Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Lessons from Esther: Standing firm

After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him. 2 And all the king's servants, that were in the king's gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence. 3 Then the king's servants, which were in the king's gate, said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king's commandment? 4 Now it came to pass, when they spake daily unto him, and he hearkened not unto them, that they told Haman, to see whether Mordecai's matters would stand: for he had told them that he was a Jew. Esther 3:1-4

The tide is changing, sometimes the tide turns slowly and takes many hours, however if you travel to the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia the tide quickly changes. Such is the “tide” of this chapter.

Mordecai was sitting at the gate and hears the news. Haman is promoted and he “is above all the others”. As soon as Haman appears all the servants bow and give him reverence. One of the meanings of reverence is “to worship.”

Mordecai “stood out” among the others because he would not bow or give reverence to Haman. Everyone was watching this display of noncompliance and questioned Mordecai. “Why are you not bowing down to show “respect” to Haman?” After much prodding Mordecai told the others he was Jewish. It appears that this is all he had to say. People around him obviously knew that Jews do not bow down and worship anyone but God.

The servants went to Haman to tell him what they had discovered. They were wondering if this would matter to Haman. Join me the next time to discover Haman’s reaction.

Lessons learned:
He was willing to stand alone.
Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. 
I Corinthians 16:13

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Ephesians 6:11

Mordecai did not follow the crowd.
Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment: Exodus 23:2

Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.  Romans 14:9

Mordecai remembered God’s word.
I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word. 
Psalm 119:16

He knew Who to obey
… We ought to obey God rather than men. Acts 5:29

Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? Romans 6:16

He knew Who to worship
Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. Psalm 29:2

For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God: Exodus 34:14

O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker. Psalm 95:6

There may be a time when we are called to “stand alone” for Jesus. Will we be strong and follow Jesus or hide in the shadows? Christ will give us the ability to do right, but we need to start now!

Do others know what you believe by how you live?

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16

Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. 
I Peter 2:12

Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. I Peter 4:16

Have a blessed day,

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