A Bible Study by Jack Kelley
With the death of Haman and the elevation of Mordecai to Chief Counselor, you’d think my problems would be over, but we still had the extermination order against all my people in Persia to deal with. I fell on my knees and begged the King to rescind Haman’s order.
The King replied to Mordecai, “Because Haman attacked the Jews, I have given his estate to Esther, and they have hanged him on the gallows. Now write another decree in the king’s name in behalf of the Jews as seems best to you, and seal it with the king’s signet ring – but no document written in the king’s name and sealed with his ring can be revoked.”
Most English translations of my story render the last part of the King’s reply as … “for no document written in the king’s name and sealed with his ring can be revoked” instead of the way I’ve presented it above. Let me make clear what the King was saying, and you’ll see that my version is more accurate. He was giving Mordecai the authority to issue another order that would supercede the extermination order, but even he was powerless to rescind Haman’s order since it had been published over the King’s signature and sealed with his seal. The Jews were still under threat of death and there was nothing anybody could do about it.
So it is with you. When you reached the age of accountability you became liable for execution under the Law of Sin and Death. There’s nothing you can do to change that. All your attempts at self-help are futile. In fact, the harder you try the worse your plight becomes. Only the Holy Spirit can change things. With Him in your life you can appeal to a higher law, the Law of Grace. It supercedes the Law of Sin and Death. The Apostle Paul would one day write about that in his letter to the Romans, chapter 7.
Upon reading Haman’s edict again we discovered that he had forbidden Jews to organize and defend ourselves against our enemies. Here was the loophole we were looking for. Forced to leave the extermination order in place, we simply published a modification permitting the Jews to fight in their own defense. And since Haman had authorized their enemies to seize the wealth and property of any Jews they killed, we extended that same privilege to Jews who overpowered their attackers. The playing field now appeared level, but our enemies would soon discover that we had a secret weapon. Though my people would still have to fight for their lives, victory was now assured.
When Mordecai left the palace that day he was dressed in royal garments of blue and white, with a large crown of gold on his head and purple robes about him. At the sight of him, a spontaneous celebration erupted among my people in the capital city that soon spread through out the entire Kingdom. Mordecai’s power and influence grew quickly because of the edict he had published giving us the right of self-defense. Many people of various nationalities began converting to Judaism, and the governors of all 127 provinces hastened to earn Mordecai’s favor through their kindness to us.
On the day Haman’s edict went into effect, Jews everywhere banded together and went on the offense against those who had gathered to attack us; I believe you would call it a pre-emptive strike. Because of Mordecai’s power and his influence with the King, there was great fear of the Jews and no one could stand against us. All the officials of Persia helped us so as to avoid displeasing Mordecai. My people’s power was coming right from the throne. We struck down all our enemies, even slaying Haman’s 10 sons, but did not take any of the plunder to which we were entitled. Victory is only pure in the absence of personal gain.
Under the Law of Sin and Death, no defense is permitted. Everyone is guilty and must submit to punishment. The Law of Grace supercedes the Law of Sin and Death, but a pre-emptive defense is required. (You must apply the Blood of the Lamb.) So you also use power that comes right from the Throne to achieve victory over your spiritual enemy and nullify the extermination order against you.
At the end of the day the King asked me if I desired anything further, once again offering up to half the Kingdom. I replied that I wanted the edict permitting the Jews to attack their enemies extended for one more day. I also asked that the bodies of Haman’s dead sons be hanged in the public square for everyone in the capital city to see. The King happily granted both these requests.
When my story was originally written down, each of Haman’s 10 sons was listed in large letters on a separate line with the name at the beginning of the line and the Hebrew word for “self” at the end separated by a long blank space in the middle. When you see these 10 names translated into English, this puzzling manner of listing them will make sense to you. Here they are with their English meanings and the word self added at the end.
Parshandatha means “curious-self,” a busy body.
Dalphon means “weeping-self,” self-pity.
Aspatha means “assembled-self,” self sufficient.
Poratha means “generous-self,” self-indulgent, a spendthrift.
Adalia means “weak-self,” an inferiority complex.
Aridatha means “strong-self,” assertive, over bearing.
Parsashta means “preeminent-self,” ambition.
Arisai means “bold-self,” impudence.
Aridai means “dignified-self,” pride.
Vaizatha means “pure-self,” self righteous.
Publicly displaying the bodies of Haman’s 10 sons signifies putting these 10 representative sins to death. (The number 10 implies completeness of the Divine order; that nothing is left wanting, the whole cycle is complete.) Their names reveal the intensely personal value of victory over the sin nature. As you can see from the first meaning of the names, each of the 10 was originally a desirable characteristic, part of the Image of God in which we were created. But the contamination of the sin nature, symbolized by the addition of the word self, distorted them as indicated by the second meaning, and they became offensive to Him. Satan has turned all of God’s creation, which was a source of endless joy to Him, into a perversion of its original state.
Reversing this contamination is not as simple as just trying to change your behavior. Because of his sin nature, the heart of man is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. (Jeremiah 17:10) Putting the sin nature to death and yielding your life to the guidance of the Holy Spirit is the only way regeneration can begin, and even that will only be complete at the resurrection when our corrupt selves are once again made incorruptible, the way God designed them to be.
Finally the battle was over and the victory won. Once again peace was the order of the day. Mordecai ordered that a celebration be held and he and I chose the name “Purim” for it. It’s the plural form of our word pur, which means lot. (Remember, Haman and his cronies cast lots to determine on which day we should all be killed.) We then issued a proclamation throughout the Kingdom establishing the 14th and 15th of our month Adar (Feb.-Mar.) as the annual celebration of the Feast of Purim, and so it is to this day.
By the fact that this feast is still celebrated in Jewish communities all over the world, you can see that the events of my story actually took place. The story behind the story describes the battle between the Spirit and the sin nature and illustrates the proper order of communications between our Creator and us. It shows you why the Lord ordained that my story be a part of His Book, which after all is the Owner’s manual for humanity.
Now that you’ve read and understand my story, you’re better equipped to fight and win this battle and experience the incredible joy that only proper spiritual communications can bring. Doing this will please our Lord greatly and make it possible for you to live the life to which He’s called you. Shalom Aleichem, peace be upon you. 12-05-04