May 22, 2022
May 22, 2022
Fans of 90’s sitcoms will readily recognize the name Steve Urkel, the lovable, accident-prone nerd next door on Family Matters. It was almost guaranteed that if something was breakable in a scene when Urkel entered the room, he’d find a way to destroy it and then utter his catchphrase, “Did I do that?” Then everyone in the room glared at him disgustedly as if to say, “Yes, you did that.” It’s a classic comedy.
Having watched this show a million times, this phrase came to my mind the other day, and I wondered if that’s how the people of Israel looked at Mordecai when the king’s edict came down. Because realistically, the king's edict that all of the Jews be slaughtered was Mordecai’s fault. Yes, he did that.
Mordecai is one of the main characters in the book of Esther. He was Esther’s uncle, but he raised her as his own after her parent’s died. Like the other Jews of their time, they lived as exiles in Susa. Even though Mordecai lived in a foreign land, he chose to obey God’s Laws and ride or die. This included the law that says you should not bow to anyone but God.
Mordecai's refusal to bow drove one of the king’s noblemen, Haman, absolutely insane! Why? Because everyone bowed down to him, EXCEPT Mordecai. Haman couldn’t stand him. In fact, it bothered Haman so much that he went to King Xerxes, lied about the Jewish people, and had the king put out a mandate that all of the Jews would be killed on a specific day. All because one man wouldn’t bow, can you believe it?
Yet, this was the truth the Jewish people faced….and it was all Mordecai’s fault.
So Mordecai went to now Queen Esther and said, “You have to do something.”
Esther said, “I’d be putting my life on the line…can’t do it.”
Then came the infamous line, “Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”
At first read, it seems odd that Mordecai asked Esther to put her life on the line for a problem he created. And yet, thinking further, I realized that Mordecai loved Esther. He didn’t want to see harm come to her. He spent his days outside the palace so he could watch over her. When Mordecai asked Esther to take responsibility, he knew that if something happened to her, HE would feel the loss because he loved her.
At great sacrifice to him and those he loved, Mordecai chose to take responsibility to see the fight his stand created through to the end.
He led the Jews in a time of intercessory prayer, and then he sent the one he loved most in the world to plead their case.
As we know, God came through for His people and saved them from destruction.
As I read this passage in this light, we can see a fundamental truth: There are times when we take a stand for righteousness or choose to obey God that things don’t turn out the way we plan. People don’t always respect our intentions. There isn’t always a happy ending. Often a man of God who stands for righteousness makes people angry. That anger sparks persecution.
We see this happen more and more in our society. Christians stand for their beliefs, but rather than riding off like heroes into the sunset, they face difficult consequences. Some lose family members or friends. Others lose jobs. Some face lawsuits that drag on for years and years.
Mordecai challenges us to obey God no matter the repercussions, follow through, and continue standing during the implications. Be prepared that sometimes the choice to ride or die with God may bring personal loss. Acknowledge that these battles will have to be fought through intercessory prayer while you hold your ground. Be inspired by Mordecai to never back down and recognize that perhaps YOU were called into the kingdom to take this stand and fight this battle—ride or die.
By: Jamie Holden, Mantour Ministries
When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, 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. 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?”
Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “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.”
So Mordecai went away and carried out all of Esther’s instructions. (Esther 4:12-17, NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.