Xerxes – Intoxicating Power

God’s plan for the Jewish people of Esther’s time could not have happened without the Xerxes father type.

Although benevolent to a certain extent, the Xerxes father should not be confused with a preferred fatherly role.

Xerxes was the ruler of the entire known world.  His word was powerful and it was final.  To a great extent he held the power of life and death in his hands.  He was prone to lavish, drunken parties that went on for months on end.  His wealth, power, and possessions were equally intoxicating to him.  If you made even the slightest breech of protocol, it would likely mean certain death.

Xerxes was easily swayed by his advisers, and wise men (religious leaders).  They often manipulated circumstances to achieve their own agenda. (Esther 1: 11-22)  Ultimately Esther became a moderating influence on Xerxes and as a result of God’s unmerited favor, was able to save herself and everyone associated with her (the Jewish people).

In recent years ther have been men in the news who exhibited the Xerxes father type.  Some that come to mind are Ken Lay and Bill Clinton.

The Xerxes father doesn’t have to be the CEO of a major corporation, or the President of the United States.  The Xerxes father just has what can be described by some as a “god syndrome”.

Xerxes fathers are always right, no one is to question his decisions, acts, or intention.  If he is questioned, he dismisses, demeans, and destroys.

Xerxes fathers surround themselves with Haman personalities and depend on Hegai personalities to feed their entertainment needs.

Xerxes fathers tend to dote on their children and overindulge them.  They assume, like everything else, they can be bought.  When their children get in to trouble, money can fix it.  When they wreck the car, a new one can be bought.  Values, although respected, are not on the top of the list of things to be learned.  Often the end justifies the means.

I have seen this type of father in the most unlikely places.  One of the worst was a maintenance mechanic in a plant where I once worked.  The “god syndrome” was so strong he was the only person who didn’t see it.  His nick name was “The Godfather”.

Dealing with the Xerxes father is actually easier than dealing with the Haman father.  The Xerxes father doesn’t feel the same sense of desperation as is exhibited in the Haman father.  If you think you are a god, what is there to be desperate about?

The problem with the Xerxes father is that today’s society values them.  They are put forward as role models until they fall from power.  Once they fall, they are never quite the same again.  The Xerxes father actually recognizes the potential for their fall from power and for this reason are very dangerous.  You can’t maintain the god image if you don’t have a kingdom to rule.

Turning away from the Xerxes father is difficult and usually involves an intervention from God.  “Great was the fall of them”, was a phrase my mother used, when I was growing up, to describe those who we now recognize as the Xerxes father.  Unfortunately, without the fall, the Xerxes father rarely makes the transition from god to servant.

As a father, if you exhibit the symptoms of the Xerxes father, begin to study what Jesus taught about servant leadership.  A great book to start you on the path is the book, “The Way of the Sheppard” (Leman and Pentak, Zondervan Press).  It is a quick read and if taken to heart can plant the seeds of true recovery from the dangers of the Xerxes father.

En Servicio Como Padre

Dave

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