Esther 2:22 “And this came to the knowledge of Mordecai, and he told it to Queen Esther, and Esther told the king in the name of Mordecai.”

     Tuesdays with Esther—this is our little series we are running. The historical narrative in which Esther is written is a fascinating story. There are several little things that happen that makes the big story. Our verse today is one of them.

      Mordecai who has raised Esther seems to have some official position. He sits at the king’s gate, which is much more than sitting on a park bench at the county courthouse. Official business was conducted at the king’s gate. It is here that Mordecai learns of a plot to assassinate the king. This has layers of potential problems. If this plot is carried out, who would be the next king? Esther is currently the Queen. Would she be executed? Would the new ruler make life hard for the Jews?

       Mordecai tells the Queen about the plot. The word is taken to the king, and it is looked into. Found credible, the two potential assassins are impaled on a stake. Our English Bibles uses the word gallows, which brings the image of the game “hangman” or the old West, with a wooden platform and a trapdoor that sprung open. The language doesn’t support that image.

  There are lessons for us here:

       First, evil is always lurking about wanting to upset things. Assassinate the king. Split the church. Spread rumors to hurt someone. Evil is never satisfied. Evil is not content. Evil wants to cripple and destroy what is good and right.

       And, as much as we want to believe that everyone has a good heart, the truth is some do not. Some are so corrupt and evil that wicked is all that they know. There are those that feed wicked with corrupt thoughts. Music can do this. Video games can do this. Movies can do this. Friends can do this. And, when a person has surrounded himself with only wicked, it should not surprise us that he engages in evil deeds.

       We are not told the back story as to why there was a plot to kill Xerxes. Could these men have been supporters of Queen Vashti and they were upset that she had been removed? History tells us that Xerxes would be murdered in his bed about 15 years later.

       Second, it is interesting that Mordecai, a Jew captured by the Babylonians, now under the reign of Persia, would care about a foreign ruler. How easily he could have said, “This is none of my business.” Or, “I don’t want to get involved.” And, much too often, when those things are stated, evil prevails. It could have been stopped, but someone looked the other way. Mordecai didn’t do that. It’s risky to stop evil, but it’s the right thing to do. How often when a blow up happens in the family or in the congregation, someone says, “I knew that was going to happen.”            Well, why didn’t you do something? Silence and “it’s none of my business,” often is just a cover for being a coward. The kingdom is our business. The welfare and the wellbeing of the congregation is our business. To sit idly on the sidelines when you could have and should have done something is a mark of fear and lack of commitment.

       Mordecai told the Queen. He did not try to take the assassins on himself. He went to the proper channels and allowed the process of the government and the law to deal with this.

      Third, the “what-if” game certainly comes to play here. What if Mordecai had not heard about the plot? What if Esther had not been the Queen? Most likely, the king is killed and a chapter or two later, the Jews would have been killed in Persia. And, to that great statement in chapter 4, the most famous verse in Esther, “who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” Could that be said about Mordecai here in this section? Maybe he was there for that very reason. And, maybe you are where you are for that very reason.

      We’d all love to work at a place where the office day begins with a prayer, at lunch, Bibles are opened and studied and everyone is humble and kind. But for most, it’s not that way. It’s not even close to that. Toxic, gutter language, crude, offensive and it vexes your soul and spirit every day, just like Sodom did to Lot. But maybe you are there for such a time as this? Maybe your influence will open the eyes of a few. Maybe your example will change the culture. Maybe God has placed you there for this very reason.

      And, the same could be said of our families. We’d love to have everyone in the family a believer. To go to worship together as one massive family. To sit around the kitchen table and talk about the Bible and share good thoughts. But for so many, it’s not that way. Cussing, lying, drinking and selfishness is as common as ice in the cups. Whenever God’s name is brought up, it’s blasphemous and cursing. Why can’t my family be different? Maybe God has placed you there for such a time as this. Maybe you can influence one to talk seriously and deeply about things that matter. Maybe your example can catch the attention of others. Maybe one will come with you to services.

      Mordecai could have turned a deaf ear to what he heard. He didn’t. He could have ignored it. He didn’t. And, when it was time to encourage Esther to step up and be bold, who already had done that? He had.

-Roger Shouse, preaches for the Charlestown Road Church of Christ in New Albany, IN