Then Haman said to King Xerxes, ‘There is a certain people dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom who keep themselves separate. Their customs are different from those of all other people, and they do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them. If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them … Esther 3:8-9a
The very presence of Jews irritated Haman, one of Persia’s leaders. But there was one person who annoyed him in particular: Mordecai. Others would bow before Haman but Mordecai refused. When asked why, he responded that “he was a Jew.” He was a man of principle. He believed in God and obeyed his laws. He could not change to appease a politician or conform to the crowd.
When he learned of Mordecai’s response, Haman was filled with rage. But, instead of just acting against Mordecai, he decided to destroy all the Jews, Mordecai’s people. He gained the king’s approval for this evil plan, arguing that these people were “different.”
But God intervened. Esther, who miraculously had become the nation’s queen, followed the advice of Mordecai (who was her cousin), and convinced the king to let the Jews defend themselves. Haman’s plans were foiled and Mordecai was promoted to a position of honour.
Mordecai may not appear by name in the ‘Faith Hall of Fame’, but his story is significant and plays a pivotal role in the gospel. If the Jewish people had been destroyed (like Haman desired), the story of God’s saving work through the Jewish people (and eventually Christ) would never have been told.
Many people like Haman exist today. Obsessed with pride and power, irritated when we proclaim that there is just one God, just one truth.
Today, ask God to help you stand firm and resist any pressure to conform. Never compromise the truth. Be bold in your faith, confident that he is with you.
Prayer: Father, it is not always easy to be the only one who stands for you. Help me to be bold and strong in spirit. Thank you for your protection. In Jesus' name, Amen.