Do I know when to bow, and when to stand?

Week 1 DAY 2 and 3


We are going to land in Esther 3:2-6, taking 2 DAYS to work through our discovery.

Open GODcha to the Book of Esther

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If you don’t have GODcha Get It>

Or, use your hardbound Bibles and follow along.

You can print off this week’s posts and put in a notebook!


Let’s Begin With Prayer

And Continue With an Attitude of Prayer

Perhaps. . .

Oh Lord, we thank you for Your Holy Word, that is a sure Word of absolute Truth, preserved throughout the ages for us to grow in our knowledge of You and to be changed to be more like Christ. May we see You and how You work. Create in us fresh wonder about You as we become more and more aware of Your Sovereign hand that works behind the scenes.  May we also, look at those in this drama and then be willing to examine ourselves. Give us the understanding we need to be changed and live in the light of what You show us. Thank you. 

If you get STUCK at any point in your discovery, stop, and pray!

GOD, your Creator, loves you and desires to reveal much to you.

We Need To Consider CONTEXT

CONTEXT is the setting that Rules Interpretation.

Context Tutorial >

What happened in Ch3:1? 

After Mordecai saved the king, the king promotes Haman, an Agagite.

Now Haman is given authority [throne] over all the princes who were with him. He is the bad guy of this drama, as he is an Agagite, and Agagites and Jews were enemies. So now Mordecai’s enemy is his new boss.


Let’s see what happens.

Today: Mordecai Refuses to Bow

Take a LOOK 

Learn more>

You should know how to LOOK at God’s Word by now.

  1. Take and Read a verse;

2. LOOK for what is Key to that verse; and

3. Investigate what is Key by checking the Word Meanings; and

4. Other Scripture References for better understanding.

5. Pay attention to: The Timing, the Contrasts, and Comparisons.


 READ Taking Small Bites. 


 READ the Next Paragraph, Esther 3:2-6, and reflect on what God is saying asking the 5W’s and H Questions.

Help Reading Esther 3:2-6>

This isn’t hard, but it does take time to develop this skill, which by the way is the most important skill any of us could learn to accurately see God’s Word.

THINK as you Read.



Reflect on the events that demonstrate God’s hidden hand.

When God seems most absent and things seem dark, God is still at work.


Now the debate for us is this: was Mordecai right or wrong in the stand he took? Was this a good move?


By Unpacking a Verse at a Time

READ verse 2.

Help Reading Esther 3:2-6>

Who bowed down to Haman?

Why did they bow to Haman?

In contrast, who did not bow to Haman?


What Is Key?

Learn more>

Anything catch your eye?

What about ‘bowed‘? This is key.


LOOK at the Meaning

Learn more>

Tap on bowed‘ in your Bible?

Do you see the definition pop open?

BOWED, kāra‘; to bend the knee; . . .the bowing of knees in submission or subjugation (Est 3:2, 5; Isa 45:23); bowing in repentance (Ezr 9:5); to worship a false god (1Ki 19:18); or the true God (2Ch 29:29; Ps 95:6).

You might check out ‘homage’.

HOMAGE, shāchāh; The primary meaning of the word is to bow down. This verb is used to indicate bowing before a monarch or a superior and paying homage to him or her (Ge 43:28).


NOTE: Take what you have learned back to the text, to see what it means in its CONTEXT.

TIP: I would encourage you to note this in your hardbound Bibles.


Let’s Check Out Some Cross References (aka CR)

Learn more>

Remember: As you read the CR, keep asking the 5W’s and H questions.

Is there a Biblical command against bowing the knee in submission?

1. What does God command when it comes to worship (bowing)?

Exo 20:1-5

THINK: What’s an idol?


2. Who refused to worship (bow) an idol, a graven image, as stated in Exodus?

Dan 3:4-18

LISTEN to the Holy Spirit

What am I bowing to (worshipping) that I shouldn’t be?


3. In contrast, who bowed the knee in submission?

Exo 18:7

1Sa 24:8

1Ki 1:16


Were these examples of bowing in submission, respect?

Or, were they examples of bowing, worshipping, idols?


THINK a bit more:

In some cultures still today there is a bowing.

– Haven’t we seen our Presidents bow before the Queen of England? Isn’t it out of respect?

– What about in the military? Isn’t there a salute when one comes across the path of a high level officer, even if they don’t like them.

LISTEN to the Holy Spirit

Do I have trouble bowing in submission, giving respect, to those in a superior position over me?



Don’t you wonder why now is the time that Mordecai decides to take a stand? 

I mean it was okay for Esther to sleep with the man that wasn’t her husband, but now he becomes strong!

Was this right or wrong?

LISTEN to the Holy Spirit

When have I taken a stand? Was it right or wrong?

Remember: Chat With God!

This is the most important part of your journey!



Scope Out Verse 3

READ Esther 3:2-6. Yes, again.

Help Reading Esther 3:2-6>

There is no substitute for reading and re-reading.

Try reading aloud.

Hearing repeated readings will help store the Word in your memory.


Focus on verse 3.

What did the king’s servants who were at the king’s gate ask Mordecai?


What Might Be Key?

If you’re not sure, check GODcha’s Key Words, Definitions, and CR.

What about Mordecai ‘transgressing the king’s command’.


Check Out the Meaning

TRANSGRESSING, ābar;  Two figurative meanings are of primary importance theologically; the verb means going beyond, overstepping a covenant or a command of God or man. Esther 3:3 depicts Mordecai’s transgressing of the king’s command.


You know what to do.


Let’s Check Out Some Cross References (aka CR)

Find GODcha’s Pick

Remember: as you read, ask the 5W’s and H questions.

What do you learn about ‘transgressing the king’s command’?

Rom 13:1-7

Jam 4:17

LISTEN to the Holy Spirit

If Jesus is my King, am I guilty of transgressing His commands? Why?

Am I willing to subject myself to my governing authorities? 

Would it ever be appropriate for us not to submit to our governing authorities?

When have I known the right thing to do, but didn’t do it? What happened as a result?

Respond to God!


Today: Mordecai Refuses to Bow

Take Another PEEK

Unfold Verse 4

READ Esther 3:2-6, again.

Help Reading Esther 3:2-6>


Focus on verse 4 and see what you can learn.

Who spoke daily to Mordecai?

What can we assume from verse 3 this would be about?

How did Mordecai respond to them?

What did Mordecai tell them? Why would Mordecai not bow down?

Ultimately, what did the servants do? Why?


What Might Be Key?

What about Mordecai ‘not listening to them (the king’s servants)’?


Let’s Check Out Some Cross References (aka CR)

The king’s servants spoke daily to Mordecai, but Mordecai would not listen to them.

What do you discover about ‘not listening to them (the king’s servants)?

Isa 2:22

Jer 17:5

LISTEN to the Holy Spirit

Do I regard and esteem man above Jesus? Why?

Who am I listening to daily? Should I be?

Am I guilty of trusting man?

Who speaks to me daily that is trying to weaken my devotion to the Lord? 


What Else Would Be Key in verse 4?

Why will Mordecai not bow to Haman?

He finally reveals who He is.  He told them he was a Jew.

Do you remember what a Jew is?

Go back and check Esther 2:5.

Do you remember Haman is an Agagite, an enemy of the Jews?

LISTEN to the Holy Spirit

How have I played the Christian card to justify my defiance to my enemies or those in a superior position over me? 


Let’s Check Out Some Cross References (aka CR)

Mat 10:26-28

LISTEN to the Holy Spirit

Do I fear God or man?

Is my light under a bushel? Do I hold back about my faith?

Or, do I speak out when God’s Word is needed?

Don’t Forget to Talk With God!


What Did You LEARN 

If you need help

Check Out GODcha’s #2 LEARN Question(s) 

#2. What did the king command regarding Haman?

a. How did Mordecai respond?

b. What reason did Mordecai give to the king’s servants who spoke to him daily about his transgression? (v2-4)

Sum It Up!


All the king’s servants bowed and paid homage to Haman, obeying the king’s command.

But, Mordecai refused.


Some would reason that Mordecai was taking a stand for God.

Is this the case as we see the definition and understand what bowing means?

We Discover:

To bow in this verse means to bow in submission, out of respect.

God commanded us not to bow, worship other gods, idols, graven images.

– An idol would be something that replaces God.

– The Babylonians were told to fall down and worship the golden image, but Daniel’s 3 friends refused.

Haman was not an idol.

We Discover:

In contrast Moses bowed to his father in law;

David bowed to Saul, his king;

Bathsheba bowed to David, her king.

God commands us to submit to governing authorities that He has established over us.

The one who knows the right thing to do, and doesn’t do it, it is sin.

“After all, death is not our greatest enemy – sin is! Death was conquered when Jesus died and rose again. It is now the gateway into glory for every child of God. Sin remains a constant danger, especially the sin of compromise – the desire to secure our future by going along with the flow.”  G. Wieske


“What Mordecai refused was not worship. He wasn’t being asked to worship, but give respect. He may not like it, but there he was in that land and Haman represented the ‘powers that be’ and was to be respected as such.” J. Keddie



We know the king’s servants spoke to Mordecai daily, but we don’t know exactly what they spoke to him about.  Verse 3  gives us a clue.

– Perhaps they kept asking Mordecai why he transgressed the king’s command, and he told them it was because he was a Jew.

So was Mordecai’s refusal an act of defiance?

Does being a Jew give him an out?


– Or perhaps, in 5 yrs time, Mordecai regretted not defending Esther in some way, and his stand is now an act of repentance.

If this be the case, were the king’s servants speaking to Mordecai daily to weaken his stand for God?


We really don’t know, either way this gives us much to think about for ourselves.

We Discover:

We are not to esteem man whose breath is in his nostrils.

We must be careful not to trust in man, making flesh our strength, turning our hearts from the LORD.

We are not to fear man, and speak what God tells us.

We are to fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

LISTEN to God Speak

And LIVE it out!

Perhaps. . .

Check out the #2 LIVE Questions.

#2. How am I like Mordecai?

a. How do I respond to the Haman’s in authority over me? Do I know when to bow (submit with honor and respect), and/or take a stand, bowing only to the LORD?

b. What reason do I give for not honoring or respecting those in authority over me?

Respond to God. . . LIVE it out!

Now You Talk to Him>

Don’t skip this time that can be so precious. God loves us and wants us to talk to Him, and promises to hear. Jesus said, “come”…! We have such an awesome privilege because Jesus died for us. If we have bowed the knee and surrendered our lives to Jesus, we have access to God and can converse with God, the creator of the universe, our loving Father!


You might want to stop and take a break and come back tomorrow.

Today: Mordecai Refuses to Bow


Unpack Verse 5

READ Esther 3:2-6, again.

Help Reading Esther 3:2-6>


Focus on Verse 5.

What happened when Haman saw Mordecai did not bow?


What Is Key?

Haman being ‘filled with rage’ is key.

Why do you think he was filled with such rage?


Check Out Some Cross References (aka CR)

What does God say to us about rage (anger)?

Gal 5:19-23

Jam 1:20

Eph 4:26, 31

Eph 5:15-18

TIME OUT: GODcha has a fantastic tool for you to search any word –  The Word Search.

Learn more>

Try searching out ‘rage’; ‘anger’; ‘angry’.  Every Scripture verse that these words are used in will pop up. See what all God has to sayand cement what you learn down deep into your heart.


LISTEN to the Holy Spirit

What fills me, controls me? 

Do I have a problem with anger?

What can bend me out of shape?

What have been the consequences of my anger?

Chat With God!

Moving right along. . .

Today: Mordecai Refuses to Bow

Let’s LOOK A Bit More

Scope Out Verse 6

READ Esther 3:2-6, again.

This is how you bury God’s Word down deep in your heart.

Help Reading Esther 3:2-6>

But, in verse 6, Haman’s disdain (contempt, hatred) was not just for Mordecai, but also for who?


Do you see The Term of Conclusion?

(GODcha will help you if you can’t spot these.)

Therefore, what is the conclusion?


What Is Key?

What did Haman seek to do?

This is key.

Haman went off the deep end. His anger was not only directed at Mordecai, but it went towards all those like Mordecai, the Jews.

LISTEN to the Holy Spirit

When and how have I been terribly offended?

Did I go off the deep end?

Did I deal directly with the person who insulted me? Or did I plot against them?


GODcha suggests we check out ‘destroy/destruction‘ which is key and repeated.

LOOK at the Meaning

DESTROY, šāmad;  This verb is not used in its simple form and is only used in the passive and causative stems of the verb. The primary passive meaning is to be destroyed, to be exterminated, or to be annihilated, referring to individual people, households, or nations (Gen. 34:30; Prov. 14:11; Ezek. 32:12).


Check Out Some Cross References (aka CR)

1. Where does such disdain (contempt, hatred) to destroy God’s people come from?

Gen 3:15

Rev 12:9


2. When did Satan use man to destroy God’s people?

Exo 1:15-16

Psa 83:4

Mat 2:16-18


This is a plot of genocide, against a certain group of people, God’s covenant people.

Are you horrified?

LISTEN to the Holy Spirit

How does my government do this today?

– What about taking the lives of the group called the unborn? Don’t we do this every day? Am I okay with this?

It’s legal, but it is not holy! It is not okay with God!

– What about the Jews, and/or Christians today? Am I anti-semitic?


LISTEN to the Holy Spirit

Who do I disdain and have a hatred for?

How do I treat them?

Have I sought vengeance as Haman? How have I punished them?



Were these circumstances thrust on Mordecai and the Jews unjustly, or was it the result of Mordecai’s behavior?

LISTEN to the Holy Spirit

What circumstances have been thrust on me because of my behavior? 

Chat With God!

What Did You LEARN 

If you need help

Check Out GODcha’s #3 LEARN Question(s) 

#3. How did Haman respond when Mordecai refused to bow to him, CR? What did he seek to do to God’s chosen people? Why? (v5-6)

SUM It Up!


The servants then told Haman, to see if being Jewish gave Mordecai an out.

Haman had not noticed, but when he sees Mordecai refuses to bow to him, he has been publicly humiliated, and is filled with rage deciding he will kill, not only Mordecai, but all his people.

We Discovered and See

There are always consequences for our actions and behavior.

Like Mordecai, when we disregard God’s law, we give Christ and faith in Christ a bad name, and the whole people of God can suffer.

We Discovered

Anger is one of the deeds of the flesh, and if one practices (a habit of life) such a thing they will not inherit the kingdom of God. Instead we are to be filled with the fruit of the Spirit.

Bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander, and all malice is to be put away from us.

The anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.

Be angry, but do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on our anger.

We are warned to turn away from those who cause dissensions, for they deceive.



Haman sought not only to destroy Mordecai, but all his people, the Jews.


We Discover:

There has been an age old war, that began in the garden between the serpent’s seed and the woman’s seed with the prophecy of the crucifixion.  The woman is Israel and her seed is Christ who would be bruised on the heel. And the serpent’s seed is Satan and his anti-Christ who would be bruised, crushed in the head.

John saw the dragon, that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.

And the dragon tried to swallow up the woman’s seed as soon as He was born, using Herod to murder all the little children in Bethlehem.

Esther is before the birth of Jesus, and Satan was using Haman to prevent the woman’s seed from being born.

Jesus in His ascension has won the war, and Satan has been defeated!


LISTEN to God Speak

And LIVE it out!

Perhaps. . .

Check out the #3 LIVE Questions.

#3. How am I like Haman?

a. Do I relish power and prestige, having others kowtow to me?

b. What people or situations am I trying to control?

c. Do I struggle with anger and rage? What has rage caused me to do? When have I been filled w/such rage I wanted to destroy someone?

d. Will I repent and confess, and let God help me fight these sins?

Respond to God. . . LIVE it out!

Now You Talk to Him>

God’s Word is alive and active and sharper than a two edged sword, Heb 4:12.

It is just simple Truth, that God speaks and when we truly listen and hear it, it pierces and does a supernatural work in our hearts and minds, and a transformation begins to take place, Rom 12:1-2.

Let the renewing and transformation take place.

What difficulties have I faced as a result of pride and stubbornness?

How often have I reacted to things in the world and given the name of Jesus and faith a bad name?

We Are Done!

You are learning the Inductive Method of Study!

Do you see how much time you spend LOOKING?

It is so easy! And all at your fingertips!


Reflect on all God has said to you today.

God wants you to  “consider what He is saying and let Him give you understanding in everything,” (2Ti 2:7).

Meditate on all God is teaching you about Mordecai refusing to bow, and Haman’s anger.

Let His Truth set you free and comfort you, bringing encouragement and security to you today!


NOTE Your Discovery!

Video Tutorial>  Notes Tutorial >

Put the Definitions and Cross References (CR) in your Notes.

Don’t forget to jot it all down in your Hardbound Bibles.

Include how God has stirred your heart.


Let’s Bow Before the Father

FATHER GOD WHO ART IN HEAVEN, we hallow Your name today! We humbly come before You, knowing You are infinite, and we are finite. You are the Creator, we are the created! You are the Potter, we are the clay! And You have given us Your Holy Word not to look and point the finger at others, but to take a good look at ourselves. So I ask that You open our hearts to see how we have been like:

– Your people who sinned, disobeying You, unwilling to repent and return to You, thus ending up in exile; and their unrepentant sin affected later generations?

– This king who chased after his own glory; was all about money, power, and control; divorced his wife; listened and took bad counsel and advice; took women’s virginity; and overlooked and ignored the one who was faithful and loyal to him?

– Esther and Mordecai who showed no identification with You, living compromised lives, hiding their faith?  

– Esther who lost her virginity by sleeping with a pagan Gentile man who wasn’t her husband?

– Mordecai who was not willing to bow and submit to those in authority over him? When have we kept fighting a feud, adding fuel to the fire, rather than dealing with it? 

– Haman who let anger take over? When have we become obsessed with how someone hurt us? Is there bitterness, unforgiveness, hatred within us? Are we racist?

Oh Lord, let us hear You speak. May we know if not for Your grace we would be just like these people. We praise You and thank you that You take all our wrongs and make them right, all our sins and forgive them all past, present and future, by the blood of Your Son. Oh Father, may we be willing to be honest before You and confess and repent. May we please You by living our lives in total trust in You, and be willing to obey You! We ask this in Your name Lord Jesus! Amen!  


Next: We’ll look at Esther 3:7-11.

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