by Christina Farris
1 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.
2 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.
3 Then the king's servants, which were in the king's gate, said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king's commandment?
4 Now it came to pass, when they spake daily unto him, and he hearkened not unto them, that they told Haman, to see whether Mordecai's matters would stand: for he had told them that he was a Jew.
5 And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath.
6 And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had shewed him the people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.
7 In the first month, that is, the month Nisan, in the twelfth year of king Ahasuerus, they cast Pur, that is, the lot, before Haman from day to day, and from month to month, to the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar.
8 And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king's laws: therefore it is not for the king's profit to suffer them.
9 If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed: and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king's treasuries.
10 And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews' enemy.
11 And the king said unto Haman, The silver is given to thee, the people also, to do with them as it seemeth good to thee.
12 Then were the king's scribes called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and there was written according to all that Haman had commanded unto the king's lieutenants, and to the governors that were over every province, and to the rulers of every people of every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language; in the name of king Ahasuerus was it written, and sealed with the king's ring.
13 And the letters were sent by posts into all the king's provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey.
14 The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was published unto all people, that they should be ready against that day.
15 The posts went out, being hastened by the king's commandment, and the decree was given in Shushan the palace. And the king and Haman sat down to drink; but the city Shushan was perplexed. The idea of someone not showing another respect and being killed for it seems ludicrous in our day and time, but it is the lack of respect that causes some to be angry. The other day I made a request of a man that walked through my yard not to make a path in my yard. What happens after someone cuts through your yard oh lets say 30 days in a row a dirt path will form, actually it may take less time depending on weather. The man sneered as if to say I do what I want and when I want too. I thought to myself yep that the attitude of some people, no respect for another property. As usual I let it go until this AM, sure my local town council won't be pleased. Anyway that beside the issue, I am using it for an allegory. Don't worry it was someone we knew. Sometimes respect and abuse are not the same. Respect for someone elses things is different then respect in regards to bowing to another. Ever soldier learns to salute the general and leaders of military in respect to rank, it tradition that been handed down to century and no one thinks a thing about it. It also a form of greeting or finishing up a conversation to state dismissal and to carry on. No one thinks a thing about these traditions or hand gestures to explain it.
The question comes did Haman have a right to ask someone to bow to him, and break their own faith and tradition to God. Did the bow make one less submissive to someone. For Haman that kind of disrespect of someone not obey this one law of the king, caused only him harm. Respect and anti respect how should it be weighed? What is in a bow, it can mean several things servanthood or loyalty to authority. It like the shooting off of rockets for attention only shows no regards to others having to deal with rocket debrie. The point being was what Haman had ask the king to declare and make a law unfair. Only if it comes to a form of worship. Mordecai religion as a Jew would not allow him to bow to Haman only to God, he perhaps did not even bow to the king. Yet he obeyed the law in other regards.
Where is the line, when it comes to respecting someone. There all kinds of greetings done out of respect, including a simple handshake. No one thinks a thing about it. Yet Mrs Obama gives the queen a hug publicly when the visit the queen in England for the first time and everyone has something to say, because it never been publicly done before. Are tradition of respect to be broken? I think in reality the point is not that a new tradition had occured, is it what is expected to be followed by everyone, if not then they would be killed for disobedience, making the man a god to judge respect of authority. To force someone to show something they may not feel for another.
What is the big deal about what Mordecia would not do, or better yet why did Mordecia not bow. For even Abraham bowed to those he greet from other tribes. Was it the law of God that prevented him from bowing, or his interpretation of the law, or perhaps the way the law was executed of the king at the time of the events taking place, something perhaps we can not see by the written word? I tend to think this man Haman was trying to lord authority over Mordecai, instead of repecting his personal beliefs. There are things we can not see in this picture of events, but we know that what is occuring causes the king to allow Haman to kill the Jews on a certain date if they did not bow to him in this one province. Of course as story goes queen Esther would save her people.
The point is by forcing Mordecai to bow would infringe on personal right, or decision, that effect no one but his people and Haman, for the king was only taking the bad advice of his advisors perhaps, for even Queen Esther would bow to her husband to stop the killing of the Jews. This has to do with hatred of a people that caused abuse of a people. This was more then just custom, but a form of worship and surrender to someone leadership/oppression.
The point being we have to regard tradition and knowing the difference of someone trying to oppress someone. The walking through the yard was not oppression, it was a short cut for the person. It had nothing to do with hate. The sneer, perhaps a reaction to my own comment. The point being there is a difference between bowing to someone as a god, and bowing only at respect of position. Sometimes there is a very fine line. Some countries that force people to bow have no true respect for their leaders. Yet respect and dignity goes to ways. If one abuses their authority and power over another to cause harm, it is abuse. Haman hated the jewish people, not only Mordecai.
Dear Heavenly Father, help us know the difference of respect and honor and bowing to someone as if they were a god. Only you deserve honor and glory. In Jesus precious name, Amen.
Continual Scripture Study for Devotion:
Deutronomy 5:9 KJV Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,