I don't believe I have ever heard or read a message based on the life of Mordecai. Even an online search yields little information about this man. I have heard him mentioned in the context of Esther's story, but there has been little focus on this man who adopted his cousin after her parents died. I am still considering naming my next book something like Mordecai Men or Men Like Mordecai, for he is the epitome of the message of the book. We need more men to step up and be involved in Kingdom work rather than simply working to make a living and trying to stay out of trouble. Let's proceed and see what we can learn from Mordecai that can help us in our purpose journeys, whether male or female.
SITTING AT THE GATE
We learned something last week in Proverbs 31:23 about the husband of the Proverbs 31 woman: "Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land." We do not read that Mordecai was married, but we do learn that he sat in a place of responsibility:
During the time Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, became angry and conspired to assassinate King Xerxes. But Mordecai found out about the plot and told Queen Esther, who in turn reported it to the king, giving credit to Mordecai. And when the report was investigated and found to be true, the two officials were impaled on poles. All this was recorded in the book of the annals in the presence of the king (Esther 2:21-23).
It was at this point that Mordecai played an important role in the protection not only of Esther, but also of the king and then all the Jewish people. He was in the right place at the right time, paid attention to what he heard, and was a man of action—even though his action was that of a counselor and protector. This is more impressive when we see that Mordecai followed in the footsteps of Daniel: "Now there was in the citadel of Susa a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin, named Mordecai son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, who had been carried into exile from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, among those taken captive with Jehoiachin king of Judah" (Esther 2:5-6).
Mordecai was in a foreign land not by choice. He was exiled from his homeland in an idolatrous nation, but he determined to serve a useful purpose and not mourn the past or yearn for a better future. He started by caring for his cousin and his role grew from there. Your purpose makes you a leader, even if it is only the leadership of your local garden club. Why is that? It is so because when you flow in purpose, you are in partnership with God, the One who assigned your purpose. He wants you to find and fulfill it more than you do, and when you accept who you are, He empowers you to fulfill it—whatever the "it" may be.
I have found too many men, and some women, who shun more responsibility. If they accept it, they may limit it to their own families and don't branch out to play a larger role in society. Some limit their leadership in their church, which is fine, but then if the church isn't growing, they stop growing or work to maintain the status quo instead of leading to cause change and increase. Mordecai positioned himself (we do not see that the Lord placed him at the king's gate), paid attention to what he heard and saw, and God used him in a mighty way.
HIDING OR GATE-SITTING?
Mordecai did not fade into obscurity in his new venue. He did not form a Jews-only social club to maintain Jewish culture and worship. Mordecai took his turn to serve society at large at the king's gate, and God used and then blessed him. Eventually, Mordecai received wealth and honor not as a salary but as a blessing for the work he did that was not tied to a job description. He did not serve because he had to to do so; he chose to do so.
How about you? Are you serving beyond your own self interests? Is your goal to ensure that your tomorrow closely resembles today, or is it to launch out and play a role that helps others through the power of your purpose and creativity? Are you sitting at the gate of responsibility or hiding in the shed of self protection? I hope you will be a man, or a woman for that matter, like Mordecai, who is willing to serve at the highest level that your life preparation allows you to achieve. Have a blessed week.