John_D._Rockefeller_1885

Those were the words uttered by John D Rockefeller when asked “How much money is enough money?”, to which he replied “Just a little more.” Before throwing the old oil baron under the electric bus, it is worth mentioning that Mr Rockefeller may have uttered these words because of the single driving reason he collected money to begin with; and a lot of it.

As one of the founders of Standard Oil, and being largely responsible for establishing the oil industry, John D Rockefeller was soon the richest man in the world, but JDR was also a man that had a drive for more than just money. There was a single philosophy behind making money – to use it to improve people’s lives, and JDR left the direct oversight of Standard Oil in the late 1890s after less than 30 years, to pursue philanthropic measures that included education, supporting churches and the eradication of hookworm and yellow fever. Was there a mid-life crisis perhaps? I don’t know, but JDR pursued money because it allowed him to help others, a philosophy in stark contrast to that of Haman, the right-hand man to the king of the Medes and the Persians at the time of Esther.

The book of Esther records the establishment of the feast of Purim – celebrating God’s preservation of His chosen people from the plots of Haman, a corrupt official to king Ahasuerus. Many know the story of Esther as the time that a Jewish girl won the beauty contest of the century, becoming the queen of the largest empire in the world. Some Christians will know that the book is considered the most secular in the Bible because it doesn’t directly mention God at any time.

Haman was the chief official in the nation, second only to the king and the king had decreed that everyone had to worship him when in his presence, but he had a problem; he had everything he could want except just a little more.

Esther 5:12-13 “Then Haman said, “Even Queen Esther let no one but me come with the king to the feast she prepared. And tomorrow also I am invited by her together with the king. 13 Yet all this is worth nothing to me, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate.”

JDR, 1901 cartoon from Puck magazine

Haman had an obsession with Mordecai that went beyond not being worshipped by him, Haman knew that he was a Jew, and that was enough for him. Josephus records that Haman was an Amalekite – Descended from Esau and mortal enemies of the Jews. More than that, Haman’s ancestry was completely annihilated by Saul under God’s orders through Samuel, but Saul spared the life of the king, who, before Samuel offed him, sired a line that lead to Haman. So Haman was a member of King Agag’s family, hence why the book of Esther refers to him as an Agagite. Esther and Mordecai were Benjaminites, which also happens to be the tribe of Saul. So here we are at the root of things, Haman’s family barely survived a war with the Jews, escaped to a foreign nation and he now declares war on his archnemesis, and the personification of his hatred is found in Mordecai whom he perceives to be within his power. Just as Mordecai became the symbolic enemy to Haman, Haman is now remebered as the symbol of what God has saved his people from. Now Haman had options; amongst other things, he had wealth, fame and power, what else could he need? Just a little more.

We have much to be grateful for in our lives as well, no matter what your station in life. If you’ve entered into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ as your Lord, then you are described in the Bible as co-heirs with Christ, children of God and a great hope exists for you. God has done the work of salvation for you in his Son Jesus Christ. Take a look around and see the good things in your life as a gift from God and maybe you’ll be happy without just a little more.

Guest blog by:

Josh “Heyoo” Laverty

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