And all the acts of his power and might, and the full account of the high honor of Mordecai, to which the king advanced him, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia? For Mordecai the Jew was second in rank to King Ahasuerus, and he was great among the Jews and popular with the multitude of his brothers, for he sought the welfare of his people and spoke peace to all his people. —Esther 10:2–3 (ESV)
Mordecai is one of the heroes in the book of Esther. He was in fact Esther’s older cousin who raised her as his own daughter when she was orphaned. Esther, who becomes Queen and helps save the Jewish people, is, of course, another ‘hero’ of the book (more on that in the August 8th episode of the Morning Routine!).
Mordecai has an archenemy in the book, Haman. Haman’s absolute hatred of Mordecai and the Jewish people is breathtaking. At one point in the account, Haman brags to a friend about all of the good things he had, including riches and a very high position with the king. But he confesses: “Yet all of this does not satisfy me every time I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate.” So his friend advises Haman to make gallows on which to execute Mordecai, and so Haman builds the gallows. Later, the story takes an ironic turn when the king has Haman executed on the gallows built for Mordecai! Further, the king greatly honors Mordecai, whose greatness is summarized in today’s text.
Mordecai did not chase riches and honor like Haman, but God was pleased to honor him, “for he sought the welfare of his people and spoke peace to all his people.” Let us be like Mordecai: live for the Lord in humility, to make His name great—not out to make a name for ourselves. Let us seek the welfare of others as Mordecai did.