Scripture Read: Esther 3:7-8 In the first month, which is the month Nisan, in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, Pur, that is the lot, was cast before Haman from day to day and from month to month, until the twelfth month, that is the month Adar. 8 Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from those of all other people and they do not observe the king’s laws, so it is not in the king’s interest to let them remain.
Application: Father this text should scream to us in the day and age we live in! Today everybody is offering his or her opinion, whether wanted or not. Many people turn to individuals for counsel that they do not even know. Just because they have a degree, have written a book or are well known for being well known. Because they are a popular speaker on the radio or T.V. We need to take seriously what voices we are allowing to influence us. Many times the voices we are listening to may be very much like Haman. The King did not have an issue with the Jews, but opened his mind to the influence of someone he did not know had an agenda. We can’t know the heart but we can see the works and behavior if we look. Yet this is where the enemy wants us many times. He always has an agenda and his desire is to move us to thoughts and actions that we would not have arrived at on our own. Still we are not absolved of any of the responsibility of our choices. You Lord, do not deal with us based on the actions and input of others. You Lord, are consistent and we are always only held accountable for our response, reaction or decision. Other people and circumstances will be what they will be – You only will look at what we did when we are facing You at judgment. So it is incumbent on us all to make sure we are evaluating what advice we are getting – not on the surface outcome it may have, not based on what is easiest or less painful – but what we will say to You when we stand before You for that choice. The scriptures encourage us to seek counsel – but we must be honest about what kind of counsel we are getting? Are we listening to Hamans that have their own agenda and will not answer to the Lord for what we do? Father guide us to examine all counsel in Your light so we can agree that the path we are on is the one we prayerfully chose, not one we jumped on because we were sloppy and listened to counsel that was not approved by You.
Haman cast the lot—pur is the Persian word for “lot”—to determine the day most favorable to wipe out the Jews. In the pagan ancient Near East it was unthinkable to make plans of this magnitude without astrological guidance. The lot supposedly revealed the day most propitious for this act. The official casting of lots happened during the first month of each year to determine the most opportune days for important events. This may explain why Haman cast lots in the first month and chose a date so much later to annihilate the Jews. However, God controlled the lot-casting (Prov. 16:33) and gave the Jews almost a year to prepare for conflict with their enemies. Archaeologists have found quadrangular prism type dice at Susa, and perhaps it was this kind of device that Haman used to make his decision on this occasion. 
* Meditation Questions: What inputs are you allowing into your life? TV, Radio, News, Books, Seminars, Counsel? How is it impacting you? When you hear negative comments about a person. What do you do with that? Do you think you lead people to positive thoughts or negative thoughts?