Esther 3:12 – 15 “Then on the thirteenth day of the first month the royal secretaries were summoned. They wrote out in the script of each province and in the language of each people all Haman’s orders to the king’s satraps, the governors of the various provinces and the nobles of the various peoples. These were written in the name of King Xerxes himself and sealed with his own ring. Dispatches were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces with the order to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews—young and old, women and little children—on a single day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods. A copy of the text of the edict was to be issued as law in every province and made known to the people of every nationality so they would be ready for that day. Spurred on by the king’s command, the couriers went out, and the edict was issued in the citadel of Susa. The king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Susa was bewildered.”
I have to be honest. This scene gives me the creeps. To think that an edict was issued, which could not be reversed, to kill an entire race of innocent people . . . and Xerxes and Haman sat down to have a cocktail. It makes me absolutely sick to my stomach!
It made a lot of people sick to their stomachs. The city of Susa was bewildered. No one could understand why Xerxes would issue such a decree. What had the Jews done? Yeah, sure, they were a little odd, with their funny rules and their one God. But they were good neighbors, hard workers, and loyal friends. They had integrity. So why did Xerxes want to kill them?
And not only the men, either. He had ordered to kill innocent women and children, even babies! The people of Susa knew this was wrong. They shook their heads and tried to figure it out. But they didn’t question it. After all, the king had ordered it. They had no choice but to go along with it. What difference could one person make, anyway?
But it wasn’t just one person. Apparently, a great many people disagreed with the decree. Perhaps they were afraid of losing their own lives, if they stood against the king. They didn’t live in a democracy; they had been taught all their lives not to question the king’s authority. So they did nothing.
Friends, bad things happen when good people do nothing! How many times have we witnessed actions that we knew were wrong, yet we have refused to get involved for one reason or another? Perhaps we think we can’t make a difference. Perhaps the cost of taking a stand is just too great. So we shake our heads and say, “This is wrong.” But we do nothing. We just stand by and let it happen.
Let me encourage you today, as I encourage myself: Do what is right! Do what is right no matter the cost to you. Do what is right even when everyone else is doing the wrong thing. You may be surprised at how many people step up beside you. They may have been waiting for someone just like you to take the first stand.
Even if no one joins you, do what is right anyway. God will always be God, and He will have His way, just like He did during Xerxes’ time. But when all is said and done, I want to be counted among God’s team members. I want Him to look at me and say, “You stood on my side, even when no one else would.” His team is always the winning team. So, though none go with me, I want to follow Him, and do what is right.
Dear Father, Please give me the courage and integrity to do the right thing, even when everyone around me is doing the wrong thing.