Q: Why did Haman want revenge on Mordecai?
a. Mordecai was better looking.
b. Mordecai had more money.
c. Mordecai wouldn’t bow before Haman.
The Holocaust, which took millions of Jewish lives during World War II, is an event you’ve probably studied in history. But this wasn’t the first time someone wanted to kill Jews. The book of Esther tells the story of Haman, a man who planned to rid Persia of all the Jews.
Esther and her cousin Mordecai were both Jews. When King Xerxes met Esther, he chose her to be his queen, not knowing she was Jewish. Jews in the kingdom weren’t uncommon since they’d been brought there in exile, and some families stayed even after they were free to leave.
Haman was a powerful official above all the other nobles in the kingdom. The nobles would bow to him out of respect when he passed by, just as the king had commanded. But Mordecai, an official in the kingdom, refused to bow to Haman. That made Haman angry. He found out that Mordecai was a Jew and formed a horrible plan. He wouldn’t just get rid of Mordecai; he’d get rid of all the Jews. You’ll read more about that in the next devotion.
Mordecai wasn’t against showing respect to leaders, but he would not bow to Haman because Haman’s people, the Agagites, were old enemies of the Jews. Haman hated God’s people and their dedication to God. Haman considered himself better than the Jews, and that led to his downfall.
For You: There will always be people opposed to God and his followers. That doesn’t catch God by surprise. In the book of Esther, he already had a Jewish queen in place to help her people before the problems began. How do you think God wants you to help others who are being persecuted?
They spoke to him day after day, but still he refused to comply with the order. So they spoke to Haman about this to see if he would tolerate Mordecai’s conduct, since Mordecai had told them he was a Jew. When Haman saw that Mordecai would not bow down or show him respect, he was filled with rage. Esther 3:4-5
(The Whole Story: Esther 3:1-6)
I'll post more about the book next week and will let you see the cover as soon as it's designed. The book will be available in July.