A Man Like Mordecai
Every so often we take a break, only to realize that business is calling and my Father’s business needs my attention. Someone else can do it but what an honor it is to be called and to be found diligent!
A few weeks ago, my friends and I embarked on a character study of the bible, and when it came to my turn, I thought Mordecai should be studied in-depth. Mordecai is only mentioned in the book of Esther but let me just let the cat out of the bag! I learned a lot from this man and this would be the first blog in this series of “A man like Mordecai.” You know what they say about not rushing your food!
NB: I highly recommend you take out time to read the entire book of Esther but I’ll still help out with a summarized version of the story.
Mordecai is Esther’s cousin who took care of her in the absence of her biological parents and in a land where they had been exiled. Esther is miraculously favored to replace a former queen. Mordecai is caught in a web of an evil plot to terminate the Jews, led by Haman, a high-ranking officer in the land. In a twist of events, Mordecai and Esther are prominent in the downfall of Haman and the eventual deliverance of the Jews. The story ends in praise!
7 Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah, whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. This young woman, who was also known as Esther, had a lovely figure and was beautiful. Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died.
8 When the king’s order and edict had been proclaimed, many young women were brought to the citadel of Susa and put under the care of Hegai. Esther also was taken to the king’s palace and entrusted to Hegai, who had charge of the harem. 9 She pleased him and won his favor. Immediately he provided her with her beauty treatments and special food. He assigned to her seven female attendants selected from the king’s palace and moved her and her attendants into the best place in the harem.
10 Esther had not revealed her nationality and family background, because Mordecai had forbidden her to do so.
- Diligence is goals!
I have a strong admiration for the diligence that this man Mordecai portrays in taking care of his cousin. Sometimes, it is easier to be diligent with what seems to be rewarding. Mordecai did not have Esther’s parents to bless him for taking care of her daughter. Also, he had no inkling that she would ever amount to be queen and in a foreign land for that matter! Sometimes, you might be delegated a so-called ‘worthless’ or ‘demeaning’ task by God or human authority. Instead of complaining, why not see how you can make gold out of dust! Can you be trusted with an orphan or abandoned project that no one else would have anything to do with? Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom (Ecclesiastes 9:10)
- Passion and skill are goals!
Closely related to diligence are passion and skill. They could even pass for older siblings because they’ll eventually lead to diligence. I noticed that Mordecai treated Esther ‘as his own daughter.’ No, he didn’t handle her as an outcast, he treated her with dignity and genuine care. That’s not a common attribute. We are not told if he had a nuclear family of his own but apart from the desire to care, he actually showed it severally in his attitude towards her. Here’s an encouragement-sometimes, we are not naturally inclined towards certain roles but with help and training from God, humans, and angels sent by God and a genuine passion, we can achieve a lot!
- It’s only a matter of time, your work will speak for you!
This girl, Esther, brought up by Mordecai did not bring him shame. This ‘orphan project’ eventually enjoyed serial favor. The things we do diligently (It has to come up again) in private will eventually be displayed in the public. Esther, previously unknown, became queen. Mordecai himself was upgraded to a more honorable position eventually. This remains true even when calamity rears its ugly head as occurred later in the book of Esther with the imminent destruction of the Jews. I just love how it is all intertwined. Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank (Proverbs 22:29)
- Discernment is key!
I wondered why in Esther 2:10, Mordecai would instruct Esther not to reveal her national identity and family background. I thought it was strange that Mordecai would want her to deny herself. Guess what? I was wrong. It was only a matter of time. The entire land eventually knew Esther was of Jewish background and probably knew her circumstances but this man called Mordecai knew something I didn’t know just yet. It is important to be discerning to know the best time and place to reveal certain things. Who knows if this information divulged at the initial stages might have unnecessarily aborted her ascension to the throne? On the flip side, providing a particular piece of information might just be the key to accessing a certain door. Discernment is necessary and the good news is that this is the specialty of the Holy Spirit. He never disappoints in knowing what to do and how to do things. The bible talks about a certain tribe, the sons of Issachar who were discerning, and their kinsmen were placed in their care as a result. from Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do—200 chiefs, with all their relatives under their command; (1 Chronicles 12:32)
- Faithfulness in the little…
It’s easy to see people in highly-esteemed positions and not understand that they were ever anything less. You see, a man like Mordecai understood faithfulness in the little and how it amounted to being able to handle greater matters. Did you know that Mordecai progressed from taking care of his cousin Esther, being her adviser when she became queen to serving an entire ethnic group, the Jews, and subsequently ranked next to King Xerxes? I refuse to believe that I am the only one that is wowed by the very last verse of the book of Esther. Mordecai the Jew was second in rank to King Xerxes, preeminent among the Jews, and held in high esteem by his many fellow Jews, because he worked for the good of his people and spoke up for the welfare of all the Jews. (Esther 10:3)
There’s a lot to learn from a man like Mordecai and I’m super blessed to know this much. There’s even more. So, watch out for part 2! Before then though, please comment on what resonated most with you and how it is changing your perspective.
In the end, our lives must be transformed.