Tag: honor authority

Respectful civil disobedience

Scripture reading for May 14: 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!

King Xerxes had exalted Haman 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) But 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)  For those in authority to feel secure, any threat to their power must be removed.

How did Mordecai react to the decree to kill all Jews?  He immediately began to fast and pray.  (Esther 4:1-3)  He called on other Jews to join with him.  He 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, 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.  The Church must speak up or loose its place of influence for God! 

As a believer, what are some ways that you can be an influence for God in our corrupt world? How is the spirit of Haman still at work in our times? It’s time to exercise respectful civil disobedience!

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