Learning the Lessons of History
Esther 3:5-10 KJV
(5) And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath.
(8) And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king's laws: therefore it is not for the king's profit to suffer them.
(9) If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed: and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king's treasuries.
(10) And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews' enemy.
It is said that those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them. This is especially true when it comes to Bible Study and last day events.
The history recorded in the Bible holds the key to understanding the prophecy which so many are eager to understand. Unfortunately for them, the prevailing view is that the Old Testament (OT) scriptures are no longer important, relevant or binding. As a result of this sentiment, it is very difficult to get a right conception of many of the things presented in the New Testament (NT), for they very directly reference the Old Testament scriptures.
Consider the following:
- The only “Bible” which the NT believers had for several decades was the Old Testament. (The first written book of the NT occurred at least 20 years after Jesus had ascended back to Heaven)
- Without the OT, it would have been quite impossible for anyone to prove that Jesus had been the Messiah, for all those prophecies addressing His first and second comings were provided by OT prophets.
- Since the Bible is intended to be read and managed as a whole, anything you don’t find details about in the NT will have those details provided in the OT. Some things were emphasized again in the NT on account of disputes or questions or conflicts that arose – the same reasons that some things were reiterated within the OT itself.
- Without the use of the Old Testament Bible, the NT believers would have had very little basis for any of the actions they took, as the vast majority of those actions were defined in the OT.
- The Bible makes heavy use of types (shadows) and antitypes (fulfillments of types) all the way from the Genesis through Revelation. If you want to know how a certain thing will play out in prophecy, then look for any situation where types/antitypes are possible. (Jesus used several, including “As it was in the days of Noah” and “As it was in the days of Lot”.)
The persecution and attempted destruction of the Jews by Haman the Agagite, should be of particular note to God’s people, as it outlines a path where an individual or group persuades the powers that be for the authority to wipe out God’s people for not cooperating with something the individual or group desire/demand. A similar scenario can be found with Daniel in both chapters 3 and 6. In chapter 3, a group brings another group of people to the attention of the king because of their own annoyance/discomfort with the group (Daniel 3:9-12), and in chapter 6, we see that a group manages to get a rule put into place that adversely impacts one individual (Daniel 6:11-14).
Looking at Revelation 13, we can see that a similar set of events will unfold, and laws will be contrived by some, and put into place to the detriment of God’s people.
As we close out another year, and as we move one step closer to eternity, we need to be more ardent Bible students, that we might understand where we are, what is coming, and what we should be doing. And, it will help if we use the whole Bible in our studies, and recognize the patterns of the God who changes not. Failing at history – Bible history – is just not a good option.
Have a blessed year, and endeavor to study more intently than ever before…