We now live in a time where it is becoming legal for oppression of African Americans, and really all people of color, in the United States of America. The hate and vitriol behind this political movement has been brewing and fermenting in the darkness of the right wing political ideology for decades, but is now frantically making power plays in the wake of recent political defeat. When laws are changed to disadvantage and criminalize a group of people based on racial, ethnic, socio-economic, and cultural differences, it becomes clear that equality in justice and liberty does not appeal to those making the laws. Laws that make it more difficult to vote, laws that make protesting a criminal offense, and laws that target minority groups who are underrepresented and underserved are desperate attempts for elitists and white supremacists to cling to or (in their minds) possibly increase their power and privilege in the USA.
This tactic to create laws that make it possible to disadvantage minority groups and even legalize causing them harm is not new at all. In fact it is one of the most ancient forms of oppression that has ever existed. Even the Holy Bible has examples of this being done against the Children of Promise, the nation of Israel. In the book of Esther, a plot to wipe out all Israelites out of the Persian Empire was signed into law by King Ahasuerus at the conniving of one of his most trusted servants Haman. Haman decided that he did not like Israelites because Modecai, who worked for the king as well, did not bow to him or feed into his illusions of grandeur. Mordecai placed his God as the highest authority and did not become intimidated by self important Haman. Mordecai must not have been the only Isarelite practicing their faith, because the Israelites were distinguish throughout the Persian empire for a similar level of devotion to God.This irritated Haman to the point of devising a murderous scheme to rid himself of this consecrated remnant once and for all. This is similar to what is happening today not just in the USA, but all over the world. Haman is rising – showing his true agenda to keep privilege and power above those he sees as less than. He holds this as more important than honor, truth, love, and democracy. He believes in freedom of speech, for those that express his views and sentiments only. He believes that freedom should be for his kind, and is not worried about people who are not like him. In fact, he actually hates those “others” and is not shying away anymore from saying and showing so. Haman is a racist. Haman is a hater. And if allowed Haman would have been a Murderer. In fact, according to Jesus’ teaching Haman had already committed murder in his heart by even wanting to see another human suffer and die.
One thing that was never made clear in the Book of Esther is why King Ahasuerus had not realized what a creep Haman was before he was exposed by Queen Esther. This always was bothersome, knowing that someone that spineless was thriving in a position of power next to the king.Unfortunately, a lot of people who say that they are “down with the King” don’t seem to recognize Haman’s work and influence. They actually tend to sympathize with him and offer to share his burden. It is possible that they can not recognize Haman as an enemy, because Haman is “one of the boys” – just like them. How many politicians’ and law enforcement officers’ true colors are being revealed in this day and time? How many more are hiding out behind their titles and duties, before coming forward with a power play of destruction against the very people that they are in office to serve? When will Mordecai stop being targeted? When will Queen Esther take her place for such a time as this? The question of who Queen Esther really is in our day and time needs to be asked. It seems obvious to me that the Bride of Christ, the Church should represent the character of Queen Esther in our time. She was cautious yet courageous, tactful yet truthful, venerable yet virtuous, meek yet mighty – this is what the Body of Christ should be! Unfortunately, some from Haman’s camp have intermingled with the Bride and have corrupted and defiled her with the illusion of prestige and entitlement.
A look to the past- Before slavery was abolished in the United States, there was a great controversy amongst free white men. At the time they were the only ones granted the right to vote and organize government (which explains a lot of things). Most of these men proclaimed to be Christian in faith, yet a majority of them were also slave holders. A Christian denomination called the Quakers (who believed in adhering to the Bible and the teachings of Jesus), began to examine slavery in light of what the Christian Bible teaches. What they found, was that slavery did not hold up as a Christian practice and the brutality of how it was conducted in America was in no way justified by what the Bible teaches. These Quakers, both men and women, decided to denounce slavery, repent, and began assisting slaves and even free African Americans leave the slavery of the south and start new lives in the Northern states and eventually Canada as well. The Quakers, like Queen Esther, realized that they were in a “such a time as this” moment and took action. They did not make excuses, cling to privilege, wealth, or advantage/protection under the law to give themselves a reason to not do anything. They were not satisfied with having all that they needed and wanted, while knowing that another HUMAN BEING was being oppressed, mistreated, regarded as less, and in some cases mutilated, tortured, and lynched. They did not hide away, ignoring what was happening and just praising God for “me and mine.” They made a difference in the lives of those who escaped and those who attempted to escape, sometimes paying for it with their own safety and reputation. This is not to diminish the awesome and inspiring impossible feats that were accomplished by African Americans of that time who also played key roles in liberating the enslaved. The point is that regardless of skin color, privilege, and power the Bride of Christ does not tolerate Haman’s manipulation of justice and liberty. The Bride does not sit around complaining about the disturbance that is caused by protest, and speaking out against injustice. The Bride of Christ, like Queen Esther, does not have to threaten, intimidate, wield weapons, scheme or conive to accomplish her goal to protect and liberate her people.
Happy Ending? Spoiler Alert: The conclusion of the Book of Esther describes how the tables were turned and that wicked Haman was hanged on the very gallows he prepared for Mordecai. The Israelites were able to defend themselves, and began to prosper in the Persian Empire. Queen Esther no longer had to hide her faith in God from the king, and for the most part they lived happily ever after. How is it going to end for Haman in the USA? In North Korea? In Belarus? In the Republic of China? How is Haman going to be overthrown in Africa, Brazil, India and Australia? Where is the Bride? Is she too consumed with looking the part for the Groom King Jesus or is she really ready to be His eternal partner? Is the Bride of Christ out shopping for a wedding gown instead of recognizing that she is in a “such a time as this moment”? Has the Bride become smitten with Haman and is having an affair with him? What’s up with the Global Church? Of course COVID 19 is still a distraction, and some of the interpretations of what was going to happen ;last political season has gotten her off her game, but come on now… Hopefully, better yet, Prayerfully she will not miss her moment to take down Haman and all of his wicked murderous schemes.
I decided not to make a historical list of people who acted in a similar fashion as Haman from the Book of Esther, that would be distracting from the main point of this blog post.The point is that there is a way to execute justice as Christians without misrepresenting the God we serve and the principles that we believe in. This also is to show that a person with a title is not running the show. No matter what laws are signed in or manipulative measures to obstruct equality and justice for all are put in place, as long Esther recognizes that she needs to take action, Haman will always be overthrown! Esther received wise counsel from Mordecai, prayed/ interceded for the nation, fasted, and courageously approached the king knowing it may cost her life. What passion and humility she displayed. My prayer is that we will show up the same way and recognise these times for what they are, take action as led by God, and not become Haman’s victims this time around.