Good Versus Evil

There are no religious references in the book of Esther. God is never mentioned neither is prayer, worship or sacrifice, and yet it clearly illustrates the eternal battle between good and evil. In the normal course of human events, Satan is working to destroy God’s plan of redemption and God controls and directs all the seemingly insignificant coincidences that results in deliverance for His chosen people. Events in the Persian City of Susa threatened the continuity of God’s plan in redemptive history. Had Haman successfully destroyed all of Mordecai’s people, the Jews, it would have prevented the coming of the Messiah (Esther 3:6). Devout Jews to this day celebrate the Feast of Purim to commemorate the deliverance of the Israelites in Persia (Esther 9:26).

Think of all the times that the Messianic bloodline was threatened. Cain killed Abel but Eve was granted another son to carry on the family line. A scapegoat was provided minutes before Abraham sacrificed Isaac his son. A caravan happened to come along when Joseph was left to die. Moses was spared when all the male children were killed. Haman tried to annihilate the Jews. The demonized Saul tried to kill David. Herod ordered all the new born male babies to be killed, which would have included Jesus, but Joseph and Mary were warned in a dream to flee to Egypt. Wars, diseases and natural disasters have threatened God’s people, but God always ensured that there would be a remnant.

The Jews were dispersed after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Throughout the church era, they have continued to be persecuted. Had Hitler been successful, he would have annihilated the Jews. It is a miracle that they have maintained their Jewish identity and re-established their home in Israel. As a nation, they did not accept Jesus as their Messiah. But, “God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew” (Romans 11:2). As a result of their rejection, “Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:25-26). Israel continues to be God’s timetable for the consummation of the ages.

The New Testament and the early church clearly understood that Satan and his demons were the instigators of evil in this world. The western church is inclined to see the book of Esther as a battle only between good people and bad people. Such a deduction leaves one to think that evil is purely the product of natural people living in a fallen world operating under the permissive will of God. That ignores the reality of Satan and his diabolical rule over the world. Satan interfered with God’s plans in the Garden and the battle continues all the way to the Book of Revelation. The primary battle is still between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness, between the Spirit of truth and the father of lies, between the Christ and the anti-Christ.

Dr. Neil

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