But They Did Not Lay Their Hands On The Plunder
Esther 9:10 “(from verse 9, The Israelites killed) the ten sons of Haman son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews. But they did not lay their hands on the plunder.”
Esther 9:15 “The Jews in Susa came together on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar, and they put to death in Susa three hundred men, but they did not lay their hands on the plunder.”
Israelites had a God given opportunity to revenge on their enemies, after Haman died and Mordecai came into power. They were allowed by the King to destroy their enemies and take their property and make it their own.
Esther 8:11 “The king’s edict granted the Jews in every city the right to assemble and protect themselves; to destroy, kill and annihilate any armed force of any nationality or province that might attack them and their women and children; and to plunder the property of their enemies.” They were free by law to take all the property that belonged to the enemies they destroyed. But Israel, refused to take the property of the people they destroyed. They did not lay their hands on the plunder.
Israelites had permission to attack all their potential enemies and take all their property. But the Bible notes that, they did not lay their hands on the plunder.
The plunder, the loot, the material gain, the valuable things could easily distract from the God who brings Victory and the mission. Any distraction from God and mission spelt failure spiritually and in the face of their enemies. Safety was in the discipline of avoiding the plunder and focusing on God and mission. They did not lay their hands on the plunder.
During the Jericho war, Israelites were told not to lay their hands on the plunder, Joshua 6:18-19. Achan ignored God’s directive, and he took some of the Jericho plunder, and he was killed as a result. In 1 Samuel 15:3 King Saul was instructed to destroy all Amalekites and not take any plunder but destroy it. King Saul didn’t obey God, he took the plunder and God rejected him as a king of Israel.
Love of material things represented today by money and things that money can buy, is a huge snare from success. Israelites knew that focus on the plunder had the potential to refocus them from dealing with the enemy to competing against each other. Internal competition for property aka plunder would implode the Israelites military and spiritual might. Therefore for their own spiritual and military safety, they did not lay their hands on the plunder.
Israelites also understood that any wealth that easily comes, will easily go. Plunder was not worked for and wouldn’t therefore last. Plunder is false wealth, gained without much effort. Plunder like proceeds of betting and gambling, can destroy core values of society and individuals. The need to work hard is replaced with search for easy wealth by gambling away valuable property and idling around in the hope of a big win. It becomes the root of covetousness and theft and corruption in society. Israelites therefore, did not lay their hands on the plunder.
1 Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
To take the plunder would also imply that you had all rights for the victory gained. But it is God who gave the victory, therefore all plunder was either dedicated to God or left as it was to represent a surrender of the same to God. To take the plunder was to refuse to recognise God as the victory provider. Therefore the Israelites did not lay their hands on the plunder.
Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
The principles of operation have been the same for God’s people throughout time. The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. You cannot serve God and Money, because money aka plunder competes to replace God in our lives. For that reason, the Israelites though they had the King’s permission to take the plunder, they did not.
God still grants Victory against our foes and in all competitions. God is still entitled to all the proceeds of what we falsely think is 100% our effort. This is why we need to give tithes (10%) of our income and a generous offering, to show that God is still God and Money hasn’t become God to us.
1 Corinthians 9:14-15 “(14)In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel. (15) But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing these things to secure any such provision. For I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of my ground for boasting.” Paul the Apostle refused to receive a rightful deserved church support, in order to make clear that his ministry was not focused on material gain. We too who serve God must always be ready to demonstrate and should actually regularly demonstrate that we are not in ministry because of the material advantages it provides. We must demonstrate that our calling is higher and we will remain faithful even if there was no material gain. Our mission shouldn’t be misunderstood to be greed based, wealth seeking, because that causes resentment and ruins future relations. That is why Israelites had to demonstrate that, they were destroying their enemies and not trying to make a living. Therefore, they did not lay their hands on the plunder.
We need to avoid stealing from the poor and outright theft that is made possible by our God given advantageous position. We need to avoid corrupting wealth of theft, betting and gambling. Finally we must acknowledge God, give credit to God for all our success.
If you lay hands on the plunder, that would be the last victory followed by curses and failure in all future endeavours. For a sustainable victorious life, God must remain above the focus on material gain. In order to remain safe from their future enemies, and in order to avoid offending God, whose help they will always need, they did not lay their hands on the plunder!
In our lines of duty, the less privileged who are at our mercy, can easily become plunder. We get free Labour or at very low cost. We can exploit them sexually or abuse their freedoms to serve our egos. Profits can be so exorbitant that it amounts to theft from buyers. Opportunity to evade the path of efforts and thereby gain easy, through per diems, and gifts from those we serve. By per diems and allowances we plunder organisations. By gifts and appreciations we plunder those we serve. A dangerous trend… that removes God from our life and spells doom in society and individuals lives. No wonder Israelites did not lay their hands on the plunder!
May God remain our source of daily victory in all we do, even today. May God enable us to avoid the corrupting lust for all types of plunder, in Jesus name. Amen! (C)email@example.com (do not delete any part of this post, including this. You are free to share these posts but don’t edit the authorship or content … thank you and be blessed!)