Bible Society of South Africa

Mordecai: faithful to Israel – 19 August 2021

By Xanthe Hancox

Bible text(s)

8So Haman told the king, “There is a certain race of people scattered all over your empire and found in every province. They observe customs that are not like those of any other people. Moreover, they do not obey the laws of the empire, so it is not in your best interests to tolerate them. 9If it please Your Majesty, issue a decree that they are to be put to death. If you do, I guarantee that I will be able to put more than 340 tonnes of silver into the royal treasury for the administration of the empire.”

Esther 3:8-9GNBOpen in Bible reader

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.

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