A People Set Apart

Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from those of all other people and they do not observe the king’s laws, so it is not in the king’s interest to let them remain.”

In Esther 3, Haman, one of King Ahasuerus’ main men, plots to kill all the Jews in the provinces. He does this simply because Mordecai did not bow down to him in homage as the king had commanded. If I had to guess I would say that Haman was a little self absorbed :).

I love the part in this verse where it says “their laws are different from those of all other people.” This part made me really stop and meditate on a lesson that should be learned. Are Christians really different from all other people? Do we stand out from this world? After all God’s word tells us to be set apart from the ways of this world in 1 John 2:15-17:

Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

As Christians we have given in to these worldly ways too much. We have become desensitized to these lusts and pride to the point that often times we wouldn’t stand out in a crowd of non-Christians. We need to be more like these Jews in this story – standing firmly separated from worldly ways, being noticed for our values. Now this does not mean dissociating from non-Christians. Even the verse in Esther shows that in saying that the Jews were “scattered and dispersed” with the other people of the land. However, they did stand out in the fact that they did not bow down to lowly men. Likewise we should not bow down or subject ourselves to the influences of anything that will weaken our values and testimony.

I read an article the other day about a Pennsylvania pastor suspected of killing his previous two wives (http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/09/15/pennsylvania.pastor.homicide/index.html). When I hear of things like this or of children being abused in church settings by the very people who are supposed to care about and protect them, I am baffled. Why are Christians allowing themselves to be swept away by sin and passing pleasures of this world?

I yearn for us to be a people noticed by our Christlikeness. We need to be a people unwavering in our values; a people of love; a people united with one purpose – to further God’s kingdom. So come on, join me in being recognized for our good. Join me in drawing closer to God as individuals and the body of Christ. Let’s be a people of compassion, honesty, and trust. As Christians we need to be the difference that the rest of the world notices like the Jews were in these verses.

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