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Just dropping by... In times such as these

Yevet Tenney Published on 07 October 2009

I don’t ever recall a time in my nearly 60 years of living when there has been such a deluge of propaganda being poured on the American people. I used to teach my seventh graders about the dangers of propaganda and yellow journalism.

I always told them the story of how the propaganda of Hitler brought about the annihilation of millions of innocent people. I taught them about how the horrors of the yellow journalism inflamed America citizens into the Spanish- American War.



Even in those days, when there was only newspaper and radio, millions suffered because of lies. Now we have visual media that can be shaped and touched up with the airbrush of political agendas and personal gain.

Propaganda and yellow journalism are not isolated cases. It is everywhere! It is on the news; it leaks out of the mouths of our political elites, and filters down to our own communities. We watch it on television and in magazine ads.

Have you ever seen a weight loss ad that shows a fat person that doesn’t even resemble the skinny person in the adjoining photograph? “Before and after” shots always make me wonder.

Better still, have you ever watched how the skin care product advertisements on the Internet make the person look 10 years younger with a swipe of the mouse? Have you ever bought a product that worked even half that well?

I haven’t, but we seem to be so ready to believe everything we see on the television, read in magazines and newspapers or hear on the radio. Propaganda is a dangerous and wicked practice.


My propaganda definition is very strict. Propaganda is a lie or a half-truth that is told to bring other people to your way of thinking in order to control and manipulate them.

The practice is not new; in fact the story of Esther in the Old Testament is such a story. Esther was a Jewish orphan who was adopted by her uncle, Mordecai.

The story begins when Queen Vashti is giving a party for women, and she refuses to come to the King Ahasuerus, her husband, when he asks her to come and show off her beauty to his guests. When she refuses to come, King Ahasuerus is in a meeting with other princes and they convince him that the queen will be an example of disobedience to all the other women in the kingdom and surrounding areas, and she should not be queen.

The king sends the queen away. Then the king is convinced that he needs another queen. In consequence, young women from other provinces are brought to the kingdom. Esther was one of them. She was a Jewish orphan who was adopted and raised by her uncle, Mordecai.

As time passed, the king fell in love with Esther, and she became his queen. Mordecai, who often came to the palace to check on Esther, discovered a plot to kill the king. He apprised Esther of the plan, and she informed the king.

Haman was a man who 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 shaping of the truth.


At any rate, he took his new power seriously and began to use it to his advantage. He demanded that people bow to him. Mordecai, a Jew, refused to bow to anyone but Jehovah. This displeased Haman, and he sought revenge on not just Mordecai, but the entire Jewish nation.

Power-starved people are like that. One victory over an enemy is never enough. Nothing would stop him.

This is where Haman’s propaganda skill came in handy. He went to the king and “Haman 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)

There, of course, was no evidence that the Jews were thinking of rebelling against the king, or that they didn’t want to obey his law, but Haman’s propaganda hints at insurrection made the king think there was a sufficient reason to exterminate the Jews.

“And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews’ enemy.” (Esther 3:10)

It looked like Haman would win the battle, but his opponent was not Mordecai or the Jews. His enemy was the God of the Old Testament, who had promised safety to those who serve Him faithfully. Haman’s lies and deceits were nothing compared to the mighty hand of the Great Jehovah who knows the end from the beginning and is mindful of the flight of every sparrow. The Lord had already put his weapons in place.

Esther was the queen, who had the ear 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.

You see, there is a trail of faith before miracles happen. The Lord is concerned with the dedication of his children. He will not solve all of their problems before they put forth the effort, any more than a parent will always carry his toddler from place to place.

Parents want their children to walk and the Lord wants his children to become strong by exercising their faith. When Esther realized that her people were in danger, she sent a message to Mordecai.

Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, “Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews.

“For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)

In other words, “Esther, you will perish with us. The Lord is going to deliver us somehow, but 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)

When the Jewish nation heard of Esther’s commitment to sacrifice her life if necessary, they began to fast and pray in their most humble manner by putting on 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.

She told all that Haman had planned. When the truth was known, Haman’s plot was turned to ashes. He suffered the same plight that he had planned for Mordecai. He was hung on the gallows that he built to hang Mordecai and eventually all of 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 and the king were content. The children of the Jews are as numerous as the sands of the sea.

Hitler lies in a grave, along with all the Jews he destroyed. I don’t know where he is in the afterlife scheme of things, but I know the Jews he murdered are in a much better place. The perpetrators of the Spanish-American War are deep in the ground.

“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” Perhaps they have stood before their maker by now. 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 every Haman and Hitler. He knows his servants and those who will bend the knees in fasting and prayer in times of trouble. 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 who will be victorious. 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 the silly women and men who are led away by propaganda to fight on the side of lies, deception and greed?”

Who knows but what we were brought to this very moment to rise up to save the sacred Constitution of our land. 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 our liberties.

The Lord needs our faith and prayers to bring forth his eternal purposes. As we pray, we will yet see miracles in this great land of America. PD