Monday 1 November, 2021

Esther 3:1-6

3 After these events, King Xerxes honored Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, elevating him and giving him a seat of honor higher than that of all the other nobles. 2 All the royal officials at the king’s gate knelt down and paid honor to Haman, for the king had commanded this concerning him. But Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor. 3 Then the royal officials at the king’s gate asked Mordecai, “Why do you disobey the king’s command?” 4 Day after day they spoke to him but he refused to comply. Therefore they told Haman about it to see whether Mordecai’s behavior would be tolerated, for he had told them he was a Jew. 5 When Haman saw that Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor, he was enraged. 6 Yet having learned who Mordecai’s people were, he scorned the idea of killing only Mordecai. Instead Haman looked for a way to destroy all Mordecai’s people, the Jews, throughout the whole kingdom of Xerxes.

Here is a story about various men who hold influential leadership positions in the King’s kingdom. We find them sitting at the king’s gate: Haman, Mordecai, and two royal officials.

In the previous passage, Mordecai had overheard a plot to assassinate King Xerxes. He uses his position of influence to save the life of the King by passing the information onto Queen Esther who in turn tells the King. As a result, Mordecai is honoured.

In this passage, we read that Haman was honoured, and by the King’s command, all his servants were to bow down to him. However, Mordecai refused to. Here we see some interesting reactions: the two royal officials stir up trouble by constantly harassing Mordecai. They take the matter further and report it to Haman to see how he would respond. They even do a bit of mud-slinging, saying that Mordecai is a Jew. Haman reaction is one of rage against Mordecai and the Jewish people.

By contrast, Mordecai is a man of integrity. He knows what he stands for and will not be persuaded or pressured by those around him. His heart is motivated by the plight of his people.

As I read this, I cannot help but ask myself what kind of person am I? What does my leadership look like? Do I live according to integrity and conviction? Do I live with others in mind? Or am I insecure and get jealous or self-serving?

Lord help me to lead from a position of integrity and strength that is found in You. May I do what I can to help others and influence others for good.

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Written by Gab Martin

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