True Greatness

Valentine’s Day seemed like a good day to post Leigh’s first love note to me from August 1981. Note the thumb tack puncture holes I inflicted over the last 37 years by posting it on my various bulletin boards.

Esther 9 & 10

On the day designated for the enemies of the Jews to attack and annihilate them, a reversal of such took place. Because of the king’s edict, the Jews were well prepared and able to defend themselves and even move offensively against their enemies. 9:1 says, “it was turned to the contrary so that the Jews themselves gained the mastery over those who hated them.” The unspoken “God of the contrary” continues to be intimately involved in the details of this “reversal of fortunes” story. The text continues saying “no one could stand against them (the Jews), for the dread of them had fallen on all the people.” In other words, there was such a strong sense of the Jews power, strength and blessing that all in the Persian empire, whether enemies of the Jews or not, fell under submission to the Jews.

The greatness of Mordechai

The leader God used to foster this sense of righteous dominance was Mordecai. Those that were neutral in this battle lined up to support the Jews “because the dread of Mordecai had fallen on them. Indeed, Mordecai was great in the king’s house, and his fame spread throughout the provinces; for the man Mordecai became greater and greater.” Just as Joseph and Daniel were ordained of God to be great within a foreign kingdom, God raised up Mordecai. Even though God had previously allowed the Jews to be subdued by foreign enemies; whether Egypt, the Babylonians or Persians, He always raised up a man to influence the king and preserve His chosen people and the line of the Messiah. The last verse of Esther highlights Mordecai by stating, “For Mordecai the Jew was second only to the king, and great among the Jews and in favor with many of his kinsman, one who sought the good of his people and one who spoke for the welfare of his whole nation.”

What kind of man is he?

God was going to use someone to influence the king and emerge as a leader of the nation to preserve the Jews. So, what kind of man was he looking for? A man who was concerned with the welfare of others over himself. A man who can attain wealth, power and fame and remain humble and focused on the welfare of his people and his role as a servant of God. The position of prominence that Mordecai attained made him a steward of what God had given. He didn’t fall prey to the temptation that his greatness was within himself. Or that he had himself orchestrated the course of his life to attain such greatness. No, it was ALL from God and all for the benefit of His people. Mordecai was simply the agent of God utilizing the resources God gave him to accomplish an important outcome.

Whatever our station in life, we are stewards of what God has given us. There’s much we can learn from Esther and Mordecai. When God gives you much, be ready to give all in return. Be ready for “such a time as this” and fulfill God’s destiny in your obedience. Lord, may we be faithful! Amen!