The ongoing pandemic has meant Purim celebrations over these past few years have not been nearly as fun as they normally would have been . . . but our plight is nothing compared to the violent antiSemitism that Queen Hadassah (Esther) and the Jews had to confront with Haman and his wife Zeresh in ancient Persia.
Even if you had to stay home, hopefully you got to eat some hamantaschen and read or hear the whole Megillah (the scroll of Esther). Or, as was the case at our house, dress up with the children who absolutely love to get in their Purim costumes and “boo Haman” as the account is read.
If you are unfamiliar with Purim, one of the traditions is to read the entire book of Esther and “boo” and use noisemakers (“groggers”) (often homemade!) to “blot out” Haman’s name every time it is mentioned. It can get very loud!
One of the things that makes Scripture so fascinating is that even though you might have read it a zillion times, you will still discover something new every time if you are paying attention. The Book of Esther is no exception.
I was struck by Esther 6:13, which recounts an interaction between the evil Haman and his wife, Zeresh.
Haman goes home with his head hung low because he was just humiliated. The righteous Mordecai (Haman’s enemy) was honored in the streets under orders from the king, in the way evil Haman had wanted for himself.
Zeresh and some family friends hear what just happened and counsel Haman, saying:
There’s a lot packed into that one verse!
Most significantly: “Since Mordecai is Jewish, you will not prevail.”
Haman has no chance against the God of Mordecai, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of Israel.
Zeresh recognizes “your downfall has begun!”
For if indeed Mordecai is Jewish (yes, indeed he was) . . . “surely, you will fall before him.”
Zeresh was wise enough to know that going up against the chosen people and their God was a recipe for her husband’s demise. She recognized the power within the Jewish lineage, but she, too, had a history of evil ideas against the Jewish people. Madame Zeresh had previously inspired Haman to build a gallows with intent to hang Mordecai.
Haman didn’t have time to make a plan or discuss his next move further because he was whisked away by the king’s eunuchs to attend a dinner banquet with the king and queen.
The next day, Haman was hung on the very gallows (located at his own house!) that he had prepared for Mordecai.
Zeresh was right. Haman would not prevail, for his downfall had already begun and his end was swift.
She was right about this one thing: Haman’s plan would fail and Israel WILL prevail!
From Haman to Hamas, Israel is all too often surrounded and attacked by enemies, but fear not, the enemy will never prevail!
Baruch HaShem Adonai, the Guardian of Israel, who never slumbers nor sleeps.
Update on 2/27/2022 related to the current events of the invasion of Ukraine. According to the Jerusalem Channel, President Zelenskyy of Ukraine is the grandson of a Holocaust survivor. His grandfather’s three brothers were murdered by the Nazis. Please join us in praying for the safety of President Zelenskyy as he confronts the Haman of our day.
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