After these things King Ahasuerus promoted Haman the Agagite, the son of Hammedatha, and advanced him and set his throne above all the officials who were with him. 2 And all the king’s servants who were at the king’s gate bowed down and paid homage to Haman, for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai did not bow down or pay homage. 3 Then the king’s servants who were at the king’s gate said to Mordecai, “Why do you transgress the king’s command?” 4 And when they spoke to him day after day and he would not listen to them, they told Haman, in order to see whether Mordecai’s words would stand, for he had told them that he was a Jew. 5 And when Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow down or pay homage to him, Haman was filled with fury. 6 But he disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone. So, as they had made known to him the people of Mordecai, Haman sought to destroy all the Jews, the people of Mordecai, throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus.
There is a strange transition between chapter 2 and chapter 3. In chapter 2, we saw Mordecai saved the king and it was recorded in the history book. This set the stage for the pivot of the story. And now we see the king was honoring Haman, not Mordecai, for an unknown reason. Haman was elevated to a dangerously high position. This is how the central story begins.
We don’t exactly know why Mordecai refused to bow down and pay homage to Haman. Could it be because Jews bow down to no one but God? Were they enemies of each other already? One widely accepted reason was that Haman was a decedent of the ancient Amalekite, who showed no mercy to the Jews in the wilderness. History repeats: Haman was very angry and determine to lash out his anger at not only Mordecai but all the Jews.
Points to Ponder
- Honor from people (your boss, your teachers, organizations….etc) can be very random and without reason. Good work doesn’t always get rewarded while those who can talk and pleases people are elevated. Thank God, there’s a bigger boss in heaven who is just and fair. He sees our hearts and rewards us accordingly.
- It was during their exile, that Esther and Mordecai were living in Persia. We could see it was a very crazy country to live in. Everyone’s life depends on the often drunk king who likes to make bad things worse and small things big. Dear bro/sis, we are not in heaven yet. The world we are living in is not perfect. The president and government have a lot of say in our life, we ought to pray for those who have authority over us so that we can live our godly life in peace.
- Haman hated Mordecai and the Jews. It’s not merely a human conflict but also spiritual warfare. The devils did all they could to eradicate the Jews from the Earth….so that Jesus couldn’t be born. History and news also told us there are plenty of deadly enemies of the Jews around the world. Like the Jews, Christians are also the target of the devils. When we are determined to do God’s will, we also declare war on the devils. So, be careful. Pray for protection and God’s deliverance like what we will read in Esther.