HOW TO TRIUMPH OVER AN ENEMY
So Haman got the robe and the horse. He robed Mordecai, and led him on horseback through the city streets, proclaiming before him, “This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!” Esther 6:11
It is easy to imagine Haman’s shame and allow this part of the story to capture my attention. I love to see justice done, don’t you? I relish the thought that Haman was forced to provide the honor he imagined for himself to the man he hated most.
This morning however, my thoughts are directed to Mordecai. His lack of malice astounds me, both when he was in subjection to Haman’s position, and again, when he was honored over him. I consider two ways he displayed humility.
• When he refused to bow down to Haman at the king’s gate, he didn’t disrespect the man. He never expressed hatred toward him. He simply stated that the object of his worship was the God of Israel. Haman was the one who called Mordecai his enemy.
• When Mordecai was exalted, put on a horse, and then paraded through the city streets by the man who had tried to ruin him, he didn’t give Haman a speech. “See where evil got you? God saw your evil deeds and now I am the one being honored. Justice has been done.” No, he receives his honor with humility and does not feed malice.
Periods of humiliation can be dangerous breeding grounds for revenge. If I fail to handle humiliation as Jesus did, seeing that all my days have unfolded according to the wisdom and sovereignty of God, then I will be marking time until I am vindicated. If my disgrace ends and others see that they were wrong, how will I respond? Will I trample them underfoot and forever remind them of their offense? At that point, my Christianity puts me under great stress.
I remember Jesus’ urging to love my enemies. I despair that this is simply impossible in the flesh but He knows that. It is only when I come to the end of myself that the Spirit of God can undertake His most magnificent works of grace. Humility, even in victory, is not natural. It is supernatural.
It’s easy for me to love those who love me. I don’t need You for that! I’m not very loving toward those who take issue with me. I will want revenge without submitting to Your Spirit, who waits to work through me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Originally published Monday, 29 April 2019.