Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Tale of Two Tables

Esther 3:13 "Letters were sent by couriers to all the king's provinces to destroy, to kill and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar..."

As I read more and more of the hatred and intolerance toward the Jewish people in the Persian empire, I realize that we cannot even fathom such an anger and atrocity - not even by today's terrorists or torturers. By the way, the name "Hamas" - the present day terrorists that vow to wipe the nation of Israel off the face of the map - did continue to come to mind again and again while reading of the hatred of Haman, a man with power to charge death upon a people as he pleased. Sounded far too familiar to the reality of Jews in Israel today. (The word "hamas" in Hebrew means "violent men"; but the name Hamas in this case is Arabic for "zeal").

The Hebrew words used in Psalm 140 for Violent Men is Hamasim. When one looks up Violence in the R. Alcalay Complete Hebrew English Dictionary the Hebrew words Alimut, Paraetz, and Hamas are found. When looking from the Hebrew to the English the words translate as follows: Alimut - Violence, Terror, Terrorism Paraetz - breach, Gap, Trouble Hamas - to frighten, terrify, confound, stun, confuse, perplex (Esther 3:15, "the city of Susa was in confusion") All of these definitions are from modern Hebrew.

Even this terrorist group of Hamas (or another terrorist group, Hizballah) in control of a government does not possess the power to simply choose one day to wipe out a people in a single swipe. Even Hitler took years. There is no comparison for such anger, power, and sick disregard for any human life than in this day the ring was pressed to seal the fate of thousands. A plan, a parchment, a seal and a drink and the deal was done.

Date of Passover Celebration: Exodus 12:2:This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you. Exodus 12:6-7, 13: 6'You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight. 7Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 13The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

Date of Annihilation Announcement in Persia: Esther 3:12, 15 12Then on the thirteenth day of the first month the royal secretaries were summoned. 15The couriers went out impelled by the king's command while the decree was issued at the citadel in Susa; and while the king and Haman sat down to drink, the city of Susa was in confusion.

No crime, no conviction, no conversation. No exit, no excuses, only execution - with celebration at that. This Passover was spent remembering and reciting the past when death passed over their doors at the same exact moment that death came knocking. Wine poured in celebration - one in clay cups, the other in gold goblets. The Royalty celebrating mass death; the Chosen celebrating mass deliverance. All in the exact same hour. The past and the future colliding into a very tumultuous present.

Suffice to say, we know people, if not ourselves, at this very moment who are very familiar with getting the news and waiting for the worst. All while praising God every step of the way. I wondered how a night of praise and prayer suddenly shifts into a whole new realm of reality when our circumstances so drastically change. Do we praise Him more? Less? Same? With more passion and fervor or with depression and fear? Do we sing of deliverance of the past, but deny the power of the present?

"When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." Luke 21:28
Enjoy Him, Michelle

1 comment:

Abba's Child in S FL said...

Amen, Sister! In the midst of the turmoil of drastic life crises, God is Constant, Consistent, Perfect, Whole, Loving, Powerful, All Knowing, Ever-Present Everywhere, All Seeing, Mighty to save...even in the midst of the terror...granting His Peace.
Praise Elohim!