Today’s reading: Esther 6-10.
It’s Mordecai and not Esther who receives all the praise as the book of Esther closes. Maybe that’s not as strange as it seems, for Mordecai and Esther were both instrumental in God’s plan to save the Jews from destruction. Mordecai was Esther’s senior, her guardian, and he guided her to take a stand for the Jews. Mordecai also ended up, like Joseph in Egypt, second in command in Persia.
Mordecai the Jew was second in rank to King Xerxes, preeminent among the Jews, and held in high esteem by his many fellow Jews, because he worked for the good of his people and spoke up for the welfare of all the Jews. Esther 10:3
Mordecai was held in high esteem, not because of his position, but because he did whatever he could to advance the cause of his people. In particular, the Bible praises him for speaking up for the welfare of the Jews.
The Bible encourages us to speak up for those who are in trouble:
- Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Proverbs 31:8
- Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31:9
We are to speak out when we are a witness:
- If you are called to testify about something you have seen or that you know about, it is sinful to refuse to testify, and you will be punished for your sin. Leviticus 5:1
We are to speak out and tell others of our hope in God:
- But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. 1 Peter 3:15
- Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Psalm 105:1
We should speak out against sin:
- As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. 1 Timothy 5:20
- Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 2 Timothy 4:2
Sometimes we keep silent when we should speak out, wanting to avoid conflict or being fearful of drawing attention to ourselves. Mordecai was praised for speaking out for those who were in trouble. Let us be willing to take the risk and speak out in when our words will make a difference.
Image by Howard Lake on Flickr, CC by-sa 2.0