Hegai – The Keeper

Today I want to continue my series on the Fathers of Esther.

As you will recall Esther was a Jewish orphan that became Queen of the known world, and as a result, of God’s uncommon favor, was destine to save the entire Jewish people from genocide at the hands of Haman (see blog Haman – Unabashed Pride).

As I reviewed the book of Esther it began to be revealed to me that the men mentioned in the book were each a type of father to Esther.  It was not by chance that Esther was an orphan.  She was a child in a world of very strong adult figures.

Let’s see how the message of the “Hegai father” effected Esther and what it says to fathers today.

Hegai was a eunich, he was the Chamberlain of King Xerxes.  His responsibility was to be the “Keeper of the women”.  In my readings, I have seen where Hegai was described as a “repulsive old man”.  His role as the keeper of the women required him to maintain this type of image.  His role was to keep Xerxes harem in control.  As new concubines were brought into the harem, Hegai began to exert complete control over them.  They come with nothing and everything they were given was given by Hegai.  Everything, their food, accommodations, clothing, servants, beauty treatments, and counsel.  All controlled and dispensed by Hegai.  These young girls became totally dependent on him.

Because of this total dependence, Hegai drew every type of attention from these women, all designed to attract his attention and his favor.  Hegai was very careful where and with whom he dispensed his favor (today we would call it his political capital).

God caused Hegai to notice Esther and as a result, she was given the best of everything, including his counsel.  Hegai recognized that Esther would possibly become the new queen. 

Hegai knew King Xerxes very well, he understood his taste in women.  He was careful to invest his political capital where it would return great favor for him, both from King Xerxes AND from the future queen.

Do you know fathers like this today?  The Hegai father chooses his favorites among his children.  He gives the best to some and little to others.  He has time to share his wisdom and friendship with one but is just too busy to spend time with the others.

It’s not that he doesn’t love all his children, it’s just that he sees greater potential in one.  He thinks he can only “invest” his fatherly capital in one, so he chooses the one that will return the most to him.  The most pride, the most dependence, the most success.  Without it, who will take care of him when he is old?

The Hegai father destroys without meaning to.  It’s his singular focus that is so devastating to his other children.  If asked, he would tell you he believes he is a good father, perhaps great.  If you ask people outside his family, they to would tell you he is a good father.  If you ask his other children the, truthful, message would be something different entirely.

Anger, frustration, and loneliness are the hall marks of the victims of the Hegai father.

As you study your fatherly intent, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any traces of the Hegai father in you.  Although not as malicious and purposeful as the Haman father, the Hegai father can be just as destructive.  It tends to be somewhat latent and hides behind the praises of those who see him as a great father.  It is a pure case of “the end justifies the means”.

The tools of great fatherhood are already present.  With conscious effort, and heartfelt prayers, founded in a desire for true change, the Hegai father can be defeated and the damage done to relationships can be restored.

Seek out those in whom you can confide (admitting you have flaws as a father can be very humbling).  Ask for the prayers and counsel of strong men of God.  Most of all, ask forgiveness of your other children.  Remember, God is the great healer.

En Servicio Como Padre

Dave

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