Have you ever stood up for God? Mordecai sets a biblical example for us. Read on, as Steph Nickel continues her fascinating series about Queen Esther and Mordecai.
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Mordecai and Haman in the Life of Esther
Esther 3:1-6 says, “After these things King Ahasuerus promoted Haman … and advanced him and set his throne above all the officials who were with him. And all the king’s servants who were at the king’s gate bowed down and paid homage to Haman, for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai did not bow down or pay homage. Then the king’s servants who were at the king’s gate said to Mordecai, ‘Why do you transgress the king’s command?’ And when they spoke to him day after day and he would not listen to them, they told Haman, in order to see whether Mordecai’s words would stand, for he had told them that he was a Jew. And when Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow down or pay homage to him, Haman was filled with fury. But he disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone. So, as they had made known to him the people of Mordecai, Haman sought to destroy all the Jews, the people of Mordecai, throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus” (ESV).
This series of devotionals has the title “Just Like Us.” While I have been focusing on the women mentioned in the Scriptures, today, let’s look at how Mordecai—and Haman—are just like us. At first, I was going to focus exclusively on Mordecai, but then I realized, far too often, we act like Haman—at least I know I do.
Pride and Authority
If we are given a position of authority or acknowledged for something we’ve done well, sometimes pride gets the
better of us. While we don’t expect people to literally bow down to us, we may let them know, even in subtle ways, what we’ve accomplished.
However … We ought to ask ourselves a few questions to test our motives.
- Have I thanked God for raising me to this position of authority and asked Him to be glorified as I carry out my responsibilities?
- Have I acknowledged that He is the Source of the gifts and abilities that led to the promotion or praise?
- Have I examined my heart? Will I be disappointed if my accomplishments aren’t noticed by others?
- When I downplay what has occurred, am I actually motivated by pride? Do I want others to think I’m spiritual or do I really want to give God the honour and glory?
Do I look for ways to honour God and bless others because of the blessings He has poured out into my life?
Honour God and Glorify Him
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying we don’t play a part in earning promotions and praise. It’s a good thing to develop our skills, work hard, and make an impact. It’s also not wrong to enjoy it when others acknowledge and reward our efforts. However, as Christians, it’s important to be honest about what motivates us. Are we seeking acclaim from others or are we seeking to honour and glorify the Lord and make Him known?
And that brings us to Mordecai. I would love to say that I am just like him, but I know that I have a l-o-n-g way to go.
Mordecai wouldn’t bow down to Haman although the king had commanded it. There is a time to resist authority, when that authority requires us to do something that is contrary to God’s commands. Although Mordecai had instructed Esther not to reveal her lineage, he knew this was the time for him to let it be known that he was a Jew.
Mordecai must have suspected there would be consequences to his actions. Yet, he still did what was right.
How can we become more like Mordecai?
- We must study God’s Word so we will know what it says?
- We must carefully consider the statutes and social norms of our society and determine where they don’t line up with the Scriptures.
- We must ask the Lord for wisdom and courage. He will show us when and how to stand up against those things that are contrary to His commands.
- We must be careful not to elevate—or bow down to—anything or anyone we may be tempted to raise to a place in our mind and heart that rightfully belongs to the Lord.
- We must acknowledge that there may be consequences to standing up for what is right and godly. Again, God will give us the courage to do so if we ask.
While there are ways I know I am more like Haman than I am like Mordecai, I pray the Lord will continue to transform me.
Are You Willing to Glorify God?
How about you? Do you see yourself in this portion of the story? Are you willing to glorify God in whatever situation you find yourself today?
May we use our influence to honour God and bless others. And may God give us the courage and strength to stand up for what’s right.
Stephanie is a freelance writer and a contributor to our Christian internet radio station, HopeStreamRadio. Read and hear more from Steph Nickel on the contributor’s page or at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests.
Stephanie’s show, “Family Life Lessons,” airs from Monday to Friday on HopeStreamRadio.
More About Queen Esther
Images courtesy of:
Policeman – KeithJJ
Woman – ZerGood
Bowing Man – jclovesu
Pensive Man – artsysolomon
Nathan Diaz – Power
Randy Bushey – Spiritual Warfare
Rebekah Hughes – Go Forward
Ron and Crawford – Deeper Relationships in the Church