Sunday, March 4, 2018

Year 8, Day 63: Esther 3

Theological Commentary: Click Here

Things take a twist in Esther 3.  King Xerxes promotes a man named Haman into power.  The other officials bow down to Haman to show their deference to his position.  All the officials, that is, but Mordecai.  Mordecai refuses to bow down to Haman. The question that we are left with is whether or not Mordecai bows because of his faith or because of genealogy.  You can read more about that issue in the commentary link listed above.  In that post, I make a case that Mordecai is making a genealogical decision and not a faith decision.

Since I took the genealogical position in a prior post, allow me to flesh out the faith side more in this post.  I’m not entirely sure whether Mordecai is making a genealogical or a faith decision in this chapter.  We can learn from both perspectives.

Assume that Mordecai will worship and bow down to only his God.  Note that there is anything wrong with supporting our leaders.  But we should not bow down and promise ultimate allegiance to them.  Our allegiance should be to God.

In the story, there is a problem with this.  Haman doesn’t understand it.  Haman wants all people to be under him and to acknowledge their lower position.  When he doesn’t get it from Mordecai, he is furious.  He believes that it isn’t Mordecai that has an issue with him, it is Mordecai’s faith.  Because of this faith, Haman determines to kill all of the Jews.  Mordecai knows that any religion that expects sole allegiance to God is going to be a threat to him.

Assuming that this wasn’t a genealogical decision, Mordecai acts out his faith even when it is difficult.  Perhaps even more importantly, Mordecai knows the faith well enough to live it out!  In order to make a stand like Mordecai makes, we need to know the faith.  Only when we know the faith will we ever be in a position to make a stand for the faith.

Whenever I read this chapter, this is the internal question that lingers.  How well do I know the faith?  How well do I know God’s ways and what He expects for me?  Once I have wrestled with those thoughts, how well am I living out the faith?  How quickly am I willing to stand up for God, even when people in the world might scorn me for my decision?