Today’s reading: Esther 3:7-15
Haman’s vengeful scheming against the Jews takes on structure and form as we move further into Esther 3. But rather than Haman’s evil plan of annihilation, it was King Ahasuerus and his poor example as a leader that drew my attention today. The information Haman tells the king about the Jews is a lie. His recommendation to wipe out an entire race of people is completely evil. You would think the king would want to know more, and yet Ahasuerus doesn’t ask even one searching follow-up question. Additionally, we don’t see any objections from the king about taking such horrific, drastic, and deadly action, nor does the king seem to be concerned about how taking such action will ultimately impact how he is viewed or his relationship with all the people he leads (“And the king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Susa was thrown into confusion,” vs. 15). Instead, Ahasuerus blindly accepts Haman’s representation and issues the edict approving the reprehensible slaughter of every innocent Jew residing in the kingdom.
Sometimes the Bible gives us lessons from someone’s poor example, and this account definitely falls within that category. It provides a valuable lesson on leadership from a “how not to lead” perspective. Ahasuerus’s actions highlight a self-centered king with a disregard for human life (except his own) as well as a leader who lacked care and concern for those under his rule. It also shows us that while Ahasuerus enjoyed the status of being at the top and “leading” with the title of king, he wasn’t fully engaged in fulfilling the task the office required. Lastly, it tells us that discernment was not an area of strength for him.
What’s one thing you learned about making decisions and leading from Ahasuerus (perhaps different from what I saw)? What does this account reveal about the importance of being cautious in choosing advisors, counselors, and friends? Tami
Source: Tami’s Blog