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Just dropping by ... Esther’s courage

Yevet Tenney for Progressive Dairy Published on 24 August 2020

The pandemic rages on, and the modern soothsayers spew propaganda over the airwaves. No one is quite sure what to believe. The death toll rises, and fear mounts in epic proportions.

Some are afraid to leave their homes or allow face-to-face interaction with neighbors. Some listen to the chatter on social media and refuse to wear a mask or take precautions because the death toll is a hyperbole of the worst kind and the cure is worse than the disease. Gossip of death certificates being forged exists and of COVID-19 tests being taken two or three times and counted for the same person. Who is right and who is spreading political propaganda and yellow journalism?

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According to Wikipedia, “Yellow journalism and the yellow press are American terms for journalism and associated newspapers that present little or no legitimate well-researched news while instead using eye-catching headlines for increased sales. Techniques may include exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering or sensationalism.”

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We are bombarded with yellow journalism propaganda daily. This practice is not new. Hitler’s propaganda caused the annihilation of millions of innocent people. The horrors of yellow journalism inflamed American citizens into the Spanish-American War. Even in those days, when there were only newspapers, millions suffered because of untruth. The story of Esther in the Old Testament is a great example.

Esther, a Jewish orphan, was adopted by her uncle, Mordecai. Esther was brought into the kingdom of King Ahasuerus. As time passed, the king fell in love with Esther, and she became his queen. Mordecai, who often came to the palace to visit Esther, discovered a plot to kill the king. He apprised Esther of the plan, and she informed the king.

Haman, the perpetrator of the plot, hated the Jews and was also a skilled propagandist. It is not clear in the scriptures why the king chose to “promote” Haman to a position of a prince, but we might infer from his later actions that he gained the position with a bit of “truth-shaping.” At any rate, he took his new power seriously and began to use it to his advantage.

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He demanded the people bow to him. Mordecai, a Jew, refused to bow to anyone but Jehovah. This displeased Haman, and he sought revenge on Mordecai and the entire Jewish nation. Power-starved people are like that. One victory over an enemy is never enough. Nothing would stop him. Haman went to the king and “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” (Esther 3:8 KJV). There is no evidence the Jews were thinking of rebelling against the king, or that they were disobedient to his law, but Haman’s hints at insurrection gave the king sufficient reason to exterminate the Jews. “And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman” (Esther 3:10 KJV) to carry out the extermination order.

It seemed Haman would win the battle, but his opponent was not Mordecai or the Jews. His enemy was God, who promises safety to those who serve Him faithfully. Haman’s lies and deceits would come to naught. The Lord had His weapons already in place. Esther, the queen, had the ear and favor of the king. Mordecai was dedicated to serving the Lord, and he was already on his knees fasting and praying. The Jewish nation was ripe and prepared to humble themselves to see miracles happen. The Lord was waiting for His people to show their faith. The Lord is concerned with the dedication of his children. He will not solve their problems before they put forth effort. Faith is the prerequisite to miracles.

When Esther realized her people were in danger, she sent a message to Mordecai. Mordecai replied, in effect, “You are a Jew and will perish with us if Haman gets his way. The Lord is going to deliver us somehow. Please consider that perhaps you were made queen for the very purpose of saving the Jews.”

Esther sent a return message to Mordecai. “Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16 KJV).

When the Jewish nation heard of Esther’s commitment to sacrifice her life if necessary, they began to fast and pray in sackcloth and ashes and cried to the Lord for three days in her behalf.

As we know, the king allowed Esther to speak, and she made a banquet for the king, herself and Haman. When the truth was known, Haman’s plot was turned to ashes. He suffered the same plight he had planned for Mordecai. He was hung on the gallows he built to hang Mordecai – and eventually his 10 children were killed in a battle. Even his hope of eternal posterity was gone. Mordecai eventually became the right hand of the king, and Esther’s courage brought peace to the Jews. The Lord’s promise of protection was verified.

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Propaganda is a tool of lies and, if used, will one day be the tool that destroys those who use it. Hitler lies in a grave, along with all the Jews he destroyed. We do not know where he is in the “afterlife” scheme of things, but we know the Jews he murdered are in an infinitely better place. The perpetrators of the Spanish-American War are deep in the ground. “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” Perhaps they have already stood before their Maker. Perhaps they only stand before those whom they slaughtered with their false witnesses and web of lies, but we know that the God of Heaven and Earth holds the scales of justice and mercy. He knows the heart and soul of everyone. He knows His servants. He knows those who will bend the knees in fasting and prayer to plead for miracles and deliverance. He knows the Peters as well as the Judases of the world.

This final battle is not a question of who will win. We know the Great Jehovah, Jesus Christ, will stand victorious on the Mount of Olives. The only question that needs to be answered for ourselves is: “Will I stand on the Lord’s side with those who are filled with truth and light, or will I stand on the side of women and men led away by propaganda and yellow journalism?”

We are engaged in a battle, not of left and right, but a battle of good and evil, right and wrong. We are choosing sides as we embrace or abandon the news stories. We must make smart decisions. With every news story we read, listen to or watch, we must be vigilant in discerning truth from propaganda. New technology has given every person the ability to use propaganda to shape their own agenda. We can alter photographs to put people in places they have never been. We have the technology to shape speeches to say exactly what we want them to say. We must be aware that not every person loves America and the Constitution. Not every person wants the best for their neighbors. Some will do anything to shape the truth by using sound bites and half-truths to sway people into submission.

There are millions of good people who want what is best for this nation and their neighbors. They are good Christian people. We must stand together as did the Jews in Esther’s time. Who knows but what we were brought to this very moment to rise and save a nation? Who knows but what the Lord has prepared his army of Christians to wage a holy war of prayer and fasting for those who are trying to preserve our rights and liberties? The Lord expects our faith and prayers to bring forth His eternal purposes. Perhaps as we fast and pray, we will yet see miracles in this great land of America. Perhaps we will again see peace in our day.  end mark

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Yevet Crandell Tenney is a Christian columnist who loves American values and traditions. She writes about faith, family and freedom.

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