They say the average attention span of humans today is eight seconds. If in eight seconds, you’re not hooked, well that’s about it. I hope you stay hooked on this till the end. It’s quite a revelation you don’t want to miss.
I began a study on the book of Esther with a friend. There’s a thread I see with King Ahasuerus. There are ten chapters in this book. And every single decisive step he took in these ten chapters were as a result of the counsel of those around him. Not one was a full self-conviction.
Chapter 1:13, 21 Then the king said to the wise men which knew the times, for so was the King’s manner towards all that knew law and judgment, “What shall we do unto Queen Vashti according to law because she hath not performed the commandments of the King Ahasuerus by the King’s Chamberlain?” …and the king did according to the words of Memucan.
Commentary: Here, the King asks for counsel. And we’re exposed to the fact that it was the custom of Kings at that time to surround themselves with those that knew law and judgment (as you too should). With the sound guys. Wise men which knew the times. And sure, these guys were wise. They were able to look beyond the short term effect of Vashti’s disobedience to the king but further to its ripple effect on all the kingdom. Wise guys.
But I see a disturbing fact. Its beyond the king seeking the counsel of wise guys. I see wise and unwise giving him unsolicited counsel through ten chapters.
Is there any common factor through these advice? In all the instances, anyone who was able to give counsel was someone who was around the king. In his vicinity.
I was once told to be careful of my friends because it is they who will be around me in my vulnerable moments. See it apply to King:
Chapter 2:1,2,4 After these things, when the wrath of King Ahasuerus was appeased, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what was decreed against her. Then said the King’s servants that ministered unto him, let there be fair young ladies sought for the king…and the king did so.
After the dust had settled, King Ahasuerus missed his wife. In that moment of vulnerability, a counsel came unsolicited. How radical. That singular act was what set the pretext for the story in this book.
To show that Ahasuerus didn’t always get it right with those around him. Take a look at 2 vs 21: In those days, while Mordecai sat at the King’s gate, two of the King’s Chamberlain…were wrought and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus.
For clarity, “sought to lay hands on” means sought to kill.
See also chapter 6: 1,4,6,10
On that night, the king could not sleep… And the king said “Who is in the court?” Now Haman was in the court of the King’s house… So the king said to him, “What shall be done unto the man that the king delighteth to honour?”…And Haman answered the king “For the man whom the king delighteth to honour, let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse the king rideth upon, and the crown Royal which is set it upon his head…“And the King said, “Make haste even as thou hast said and do even so…”
Commentary: I suspect the king would’ve asked anybody he was told was waiting in the court. Could’ve been a wise or unwise guy who had access.
Esther 7:9 And Harbonah, one of the King’s Chamberlains said before the king, “Behold also the gallows fifty cubit high which Haman had made for Mordecai, who had spoke good for the King, standeth in the house of Haman“. Then the king said, “hang him there!”
Commentary: Whoever told Harbonah that it was the King’s intention to hang Haman?
But oga Harbonah went ahead and whispered something. It sounded like a suggestion but sure enough king did it. Reader, your friend’s suggestion is likely to be what you’ll do.
3:8,10 And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus There is a certain people scattered abroad dispersed among the people in the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the King’s law therefore it is not for the King’s profit to suffer them…And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman, the Jew’s enemy.
Effect of Haman being around the king -mourning.
Esther 3: 15 And the decree was given in Shushan the palace. And the king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city Shusan was perplexed.
Esther 4:3 And in every province, whitsoever the king’s commandments and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing, and many lay in sack clothes and ashes.
Esther 8:5 So Esther arose and said… If it please the king, and I have found favour in his sight, and the thing seem right before the king, and I be pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to reverse the letters devised by Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite.
Effect of Esther being around King: Rejoicing.
8:17 And in every province, and in every city, wheresoever the king’s commandments and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day.
This much power is what your company wields around you. The assignment you’re given by God to accomplish will suffer or prosper by the doing of those around you.
You are super succeptible to the advices of those around you. Watch out (in my secondary school principal’s voice).
What’s your greatest lesson here? Share your thoughts.Yours lovingly,