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Esther 3:1-6

Refusing Orders

According to a recent study among doctors, their most common aggravation (next to patients who do not pay their bills) is patients who refuse to obey the doctor’s orders. It is estimated that as many as 90 percent of all patients leave half-used prescription bottles, cheat on diets, continue to smoke, or never return for checkups. Often this neglect proves detrimental to the patient’s health. Sometimes it’s fatal. There was an incident in Israel’s past which had a similar effect on the nation. In I Samuel 15 we read that God commanded Saul to eradicate the decadent Amalekites, including their livestock and their king, Agag. Saul chose to obey God halfway, defeating the Amalekites, but sparing their leader with some of the populace and the choicest of the livestock. Through His prophet Samuel, God condemned Saul’s disregard for His command, and rejected Saul as king. Samuel then executed Agag, though apparently some of the king’s subjects and descendants escaped to parts unknown.

And so it is in the Book of Esther, some 400 years after Saul failed to eradicate a people bent against the people of God, that Mordecai is confronted with a descendant of Agag (Haman) who is equally hostile to God’s people.

Today in the Word, May, 1989