Focal Passage: Esther 3:1-9
There are daily reports of Christians being persecuted around the world. From name calling and bullying to torturing and beheading, God’s people face the anger and hostility of those who would like to remove any who are a living testimony to God. Sometimes the persecution comes simply due to hatred, other times to jealousy, and perhaps, due to fear. The consistent fact, however, is the persecution of God’s people at the hands of those who do not know Him or follow His ways.
This is not a new phenomenon. Almost from the time God created a people for Himself when He cut a covenant with Abram, God’s people have faced the ire of the world. God’s people don’t (or at least shouldn’t) play by the world’s rules. When others bow at the world’s altars or at the feet of the world’s rulers, the people of God stand, knowing they can only bow at the feet of God who alone is worthy.
Haman, an Agagite – descendent of the Amalekites – had been given a special position by King Ahasuerus. Most of the people of the kingdom readily bowed before Haman, paying homage to him. Mordecai did not.
We don’t know if Mordecai’s refusal – owing to his Jewish heritage – was driven more by his disdain for the Amalekites, enemy of the Jews, or by his commitment only to give honor and veneration to the God of Israel. Whatever Mordecai’s motive, the end result was the same. Haman burned with anger toward Mordecai to the extent that he desired to do away with Mordecai’s people as a whole.
What Haman did not understand was the people he sought to destroy were ultimately not Mordecai’s, but God’s. And, God would be faithful to keep the covenant He had made.
While God’s people had rebelled against Him, resulting in God’s punishment of His people at the hands of the Babylonians and Persians, God had neither forgotten them nor forsaken them. Their deliverance would come. Our God is faithful.