Here we are introduced to another major character in the book of Esther, the man who will become known as the enemy of the Jews: Haman.
The first thing we learn about Haman is that he has pleased the king in some way. Enough to have him promoted to “a seat of honor higher than all the other nobles.” Haman is an important man, and somebody who wants that importance recognized.
It seems that everyone shows Haman the respect he desires except for one person: Mordecai. We are never given specifics as to why Mordecai chose not to kneel or “pay him honor.” But what we can know is that race played a major part.
You see, Haman is an Agagite. He grew up believing that the Jews were his enemies. And now, here was this lone Jewish man standing against him and disrespecting his power. He wouldn’t tolerate it.
So Haman began to construct a plot. Not just to take revenge against Mordecai, but to destroy all of the Jewish people.
Before we see what comes of Haman’s anger, we should ask an important question. Was Mordecai justified in disrespecting Haman?
On the one hand, the Bible has made it clear that we should respect those in power. But on the other hand, Scripture is ripe with examples of God’s people fighting injustice and evil by going up against the dominant power. Just look at Acts 4, 5, and 12.
This is a difficult subject and one we can hardly begin to dive into in just a short devotion. But the message is deeply applicable for today’s world. As Christians, we are called to obey God above anything and anyone else. Mordecai’s example is one we can follow.
He did not argue against Haman or try to get his honor revoked. Instead he quietly, yet powerfully, stood while everyone else bowed and without a word, exposed where his priorities lay.
In this life, there will be times when we will need to reveal whose authority we truly follow. I hope we can do so as gracefully and confidently as Mordecai.
Takeaway: God’s authority should be the most important authority in our lives.
Prayer: Dear God, I pray that you will help me live as a good citizen of this world, but also give me the boldness to never forget my true citizenship in Your Kingdom. And when those two conflict, grant me the wisdom to act.
If you're interested to continue the journey with Esther through the book Chosen with Esther, learn more here!