Friday, June 17, 2022

The Gallows

As we wrap up talking about Haman (hasn't this been fun?), it's worth talking for a second about his gallows. This is important. 

Haman built a large gallows in a very public place, on which he intended to hang Mordecai, this Jew whose faithfulness Haman took as a personal insult. There was nothing quiet about his gallows. There was nothing that anyone in this city center missed about this. It was, and it was meant to be, a spectacle. 

Think about how the people must have reacted when Noah started building a giant boat. This is how the people must have reacted when Haman started building a giant gallows. There had to be whispers about what was going on. It had to become the talk of the town. Everyone was talking about Haman and his hatred for this Jew, and then, for all Jews, and then, maybe, for God. 

I think this is too often the story of us. We get in our minds these things that we're upset about, these things that offend our sensibilities or whatever. Sometimes, we try to cloud over all that and say that God doesn't like them, either, as if that's some sort of justification for our breaking His greatest command and being hateful persons. 

We go around bashing those whose lifestyles we disagree with or whose theology we think is backward or whose parenting style is vastly different from our own or whose get the point. We seem to spend so much of our time, even as Christians, building big, public gallows. Some might say, building the hills we're willing to die on, but perhaps that's a little ahead of ourselves at this point in the conversation. 

The talk then becomes about who we hate, not how we love. It's about what we disagree with, not what we're for. The whole world sees us building our gallows right out in the public square (because where else would we do it, knowing how perfect and righteous we are and how right in our assessment of whatever it is we're railing against), and it's all the talk. It's all the whispers.

The world just can't stop talking about the church's hate for this group or that group, this idea or that one, these people or those people. And why should they? We're putting it out there for them on grand display. 

Hey everyone, come look at our gallows. 

But remember what happened to Haman? That great, big, beautiful gallows he built to declare his righteousness over Mordecai's? He was hanged on them himself. 

And that's what's happening to us, too. We're building our great, big, beautiful gallows, and the world is hanging us on them. The world is calling us out moments before we get to our target and revealing that we are the ones to be despised. Just look at us. Hypocrites, the world sneers, right before they drop the floor out from under our feet. They preached love, but just look at this monument to their hate. 

It's something to think about. Hard. 

When you build a gallows in the public square, the people notice. And you might be surprised who they'll watch hang there. 

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