“Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom. Their laws are different from those of every other people, and they do not keep the king’s laws, so that it is not to the king’s profit to tolerate them.” (Esther 3:8).
Mordecai, a Jewish man, would not bow to him. Haman had the king’s authority behind him, and the king had told everyone to pay homage to Haman. Still, Mordecai would not. He rebelled against this edict. He would only bow to God. Kings and their emissaries were not deities, so Mordecai could not bow. This behavior enraged Haman, so he plotted.
His plot was not against Mordecai alone, but against all Jews throughout the empire. The case he presented to the king was that a people group who follow different laws were scattered throughout the kingdom. They were different and, therefore, dangerous. These rebellious people must be crushed.
Mordecai and the scattered Jews serve as a powerful example for the modern church. We, too, are part of a rebellion. We aren’t looking to behave rebelliously, but we do have a different set of laws. God’s word is our standard, so when we are asked to partake in a system which contradicts His word we cannot.
But this often infuriates those who have given themselves to the flow of the world system. The spirit of Babel — an aim to have one people with one language without the one God — still exists. To rebel against this system enrages the system. But the ancient Israelites and the modern church are part of this rebellion. It isn’t a rebellion described with words like “contentious” or “angry” or “hateful." But words like Haman used — “different” and “scattered” and “dispersed among the peoples.” We pray for the peace of our Babylons, but we cannot bow down to the idols of our Babylons. When we must, we rebel.
It is for this quiet rebellion God honored Mordecai. It was a small thing to bow to Haman, but not from Mordecai’s perspective. He saw it as a line he could not cross. Others bowed, but he could not. May the boldness of Mordecai fill our hearts today. May we partake in his quiet and strong rebellion.