Scripture reading for May 15th: Esther 3-4
As God’s people, we try to be the best citizens we can be. We should be known as people who obey the law and serve and pray for those in authority. We should promote respect for those in authority and aid their proper rule. However, when a civil authority gives orders to disobey the law of God, we must respectfully decline and obey God! This can bring trouble and wrath from authority!
In today’s reading, we have a man who is exalted by King Xerxes to a place of honor above all others. All officials in the king’s palace knelt down and paid honor to Haman. (Esther 3:2) One man would not. Mordecai, Queen Esther’s Jewish uncle, would not bow his knee before a man because of his faith in God and God’s word. (Esther 3:4) This infuriated Haman and he devised a plot to eliminate all Jews from Persia. He offered the king 375 tons of silver to allow him to eliminate these disrespectful people. (Esther 3:8-9) Do you notice the common thread of insecurity with the disobedience of Queen Vashti? For those in authority to feel secure, any threat must be removed!
How did Mordecai react to the decree to kill all Jews? He immediately began to fast and pray. (Ester 4:1-3) He called on other Jews to join with him. He even asked his niece, Queen Esther, to help. This was not going to be easy. She would have to exercise some wise “civil disobedience” herself if she were to approach the king. She asked for prayer covering as she prepared for this potentially life-threatening task of asking the king for help. (Ester 4:15-17) Her attitude was one of faith and of willingness to die to protect her people!
Queen Esther, as I see it today, is a type of the church. The Church has been placed by God in places of influence to be a witness for God and His people. The Church is to be submissive to the authorities of the world in all things except where that compromises faithfulness to God. The Church is to be willing to die for what is right, rather than compromise the truth for the passing pleasures of sin for a season. The Church must speak up or loose its place of influence for God! Ask God what other lessons might be here for you today as you read this story of God working through ordinary people to accomplish His purposes!