(Tampa, Florida) — Why do tyrants throughout history want to “annihilate” the Jewish people?
With Jews around the world celebrating the biblical holiday of Purim this past weekend — and in light of the release of my new novel, The Auschwitz Escape, tomorrow — I addressed this question last night as I taught from the Book of Esther at Idlewild Baptist Church in Tampa, Florida.
Some notes from my message:
From Haman to Hitler to Hamas to Khamenei, evil men throughout history have not simply opposed or disagreed with the Jewish people.
Again and again they have used the language of “annihilation” and they have pursued policies to accomplish this diabolical mission.
HAMAN — Consider what the Bible teaches about this evil Persian leader sought to do in ancient times.
“When Haman saw that Mordecai neither bowed down nor paid homage to him, Haman was filled with rage. But he disdained to [simply] lay hands on Mordecai alone, for they had told him who the people of Mordecai were; therefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews, the people of Mordecai, who were throughout the whole kingdom….Letters were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces to destroy, to kill and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to seize their possessions as plunder. A copy of the edict to be issued as law in every province was published to all the peoples so that they should be ready for this day.” (Esther 3:5-6, 13-14)
HITLER — “Today I will once more be a prophet: if the international Jewish financiers inside and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into
a world war, then the result will be…the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe.” — Adolf Hitler, January 30, 1939 (quoted in Haaretz, January 30, 2014)
HAMAS— “Let me congratulate you on your future victory and the annihilation of Israel.” — Hamas Interior Minister Fathi Hammad (January 24, 2014, Times of Israel)
- “The Israeli regime is doomed to annihilation.” — Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (November 20, 2013, Jerusalem Post)
“[I]f they make the slightest mistake the Islamic Republic will annihilate Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground.” — Khamenei (March 21, 2013, ABC News)
EXAMPLES OF OTHER TYRANTS:
- “Anyone who loves freedom and justice must strive for the annihilation of the Zionist regime.” — Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (August 2, 2012, Jerusalem Post)
- “God will gather Israelis so we can kill them….these Israelis are an advanced instrument of evil.” — Fatah leader Abbas Zaki, advisor to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas (March 13, 2014, Times of Israel)
WHAT LESSONS CAN WE DRAW?
The Bible teaches that throughout history, Satan has raised up leaders like Haman who are Hell-bent on annihilating the Jewish people.
The Bible also teaches that throughout history, God raises up servants like Mordechai & Esther who are heaven-sent to help rescue the Jewish people.
From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible makes clear that Satan hates the Jewish people.
Yet the Scriptures also make clear that God has always loved the Jewish people, even though we have not always loved, obeyed or followed Him.
Consider Jeremiah 31:1-3 — “’At that time,’ declares the Lord, ‘I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be My people.’ Thus says the Lord, ‘The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness — Israel, when it went to find its rest.’ The Lord appeared to him[Israel] from afar, saying, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.'”
Consider, too, Genesis 12:1-3, when the Lord makes a profound covenant with Abraham, the father of the nation of Israel, promising to bless him, and bless all the families of the world through his seed. Then the Lord vows to “bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you.”
One of the most important verses to understand why tyrants want to annihilate Israel and the Jewish people comes from the New Testament.
In John 10:10, Jesus said, ” The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
In one verse, we get such concise theology on the nature of Satan in sharp contrast to the nature of Jesus.
- Satan is a thief — he comes to steal, kill and destroy.
- But Jesus comes to give all people — Jews and Gentiles — an abundant, meaningful, peaceful, joyful life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.
Here’s how these truths play out throughout history:
- In His love, God chose the Jewish people to bless them.
- In his cruelty, Satan chose the Jewish people to curse them.
- God chose to give the Jewish people the land of Israel.
- So Satan chose to take the land of Israel away from the Jewish people.
- God chose to make Jerusalem the City of Peace.
- So Satan chose to make Jerusalem a city of bloodshed.
- God chose to make the Temple Mount holy unto His name.
- So Satan chose to desecrate the Temple Mount.
When we understand the whole counsel of Scripture, we come to understand that Satan is doing everything he can to rob, kill and destroy everything and everyone that God loves and counts as precious — starting with Israel and the Jewish people.
This is why throughout history Satan has raised up tyrants not simply to disagree with or oppose the Jews, but to seek to utterly annihilate them.
These are the constants of history — God’s love for the Jews, and Satan’s hatred for the Jews.
The variable is you.
Which side are you on? Do you love and follow the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? Do you love the Lord Jesus Christ, who came to Israel, born as a Jew, raised as a Jew, lived as a Jew, taught to the Jews, healed the Jews, fulfilled Jewish prophecies, died as a Jew, and rose again on the third day, according to the Jewish Scriptures?
If so, if you have the Holy Spirit in you, then you cannot hate the people whom the Father and Son love so much. It is simply not possible.
A person who hates Jews but calls himself a “Christian” is a liar — he does not truly love and follow Jesus.
Anyone who calls himself or herself a true “Christian” — an honest, humble follower of Jesus — must love the Jewish people with unconditional love, and unwavering support.
We don’t have to agree with everything Israel says or does, or everything that every Jewish person says or does. What’s more, the Bible teaches we must also love the Arabs and the Iranians and all of Israel’s neighbors and enemies. But the Bible clearly and repeatedly teaches us to love and bless Israel and the Jewish people, and teaches that the Lord will bless those who do, and curse those who don’t.
This is why studying the Book of Esther is so important. This is why it’s so important to understand why celebrate the biblical holiday of Purim. Because it is in this book and in this holiday that we learn so much about the historical hatred of the Jewish people as well as what it means to love the Lord our God and to love the Jewish people He created and chose, just like Esther and Mordechai did.
“Then Mordecai told…Esther, ‘Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?'” (Esther 4:13-14)