Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from all other people’s, and they do not keep the king’s laws. Therefore it is not fitting for the king to let them remain.”
We face a dire transition in this nation, one which is already started in other places around the world. We live in a land that celebrates liberty – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing in itself. But when that “liberty” defies the plainly written Word of God, when that “freedom” becomes lawlessness, then people of faith will find themselves persecuted for no other reason than that they fail to bow down at the altar of political correctness and “civil” rights.
Nearly every settler in early America came here because of religious persecution elsewhere. The Pilgrims and Puritans, the Amish and Mennonites, and even my own relatives, the French Protestants, came here because governments in their homelands tried to tell them what they should do and believe. Worse yet, most of those early settlers were persecuted not for what they did but more for what they would NOT do. We are heading that way in America today, and it will not be long before we face a choice between bowing down to Haman or standing up before the King for what we know is right.
The book of Esther is about religious persecution. And it is about how God’s people, those who stand strong in their faith, will succeed in overcoming their persecutors. What is needed? First and foremost, we must place our trust in God. We must hold fast to ALL of God’s Word – not just the “convenient” parts. We must refuse to bow down. We must humble ourselves before the only One who is worthy of our worship and praise, the living God. And we must be ready to be persecuted for holding on to our faith, for we have been warned again and again that we WILL be persecuted:
18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.
19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.
21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.”
If we would avoid persecution and yet keep our faith, there is but one solution: share the gospel. Those who know Christ will know His Father, and they will keep His Word. Let us all humble ourselves before God alone, and then share the good news with the world, so that the world will be changed around us.
Heavenly Father, Gracious Lord, give me the courage today to stand up for You, not to be molded to the image of this world but to mold the world to Your image. I present myself to you today a living sacrifice, Lord God. Rise up among us in Spirit, that all the world will know the truth of Your Word. Amen.