Return from Exile: Esther 6-10 (6)
Pray Psalm 132.13-18.
For the LORD has chosen Zion;
He has desired it for His dwelling place:
“This is My resting place forever;
Here I will dwell, for I have desired it.
I will abundantly bless her provision;
I will satisfy her poor with bread.
I will also clothe her priests with salvation,
And her saints shall shout aloud for joy.
There I will make the horn of David grow;
I will prepare a lamp for My Anointed.
His enemies I will clothe with shame,
But upon Himself His crown shall flourish.”
Sing Psalm 132.13-18.
(Finlandia: Be Still, My Soul)
God dwells among us, and He will forever,
to meet our needs and clothe us with His grace.
He has to us sent Jesus Christ, our Savior,
and made us His eternal resting-place.
His foes are banished from His Presence ever,
but we shall reign with Him before His face.
Read and meditate on Esther 10.1-3.
1. To what did the king advance Mordecai?
2. What kind of ruler was he?
This final chapter makes me wonder why the book was entitled Esther rather than Mordecai. Mordecai is clearly the driving force of this story, although Esther’s humility and courage play a large part in the overall plot. We know what kind of man Mordecai was, a man of faith, true convictions, courage, and practical wisdom. It’s no wonder King Ahasuerus elevated him to second in the empire (v. 3).
As kings and governments are wont to do, Ahasuerus imposed a tax on all the lands and islands within his jurisdiction (v. 1). No problem here. Just normal governance. Mordecai undoubtedly agreed with this action. The writer cites the chronicles of the Medes and Persians as also recording the greatness of Ahasuerus and Mordecai (v. 2). Just in case anyone wanted to check his sources.
But the writer gives us a little more insight to Mordecai’s impact as a high official in the empire. He sought the good of his people and the peace of “all his countrymen” (v. 3). Governments are appointed by God as His servants, to bring His goodness to bear on the people they rule (Rom. 13.1-4). Mordecai demonstrated that approach to government as well as any of the greatest kings of the Old Testament. He was a man totally captive to God, and as a result, a blessing to everyone he touched.
Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162.
Martin Handford, author of the book Where’s Waldo? could certainly do a new book, based on chapter 10 of the book of Esther entitled, Where’s Esther? Where did she go? She was there, and suddenly, she wasn’t.
But here’s the deal: All of us are called to serve our purpose, in our timeframe and sphere, within God’s plan, and should never be looking for fame, fortune, or even recognition for it. In many respects, we should be striving to follow in Esther’s footsteps, content to be courageous and bold, yet unacknowledged in the end.
And truth be told, although our kids loved the Arch book, Esther, The Queen Who Saved Her People, there were many other pertinent characters involved in this book:
Vashti, the Queen Who Preferred Not.
Eunuchs, The Good, The Bad, The Beautifying.
Haman, The Man Who Should Have Studied Solomon.
Mordecai, The Cousin Who Ruled the Roost.
Mordecai, The Good Listener.
Mordecai, The Patient Protagonist.
Mordecai, The Good Seeking, Peace Speaking Power Behind the Throne.
Ahasuerus, The King Who Happened to be King.
And even though God’s Name is never mentioned, He is the main character throughout. He created the story of all these people, and He orchestrated the happenings from beginning to end. Those who put their full trust in Him succeeded mightily. And those who were antithetic to His Laws and plans were doomed extraordinarily, with great flourish.
“The righteous God wisely considers the house of the wicked, overthrowing the wicked for their wickedness” (Prov. 21.12).
“‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope’” (Jer. 29.11 NASB).
“The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. The counsel of the LORDstands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance” (Ps. 33.10-12).
“Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal:
‘The Lord knows those who are His,’ and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity’’ (2 Tim. 2.19).
Where’s Esther? Where are we? She, and we, are held firmly in the arms of God (Deut. 33.27), doing what He has called us to do (Eph. 2.10), with our eyes solidly focused on Him (Ps. 123.1, 2), and finding our joy and contentment wrapped up in Him alone. “For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name” (Heb. 13.14, 15).
Characters involved in God’s continuing saga:
The Saved, Thankfully Working Their Personal Mission Field.
1. Where has God put you for such a time as this? What does He require of you?
2. How should you prepare each day to fulfill that day’s work for the Lord?
3. Whom will you encourage today to be bold and faithful like Esther?
Esther having had power with God, and prevailing, like Jacob, had power with men too. He that will lose his life for God, shall save it, or find it in a better life. The king encouraged her. Let us from this be encouraged to pray always to our God, and not to faint. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Esther 5.1-8
Pray Psalm 132.8-12.
Call on the Lord to help you increase in the righteousness of Jesus. Call on His promises to meet your needs and equip you to serve Him in your Personal Mission Field.
Sing Psalm 132.8-12
(Finlandia: Be Still, My Soul)
Arise, O Lord, come to Your resting place.
Your holy Presence meet with us in might.
Clothe us with righteousness in Jesus’ grace,
and we will shout to Your divine delight!
For David’s sake, turn not away Your face,
but look upon us in Your holy light.
Remember, Lord, the oath You swore to David.
Do not turn back, do not deny Your Word:
“One of your sons, with your throne I will favor,
and He shall keep My cov’nant evermore,
and walk within My testimonies ever.
Thus He shall ever rule as Israel’s Lord.”
T. M. and Susie Moore
Two books can help us understand our own captivity and lead us to seek revival and renewal in the Lord. The Church Captive asks us to consider the ways the Church today has become captive to the world. And Revived! can help us find the way to renewal. Learn more and order your free copies by clicking here and here.
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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available free by clicking here.