Esther 3-4 (The Daily Walk Bible).
When I was in NYC I attended a Purim reading of the book of Esther. Every time Haman’s name came up, the Jewish people who were present spit! I think that it’s more traditional to hiss or boo. For some Haman has become the personification of generations of Jewish haters, and it’s no wonder. Simply because his pride is hurt, he decides to not just get back at the person who “wronged” him, but to commit genocide. And he comes up with a way to get others to help. Anyone who kills the Jews gets to keep their property. Can you imagine a more heinous plot?
Haman may have actually had a problem with the Jewish people before Mordecai came along, and others may have as well. They looked different. They lived different. They had their own laws. They were easy to pick on. See any parallels with us?
While we are to try to live peaceable with all (Romans 12:18), we are still going to be different. We are living our lives to God’s standards, and God’s standards are different than what the rest of the world lives by. Jesus warned us that it will cause conflict: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18). Most of us probably want to be liked, want to be accepted, and want to be seen as normal. However we have to realize the truth of James 4:4. “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?” But remember: we are who we are by God’s grace. Even as we live different lives, we need to treat others with humility and respect, because it wasn’t so long ago that we were living just like the world!
2 Timothy 1:9 “[God] saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.”