ODJ: don’t be evil

September 26, 2013 

READ: Esther 3:1-15 

When Haman saw that Mordecai would not bow down or show him respect, he was filled with rage (v.5).

How does a cute, little baby grow up to become the face of evil? How does an Austrian boy become Adolf Hitler or a son of privilege turn into Osama bin Laden? And what makes one group of people slaughter members of a neighbouring group? How could they possibly think that was a good idea?

We find a clue in the demise of Haman. He, as an Amalekite, hated the Jews. His people had attacked Israel as they were leaving Egypt, which prompted the Lord to state, “Write this down on a scroll as a permanent reminder, . . . I will erase the [Amalekites] from under heaven” (Exodus 17:14). So when Haman learned that the fellow who would not bow to him was a Jew, “he looked for a way to destroy all the Jews throughout the entire empire” (Esther 3:6).

Haman told the king, “There is a certain race of people . . . who keep themselves separate from everyone else. Their laws are different from those of any other people, and they refuse to obey the laws of the king. . . . If it please the king, issue a decree that they be destroyed” (vv.8-9).

Notice how Haman dehumanised Mordecai and the Jews. They were different—people who were difficult to understand. Once Haman marked them as other, he pushed that point to state that they lacked the right to life.

We may not have killed anyone, but we do mistreat him or her as an other whenever we turn that person into an object of lust, gossip or disdain. And should that person ever cross us, we may find ourselves, like Haman, plotting acts we never thought we’d do.

Do you want to keep your heart pure? Remember that all people are made in God’s image and you’ll find that evil thoughts will disappear. —Mike Wittmer

› Luke 23:32-49

Read James 2:1-13 to learn why it’s important to value all people as significant.
Who are you treating as an object of pleasure or disdain? How might this abuse lead to darker acts?