The story of Esther chapter three is one that has been repeated many times throughout history. Dr. Warren Weirsby said that this was “an old enemy with a new name.” You could change the name Haman to Pharaoh, Caesar, Hitler, or Husain and the story would be the same. From the time Israel became a nation, until today there has always been someone wanting to exterminate them.
For four years it has been peaceful in Shushan. Esther is the queen; Mordecai has a new job taking care of the kings business at the gate. Things seem to be going smoothly, but like they so often do, things take a turn for the worse.
I have entitled this chapter “It’s time to stop bowing and start standing.” I feel that too many times the people of God have sat on the sidelines and watched as the enemy prevails. They have taken prayer out of our schools. They have tried to take “under God” out of the national anthem. The Ten Commandments are not allowed to be displayed publicly. Our nation is not supposed to have a national day of prayer, yet the Muslim community can stand in the streets of Washington and pray. It’s time we stop bowing down to the enemy and start standing for what we know to be right.
In the face of evil men we should stop bowing and start standing
In this chapter we are introduced to the third main character in this book. He is a man by the name of Haman. In chapter three Haman is promoted to the position of prime minister. We are also told that Haman was an “Agagite.” The Agagite was the royal family of Amelek. The story of Amelek and Israel goes all the way back to Exodus chapter 17. The Jews are leaving Egypt. The Amalekites come from behind and attach the people marching. Moses commands Joshua to war against them. You know the story Joshua prevailed and won a great victory over Amalek.
The story goes on. Saul, Israel’s first king was commanded by God to destroy Amalek. Saul was to kill every man, woman, boy and girl. Of course Saul disobeyed God and left some of the people alive. Had Saul obeyed God there never would have been a Haman.
Let me stop for a second and say sometimes God tells us to get certain things or certain people out of our lives. We don’t completely understand why He is telling us to do this, and many times we don’t listen. Because of disobedience many people today are fighting Haman’s in their life because they would not get Amalek out when God said to.
I think it’s worth noting that Saul was a Benjamite and he was commanded to kill Amalek. Now Mordecai, a Benjamite, is still fighting this fight with Amalek. Those things in your life that God commands you to get rid of and you choose not to will not only affect you, but your children as well. Don’t be surprised if your children fight with the same Amalek you refused to get out of your life. When we sin we are hurting so many others, besides ourselves.
Because of Haman’s new position it is commanded that everyone bow to him when they see him walking by. In this day to bow meant to get down on all fours. So, when Haman walked by everyone in the kingdom would get down on all fours and bow to him, everyone except for one man.
One man named Mordecai refused to bow when everyone else did. We as the people of God should determine in our heart to be like Mordecai. This world is bowing the knee to many false gods. They bow to the economy, politics, power, popularity, pride and the list goes on and on. The people of God need to stand up and say “I will not bow.” Jesus said that it is impossible to serve two masters. Who are you serving? Mordecai is taking a stand for the first time. It will cost him a great deal to make this stand, but he is willing to risk his life to take a stand for what he knows is right. What are you willing to sacrifice to do what you know is right?
In the face of evil motives we should stop bowing and start standing
As the days go by, Haman becomes more and more angry. Eventually it gets to the point that he wants nothing more than to see this man put to death. But to kill Mordecai would not be enough. He wanted to kill all of the Jews with him. Just like Satan, Haman is a liar and a murderer. Haman brings it to the attention of the king that there are people living among them that do not live by the same laws of the rest of the kingdom. Because one man, Mordecai, would not obey one law, Haman convinces the king that none of the Jews obey any of the laws.
The king takes off his ring with no thought at all and gives it to Haman. In typical Xerxes fashion he acts first and regrets it later. He has just lost up to two million people in his war against Greece, now he is going to have many more innocent people killed.