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Hinderers and usurpers of destiny – Part 8


Austen C. Ukachi

By definition, a usurper “is a supplanter, one who illegally or wrongfully holds the place of another.” A usurper is a hinderer to one’s destiny. There are many examples of usurpers, those who wrongfully take what does not belong to them or take what they are not entitled to. Bible characters typify true-life situations. Three Bible characters: Ziba, Haman and Athaliah rightly fit into the mould of usurpers and hinderers of destiny.

The story of Ziba in 2 Samuel 9 is a good example of a usurper and hinderer to destiny. Ziba was a servant in the house of Saul, who usurped the estate of Saul, when the king died. Ziba was both a usurper and an astute schemer (2 Samuel 16:1-4; 19:24-30). He was so unrelenting to undo Mephibosheth that he lied to David several times about the loyalty of Mephibosheth’s to him.

After the death of King Saul and Jonathan, his son, Ziba sent Mephibosheth to the house of Machir in Lo Debar and took over Saul’s estate. Though Mephibosheth was from the royal family, he was forgotten and relegated to Lo Debar. Lo Debar was a place of no significance and of no consequence. But the condition changed for Mephibosheth once David became king of the entire nation of Israel. Once he was proclaimed king, David sought for and elevated Mephibosheth, the only surviving son of Jonathan to a place of prominence and honour. He sent for Mephibosheth and made him sit and dine with him on his royal table.


Haman is another figure who fits into the mould of a hinderer. Haman was a ruthless, arrogant and self-conceited palace official in Persia, who held Mordecai and the Jews in serious disdain. Two stories in the book of Esther chapters 5 and 6 reveal Haman’s hatred for the Jews. In Esther chapter 5, Haman on the advice of his wife, Zeresh prepared a gallow on which to hang Mordecai. The mere thought of building a gallow on which to hang someone shows how ruthless Haman was.

Then in chapter 6:6, he falsely assumed that he was the person the king wanted to honour. “Whom would the king delight to honour more than me?” He then proceeded to give a generous advice to the king on what should be done to the man whom the king wants to honour. But to his utter dismay, the king commanded him to bestow all such honours, which he had recommended upon Mordecai. Completely devastated, he ended up being hanged on the same gallow he had prepared for Mordecai.

Another usurper and destiny destroyer we find in the Bible is Athaliah, the mother of king Ahaziah. The story of this evil woman is found in 2 Chronicles 22 and 23. When her son, king Ahaziah died, she quickly usurped the throne and destroyed all royal heirs of the house of Judah. But unknown to her, Jehoshabeath, the daughter of king Ahaziah, took Joash the son of king Ahaziah and heir to the throne and hid him. For six years Joash was hidden from Athaliah, until Jehoiada, the priest arose and raised a team of loyal bodyguards with whom he made a covenant to ensure that Athaliah was removed from the throne and the heir apparent was installed. After a well-rehearsed plan, Jehoiada and his palace loyalists succeeded in enthroning Joash as king, while Athaliah was killed.

Ziba, Haman and Athaliah represent those who usurp and threaten our destiny. We must prayerfully resist these kinds of people


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