Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bowing to Wrath

All the royal officials at the king’s gate knelt down and paid honor to Haman…But Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor. Day after day they spoke to him but he refused to comply” Esther 3:2.

‘Chapter 3 begins with awkward unfairness as the king promotes a rival of Mordecai’s instead of his true benefactor.’ Study of Esther, p. 57. We learn in Esther 3 that although Mordecai exposed an assassination attempt on the king’s life, the king promoted and exalted Haman, Mordecai’s arch enemy who had hatred towards God’s chosen people. Oddly enough, the Hebrew word most closely translated to the name Haman is heman, meaning wrath. We notice that Mordecai was the only one among the king’s people not to bow so we must surmise that the easy thing to do was to simply kneel and worship. Mordecai had every right to feel entitled to a better life and angry for being looked over for favor, and yet he remained faithful to God's plan, not his own.

Let’s face it – at some time or another all of us feel entitled to something we don’t have and ungrateful for the things we do have. We lose our spiritual humility and genuine gratitude for things we have such as health, financial blessings, a loving family and a God who places our good ahead of our desires. It is easy to approach our days with anger and a sense of discontent as our flesh egos demand our honor and our worship. Our egos entice us to worship our own desires and agendas instead of walking in the wisdom of the Lord.

If we are to be God’s people, Christians setting themselves apart from the rest of an ungrateful, earth-focus people we must be intentionally committed to kneel and honor God alone. Though tempted to bow at the gate of our flesh, God has not put us in situations that are more than we can bear. ‘No temptation has seized you expect what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.’ 1 Co. 10:13. Notice that Mordecai stood and never bowed to wrath.

Our knees can only kneel before one master - will it be the Master or will it be the flesh who masters over us?

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