jump to navigation

Characters in Esther – Mordecai’s Confidence in God April 20, 2008

Posted by roberttalley in Esther, Faith, Religion, Sermons.
trackback

CHARACTERS IN ESTHER

MORDECAI’S CONFIDENCE IN GOD

Esther 4:13-14

 

As we look at the various characters of this book, we are looking at the one character who seems to openly express faith in God. As you know, God is not named as a participant in the book of Esther but the verses that we are looking at today make it clear that Mordecai had a faith in God that is consistent with what is taught elsewhere in the Old Testament. Esther, his cousin, who he has raised is now the queen. After she became queen, Mordecai was instrumental in uncovering a plot against King Ahaseurus. Everything seems to be going well but trouble by the name of Haman comes on the scene. Today we want to see how that this man had confidence and faith in God.

MORDECAI’S CONFIDENCE WAS NOT BASED ON AN UNUSUALLY RIGHTEOUS CHARACTER.

He had chosen not to return to Jerusalem as other Jews had. Now we do not want to read more into this than the Bible tells us but let us think about this for a moment. Around 50,000 Jews returned to Jerusalem and the surrounding area under Persian rule. There were many, however who for some reason or another chose not to go back to the land of their fathers. They had permission to go home but many did not, among them Mordecai and Esther. Mordecai may have held a minor office in the government, which would explain why he sat in the king’s gate  and would perhaps explain why he did not return to Jerusalem. The trip back to Jerusalem was dangerous and once there, he would have had no guarantee of a living. Whatever the reason, Mordecai chose not to go back to his homeland.

Remember, Mordecai had advised Esther not to be open and honest about her ethnic identity (2:10). Certainly, it might be understandable for Mordecai to not take up his roots and move to a country which, though it was his homeland, he was unfamiliar with. It seems though that Mordecai not only was unwilling to go home with the other Jews but also that he preferred to play down his Jewish heritage. Now it should be noted that he did not keep it a complete secret (Esther 3:1-4). It is ironic that the very thing he told Esther not to do, in order to protect her, he himself did. In fact, it was Mordecai’s admission that he was Jewish that ultimately brought the whole nation into jeopardy. 

MORDECAI’S REFUSAL TO BOW DOWN

Although clearly loyal to the king (Esther 2:21-23), Mordecai chose not to show respect to command of the king in honoring Haman (3:1-6). Now the command of the king was not likely a command to worship Haman. If anything the king would have reserved that privilege for himself. Haman had been lifted to an authoritative position and the king had commanded that Haman be respected. One might imagine that Haman himself had requested this honor to be shown him. Mordecai would not have been breaking any laws by bowing down to Haman. In fact, according to the commandment of Jeremiah, in Jeremiah 29:3-7 to honor Haman would have been obedience to the LORD’s command. Mordecai was obviously loyal to the king, otherwise he would not have rescued his life by betraying the conspiracy against Ahasuerus’ life. Apparently, Mordecai just did not like something about Haman. Mordecai never reveals why he reacted this way to Haman. Mordecai appears to be foolhardy. Although on the surface, Mordecai would not be candidate number one for “Most Righteous Jew of the Year;” he was according Esther 4:13-14 confident that God would protect His people.

BIBLICAL CONFIDENCE

Mordecai’s confidence was based on a knowledge of God’s promises (Compare Esther 4:14 with Jeremiah 30). He did not presume to say that he knew how God would deliver the Jews but he was confident that God would.

These promises had been clearly made (Jeremiah 30). Of course, these promises were first made to Abraham (Genesis 12), Isaac, and Jacob. God had confirmed them when he gave the Ten Commandments (Exodus 19-20) and again before Moses died in the book of Deuteronomy. I would like for us to look, though, at Jeremiah’s prophecy concerning God’s promise of protection to His people.

First, he promises to return His people to the promised land (Jeremiah 30:2-3). We will look at this promise a bit closer later on.

Secondly, God promises that no matter how bad things may get, He will save His people (Jeremiah 30:4-11). The description here is of extreme sorrow and pain. Unlike the previous promise, this event, the time of Jacob’s trouble has not yet occurred. This time of Jacob’s trouble is described for us several places in the Bible, most notably in the book of Revelation but it is also described by Joel, Daniel, Isaiah, and many other of the writing prophets, which doubtless Mordecai would have been familiar with and have known that God would never allow His people ultimately to be destroyed.

Because the first set of promises had been clearly kept, Mordecai had every expectation that God would keep the other promises (6:12-13). From his viewpoint, it appeared that the time of Jacob’s trouble had come. From his viewpoint, it was time for the Messiah to deliver his people. Because of this knowledge, he had confidence that if his cousin, who he had raised, deserted him and her people, God would deliver his people.

Notice, Mordecai did not say, I know God will deliver me. He did not know that. God had not made that promise to him individually but God had made that promise to His people and Mordecai believed that promise. He had seen what God had been able to do to move Cyrus to permit the Jews to return to Jerusalem. He knew that God through Isaiah had predicted that a man named Cyrus would do this. He knew that Jeremiah had predicted that it would happen seventy years after the captivity began. He had every reason in the world to believe that God somewhere would use someone from somewhere to somehow deliver His people.

WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM MORDECAI…

The story of Mordecai suggests that the purpose of faith in God is more than simply winning God’s favor but rather to give us insight into what God is doing, so that we might act accordingly.

Let me explain. Too many people believe that pleasing God is some type of white magic. “If I do enough good things then God will give me blessings, power to do mighty deeds, a nice home with a two car garage, kid’s who never rebel, physical and mental health, good grades, good jobs, good retirement packages, and death while we sleep with a smile on our face.” This is not Mordecai’s philosophy. He believes that God has already promised that He would rescue His people. Mordecai is convinced that he and Esther should act rather than hide themselves because he knows that God is in control and that His promises endure forever. His responsibility is simply to act accordingly. He does not need to fear that his people would be destroyed. He simply trusts in God’s providence and power and purposes.

 

WHAT PROMISES HAS GOD MADE TO US?

It should be clear that the national promise of protection to Israel has not been made to any other nation or group of people. There are, however, some promises that are specifically made to the Church, the Body of Christ. I will only mention a few. God has promised that if we trust Jesus Christ, His Son, as our sacrifice for our sins, that we would receive eternal life. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life, He that believes in me, though he were died, yet shall he live.” Some of you young people worry about whether you will truly go to heaven when you die. According to the Scriptures, if you have trusted Christ, you are assured of salvation forever.

 

Titus 3:3-7 tells that it is only in Christ that we have hope of salvation.

3 “For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared,  not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

 

Others of you are worried about all sorts of things. Christ said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” This does not mean if you seek God first you will never worry. What He is saying is that you do not need to worry, you are wasting your time with worrying. God will take care of you. This is not a call to live a life pleasing to God so that you can win God’s favor but rather give priority to the things of God and He will take care of every other priority that you might have or might want to have. When you bow before God in prayer, you can pray, not my will but thy will be done because you are convinced not only that God’s will shall be done but that also His will is best.

 

Next Week: Haman – The Sin of Pride – Esther 6:1-14

Advertisements

Comments»

1. Sophana - September 8, 2009

I have searched for Mordecai’s character study, it is useful to me. The other sites are focusing on Esther, so what I expected I got it

michael - January 20, 2010

may god bless you…

parksnpools@rediffmail.com


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: