October 25, 2011
Read: Esther 3:1-11; 7:1-10
ďVengeance is Mine, I will repay,Ē says the Lord. óRomans 12:19
For nearly a year, a former publishing colleague lived under a cloud of fear that he would be fired. A new boss in the department, for reasons unknown, began filling his personnel file with negative comments. Then, on the day my friend expected to lose his job, the new boss was fired instead.
When the Israelites were taken as captives to Babylon, a Jew named Mordecai found himself in this kind of situation. Haman, the highest noble of King Xerxes, expected every royal official to kneel down and honor him, but Mordecai refused to bow to anyone but God (Est. 3:1-2). This outraged Haman and he set out to destroy not only Mordecai but every Jew in the whole Persian empire (vv.5-6). Haman convinced Xerxes to sign a decree authorizing the destruction of all Jews and started building a gallows for the execution of Mordecai (5:14). But, in a startling turn of events, Haman was executed on the gallows he had built for Mordecai, and the Jewish people were spared (7:9-10; 8).
In literature, this is called poetic justice. Not everyone gets justice in such dramatic fashion, but Scripture promises that God will one day avenge all injustice (Rom. 12:19). While we wait, we are to do what we can to work for justice and leave the results in Godís hands.
The call for justice must be strong
To show whatís right, to thwart whatís wrong,
But letís reject the smallest part
Of vengeance harbored in the heart. óD. De Haan
The scales of Divine justice always balanceó
if not here, then hereafter.