How can this verse be used as a life application for today's time and place in this world?
ESV - 2 And all the king's servants who were at the king's gate bowed down and paid homage to Haman, for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai did not bow down or pay homage.
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Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary says about this event: "Mordecai refused to reverence Haman. The religion of a Jew forbade him to give honours to any mortal man which savoured of idolatry, especially to so wicked a man as Haman. By nature all are idolaters; self is our favourite idol, we are pleased to be treated as if every thing were at our disposal. Though religion by no means destroys good manners, but teaches us to render honour to whom honour is due, yet by a citizen of Zion, not only in his heart, but in his eyes, such a vile person as Haman was, is contemned, Ps 15:4. The true believer cannot obey edicts, or conform to fashions, which break the law of God. He must obey God rather than man, and leave the consequences to him. Haman was full of wrath. His device was inspired by that wicked spirit, who has been a murderer from the beginning; whose enmity to Christ and his church, governs all his children." MY COMMENTS: We can apply this passage to ourselves today by identifying modern day "idols" and refusing to exalt them, refusing to bow our hearts to sin and sinful ways, especially things that tend to vie for our affection and dull our love for God.
I agree with your answer. You're totally right. I would like to add a some background to the events with Haman. Esau married many Caanite women who were idolaters. He also married the daughter of Ishmael. Esau was actually at enmity against Jacob (Israel). Esau later became known as Edom and the Edomites remained strong enemies of Israel and sought to wipe out Israel. Esau had a grandson whose name was Amalek. Haman was a descendant of Amalek. The book of Esther points out that Haman was an Amalekite. The Edomites and Amalekites had a long history of trying to destroy the Jews. They also were ingrained in idol worship and tried to lead the Jews away from the one true God. The Edomites and Amalekites also "hunted" down Israel in order to gain back the birthright that Esau had despised and sold for a bowl of lentil stew. Because Esau had forfeited his birthright and inheritance, his descendants, trying to become a "god," went on a conquest to take back the covenant promises by force. However, they disrespected the promises, the covenant, and the grace of God. Mordecai could not bow down to a relative of Esau, someone who showed contempt and hostility toward God. Mordecai refused to pay homage to an idol worshiper, especially one who was a descendant of Abraham and Isaac. The promise of the Messiah was coming from Abraham and Isaac. Esau should have known better and feared God. Esau was a person who showed that he possessed little regard for the Messiah. Throughout history, the Edomites and the Amalekites have brutally opposed Israel. It is taught that most of the people who opposed Israel were of that bloodline. For example, many of the descendants of Esau had settled in Mt. Seir, and it is believed that the Pharaoh who ruled during the time Moses and the Exodus was an Edomite. (Many believe Hitler was a relative, too). As the Bible mentions, Haman was an Amalekite (from Edom). King Herod was also an Edomite who wanted to wipe out the Christ. The Bible could've just said that these particular people were mere enemies of the Jews and/or God. However, there is a reason that Edom and Amalek are highlighted. From the foreshadowing in Deuteronomy, it is prophesied that the last thing that the King would do before he takes the throne and before his reign is that he would wipe out Amalek. During the first coming of Jesus, there was a false ruler on the throne of Israel, That ruler, King Herod, usurped the throne and was placed there despite the fact that the line of David was supposed to rule on the throne. Hence, that was one of the reasons Herod feared the Messiah. Jesus Christ was the rightful heir to the throne and the promised one from the line of David. If we paralleled the second coming with the first coming of Christ, it is likely that the Antichrist will also be a descendant of Edom. One way of looking at it is that Mordecai was revealing a type and shadow of the faithful followers of God. They are those who would not bow down to the antichrists (and Antichrist) of this world. They loved not their lives even to death. Mordecai gives us an example of the faithful followers who honor the covenant promises through which the Messiah would come. The covenant established through Abraham testified to God's faithfulness. The true people who trusted in God would only show honor to those to whom honor was due. Traitors were not on that list, especially blood relatives who willingly showed contempt for the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
My opinion is that it has got to be 1 of 3 reasons: (1) It could be because of the commandment in the Mosaic law not to bow down to idols (Exodus 20:4-6). (2)It is also possible he didn't bow down to Haman because he knew what kind of person Haman was and didn't consider Haman worthy of it. (3) Or it could be because he knew Haman's lineage and because of the family feud between the two groups refused to bow down to him. Wiersbe and I hold to # 3.
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