WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MAY 4, 2021
TOPIC: GET RID OF HATRED
BY T. O. BANSO
“So Haman went out that day joyful and with a glad heart; but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king’s gate, and that he did not stand or tremble before him, he was filled with indignation against Mordecai” (Esther 5:9 New King James Version).
In 2009, at a town hall meeting, a 10-year-old boy asked President Obama, “Why do people hate you? They supposed to love you – and God is love.” The question was unexpected but the president answered it and hugged the boy. For different reasons people hate others. And God is love!
King Ahasuerus had promoted Haman. He set his seat was above all the princes that were with him and gave a command that all his servants, including Mordecai, should bow and pay him homage but Mordecai would not; he didn’t reverence him because he was a Jew and Mordecai was an Agagite. In other words, he was an Amalekite.
Agag was the king of Amalek whom Saul spared along with the best of the sheep, oxen, fatlings, lambs, and all that was good and did not utterly destroy them. The LORD had commanded him to go to Amalek and utterly destroy it. But he only destroyed everything that was despised and worthless (1 Samuel 15:15).
Samuel confronted Saul with his failure to obey God. He finally admitted after lying initially. Samuel hacked Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal (1 Samuel 15:33). Haman didn’t bow and pay Haman homage apparently because he was aware that no Amalekite was supposed to be alive, let alone occupy a position of honour.
In Exodus17:14, the LORD had said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven” (New King James Version). Verses 15-16 say Moses built an altar and called its name, The-LORD-Is-My-Banner; for “Because the LORD has sworn: the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation” (New King James Version).
What was the offence of the Amalekites? “Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of Egypt, how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you were tired and weary; and he did not fear God. Therefore it shall be, when the LORD your God has given you rest from your enemies all around, in the land which the LORD your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance, that you will blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. You shall not forget” (Deuteronomy 25:19 New King James Version).
Though other servants of King Ahasuerus prevailed on Mordecai every day to bow to Haman, he refused, telling them he was a Jew (Esther 3:4). Consequently, Haman planned to deal with Mordecai. But he considered himself too important to kill only Mordecai! He plotted to kill his entire race – the Jews. He got the king to sign a decree to the effect.
Thereafter, at the instance of Mordecai, Queen Esther took up the challenge to foil his plot. She invited the king to a banquet and he brought Haman along, not knowing the real intention of Esther. The king and Haman attended the banquet. Esther requested that the king should come for the banquet on the second day with Haman. Haman considered it a great honour, not knowing that Esther’s plan was to expose him as her enemy and the enemy of her people, the Jews.
Haman returned home on the first day of the banquet with joy. Esther 5:9 says, “So Haman went out that day joyful and with a glad heart; but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king’s gate, and that he did not stand or tremble before him, he was filled with indignation against Mordecai” (New King James Version). Haman was joyful until he saw Mordecai, the man he hated for not bowing to him.
Hatred will seal your joy. You’re going o be joyful until you see to remember someone you hate. Be careful! Keep your heart free of hatred. Guard your heart. “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23 New King James Version). Don’t walk in hatred; it will rob you of your joy. Hatred for someone will change your mood negatively.
When Haman returned home from the banquet, he sent for his friends and told them and his wife about the banquet, saying, “Besides, Queen Esther invited no one but me to come in with the king to the banquet that she prepared; and tomorrow I am again invited by her, along with the king. Yet all this avails me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate” (Esther 5:12-13 New King James Version). Do you see what hatred can do to someone?
Hatred is poisonous. It is hazardous to your health. It is a toxic emotion. It hurts you more than the person you hate. It will pollute you. Hebrews 12:14-15 says, “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled” (New King James Version). Hatred is destructive whether it is expressed in words or actions or it is suppressed and the person pretends he doesn’t hate.
Hatred eventually killed Haman. Haman’s genocidal plot boomeranged. It consumed him (Esther 7). Deuteronomy 19:11-13 says, “But if anyone hates his neighbor, lies in wait for him, rises against him and strikes him mortally, so that he dies, and he flees to one of these cities, then the elders of his city shall send and bring him from there, and deliver him over to the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die. Your eye shall not pity him, but you shall put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with you” (New King James Version). This was the law God gave the Israelites as regards hatred.
Haman hated Mordecai and he sought to wipe out his race. On the second day of the banquet, Esther told the king about the decree Haman made him sign to wipe out her race. The king was terribly angry. When Harbonah, one of the eunuchs, told the king that Haman had made the gallows, fifty cubits high for Mordecai, he ordered that Haman should be hanged on it (Esther 7:9-10).
God started paying Haman back when the king earlier unintentionally humiliated him by telling him to do as he had suggested the king should do for the man he (the king) delighted to honour. Thinking he was the one the king wanted to honour, Haman had suggested, “For the man whom the king delights to honor, let a royal robe be brought which the king has worn, and a horse on which the king has ridden, which has a royal crest placed on its head. Then let this robe and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king’s most noble princes, that he may array the man whom the king delights to honor. Then parade him on horseback through the city square, and proclaim before him: ‘Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!’” (Esther 6:7-9 New King James Version).
In response to his suggestion, the king said to Haman, “Hurry, take the robe and the horse, as you have suggested, and do so for Mordecai the Jew who sits within the king’s gate! Leave nothing undone of all that you have spoken” (verse 10 New King James Version). What an anticlimax!
I cannot imagine Haman’s countenance as he paraded his enemy on horseback around the city square and proclaimed that Mordecai was the man the king was delighted to honour. This was the king’s way of rewarding Mordecai’s past good deed of reporting a plot by two of the king’s servants to assassinate him (Esther 6:2). This humiliation of Haman preceded the banquet.
Walk in love, not in hatred. Replace hate in your heart with love. Replace hateful thoughts and words with thoughts and words. Replace hateful actions with deeds of love. If you do these, you are only helping yourself. What you sow is what you’ll reap (Galatians 6:7).
Forgive anyone who hurts you; don’t hate him or her (Matthew 6:12-15; Leviticus 19:17). Jesus says we should love our enemies (Matthew 5:43-47; Luke 6:27-31). Whoever doesn’t love doesn’t know God (1 John 4:19-21). Love is the fulfillment of the law (Romans 13:10). Love; God is love (1 John 4:8). Don’t hate anyone or seek revenge. Vengeance belongs to God (Romans 12;19; Hebrews 10:30; Deuteronomy 32:35; Psalm 94:1).
King Ahab of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, “There is still one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may inquire of the LORD; but I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil” (1 Kings 22:8 New King James Version). Did you see that? Ahab hated a genuine prophet of God for always prophesying truth to him. It was hatred for this true prophet that eventually killed him. If he had listened to his prophecy, he wouldn’t have gone to this war where he died. But he chose to listen to the 400 prophets who lied to him.
Jesus says, “Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, for in like manner their fathers did to the prophets” (Luke 6:22-23 New King James Version). Jesus says if the world hates you, you should remember that it hated Him first (John 15:18). Similarly, the apostle John says we should not marvel if the world hates us (1 John 3:13).
Get rid of hatred from your heart. Don’t let it kill you as it killed Haman and Ahab. Don’t hate anyone. Also, avoid self-hatred. Love yourself; forgive yourself. Replace hateful thoughts and words about yourself with loving thoughts and words.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I repent of hatred in my heart towards anyone. I forgive those I hate because they have hurt me. Holy Spirit, help me to walk in love towards everyone. Holy Spirit, as I study and meditate on the Word of God, fill my heart with thoughts and words of love. I repent of self-hatred. I shall love myself because Jesus loves me in Jesus’ name.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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