Esther—Stand with Conviction

This devotional was originally published at the Biblical Recorder here.

Focal Passage: Esther 2:21-3:6

Mordecai, though a Jew in a foreign land, was loyal to his king. Overhearing a plot against the ruler, he promptly informed Esther who reported the planned crime. Mordecai’s loyalty to the king came from a deeper source. He would not compromise his faith in God.

When Haman was paraded through the streets, Mordecai would not bow. He would not worship a man. He would only worship God. These two mini-narratives in the book of Esther remind us that it is always right to do the right thing.

Mordecai’s conviction reminds me of another man a few centuries later, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Not content to stand idly by under Adolf Hitler’s evil Third Reich, Bonhoeffer actively opposed the Nazis. Bonhoeffer held his Christian faith firmly and even served as a spy for the German resistance. Eventually, Bonhoeffer was captured and sent to prison. While at Flossenberg prison, Bonhoeffer was executed. He was only 39 years old. The doctor at the prison commented about his execution, “Through the half-open door in one room of the huts, I saw Pastor Bonhoeffer, before taking off his prison garb, kneeling on the floor, praying fervently to God. I was most deeply moved by the way this lovable man prayed, so devout and so certain that God heard his prayer.

“At the place of execution, he again said a short prayer and then climbed the steps of the gallows, brave and composed. His death ensued after a few seconds. In the almost [50] years that I worked as a doctor, I have hardly ever seen a man die so entirely submissive to the will of God.”

How was Bonhoeffer able to die with solemnity and peace? I believe the clue is the same as Mordecai’s strength. Standing with conviction begins by kneeling in prayer. We can pray with that same boldness and conviction because Christ died to give us the right to pray.

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