Friday, January 15, 2010

Pulling a Haman

*This post got saved in my drafts back in November and never posted.  Sorry for the delay!  New posts coming soon. :) <3 


The small group that I'm a part of is reading through the book of Esther.  It's a pretty great book.  It's a good story and it's also challenging.  Interestingly, God isn't mentioned directly at all in the book.


While I was preparing for the lesson this week,  I got really fixated on Haman.


If you're not familiar with this story, there's this guy, Haman and he hates this other guy named Mordicai.   He hates him so much (mainly because he won't bow down to him or honor him)  he's planning to kill him.


 Mordicai helped foil a plot against the king a few months ago and when the king found out about it, he decided that Mordiacai should be honored in some way.  He happend to ask Haman what he should do to honor someone who has helped the king a lot.


 Haman assumed the king was going to honor him so he came up with this AMAZING  plan for how he wanted to be honored.  It involved things like wearing an old robe of the kings, being paraded through town on a horse while someone yelled something like, "this is ____ whom the king wishes to honor!" and more.  Pretty big deal.


So, Haman tells the king all of this and the king told Haman to go, find Mordicai and make all this happen.


Haman is seriously ticked off.  Seriously.  He does it even though he doesn't want to because he doens't want to go against the king and a billion selfish reasons.


Full passage found here (totally check it out):  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=esther%206&version=MSG


Selfishness is kind of Haman's theme.  He was second in command but he still wanted more power. He wants to over throw the king, he wants to be honored and a big deal, he wants to get more, more, more.


We decided at bible study, that there is such a thing as "Pulling a Haman".  It started out that pulling a Haman  could just be when you assume something that's awesome is for you, just because you're you.


Example 1: On Monday, Josh and I were with my family sharing a meal.  We were at Mom and Dad's and while we were sitting there, I noticed in a pile with my mail were two new DVDs.  DVDs I would love to own- How the Grinch Stole Christmas and A Charlie Brown Christmas.  Because my family knows how much I love Christmas and because it was in my mail pile, I assumed they were for me.


 I waited patiently for my parents to tell me they were for me, getting more and more excited (Like Haman!).  Near the end, my mild mannered and super cute dad, held up the videos next to his face and said, "See what I got? I'm trying to rebuild the collection. All the other videos were VHS.".


Then, I didn't feel excited!  I felt a little bitter! (Like Haman!)  My mind automatically scanned back to the last time I remembered watching a movie with my dad- I'm pretty sure it was either "The Day After Tomorrow" three Christmases ago or!  "The Princess Bride" even longer ago.   Then! I felt embarrassed and ashamed that I didn't feel instantly happy for my dad (unlike Haman!).


Afterward, I started to process the whole thing.  It was eerily similar to an incident Josh had on Friday.  It involved him assuming that something was for him that wasn't actually for him and then being sad.


Really, neither one of us had any really good reason to think that the gifts were for us.  We both just thought we were getting gifts because we were loved and awesome.  We were just being selfish, assuming things were for us.  *Sigh* We've got a lot of growing to do!


Interestingly,  a friend of mine, Jon, had this to say about Haman 


"Hmm. . . in Jewish tradition, as little breath as possible is wasted on Haman. Rabbis try to read the passage of Esther with the name of him and his sons in one breath so as not to waste two breaths on them. A traditional Jewish curse (not about Haman, but it fits here) is "May his name be forgotten."


But, part of me wonders if we really do want to forget him.  One of the great things about the Bible is how you can read it and see how things "happen for a reason".  You see everything from how so-and-so had to marry so-and-so for Jesus to be born or how once city had to demolish another city for something else to happen, etc.  Anyway.