The story of Esther is one of my favorites in the Bible, though I have many, but this morning it is not my favorite character of Esther that I seem to be drawn to in my hour of need from the Lord. It’s her uncle Mordecai; a devout Jew who stood his ground and raised another generation (Queen Esther) to do likewise.
In rebellious arrogance the government of the day had ordered the people, Jew and non-Jew to bow down before their presence, but Mordecai refused. Oh, this sent Haman, who had just received a promotion above the princes into a snit! He tattled to the King who desired to keep his evil minions happy, and at Haman’s plotting the King ordered the Jews destroyed and placed a hefty bounty upon their heads.
Esther 3:8-10 ~ And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king’s laws: therefore it is not for the king’s profit to suffer them. If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed: and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king’s treasuries. And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews’ enemy.
I’ve always been a little weird, but God made me diverse (different) from the day of salvation. He spoke clearly to my heart “I have saved you for such a time as this;” which happens to be a quote from Esther 4:14. God called me out of the world but into the world, which didn’t seem the least bit odd at the time. I no longer desired what the world thought was important, but the world was important to me because I wanted to see them saved. So that was and is my mission. Another early verse that God gifted me with was 1 Peter 2:9 ~ But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt I was different. I was also brought to a church with the motto “Discover the Difference,” believing that there should be a difference between us and the world.
But twenty years later I find myself struggling with the world which vies for my attention like never before. Going full time ministry was not an easy decision, it meant giving up “things” and most of all it meant giving up control. I no longer bring an income into my home and many of the things that my income provided must now be provided by God or not at all which may be His will. It put my faith to the test and put new distractions in my path. I not only have more time to devote to God, I have more time that can be devoted to worldly things too and it’s been a real struggle. The things I struggle with the world says are fine. They don’t even look at it as an issue for Christians because it’s not wrong… but it’s not what God called me to do. I struggle with job opportunities, music and notions that draw my mind away from Christ. So this morning when I read of Mordecai’s conviction in the face of death my heart was pricked because what God is asking me to do is nothing in comparison. But I can also see the similarities of the government we serve and that which Mordecai faced. The arrogance of American administration for the cause of anti-God groups and religions is very much in competition with Haman.
Mordecai’s stand was an example for his niece, a generation which stood in prayer and determination to make a difference and protect the people of God. I feel no different this morning as I’m about to go to church and teach teens. For such a time is this I’ve been called to be different so that I may make a difference.
You can’t hold hands and skip with the world and take a stand