Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom. Their laws are different from those of every other people, and they do not keep the king’s laws, so that it is not to the king’s profit to tolerate them. If it please the king, let it be decreed that they be destroyed, (Esther 3:8-9)
The King had made Haman his chief officer, but Mordecai refused to bow down to him, because he worshipped only God. This was to be Haman’s revenge. The King gave him full authority to destroy the Jews.
In the first month, which is the month of Nisan, in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, they cast Pur (that is, they cast lots) before Haman day after day; and they cast it month after month till the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar. (Esther 3:7)
It is from the word Pur that the Jewish Festival of Purim takes it’s name. This is celebrated every year in honour of God delivering the Jews from Haman.
So Haman had eleven months in which to arrange this slaughter. Proclamations were sent out to every province and every official in their own language, commanding them to slaughter every Jew at the appointed time.
All this because Mordecai would not bow down to Haman. Have you ever taken a stand against something you knew to be wrong? Whatever the consequences, they can’t be as bad as in this story. It’s important that you stand up for what you believe. Who knows what God will do?
Even if the consequences are dire, that is not a reason to betray your faith. There have been many people over the centuries who have not let circumstances or threats stop them from taking a stand. Even today, so-called ISIS are beheading Christians. Nigerian churches are being burned with the congregation locked inside.
Next to that, what is likely to happen in our western civilisation if you take a stand? Mocking? Losing friends (fine friends!)? Losing promotion or even your job? Think instead of how you will feel if you chicken out. Think of those who will be encouraged by your stand, to be more firm in their convictions. Think of the good you may do.
And who knows what God will do?
[Bible Illustrations by Sweet Media]
Ann Marie Thomas is the author of three medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, is out now. Find out more at www.annmariethomas.me.uk