Web site: www.geocities.com/riversidecoc Purim: Why Not Bow?
In chapter three of the Megilla, the scroll of Exodus 17:8-16 tells of the battle and concludes “the Esther, King Ahasuerus decrees that all should bow LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with down to his courtier, Haman. All the servants in the Amalek from generation to generation.” As Moses said king’s gate follow the decree except Mordechai. Even farewell to Israel he reminded them that the Amalekites after the other servants nagged him, he would not obey had attacked the weak and the stragglers and said, “thou the king’s decree. As a result, the servants inform shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under Haman, who convinces the king to destroy all Jews. heaven; thou shalt not forget. (Deut. 25:19)” No Why did Mordechai choose this particular wonder Mordechai would not bow to this man, command to disobey? Was it because he would not specifically. He was a sworn enemy of the Jews. bow down to any man, but only to God? I think not. Haman was probably equally aware of the He had sat in the king’s gate for some time, but it was history. That is why he was not content to destroy one not for failure to bow to the king that he was singled man, but went after all the Jews in the empire. out. Yet his obedience is directly related to his being a What does this mean to us today? Without a Jew, “for he had told them that he was a Jew (Esth. meaning for us, this is nothing but a scholarly exercise in genealogic research (sorry, Mom). I think the lesson Obviously there was something about Haman, for us is that God is in control of history. He promised himself, that prevented Mordechai, as a Jew, to bow enmity between the nations for as long as they both down before him. Whatever it was obviously was not existed. At le ast one Amalekite had survived to the unique to Mordechai, because Haman chose to try to time of the Persian Empire. And that one man exterminate a whole nation because one of the king’s “happened” to come face to face with a Jew, and was The answer can be found in Haman’s name and Through a series of “coincidences” Haman was lineage. He is called “the son of Hammedatha the brought to death. The old queen coincidentally opposed Agagite” three times in the book and “Haman the her husband. The new queen was coincidentally a Agagite” twice. We come upon the name Agag Jewess. Her uncle coincidentally sat in the gate of the previously in two places in scripture? In Numbers palace and refused to bow to an Amalekite who was 24:7, as Balaam is blessing Israel he says “his king shall coincidentally in the king’s court. This man be higher than Agag.” In and of itself, this means little coincidentally had built a gallows that just happened to to us. But in 1 Samuel 15:8-33 we read of “Agag, king be handy when the queen revealed his treachery. When of the Amalekites.” While it may be that Agag was his coincidence piles on coincidence, it is no longer a personal name, the likelihood is that it was a family coincidence. Coincidentally, God is still in control. name or even a title. So Agag was the king of the Amalekites, and Haman was an Agagite. Therefore, Haman was an Amalekite. This explains Mordechai’s Contents
refusal to bow, and Haman’s hatred of the Jews. Amalekites had been going on even from the beginning of the Jewish nation. After Israel had come out of Egypt with the equivalent for that time of the atom bomb (the crossing of the Red Sea), no nation wanted to face them in battle. No nation, that is, except Amalek. All articles Copyright 2001 by Tim O’Hearn unless otherwise noted. On the Interpretation of Prophecy
It’s all around us. You see it at the discount foretelling the prophet Jonah did was in his one line stores, the newsstands, and the bookstores. You message: “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be hear it on the internet, television and the radio. It’s overthrown.” But the real message, the message coming to your neighborhood theater soon, and has the Ninevites heard, was “Repent.” If a prophet is been there before. It is prophecy! Jean Dixon and judged by whether his foretelling comes true, Jonah Nostradamus, “Weekly World News” and “The is the worst prophet in history. If a prophet is Star,” Herbert W. Armstrong and even Billy judged by how many people pay attention to his Graham—all have been involved in prophecy, and message, Jonah was the most successful ever. most in specifically prophesying the end of the world. Perhaps the most popular book of the New their attempts to interpret the book of the Testament right now is the Reve lation. Don’t Revelation is that they mistake the message. To worry about what Jesus taught, or James giving many, Revelation is all about the future. It is about advice for practical Christian living. What’s the “rapture” and “tribulation” and the final important is not love or doctrine, but eschatology, judgment. Eve n assuming (and it is a stretch to do so) that the book tells of a future “rapture” and Study of prophecy is not a bad thing, unless millennial reign of Christ on earth, the message of it is the prophecies of people who have been wrong the book is to the Christians under Roman before, like Jean Dixon and Billy Graham, or those persecution (and all persecution since) that God is whose prophecies are so vague as to be practically in control and we will overcome. Whether you worthless, like Nostradamus. The problem is, most think the things in the book happened long ago, are people don’t understand some of the basic concepts happening today, or are yet to come, the message is necessary to understand prophecy. They go off into the same. But people emphasize the incidentals and ignore the message. If Nineveh heard Jonah like many today hear John the city would have been empty in forty days, rather than being allowed to live in relative comfort and security for several Prophecy and time.
flights of fancy because they are don’t understand prophecy apply when it doesn’t. A prophecy may have an interpretatio n for the present and one or Prophecy is not what you think.
more for the future, but unless the scripture says it applies at a future time, we don’t know. A simple One mistake many people make is believing example will, I hope, suffice. Isaiah 7 tells of a that prophecy is strictly telling the future. While conspiracy against the king of Judah, and the future events often form the core around which a Lord’s reassurance that the conspiracy will fall. As prophet speaks, the message is not what is to come. a sign to the king that God will be with him, Isaiah The message of the prophets is “God said.” A says “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a prophet, by definition, is one who speaks for God. son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Butter and His job is not foretelling, but “forth-telling.” The honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the burden of his message is what God wants from the evil, and choose the good. For before the child shall people to whom he is speaking. If in delivering know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the that message he gives out some word of what is to land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both come, that is merely to support his word. The only her kings.” On its face, Isaiah is just saying that the kings coming against Judah shall fall before a child lion, that England was not represented then by any yet to be conceived is old enough to know right animal (not being a power at all), and that Africa from wrong. To Isaiah and to Ahaz, that is (primarily Egypt) was represented by the vulture probably what the prophecy meant. But it had and cobra. My friend went on to say that the another meaning, one known only to the Holy twelve stars of Rev 12:1 stood for the European Spirit and not revealed for another 650 years. Common Market. Of course, the European Union Unless the Holy Spirit had told Joseph (Matt 1:22- has now grown to fifteen members. (I grant, 23) that it applied also to the Messiah, nobody however, that their flag still has only twelve stars.) would have ever imagined a second interpretation. God may live outside of time, but why would he The flip side of this, though, is that one should not take something to be fut ure unless the Holy Spirit says it is. There is where many people run into problems in interpreting the book of Revelation. The Holy Spirit says these are things that are “soon to come to pass. (Rev 1:1)” Without express guidance otherwise, we must assume then that most of the events of the book have happened almost two millennia ago. Even without that guidance, many claim these are events yet to come. That’s an interesting view of the word “soon.” If it was to have meaning at all, it was its meaning to use twentieth century symbology to give meaning those to whom it was originally said. I find I recently read that the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church was the beast of Revelation 13:18, What is the Lion?
whose number is 666. The reasoning behind this was that the Pope wears a hat that has on it the interpretation of prophecy is that much of it is words “Vicarius Filii Dei,” which would be necessarily couched in figurative language that translated “the Vicar of God’s Son.” The individual would be understood by those “in the know” of the claiming the Pope was the beast said that the Latin time, but to no one else. This was true of Daniel’s phrase represented the number 666, using Roman prophecy, of Hosea’s prophecy, of Zechariah’s numerals. The letter I is 1, V and U are 5, L is 50, prophecy, and especially of John’s prophecy. C is 100, D is 500. Leaving out the other letters There are those who are certain that John was speaking in symbols, but even he could not understand them. And if he could not understand equal 666. But using the rules of Roman numerals, them, how could the people to whom he wrote. I come up with either 662 (iu=4, il=49) or 664 (il The egocentric conclusion is that John’s message taken separately) or even 660 (ic=99). If you are was not to Christians of the first century, but only going to interpret according to a symbol, at least to those of the time of the enlightened interpreter. use the right rules for the symbol. How easy it is to make something seem to say that which was understood Revelation 13:2. The passage says: I don’t know the meaning of all the symbols of “And the beast which I saw was like unto a Revelation. I can’t even say for sure what is past leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and and what is future in the book. I know what the his mouth as the mouth of a lion.” This man message of the book is, however. In any prophecy, insisted that the bear represented Russia, the lion if we get the message we understand what God was England, and the leopard was the third world wants. In prophecy, and in everything else, let countries of Africa. No matter that Scythia (now God’s message show through. Everything else, as part of Russia) was represented in John’s time by a Have Faith in Faith
to study of Torah and God will provide the 20,000 rubles I will need to survive.” The man went home and began study, not workin g. After but a week he returned to the Rabbi with the complaint, “I have the faith, but so far no money has arrived.” Rabbi Yisrael said, “I tell you what. I will offer you 8,000 rubles cash today if you will commit yourself to give me the 20,000 rubles Do we believe this passage? Do we have faith? that you expect will come because of your faith.” The I am not asking if we have faith in God. Do we have man jumped at the deal. Rabbi Yisrael Salanter replied, faith in faith? Do we believe that faith has the power to “Who in his right mind would give up 20,000 rubles for move trees or mountains? No doubt that faith must be a mere 8,000 rubles? Only someone who does not have anchored in God, but Jesus didn’t say that. He said if perfect faith that he will receive the 20,000 rubles! you had faith that what you said would happen, it would Obviously you have more faith in my 8,000 rubles than in God’s 20,000!” (Taken from Drasha, 2001 by Rabbi Very often we are more like the father who cried “Lord I believe; help thou mine unbelief. (Mk We believe God will solve all our problems. 9:24).” As honorable as that request is, as necessary as We give them to him in prayer and in faith. But like that request is, it is an admission that I don’t have faith this man, we give up on our faith after only a week. in my faith. If you asked a hundred people if they pray Our faith says, I will give it to you God, but while I am enough, 99 people would say “no” even if they were waiting I will try to fix it myself. We are like the kid regular and earnest in prayer. If you asked the same who takes a toy airplane to his dad to fix it, but wants to 100 people if they had enough faith, they would probably give the same answers. No matter whether the answer should be yes or no, we almost naturally don’t I recently read a story about Rabbi Yisrael Salanter. After teaching a stirring lesson about the meaning of faith, he was approached by a disciple who Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father asked if he meant that if he had perfect faith in God, God would provide all his needs. When the Rabbi things. But seek ye first the kingdom of affirmed that, the disciple went on to say, “Good. If that God, and his righteousness; and all these is the case I need no longer work. I will devote myself things shall be added unto you. (Matt 6:31-33) Timothy J. O’Hearn 737 Monell Dr NE Albuquerque NM 87123

Source: http://www.minuteswithmessiah.com/issues/mwm0103.pdf


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