, and Esther became a heroine to her people.
Did you know that the Greek Historian, Herodotus, called Esther a “cold and vindictive queen”? Of course it would seem that way to the Greeks. In that day, women were expected to remain silent. But because she had the courage to stand up for her people, the Jews were saved. And seventy-five thousand Gentiles were killed.
So it all depends who you talk to. To Haman’s family, Esther was an awful person. To the Jews, she was a hero. This reminds me that we all have different points of view, different measures of right and wrong. And we always think we are right, and the other guy is wrong. Conservatives view liberals as rebellious, in-your-face, anything-is-okay-as-long-as-you-are-happy radicals who have shucked all traditional morals and values in favor of political correctness. Liberals view conservatives as mean-spirited, narrow-minded, judgmental legalists who want to tell everyone else how to live their lives. So who is right?
Friends, in order to find what is right, we have to give up our own points of view. We have to recognize that we have a limited vision of reality. The only one who sees the entire picture, who sees front to back and beginning to end – who sees all the way to the heart of every matter – is God. His point of view, alone, is the right one.
So, how do we see things from His point of view? Well, it is easy. And it is difficult. The truth is, the more we spend time in His Word and in prayer, hearing what He has to say about things, the more we understand His point of view. He loves all people, no matter what. In that way He might be called a liberal. He hates all sin – in that way He might be called a conservative.
I don’t know about you, but I want to see things from God’s point of view. I want to love all people, no matter what. I want to hate all sin, which destroys the people God loves so much. And I want to live my life so that others can see His point of view, displayed in me.
Dear Father, Please help me to see things through Your eyes. Help me to love all people with Your kind of love.