Perhaps just as important to Jewish history as Queen Esther, was her guardian and cousin, Mordecai.
In the book of Esther, Mordecai was the one who, “when her father and mother were dead, took (Esther) for his own daughter” (Esther 2:7c).
We see from Esther’s actions in the king’s palace that Mordecai had raised her to be a godly young woman. Though beautiful, she was also likable and modest, as she “required nothing but what Hegai the king’s chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her” (Esther 2:15b).
In that estrogen-rich atmosphere, in which the most lovely young women in the land were competing to be the next queen, no one disliked Esther. She was that good!
And the king obviously felt the same about her as everyone else did. Esther was crowned queen in place of the righteously indignant Vashti (Esther 2:17).
The height of conflict in the book of Esther began when wicked Haman, the king’s advisor, devised a plot to kill all the Jews. Unbeknownst to everyone except Esther and Mordecai, Esther was a Jew, and it lay with her to save herself and her people.
But despite her royal status, she was no equal partner with her husband. She did not know how to approach him about her problem, as no one was able to visit the king without being invited, on pain of death (Esther 4:11).
Enter Mordecai, Esther’s father in every way that mattered. He had raised her in childhood, protected her in womanhood, and advised her during her time as queen.
Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews. For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? – Esther 4:13,14
After hearing that message from Mordecai, Esther’s resolve hardened. She asked that Mordecai and all the Jews fast and pray for three days, along with her and her maids. Then, she would go into the king and begin enacting her plan to defeat the wiley Haman at his own game.
“And if I perish, I perish,” she said (Esther 4:16d).
Sometimes, those we love just need a word of encouragement from us to pursue a dream, commit to a life change, or simply do the right thing.
Our children need us to push them to fulfill their potential.
Our friends and spouses need us to speak the truth in love.
Our pastors need our gratitude and support.
Who knows but that our words may influence our loved ones at the time they need it most?
What inspires you about Mordecai’s story? I welcome your thoughts. And I’d love any suggestions for next week’s Lives That Inspire. Thank you!