Johannesburg, also known as Jozi, Joburg, or Joni, is South Africa’s most populated city with 3.2 million inhabitants. It is the world’s largest city not located next to a river, lake, or coastline and it boasts the highest metropolitan economy in Sub-Saharan Africa. Oliver Tambo International Airport isone of the most beautiful airports I have ever visited. Travelers might conclude from its stores and restaurants they were entering a paradise.
Because we had such a long layover, my travel companion, Les, wanted to explore Jozi. Aware of the city’s reputation for crime, I was not interested in venturing out. Australia issued a travel advisory in September of 2014, “We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in South Africa due to the high level of serious crime.” Les spoke to the ticket agents to get guidance about going into the city. Amazingly, they strongly warned him not to go. They said, as soon as he spoke and people realized he was a foreigner there was a strong likelihood he would be beaten and robbed! Needless to say, we stayed put.
Esther 3:1,2—After all this took place, King Ahasuerus honored Haman, son of Hammedatha the Agagite. He promoted him in rank and gave him a higher position than all the other officials. The entire royal staff at the King’s Gate bowed down and paid homage to Haman, because the king had commanded this to be done for him. But Mordecai would not bow down or pay homage.
Something about Haman appealed to the Persian King Ahasuerus. Perhaps he had a charismatic personality. Maybe he had a penchant and skill for getting hard work done. Whatever the reason, the king was so enamored with him that he basically made him second-in-command. Mordecai, one of the Jewish members of the royal staff, did not care for Haman. The Bible does not give us the reason for his dislike but as we discover in the book of Esther, Mordecai’s read on this leader was completely accurate. Haman was a scoundrel. Were it not for Mordecai’s intervention through Queen Esther, Haman would have ensured that every Jew in Ahasuerus’ kingdom was annihilated (Est. 3:13).
Beware of drawing quick conclusions by appearances. A sparkling airport may be the gate to an unsafe city. A favored leader may be outwardly polished and inwardly rotten. A great promotion does not guarantee a sterling success. Paul cautioned Timothy, “Don’t be too quick to appoint anyone as an elder, and don’t share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure” (1 Ti.5:22). Too many times I have quickly entrusted someone with responsibility only to be disappointed because I did not do enough homework. Credibility is not established by appearance, it is established by consistency. Optimism is a great source of encouragement but it is a poor reason for selecting. If something is not right, don’t bow!
A therapist who is considered more attractive will have three times the perceived credibility than the one who is seen as unattractive.—Dan Allender in Leading With A Limp
©2014 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the "Click here to receive weekly devotionals" box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)