A Great Ending (Esther Day 10) Author-Brandon Caudill
I love when stories have great endings.
As we have seen in our study of Esther, there were times when everything seemed to come against Mordecai. For instance, he had no choice but to give up his biological cousin and adopted daughter, Esther, to become the queen of a pagan king. He was hated and unfairly persecuted by Haman. And he was overlooked for saving the life of the king.
But, as today’s reading makes clear, Mordecai finished his story in the grace and favor of God:
“For Mordecai the Jew was second in rank to King Ahasuerus, and he was great among the Jews and popular with the multitude of his brothers, for he sought the welfare of his people and spoke peace to all his people.” – Esther 10:3
Three observations stand out to me from this verse:
- First, Mordecai was content with being second.Scripture tells us that Mordecai went from being an overlooked nobody to becoming the second most powerful man on the planet. And, shockingly, there is no indication that he ever became greedy and desired to be first in command. Instead, he was content with the position God gave him.
- Second, Mordecai was popular, but not with everyone.Notice Scripture states that Mordecai was well received and appreciated by the “multitude” of his people, not “” Even though God may give someone a popular platform, it doesn’t mean everyone will appreciate or agree with them, especially if they are seeking godliness and righteousness in a sinful, dark world.
- Third, Mordecai sought and spoke peace.The language used here indicates that Mordecai carefully sought the good of his people while speaking peace to them. However, this is a special kind of peace. The word translated in the ESV as “peace” is the Hebrew word “shalom.” Oftentimes we think of peace as the absence of conflict, but shalom goes much, much deeper. Shalom is the full, holistic blessing of God upon a people and a place so that there is total flourishing in every way. Mordecai sought and spoke this kind of peace for the benefit of those around him.
Prayerfully consider with me these questions of reflection today:
- Am I content with the position God has given me, or am I wrongfully coveting that which is not mine?
- Am I content with the reality that not everyone will like me if I stand for righteousness and the truth of God’s Word, or am I shying away from doing so because I desire the acceptance and approval of others?
- Am I actively seeking and speaking the peace of God, or am I acting as a stumbling block to His peace in my life and the lives of others?
If you’re like me and you are struggling with one or more of the above questions, remember Jesus, the greater Mordecai. He is the One who humbly accepted His position and was content with submitting Himself to the will of the Father. He is the One who courageously spoke the truth of His Father in love, even though it meant people would reject and murder Him. He is the One who perfectly sought the shalom of God for His people by dying on the cross and rising from the dead to redeem them. And He is the One who can empower us to follow His example of selfless humility. Look to Him today.
Father God, thank You for Your living Word. I find it amazing that a story that began with such debauchery and hopelessness ended with Your perfect peace shining forth for Your people. Only You could write such a true story. We praise You that Your hand of peace is still active among us today. Even in the midst of the chaotic and violent world we live in, we know that You are there, keeping us in Your perfect love. Jesus, please help us to live this day for Your glory. Instead of grumbling about the position we have, may we humbly accept that You have us exactly where You want us for the promotion of the gospel until You open up other avenues of opportunity. Help us to lovingly stand for the truth of the gospel, even if it means losing the acceptance and approval of others. And teach us what it means to seek and speak Your peace so that those around us may see You and come to love You. May we be obedient to You today, Jesus. Help us to glorify You in every area of our lives. In Your perfect and holy name we pray these things. Amen.