After these things King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him and set his seat above all the princes who were with him. And all the king’s servants who were within the king’s gate bowed and paid homage to Haman, for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai would not bow or pay homage. Esther 3:1-2
Here’s a quick summary of the situation – Mordecai was the hero, but Haman got a “free ride” and was mistakenly promoted by King Ahasuerus. Have you encountered a similar situation in your life? How did you feel about it? What did you do?
Do we feel that, out of charity, Mordecai should have just accepted what happened as God’s will and responded graciously? If he had done that, perhaps Haman may not have hated the Jewish people so much. Should Mordecai just “swallowed his pride” and not “kick such a fuss” over the matter?
This is a major lesson for us – we should withhold our judgement of situations when we don’t have clarity of the entire picture. We could have said that Mordecai should have been more charitable. Or we could also have said that he did the right thing because there should be justice done – so that the right people get the credit.
Whatever the case, we need to remember is that “God works things out for the good of His people and for His glory”. For some reason, God allowed Mordecai to insist on not paying homage to Haman even though he was under Haman’s authority. This act by Mordecai resulted in Haman’s hatred of the Jews and the plot to annihilate the Jewish race.
As the story continued, we see even Esther’s life on the line. But it was in the final hour when it looked like a lost cause for God’s people that they were drawn to fasting and prayer. And with a mighty hand, God turned the entire situation around and rescued His people. Ultimately, the glory did not go to Mordecai, but to the God of heaven – who worked all things according to His will and good pleasure and preserved the heritage that eventually traced to Jesus Christ.
There are many lessons for us here: 1) never look short-term and make conclusions. Instead, turn to God and seek His counsel. 2) The most important thing to do in every situation is to pray and seek wisdom to handle every situation wisely.
Mordecai reacted negatively to the apparent “injustice” he faced. But this was used by God to initiate a situation where the existence of the Jewish people was threatened. But this caused them to humble themselves, fast and pray. And God heard their prayer. And He led them out of the potential disaster.
We need wisdom to know how to respond in every situation. When we pray, we have the confidence that God will lead us. Even if it results in short-term pain, we have confidence that He will use the situation to work good for us in the overall scheme of things. But this will be true only for “those who love Him and are called according to His purposes”. How important it is therefore to have God on our side. If He is not, we have absolutely no assurance and will be doomed for disaster.