Held in Highest Esteem

Leah DiPascal

Day: 17 | Plan: Covenant

Today’s Reading : Esther 10

Esther 10:3 (NIV) 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.

The book of Esther concludes in a similar fashion as it began. Reminding us of an influential empire, a powerful king, a beautiful queen and a grand celebration. Through God's providence and reversal of circumstances this story unfolded with twists and turns, leading to an unexpectedly favorable end for the Jewish people.

Together with Esther's help, Mordecai rose in power and authority, holding the second highest position next to King Xerxes. The Jews were delivered from all death threats and obtained victory over their enemies. And a new annual holiday was established to celebrate this great deliverance for years to come.

We would expect Queen Esther to be highlighted in this final chapter. After all, she was the main star who risked her life before King Xerxes to save a nation. However, it is Mordecai who receives the honor and last few words of recognition in today's concluding verses.

Scripture tells us that Mordecai was held in high esteem by his fellow Jews for two main reasons:

1. Mordecai worked for the good of his people.

Mordecai used the position God had given him to help others and ease the burden of the oppressive threats they were under. He courageously acted on behalf of the people during dangerous times so they could ultimately experience a time of peace, honor and celebration. (Esther 8:15-16)

2. Mordecai spoke up for the welfare of all the Jews.

Mordecai didn't allow Haman's threats of injustice and corruption to intimidate him. Mordecai's determination came from his faith in believing God would deliver the Jews and he boldly spoke up, advising Queen Esther that the welfare of many others had been entrusted to them.

Mordecai's life was filled with challenges, but he didn't focus on the upheaval surrounding him. Instead, he used whatever means available to help save others and create opportunities for change.

All the while, God, who is the real hero in this story, was leading, redirecting and orchestrating all those unpredictable circumstances to accomplish great things out of what looked to be a devastating situation for the Jewish people. Even when everything seemed out of control, God was always in control.

Just as God was constantly in control, overseeing the people and Persian activities throughout the book of Esther, He is still in control today. God knows how to work things out – even in an atmosphere that seems completely chaotic or demoralizing – for our good and His glory. Arranging and detaching circumstances to achieve His sovereign purposes.

Maybe on some days, your life appears smooth and predictable. Other days, things seem to be dismantling around you. Remember, even when everything feels out of control, God is always in control. He is continuously orchestrating your circumstances and the people around you to accomplish great things through you and for you.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for making sure the stories of Esther and Mordecai were recorded in Scripture so that I could learn great lessons about Your faithfulness, providence and sovereignty. Despite all that is happening in this world around me, I can live each day knowing that I am securely surrounded by Your presence and that You are completely and constantly in control. In Jesus' name, amen.

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