Working For The Good Of All

Day 29 – Esther 10:1-13

As the narrative ends, we are reminded of the power and reach of the Persian Empire. Remember, this is an empire that extends across 127 provinces (Esther 1:1). It has the power to grant a suspension of taxes (2:18 ESV), and then re-impose taxes on everything under its power, all the way to the distant coastlands (on the eastern Mediterranean; Esther 10:1).

Just like at the beginning of the narrative of Esther, the Persian king’s ″power and might″ is mentioned (Esther 10:2). He promotes Mordecai, and the Jew’s greatness can be found in no less than the historical records of the kings of Media and Persia (cf. Esther 2:23; 6:1). Elsewhere in the Old Testament, the deeds of the kings of Israel and Judah are recorded in historical records (e.g. ″the book of the annals of the kings of Judah″, 1 Kings 14:29). Historical records are also mentioned earlier in the narrative of Esther (Esther 2:23; 6:1). The recording of Mordecai’s position and actions indicate that he is an important figure. Perhaps there is even a suggestion that his status is comparable to that of the previous Israelite kings.7

The Persian Empire might be magnificent, but its king has shared some of that honour with Mordecai (Esther 10:3). He is only answerable to the king, just as Joseph was to Pharaoh in Egypt (Genesis 41:40). Unlike Haman, Mordecai did not seek power for his own benefit or to oppress others. Instead, he worked for the good of his people-God’s people. He also spoke ″peace″ (shalom) to all his ″seed″ (descendants) (Esther 10:3 KJV). What this suggests is that he secured peace not just for his generation, but for future generations also. ″Relief″ from enemies had been won (9:16, 22); now the other side of the coin, ″peace″ (well-being, wholeness, and positive relationships) can also be enjoyed. Again, this rest and peace is in contrast with what Haman brought to the people (e.g. Esther 3:15).

Thank God that He uses people like Mordecai, and Joseph and Daniel before him, to work for the welfare and peace of His people, as well as for society in general.

7Leslie C. Allen and Timothy S. Laniak, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther (Peabody: Hendrickson, 2003), 268.

Think Through:

In this world we will face difficulties, but how can we enjoy true peace? See John 14:27 and 2 Thessalonians 3:16.

Who in government or positions of power (cf. 1 Timothy 2:1-2) can you pray for?

Taken from Journey Through Esther: 30 Devotional Insights by Peter Lau.