And all the king’s servants, that were in the king’s gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence. ~Esther 3:2
We have certain gestures that we exercise in public to acknowledge another person. For instance, when someone is introduced to us, we extend our hand for a friendly handshake. When we enter the presence of someone of great stature and importance, we slightly bow to show our respect. Several years ago, I flew a certain airline. Prior to safety instructions being given, a senior flight attendant came to the section where I was seated and bowed to me and the other passengers. The bowing was a sign of respect to all of us. In our passage this morning, we are examining a situation when a man of great character did not bow. This morning, let us see why “Mordecai bowed not.”
We see a devious conniver.
“After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him.” Haman was a descendant of the Amalekites and King Agag. The Amalekites were idolatrous people who wished for Jewish genocide. Haman was a conniving manipulator who took advantage of King Xerxes for his own benefit. He was a materialistic and worldly-minded man. He was unveiled as a man of evil who was filled with hatred, wrath, envy, deception, and a desire to advance at the expense of anyone in his way. Haman is an Old Testament type of the antichrist. To be antichrist is to be against everything about our Lord. Haman was elevated to a place where almost everyone in the kingdom had to revere and acknowledge him.
We see a devoted Christian.
“And all the king’s servants, that were in the king’s gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence.” Haman was at a place in the Persian kingdom where all the king’s servants bowed to him: all, except one man. That man was a sincere and devoted believer named Mordecai. “But Mordecai bowed not.” Mordecai knew this man’s ancestral roots. Mordecai knew this man was pure evil. Mordecai knew that if he bowed to him, it meant he gave respect to the evil this man personified and represented. He bowed not to Haman’s ideologies. He bowed not to Haman’s agenda. He bowed not to Haman’s worldly goals. Eventually, Haman manipulated the king to pass a law requiring the death of every Jew in the Persian kingdom. Mordecai was a man of such steadfast faith that even under this pressure he did not bow.
We see a deep rooted conviction.
“But Mordecai bowed not.” We need strong convictions like Mordecai. We live in an era where people bow to things that are clearly ungodly and sinful. We should not bow to the god of money and materialism. We should not bow to the god of convenience. We should not bow to the god of education. We should not bow to self-idolatry and narcissism. We should not bow to slothfulness and laziness. We should not bow to a spirit of disobedience. Like the days of Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael, we have our 90-foot-tall golden images beckoning to us to bow to them. We must be resolute and strongly convicted that we will not bow! But Mordecai bowed not!
This morning, do an introspective look at your life and determine if there things you have been bowing to that have stolen your affection from God. Ask God to fortify you with great courage and determine to “bow not.”
Have a glorifying God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Numbers 21-22