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HAND OF JUDGMENT
GOD'S HAND OF JUDGMENT
Subtitle: Be Sure Your Sin Will Find You Out (Numbers 32:23)
Those who scoff at the Bible by claiming it is merely a compilation of tales passed down by oral tradition, do so in spite of abundant evidence to the contrary. And the most commonly made mistake is that they fail to recognize certain themes which run throughout the whole of Scripture--the most notable of these being the sacrificial blood of an innocent victim. That "crimson trail" runs from Genesis to Revelation and speaks of a Savior.
Those themes continue uninterrupted even though several authors penned the actual words! Humanly speaking, the only way this could be possible is for them to have been written after the fact. But archaeological discoveries continue to prove the accuracy and authenticity of the Bible. As the very Word of God, it remains unblemished even though legions of critics have tried to prove it wrong.
So using this as the basis for our discussion, we want to focus our attention on one of those themes by examining briefly stated facts that could easily be overlooked. The first of these involves the biblical record of a birth:
"And Timna was concubine to Eliphaz Esau's son; and she bare to Eliphaz Amalek: these were the sons of Adah Esau's wife" Genesis 36:12 (KJV).
Exciting, isn't it? O.K., so its not exactly an event that would be expected to make the headlines--but it was nevertheless very important. You see, this guy Amalek was Esau's grandson. He was born to Timna the concubine of Eliphaz, Esau's son. And Esau, if you will recall, had a twin brother Jacob who was born second, thereby missing out on the inheritance rights of the firstborn. So to make a long story short, Esau was a profane person (Heb.12:16) who could not care less about the spiritual headship responsibilities of his birthright. He literally sold that birthright to Jacob for a bowl of pottage (beans) and in doing so, demonstrated the darkness of his heart. Throwing away that blessed priviledge set in motion a chain of events that continues to this very day, because other descendants of Esau continue to have conflict with the offspring of Jacob (Israel). The spiritual principle behind this continuing conflict is found in the following passage:
"Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor
serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity
of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of
them that hate me"
Exodus 20:5 (KJV, emphasis mine).
Esau obviously did not love God and the feeling was mutual (Mal.1:2-3). Therefore, as the nation they would become, his offspring were destined to hate God because Esau's iniquity would be "visited" upon them. In other words, they would repeat the same spiritual mistakes of their father to the point where it would become perpetual. And biblical history shows that Amalek's offspring (known as the Amalekites) became so alienated from God that they hated their Jewish cousins with a passion. Then four hundred years passed as Israel labored in Egyptian bondage, but that did not lessen the hatred.
While Israel was in the process of fleeing from Egypt as former slaves--with no organized army to protect them--the Amalekites tried to destroy them by taking advantage of that weakness. However, God intervened and gave Israel's hastily put together fighting force a miraculous victory. But even though they were driven off, that thoroughly pagan nation of Esau's descendants remained a painful thorn in Israel's side for many years.
Then in a move that continues to be hotly criticized by unbelievers, God's "judgment clock" ticked down to 00:00 on the Amalekites! The time for retribution had arrived and the message was delivered through Samuel, the prophet/priest/Judge of Israel. Because of that previous attempt by the Amalekites to destroy Israel, King Saul was now ordered to lead his army into battle:
"Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt" 1 Samuel 15:2 (KJV, emphasis mine).
Next came the specifics of God's command to Saul and the army of Israel:
"Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass" 1 Samuel 15:3 (KJV, emphasis mine)
It was God's clearly stated intent that Israel exact total vengeance upon their enemy by obliterating them from the face of the earth. But many still ask, "Why would a loving God allow such a thing?" The answer is found in a principle stated the Book of Romans:
"For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.  Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth" Romans 9:17-18 (KJV, emphasis mine).
Our infinite and Sovereign God continues to bring judgment upon whomever He pleases whenever He pleases and for reasons known only unto Him. The Antediluvian civilization of Noah's day was annihilated by a flood in which untold millions of men, women, and children lost their lives. But mercy and grace were extended to Noah and his family--eight souls in all. Then in a similar manner, the Word of God tells us of earth-shaking judgments that will befall the people of this world during the Tribulation Period--catastrophes that only a tiny fraction will survive. His wrath being poured out on sin is inevitable and inescapable. So get used to the idea!
Once King Saul received God's "marching orders", he did not hesitate and immediately set out to comply with His command. But in what serves as a perfect example of incomplete obedience, Saul's "victorious" return from the battle proved to have consequences beyond his very limited comprehension. In spite of the general euphoria of the moment as men paraded the spoils of war, Samuel immediately took note of a very serious violation.
"And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal.  And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the Lord: I have performed the commandment of the Lord.  And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?  And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed" 1 Samuel 15:12-15 (KJV, emphasis mine).
Saul attempted to "pass the buck" by blaming the disobedience upon the men of his army. He also tried to justify sparing the animals by claiming they were to be offered as sacrifices to God. Then later he admits to sparing the life of Agag the king.
"And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and have gone the way which the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites" 1 Samuel 15:20 (KJV, emphasis mine).
God's instructions to Saul were explicit--the Amalekites and every animal they possessed were to be exterminated. But Saul knew if he complied with that order, there would be no trophies for him to display when he returned from the battle. So to satisfy his own ego he disobeyed God in order that he might receive personal honor and glory. And for those acts of disobedience, God later stripped the kingdom from him and gave it to David.
Of course God was fully aware of it, but Saul's insistence that they had utterly destroyed the Amalekites was not true--even though it is possible he may have thought they were all dead. Because as we shall see later, the Amalekites survived as a nation and continued to plague Israel for approximately 500 more years! My own suspicion is that once Saul felt the victory was sufficiently large enough to be impressive, he did not vigorously scour the entire area for possible survivors. Personal pride and not God's judgment was obviously his sole concern. So Samuel, God's prophet, did what the warrior Saul should have done and "hewed Agag in pieces" (1 Sam.15:33).
Then as we fast-forward through the centuries we come to the little Book of Esther. And according to Bishop Usher's chronology, the events of 1 Samuel 15 occurred about 1087 B.C., with those recorded in Esther around 510 B.C. So these approximate dates would indicate the Amalekites continued their mischief until they finally met their Waterloo during the reign of Ahasuerus (Xerxes), king of Persia.
And how their utter demise came about is an astonishing account of God's Sovereign hand in the affairs of men!
The Book of Esther has been criticized in the past as not being worthy to be included in the canon of Scripture because "God" is nowhere mentioned. The Jews were dispersed throughout the Persian kingdom and by that time most had become thoroughly secularized by the relatively comfortable existence afforded them by king Ahasuerus. The worship of Jehovah at Jerusalem was but a distant memory in the minds of the oldest among them, while most of those born during the captivity had no knowledge of Him at all. The elders had succumbed to the ways of the world and failed to instruct their children in the ways of God. And it is in this worldly setting that we are introduced to Esther the niece of Mordecai, whom he adopted after the death of her parents and raised her as his own daughter. Both were "closet Jews" because Satan has always made antisemitism fashionable. And since it is said that "discretion is the better part of valor," they kept quiet about it.
Then seemingly unrelated events began to fall into place as God's master plan took shape. The lovely Persian queen Vashti refused what in all probability was a lewd request on the part of Ahasuerus to "show the people and the princes her beauty" (Est.1:11). And when her refusal was told to the king, he was enraged. Then after consulting the "wise men" who were his counselors, it was determined by consensus that she must be removed as queen and replaced by "another that is better than she" (vs.19). Shortly thereafter, a decree went out to every province in the vast kingdom that fair young virgins were being sought to vie for the king's favor. The winner would be crowned as the new queen in place of Vashti.
Well, "as luck would have it," Esther was swept up in that search because she was a very beautiful young lady. Then she, along with all the rest, were carried to the palace in Shushan where they were to be given the "mother of all beauty treatments"--a full year's worth of perfumes, oils, etc! And in a narrative that very much reminds us of how Joseph "found favor" with his jailer many years earlier, Esther charmed Hegai the keeper of the women--who gave her preferential treatment (Est.2:8-9). And all the while, Mordecai kept watch by walking outside the court of the women's house and asking about her (Est.2:11).
Then of course when the time arrived for her to be presented to the king, guess who was selected? That's right--pretty miss Esther!
"So Esther was taken unto king Ahasuerus into his house royal in the tenth month, which is the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.  And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti" Esther 2:16-17 (KJV, emphasis mine).
Why do you suppose that she--above all the other beautiful girls--obtained that degree of grace and favor?
And Esther's good fortune also extended to Mordecai, because the next time we see him mentioned, he is sitting in the king's gate (vs.19). This means he had been given a place of prominence in the government--another fortuitous turn of events that would pay dividends later on.
One day while attending to official duties, Mordecai overheard two of the king's chamberlains plotting a palace coup in which their intent was to harm the king. So like the faithful servant he was, Mordecai immediately informed Esther, who in turn passed along the message to the king. Shortly thereafter Bigthan and Teresh got their necks stretched by being hanged on a tree (vs.23), and Mordecai's good deed was duly recorded in the "chronicles before the king." But absolute monarchs tend to have short memories about such things and the king promptly forgot about it.
Act II, scene I. (so to speak).
Seemingly out of nowhere the Holy Spirit abruptly introduces us to a wonderful fellow named Haman. For some reason that is not fully explained, Ahasuerus decided to promote Haman the Agagite to the number two position in all the land! And the fact that he was an Agagite points us back to the Amalekite king called Agag, who was spared by Saul . Some Bible scholars believe that particular appellation was actually their word for "king"--as was "Pharaoh" in Egypt. But in any case, because he was an "Agagite," Haman is thought to be a descendant of the Amalekites--a people supposedly wiped out by the army of Israel years earlier. And as the narrative unfolds, Haman's subsequent expressions of extreme hatred toward all Jews make a good case for him being an Amalekite!
The plot thickens in Esther 3:2 when we learn that Ahasuerus commanded everyone to bow in Haman's presence and "reverence" him--an act of obesiance that was due the king himself. Oriental kings tended to think of themselves as gods and often demanded worship from their subjects, so this was actually nothing new. But Mordecai flatly refused to bow and extend that degree of obesience to Haman. We are not told why he refused, but his Jewish heritage definitely prohibited worship of anyone but Jehovah.
But refuse he did and Haman's ego just could not handle it. And to make matters worse, in verse 4 of chapter three we find that as a result of being questioned about his disobedience, Mordecai revealed he was a Jew. So "the cat was out of the bag" and Satan immediately pounced upon it as being a golden opportunity to finally rid the world of all Jews. As we mentioned at the outset, "God" is nowhere mentioned and neither is "Satan," but their presence in the events that followed is unmistakable!
In a blind rage, Haman hatches a plot to destroy not only Mordecai, but 100% of the Jews worldwide! For all intents and purposes, Ahasuerus ruled the entire known world and if he were to issue an edict to kill the Jews in every province, they would be wiped out. So Haman--not being aware that queen Esther was a Jew--had his servants build a scaffold upon which to hang Mordecai and then talked the king into issuing a judgment of death upon all Jews. And the decree, once given, could not be rescinded due to the laws of the Medes and Persians. The kings' ruling was quickly dispersed to every province in the kingdom and the situation that faced the Jews was truly bleak and seemingly hopeless. Mordecai and all the rest put on sackcloth and ashes as a sign of mourning and began to fast and pray for deliverance.
And in the midst of this dark and extremely stressful time, events began to take place that are downright hilarious! God has a sense of humor, my friends, and that fact is abundantly demonstrated in what took place next. It "just happened" that the king could not sleep one night and he called for the "chronicles of the kings' records" to be read to him. We are talking exciting stuff here! And in the course of hearing those records of daily activities, Mordecai's faithfulness and bravery in saving the king's life was mentioned. This jogged the king's memory and he asked his servants about how Mordecai had been rewarded for his faithfulness. And when their answer was that nothing had been done for him, the king immediately set out to rectify that oversight on his part. He asked who was present in the court and it "just happened" that Haman showed up at that precise moment to ask for permission to hang Mordecai! So the king sought his counsel about what could be done to highly honor someone. And egotistic Haman immediately thought the honor was meant for him--so he recommended that the honoree be dressed in the king's royal apparel, that he wear the royal crown, and ride upon the king's horse. Additionally, the horse should be led by one of the king's most noble princes. The king liked the idea so much that he instructed Haman to do that for Mordecai and lead the horse himself! (And anyone who does not get a good laugh over that one has not been paying attention).
Then our Sovereign God intervened on behalf of His people through queen Esther. In a series of events that only He could have arranged, Esther literally risked her life by approaching the king without being summoned. His love for her overcame the breach of palace etiquette and he held out his royal scepter to her indicating she was allowed to come to his side. And rather than blurt out the treachery of Haman in front of those attending the king, she diplomatically requested that Haman be summonded to a cozy little banquet she wanted to prepare for just the three of them. That request was granted and later when they sat down to eat, the king lovingly told Esther she could ask for anything up to half the kingdom and it would be given to her. So seizing the opportunity Esther wisely pleaded for her own life and that of her people. The king was obviously "bowled over" by such a request and when he asked her to explain, Haman's treachery was revealed. Well, needless to say the king was not a happy camper and when he cooled off enough to regain his composure, Haman was granted the terminal honor of testing the gallows he had built for Mordecai. Talk about poetic justice!
The king's original decree could not be reversed legally, so Mordecai wound up taking Haman's place in the government and was allowed by the king to issue a counter decree. This new law allowed the Jews to defend themselves when the thirteenth day of the twelfth month arrived--the execution date Haman set after having cast the "Pur," or "lot" (small pebbles similar to dice used by the occult magi [wise men] to determine the most propitious date for events). That decree granted the following:
"Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey" Esther 8:11 (KJV, emphasis mine).
When the big day finally arrived, the following passage details what took place: (and note especially what the Jews did with respect to taking the spoils of war).
"Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king's commandment and his decree drew near to be put in execution, in the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to have power over them, (though it was turned to the contrary, that the Jews had rule over them that hated them;)  The Jews gathered themselves together in their cities throughout all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, to lay hand on such as sought their hurt: and no man could withstand them; for the fear of them fell upon all people.  And all the rulers of the provinces, and the lieutenants, and the deputies, and officers of the king, helped the Jews; because the fear of Mordecai fell upon them.  For Mordecai was great in the king's house, and his fame went out throughout all the provinces: for this man Mordecai waxed greater and greater.  Thus the Jews smote all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, and slaughter, and destruction, and did what they would unto those that hated them.  And in Shushan the palace the Jews slew and destroyed five hundred men.  And Parshandatha, and Dalphon, and Aspatha,  And Poratha, and Adalia, and Aridatha,  And Parmashta, and Arisai, and Aridai, and Vajezatha,  The ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews, slew they; but on the spoil laid they not their hand.  On that day the number of those that were slain in Shushan the palace was brought before the king.  And the king said unto Esther the queen, The Jews have slain and destroyed five hundred men in Shushan the palace, and the ten sons of Haman; what have they done in the rest of the king's provinces? now what is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: or what is thy request further? and it shall be done.  Then said Esther, If it please the king, let it be granted to the Jews which are in Shushan to do to morrow also according unto this day's decree, and let Haman's ten sons be hanged upon the gallows.  And the king commanded it so to be done: and the decree was given at Shushan; and they hanged Haman's ten sons.  For the Jews that were in Shushan gathered themselves together on the fourteenth day also of the month Adar, and slew three hundred men at Shushan; but on the prey they laid not their hand.  But the other Jews that were in the king's provinces gathered themselves together, and stood for their lives, and had rest from their enemies, and slew of their foes seventy and five thousand, but they laid not their hands on the prey" Esther 9:1-16 (KJV, emphasis mine).
Some Bible teachers believe (and I agree with them) that in view of the fact that those who attacked the Jews were aware they would be resisted with force, the majority were probably Amalekites. A blind and devilish hatred for the Jews drove them to attack in an insane attempt to destroy them forever. Plus two facts about what took place speak loudly: (1) they were instructed to kill all their enemies--including women and children (Est.8:11, above), and (2) that the Jews universally rejected taking their possessions as the spoils of war leads me to believe God prompted them to obey completely what Saul and the army of Israel failed to do five hundred years earlier. Our God is totally Sovereign in the affairs of men and He quite literally allowed the Amalekites, souls living in spiritual darkness, a grace period before final judgment fell. The all-but complete slaughter by the army of Israel should have been a "wake-up call," but they did not repent of their wickedness. And when opportunity presented itself, they eagerly sought to harm the apple of God's eye--Israel (Deut.32:10; Zech.2:8).
There is much about this little Book that makes for good reading and I urge everyone to study it carefully. For the sake of brevity, we have only touched the high points and omitted many interesting details.
So in closing, let us point out that the joyous celebration that took place after this great victory by the Jews continues to be observed each year as the day of "Purim." Remember that Haman had the wise men to "cast Pur" to determine the exact date for the execution? Well, an execution did take place and for the past 2500 years or so--the devil's "lot" has provided the Jews with a day to observe in which they can express gratitude to their Sovereign God!
If you have been born again and received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.
If you have never placed your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, but have come to sense His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to receive His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you truly believe in Him as Lord and Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually. If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now.
We hope you have been blessed by this ministry, which seeks to educate and warn people, so that they can see the coming New World Order—Kingdom of Antichrist—in their daily news.
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