Today’s Reading: Esther 1-3
Today’s Reflection: Esther 3:5
And when Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow down or pay homage to him, Haman was filled with fury.
King Ahasuerus of the Persian Empire had made Haman the Agagite chief of all of his royal officials. In essence, he was second only to the king himself, and the king had ordered that all of his servants bow in deference to Haman. And all who sat at the kings gate did bow. All except one: Moredecai.
Esther’s uncle Mordecai, who daily went to the king’s gate to inquire of his niece’s welfare as the new queen, would not bow, despite being warned by others among the king’s servants. His faith as a Jew demanded that he bow to no earthly authority. When word of this got back to Haman he was furious and began plotting not only to destroy Mordecai, but the entire Jewish people (Esther 3:1-6).
As children of God living on earth, we may be subject to earthly authorities — governments, institutions, nation-states, etc. — but there is only one authority we kneel before, only one worthy of worship, and that is our God. The world doesn’t like this. Throughout history many nations have sought to destroy the worship of God to enforce obeisance to the state, to a king or a dictator. They have tried to force God’s people to renounce Him and to bow to another.
If you live out your faith publicly you will face this challenge at some point. The world will confront you and try to force you to place something else on the same level or above God in your life. Mordecai offers an example for us all as how to respond. An unwavering, unhesitating proclamation of faith in the God, the only God, whom we serve. Despite Haman’s threats, and they were serious threats, ultimately God showed that He protects those who proclaim Him and refuse to place any other authority above Him.