He refused to bow down. Mordecai took a stand by standing. Haman, the king’s right-hand man, then seized the opportunity to punish not only Mordecai but his people – the Jews.
You see, Haman was an Agagite, which made him a deep-rooted enemy of the Israelites. With Mordecai’s defiance, Haman crafted a plan, twisted his version of the story, and lured the king with the equivalent of hundreds of millions of dollars from his own pocket. Without pause, the king agreed and handed Haman his signet ring to literally seal the deal of the Jews’ demise. Evil Haman now held the edict, the king’s ring, and all the power.
One man’s action – or inaction in this case – had a ripple effect throughout the entire kingdom. Albeit unintentionally, Mordecai’s decision affected his people, just as what we do each day has an impact on those around us. Throughout the ages, we have seen this play out in our world – in workplaces, homes, and even on football fields. What started as one athlete taking a knee during the national anthem resulted in other players following, deep divisions being revealed, and fans burning tickets and team jerseys.
The ripple effect of decisions by politicians or athletes, which is apparent every time we turn on the TV, hits even closer to home as we sit down at the dinner table together. Climbing the corporate ladder invades family time, unhealthy lifestyles burden loved ones, and children’s activities overtake schedules. What we do (or don’t do) can affect many people, positively or negatively, whether we acknowledge it or not.
This week let us be mindful of the ripple effect of our decisions and aware of how they impact those around us – especially our loved ones.
“When Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow down or do obeisance to him, Haman was infuriated. But he thought it beneath him to lay hands on Mordecai alone. So, having been told who Mordecai’s people were, Haman plotted to destroy all the Jews, the people of Mordecai, throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus.” (Esther 3:5-6)