BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
“And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: ‘Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?’” (Esther 4:13-14 New King James Version).
The book of Esther is a very interesting book where though God was at work, His name is not mentioned throughout the ten-chapter book. Another book without the name of God mentioned at all is Song of Solomon (Song of Songs) with the exception of the mention of the LORD in Song 8:6 in a few Bible translations.
One of the characters of the book of Esther is Mordecai, the uncle of Esther (Hadassah), an orphan who became a queen. Through her brave action saved the Jewish race from genocide. The book of Esther is named after her.
It is easy for people to remember that Esther made a faith declaration: “I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!” (Esther 4:16b New king James Version). But we must never forget who said what prompted that. Mordecai did.
When Esther sent a message to Mordecai that she could not go to appear before the king without the king inviting her, he sent a challenging word back to her: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:13-14 New King James Version).
Mordecai possessed some sterling attributes we need to study and emulate. I have identified eight of them.
1. He was a caring and fatherly uncle. Mordecai didn’t abuse Esther as an orphan living with him. He took Esther as his daughter such that Esther’s beauty could be evident. Hear Esther 2:7: “And Mordecai had brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter, for she had neither father nor mother. The young woman was lovely and beautiful. When her father and mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter” (NKJV). Some uncles would have turned her to a house girl, who would appear miserable.
Mordecai was also caring and wanted Esther to realize her potential. She wished her well; he wanted her to become a queen. That was why she allowed her to enroll for and participate in the beauty competition. In addition, when he was taken to the palace together with the other ladies, Mordecai was always monitoring her welfare. Esth 2:10-11 says, “Esther had not revealed her people or family, for Mordecai had charged her not to reveal it. 11 And every day Mordecai paced in front of the court of the women’s quarters, to learn of Esther’s welfare and what was happening to her” (NKJV ).
2. He was a loyal and faithful person. He was a loyal and faithful person. This was revealed in the way he served the king at his duty post at the gate of the palace. He didn’t join the plot to assassinate the Persian king, Ahasuerus (Xerxes). He passed the information to Esther, who informed the king (Esther 3:21-23).
Be loyal and faithful to God and your superiors. “Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2 New King James Version). Luke 16:10 says, “Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won’t be faithful in large ones” (New Living Translation).
3. He was a humble and diligent worker. After he revealed the plot to assassinate the king, he was not rewarded, but he continued to serve the king. Also after he was honoured by the king and taken round the city by Haman, Mordecai returned to his duty post. He didn’t allow the honour to go to his head (Esther 6:10-12).
Be a humble and diligent worker; don’t be arrogant and indolent. According to Proverbs 10:26, “Lazy people are a pain to their employer. They are like smoke in the eyes or vinegar that sets the teeth on edge” (New Living Translation). Proverbs 12:24 says, “Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave” (New Living Translation).
4. He was a patriotic citizen. Patriotism is love for one’s country. Though living in a foreign land, Mordecai still loved his race. He loved his people. He was concerned about preserving the Jews, not how he and his family would escape. He, therefore, moved against Hamman’s plot to wipe out the Jewish race through a decree he had made the king sign (Esther 4:1-2). Mordecai succeeded in his counter move and eventually became the prime minister. The Jews esteemed him because he worked for their good and spoke up for their welfare (Esther 10:2). Love your country even if you’re in the Diaspora like Mordecai.
5. He was a man of faith. He believed God that there would be deliverance for the Jews from another place if Esther failed to act (Esther 4:8, 13-14). Esther accepted Mordecai’s challenge, and God didn’t have to use another person or means to bring deliverance to the Jews.
Jesus commanded that we should have faith in God (Mark 11:22). Have faith in God. Believe Him. You may not how God will do it, but believe that He will do it. With God, all things are possible (Mark 19:26). All things are possible to him who believes (Mark 9:23).
6. He was a God-minded person. Mordecai refused to bow before an Agagite (Esther 3:2-4). Why? God was against Amalek, Hamman’s race, and had commanded the Israelites to destroy Amalekites and erase their memory from under heaven. Deuteronomy 25:17-19 says, “Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of Egypt, how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you were tired and weary; and he did not fear God. Therefore it shall be, when the LORD your God has given you rest from your enemies all around, in the land which the LORD your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance, that you will blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. You shall not forget” (NKJV).
According to Exodus 17:16, the LORD had sworn to have war with Amalek from generation to generation. Mordecai would not honour those who didn’t honour God. He would not support someone God was against. He was a God-pleaser, not a men-pleaser.
Be God-minded. Love what He loves; hate what He hates. David said, “O LORD, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you? Shouldn’t I despise those who resist you? Yes, I hate them with complete hatred, for your enemies are my enemies” (New Living Translation). While you should walk in love towards everyone, hate what evil people represent. Don’t bow to evil.
7. He was a great motivator. Mordecai challenged Esther to appear before the king despite what the custom said. He motivated her to risk her life to save the Jews. “And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: ‘Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?’” (Esther 4:13-14 NKJV).
If not for what Mordecai said, Esther wouldn’t have ventured to take the risk to appear before the king when the king had not sent for her. Esther would have ordered that she should be killed for violating the custom if not that divine intervention suspended custom.
Be a motivator; be an encourager. Motivate people to live a holy life, obey God, serve Him and fulfill their destinies. Inspire them. Deborah, Israel’s only female judge, motivated Barak, a man, to mobilize a ten-thousand army to withstand the army of Jabin, the Canaanite king, after twenty years of being under their oppression. Upon Barak’s request that he would only go if Deborah want with him, she did.
8. He was an effective leader. Mordecai mobilized the Jews to fast for Esther as she had demanded to be done before she would appear before the king (Esther 4:15-17). Mordecai also coordinated the writing and the dispatch of the king’s counter decree which mandated the Jews to defend themselves (Esther 8:9-10). Furthermore, he sent a letter to the Jews to start the annual festival (Purim) in commemoration of their deliverance (Esther 9:20-30).
Everyone is a leader, one way or the other. But not everyone is an effective leader. Be an effective leader. Cultivate leadership skills. Learn from the Word of God; learn also from other effective leaders.
Conclusion: Emulate these commendable attributes of Mordecai. Get rid of wrong, sinful attributes, attitudes and habits in your life. Cultivate godly ones that will make you pleasing to heaven and deeply appreciated by fellow humans. Let your life be profitable to heaven and a blessing to humanity.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible believing and Bible teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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