And many people of other nationalities became Jews because fear of the Jews had seized them. Esther 8:17
Once Mordecai was promoted and the Jews were given the right to not only defend themselves, but to search out their enemies, many non-Jews feared for their lives and converted to Judaism. Previously, many of them had been the Jews’ adversaries, though some, I suspect, had been neutral. Nonetheless, they befriended the powerful just to insure their own safety.
When someone enjoys an influential position, it is not easy to tell who his true friends are. The public is fickle. Former critics reform and suddenly massage the egos of the powerful. What may look like the refreshing face of friendship is really self-protective, manipulative behavior. Ones in leadership need to be discerning.
David’s son, Solomon, the wisest man to have ever lived, wrote these words. “Preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.” Proverbs 3:21-22 I love the word picture given here. Discernment can be ‘as a necklace’. It need never be out of sight. At any time of the day, I can reach up to finger the chain around my neck and touch the ornament that dangles from it. I am ever conscious of my adornment.
There are charismatic men and women who offer words as smooth as butter for purposes of self-advancement. They step to the front of the line to be heard. Others wait patiently behind the scenes and are willing to serve in anonymity. If we’re not careful, we won’t notice them due to the noise of the ones who clamor for our attention. Discretion. Wisdom. Discernment. May we breathe these words often in prayer. God will help us focus our eyes on the trustworthy and attune our ears to the honorable.
My necklace is often too delicate, able to break. Strengthen the chain. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.