Thursday, June 16, 2022

Tell Me a Story

One thing that you should notice in the story of Haman is that the king never tells his servant why he wants to honor Mordecai. He hints a little bit, at best, but he never says what's going on. 

Let me remind you what's going on: the king is restless and unable to sleep, so he has someone reading to him from the annals of his kingship. He comes upon the story of that time when Mordecai overheard a couple of the king's servants plotting against him and was able to warn the king so that the unfaithful servants could be dealt with. It is at this point that the king starts wondering what he ever did to repay Mordecai for this amazing act of goodness, and he realizes that nothing was ever done. 

Then, in walks Haman. 

And the king tells Haman absolutely nothing about the story he's just been remembering. He doesn't mention what Mordecai did for the king. He doesn't mention what those wicked servants had done. Nothing. He just wonders out loud what should be done for someone the king wishes to honor. 

The same is often true in our journeys of faith. God doesn't tell us what He's thinking about. He doesn't tell us the stories He's remembering. He doesn't justify to us why it is that we should go and honor someone we don't particularly like, let alone someone that we think is wrong on every major moral issue we hold dear (that was Haman's problem with Mordecai, remember - he wouldn't worship the king). God doesn't tell us the stories that He's holding in His heart when we walk in. 

And...He doesn't have to. 

God doesn't have to tell us why we should go and honor someone He's told us to honor. He's already told us in the very fundamental framework of creation itself - they were created in His image. That alone is reason enough, isn't it? God doesn't have to justify to us any further than that why someone is worthy of honor, why someone is worthy of respect, why someone should be treated with the dignity that is inherent in being a being created in the image of God. Period. God doesn't owe you the story. 

And even if he told you, do you think it would make that much of a difference?

Imagine if the king had told Haman what Mordecai had done. Just think about the possibility for a second. Mordecai exposed wicked servants to the king. Do you think Haman's love for the king makes him think better of Mordecai? Do you think his pre-existing hatred of Mordecai makes him think less of the king? Like, how the king be so fooled by one act of mercy from a guy who won't even worship him? The king must be a fool! 

Or how about this - do you think a wicked servant like Haman is suddenly impressed with a man who has a history of exposing wicked servants to their king? 

How about you? What could God say to you right now about that person you already have a judgment against in your heart that would change your mind about him or her? 

If you're like most human beings, the honest answer is, "Nothing." There is nothing that God could say to you, no story He could tell you, that would change your mind about someone you've already determined to hate. 

But again, He doesn't have to. God doesn't have to change your heart, and He doesn't have to justify His command. All He has to do is have you in a place where you believe obedience to Him is among your highest priorities (love, of course, it always higher than mere obedience, but mere obedience is, as we've said all week, a great place to start). All He has to do is convince you that He is worth your commitment. 

And then, yes, hopefully, obedience changes your heart. And then, yes, hopefully, obedience changes your mind about someone you thought you knew. But even if it doesn't?

Honor him anyway. 

No comments:

Post a Comment