“When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, 13 he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” 15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”
Mordecai and Esther give us a picture of two generations navigating victoriously a very hostile and political environment with God’s help. Each generation needed the other to accomplish the mission that would save God’s people. Without these two working together for Kingdom purposes, the story would have turned out much differently.
Mordecai took Esther into his home and raised her to know God and His law. Though they lived in a foreign land, they followed God’s ways, not the world in which they lived. What we see is a picture of the home being used to prepare both generations for the battle ahead. This battle manifested when Mordecai refused to bow to a man in power named Haman. Mordecai’s reason for not bowing? He was a Jew. Think Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the Book of Daniel. They refused to bow down to the king's image and were thrown into the fiery furnace and came out victorious and unsinged. Their upbringing helped them to stand when it mattered. This move or lack of movement from Mordecai did not sit well with Haman. Serving as what we would call today, the Prime Minister of the kingdom of Persia, his interests were Persia and personal power and advancement. Think Washington D.C. (Did I type that out loud?). Haman, though semi loyal to the king, liked his power and influence as second in command and expected everyone else to have that same opinion. The problem was that though Mordecai lived under the rule of the king and even served him in different capacities, his ultimate loyalty as a Jew was to The KING! God, His ways, His law. He taught Esther that as well.
Haman’s pride led to anger which in turn surfaced hate. The easy thing to do was to eliminate Mordecai and move on, but that would not be the case. Haman went after Mordecai’s people – the Jews. The hate was not against the man, but what the man represented – God and His ways and this included everyone who believed and lived like Mordecai. Do you see the resemblance today? Not only through antisemitism, but also as believers in Christ. We represent something different than what the world is after and/or trying to make us follow. We stand for one who is greater, and it is our purpose to be Kingdom minded, not worldly and woke to culture. We see this playing out before us in the upcoming SCOTUS nomination. One of our President’s top picks is already coming under extreme scrutiny, not because of her qualifications, but because of her spiritual mindset. It is not the name or the person in this battle. It is the representation. Some things never change nor should we expect them to.
Haman plots to destroy the Jews by manipulating the king to issue an edict that cannot be reversed. When Mordecai gets word of this attack against his people, his response is prayer, fasting and sackcloth done out in the open. His passion for his people caused him to make a public scene of prayer. Many this weekend will be in our nation’s capitol doing this very thing. Repenting, praying and declaring our need for God on behalf of our country. Why? Because we love God, His ways and commands and we know the influence we have as God’s people to intercede. It is my hope that this act of prayer will stir our younger generation to act!
Esther represents the younger generation. Her beauty, favor and upbringing brought her into a place of power and influence with the king. Mordecai’s willingness to stand for what is right and pray on behalf of his people caused Esther to recognize that something urgent was happening. Upon learning the plot of Haman, she is faced with a choice. She either ignores the mission or takes a step of faith and stands up to king on behalf of her people. Where does she begin? Prayer! She instructs her uncle to gather the people to fast and pray. From prayer she steps out in faith and together with Mordecai, they are used to bring power and victory to their people.
Mordecai and Esther represent two generations that worked together. They both stood when they needed to stand, but they also prayed, fasted and interceded. This is essential in the Church today. We need those who are older and wiser to not surrender to weariness, pressure or how bleak it may appear. Now is the time to do what Mordecai did and stand for God when everyone else is bowing to the world and its ways. We must continue to model prayer, worship and communication with those following in our footsteps. I know we are socially distancing, but we cannot distance ourselves from those who will hold power and influence later. They need us now and they will need us then. It is us who says to them, “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
I believe God has placed Kingdom influence in the halls of authority over our nation. What they need from us is prayer. They need our encouragement to stand and go forth in courage. This Saturday, September 26, many will gather in Washington DC and right here at the state capitol building in Illinois to pray. I have included information below for prayer at the Illinois state capitol. But also know the importance of your home. Raise your kids to know God and His ways. Display boldness in front of them. Let them see you stand for Kingdom causes and together you will be used to impact and change your culture for Christ now and in the future.