From Burundi we are introduced to a very interesting proverb. “You cannot hide the smoke of the hut you set on fire.” No matter where we run, or no matter how hard we try to hide, our evil deeds will find us.
I had a friend who used to travel to India and he was always terrified of snakes, especially Cobras. He told me the story of having a Cobra enter his tent one evening and while he was chasing it with a stick, one of his Indian friends stopped him. He was told that if you do evil to a Cobra, it will never stop looking for you and one day it will hunt you down and kill you. I am not really familiar with the practice or behavior of Cobras, but I do know that when we seek to do evil to others, that our actions will come back to visit us.
In the Bible we read the story of Esther, a godly woman who went on to become Queen of Persia. During her reign, there was a very evil man in the kingdom by the name of Haman. He was a proud, arrogant and bitter man who hated the Jewish people. Unaware that Queen Esther was a Jewish woman who was living in Persia when she was selected to be Queen, Haman developed an elaborate plot to have all the Jewish people killed, especially a well-respected Jew by the name of Mordecai. Haman even went to the extent of having a gallows built so he could have Mordecai hanged publicly once his plan went into effect.
In the Book of Esther, chapter 7 we see how Haman’s planned came back on him. When the King learned of Haman’s deceit and the plot against the Israelites including His very own Queen, he had Haman hanged on the gallows he built for Mordecai.
In many African cultures it is believed that when bad things happen in someone’s life (sickness, the death of a loved one, or financial troubles) that others are responsible for wishing evil upon them. Their response is often to bring revenge on those they believe have harmed them, but envy and revenge is a poison that we give to ourselves in hopes of hurting someone else. No good every comes from seeking revenge or evil on another person.
When we desire for bad things to happen to other people it is a reflection that our heart is not right. We have allowed dark and evil powers to take control of our heart and mind. Many times the very evil we that wish on others will come back and on us. It is like that Cobra that never stops seeking us and when it finds us it destroys our life.
The book of Esther is a powerful reminder that God will bring judgment on those who do evil. The apostle Paul tells us, “Vengence is mine, I will repay, says the Lord. You cannot hide the smoke of the hut you set on fire.” Moses said it this way, “Be sure your sins will find you out.” (Numbers 32:23)