Esther 10

 

 

                                                      CONCLUSION

 

THE GREATNESS OF AHASUERUS, AND OF MORDECAI UNDER HIM

(ch. 10.).

 

The Book of Esther might have been expected to terminate with the institution of the

Purim feast. All that has gone before is subordinate to this, and the reader would be

satisfied, and require no more, if the book stopped at the end of ch. 9. But the

writer, perhaps from personal attachment to Mordecai, perhaps from mere

patriotic pride in him, cannot bring himself to lay down the pen until he has

put on record the full greatness of his hero, and the strength and support

that he was to the Jews of his day. He has already told us that “this man

Mordecai waxed greater and greater” (ch. 9:4). He now expands

this statement. The essence of Mordecai’s greatness consisted in his being

next unto king Ahasuerus” (v. 3), his chief minister and alter ego. Thus

the greatness of Ahasuerus is involved in his. So the chapter commences

with a few words of Ahasuerus’ greatness. It has already been noticed

more than once (ch. 1:1; 8:9) that he “ruled from India to Ethiopia,

over an hundred and twenty-seven provinces.” It is now added that he laid

a tribute upon the land, and upon the isles of the sea” (v 1). This mention

of “laying a tribute’ was the chief reason why in former days so many

writers, including Hooker, identified the Ahasuerus of this book with

Darius, the son of Hystaspes. But it is not necessary to suppose that the

first laying of a tribute on the provinces of the Persian empire is here

intended; and Xerxes, after the Grecian expedition, which seriously altered

the bounds of his dominions, may well have made a new assessment, in

which the islands of the AEgean, or some of them, and certain other

maritime tracts, were included. For the rest of Ahasuerus’ “power and his

might,” the writer is content to refer his readers to “the book of the

chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia (v. 2), which contained also

an account of “the greatness of Mordecai, whereto the king advanced

him.” This greatness forms the sole subject of the concluding verse, which

declares Mordecai’s position:

 

·         with respect to the Persians — “next to the king ;” and,

·         with respect to the Jews — “great among them,” “accepted,” and their

protector and benefactor, “seeking their wealth,” or welfare, and “speaking

peace,” or insuring tranquility, to all the whole race or people.

 

1 “And the king Ahasuerus laid a tribute upon the land, and upon the

isles of the sea.”  King Ahasuerus laid a tribute on the land. Darius, the son of

Hystaspes, was the first to do this (Herod., 3:89); but, as the tribute had to

be rearranged from time to time (ibid., 6:42), any subsequent Persian

monarch who made a fresh arrangement might be said to “lay a tribute on

the land.” Xerxes is not unlikely to have done so after his return from

Greece, as he had lost portions of his territories. And on the islands of

the sea. The Hebrew expression translated by “islands of the sea” includes

maritime tracts. Xerxes by the Greek expedition lost the islands of the

AEgean, but still held certain tracts upon the coast of Europe, which were

occupied for a considerable time by Persian garrisons (Herod., 7:106, 107).

These would necessarily be included in any assessment that he may have

made, and it is even not unlikely that Xerxes would lay his assessment on

the AEgean islands, though he might not be able to collect it.

 

 

A King’s Tribute and Power (v. 1)

 

Ahasuerus is certainly not brought before us in this book as a model king.

He was careless of the lives of his subjects, indifferent to justice, callous to

suffering, capricious in his likings, and fond of his own pleasure and ease.

If Xerxes be the Ahasuerus of this book, it would be hard to light in history

upon a character less worthy of respect. Yet he was, if not a great king,

king of a great empire — an embodiment of the idea of sovereignty and

monarchy.

 

  • THE CHARACTER OF HIS DOMINION. He levied taxes

upon the land and upon the isles of the sea. He exercised power and

might over his subjects. He was responsible to no earthly authority.

 

  • THE EXTENT OF HIS DOMINION. Not only in this verse,

but throughout the book, the vastness of the Persian empire and the

might of the Persian scepter appear as a great fact in the world’s history.

 

  • THE LIMITS OF HIS POWER. The Most High ruled, as He

ever does rule, and turned the heart of the subject king as He would. We

feel that the moving power in the great transaction was Divine. Man rules,

but God overrules.

 

  • THE POWER OF AHASUERUS SUGGESTS THE AUTHORITY

AND EMPIRE OF GOD HIMSELF. Not only by similitude, but also by

contrast. This earthly king was defeated by the Greeks, despised by his

subjects, assassinated by his servants, and his kingdom passed away to be

no more seen. But “the Lord reigneth.” (Psalm 97:1)  “His dominion is an

 everlasting dominion.” (Daniel 7:14) “Of His glory there is no end.”

(Isaiah 9:7)  He demands the submission of our will and the tribute of

our praise.

 

2 “And all the acts of his power and of his might, and the declaration

of the greatness of Mordecai, whereunto the king advanced him,

are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of

Media and Persia?”   All the acts of his power and of his might. These are

unknown to us. After the failure of the Grecian expedition Xerxes

attempted nothing further on that side of his empire, and the Greeks

consequently record nothing more concerning him. He may have made

expeditions in other directions. But the chief evidences that we have of his

activity point to his having sought to gratify his ambition and give vent to

his grand ideas by erecting magnificent buildings. The book of the

chronicles. See ch. 2:23; 6:1; 9:32. The kings of Media and

Persia. It is indicative of the intimate connection of the two Iranian

empires that one “book” contained the records of both. The fact of the

connection is fully established by profane history. Its exact nature is not

perhaps even yet fully understood. “Media” seems to be placed before

Persia in this place on chronological grounds, because the Median

history preceded the Persian history, and was therefore recorded first in the

book.”

 

 

The Greatness of Mordecai (v. 2; ch. 9:4)

 

Before taking leave of this interesting and typical character, it may be well

to review the elements of the greatness which, in these two passages, is so

glowingly ascribed to him. Mordecai’s greatness was:

 

1. A contrast to his former humiliation at the door of the palace,

2. A contrast to the ignominious death for which at one time he seemed

destined,

3. A state for which his past sufferings and patience had probably, in a

measure, prepared him.

4. Directly occasioned by his act of loyalty and faithfulness,

5. Occasioned by the discovery of Haman his enemy’s malice,

6. Concerted with the royalty of his relative, Esther.

7. The direct bestowment of the king, Ahasuerus.

8. Manifest in the palace,

9. Extending to all the provinces of the vast empire, where his fame was

known and his power was felt.

10. Progressive, for he became greater and greater,

11. Exercised for the public good; in this respect a signal contrast to him he

replaced,

12. Recorded in the chronicles of the Persian kingdom for the information

of future generations,

13. Recorded and sanctified in a book of canonical Scripture for the

instruction and encouragement of fidelity and piety throughout all time.

14. Permanently commemorated in the interesting Jewish festival of Purim.

 

3 “For Mordecai the Jew was next unto king Ahasuerus, and great

among the Jews, and accepted of the multitude of his brethren,

seeking the wealth of his people, and speaking peace to all his

seed.”  Next unto king Ahasuerus. Compare Genesis 41:40;

Daniel 5:7; 6:3. Profane history neither confirms this nor contradicts it.

We know almost nothing of Xerxes from profane sources after his return

to Susa in B.C. 479. Accepted of. Or, “beloved by.” The wealth of his

people. i.e. their welfare. Speaking peace to all his seed. It is generally

allowed that by “his seed”, we must understand those of the same stock

with himself — “the seed of Israel.” “Speaking peace” to them seems to

mean “promoting their peace and safety” — insuring them, so long as he

lived and ruled, a quiet and peaceful existence.

 

 

Wisdom at the Helm (vs. 1-3)

These concluding verses give a brief and comprehensive view of the results

of Mordecai’s advancement to power. The influence of the great Jew soon

made itself felt to the utmost boundaries of the wide empire.

 

  • A UNIVERSAL TAXING. The laying of “a tribute on the land and the

isles of the sea” may seem very arbitrary, but it was probably in the manner

of a notable reform. It is to be attributed to Mordecai, and is given as a

special instance of his wisdom and power. Despots have many ways of

extracting money from those whom they govern, but the only proper way

of supporting government is through just and systematic taxation. If the

satraps or governors of provinces send in abundant supplies, shahs and

sultans are content; they pay no heed to the manner in which the supplies

have been secured. From this cause corruption and oppression still abound

in the East. Mordecai adopted a system of direct taxation which embraced

the whole empire, and for this he succeeded in getting the king’s sanction.

Let us remark:

 

Ø      That tribute is necessary. Government cannot be efficiently

Maintained without adequate support; it is worth paying for.

 

Ø      Tribute should only be raised for necessary purposes; not for selfish

indulgences or vainglorious conquests, but for the legitimate needs

of the state.

 

Ø      Tribute should be equitable in its incidence. It should be borne by all,

but at the same time it should exhibit a just regard to the varying

conditions and abilities of citizens.

 

Ø      Tribute should be levied openly, and only through legally-appointed

channels. Otherwise injustice and corruption are encouraged.

 

Ø      Tribute is most satisfactory when estimated and determined by a people

themselves through appointed representatives. Self-government and

self-taxation are in all respects better than an irresponsible despotism.

 

Ø      Tribute when just or necessary should always be cheerfully given. We

have a duty to our rulers. The protection, freedom, and peace secured to us

by a good government are cheaply purchased by a taxation that is equally

levied on all.

 

Ø      Tribute is due to the heavenly King as well as to earthly monarchs and

states. Whilst rendering to Caesar what is Caesar’s, we should be careful

 to render to God what is God’s (Matthew 22:21).

 

  • OTHER ACTS OF WISDOM AND GREATNESS. These are only

noted, not described They were many and illustrious. But though our

narrative passes by these acts with a simple allusion to them, it refers us for

detailed and complete information to a good authority — “are they not

written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia?” No

doubt the writer thought that archives of the great empire would outlive his

little story.. But where now are they? Where is the empire itself? Where

are other empires, greater and more brilliant, that succeeded it as the

dominant world-power? All vanished, and their records with them! The

only chronicle preserved of Mordecai’s doings is that given in the Book of

Esther, and its preservation is owing to its having been bound up with the

word of God to men. Let us learn:

 

Ø      The transient character of all worldly things.

Ø      The indestructibility of God’s truth and kingdom (Matthew

5:18; I Peter 1:24-25).

 

  • A PLEASANT RECOGNITION OF HONEST AND

HONORABLE GREATNESS. Mordecai was powerful not only with the

king and his heathen subjects, but with “the multitude of his own brethren”

throughout the empire. His power, however, was not forced, or grudgingly

acknowledged. He was “great among the Jews” because he was “accepted

of,” or acceptable to them. All power that relies on force and exacts an

unwilling submission is bad and precarious; that power only is legitimate

and secure which is based on the confidence and affection of a willing

people. Mordecai’s acceptableness with his brethren of Israel sprang from

two things:

 

Ø      He sought their wealth. In other words, he studied their prosperity. All

the laws of the empire were so framed as to secure their freedom of

industry and commercial intercourse.

 

Ø      He spoke peace to them. His acts had the effect of delivering them from

the fear of their enemies. He held over them the shield of the king’s

protection, and enabled them to live and work in quiet contentedness. We

have here an emblematic picture of Christ’s kingdom. Prosperity and peace

are the two great blessings promised to the people of Zion (Psalm

122:6-7). “Quietness and assurance for ever” is “the effect of

righteousness(Isaiah 32:17-18). Christ is the “King of glory” and the

“Prince of peace.” “The good Shepherd” watches, defends, guides, and

feeds His sheep; He makes them “lie down in green pastures,” and leads

them “beside the still waters” (Psalm 23:2).

 

 

The Beneficent Statesman (v. 3)

 

It is reserved for the very last sentences of this book to give to one of the

chiefest of its characters, perhaps the chiefest, the place and testimony he

had well earned. For a time these seemed withheld, and both the name of

Mordecai and himself also seemed kept somewhat unduly in the

background. But when we come to the end, it looks rather as though all

the book had been in deep reality about him, and as though all had hinged

on him. We are left at the close of the book with our last impressions as of

him, and he is placed before us under a very strong light. There is no doubt

much of the patriot in the portrait we have of Mordecai. But the

honorable summary of this verse reminds us that he had passed the mere

politician and patriot. He has won for himself the name of the great and the

good statesman. He is “next to Ahasuerus;” and what he did and what he

was affected not the Jews only, but the whole empire — all of the various

and wide dominion of the king. He is stamped on the sacred page as the

type of A BENEFICENT STATESMAN. There have been not a few who

have extorted from their own day and generation the title of great

statesmen, but the claim has not survived them long.. The number of the

really beneficent statesmen is much smaller, but their renown is for ever. In

the amazing wealth and variety of Scripture lesson for every need of human

life, and of Scripture model for every office of authority and influence in

human society, this of the honest and beneficent statesman is not

overlooked. Neither must we overlook it, nor omit to notice, as afresh

suggested by it, how intrinsic an argument is herein given us for the Divine

inspiration of the Bible. Whence but from such an original could have come

to us so many, so perfect models? It is doubly important that we should

remark how ample a share of these the Book of Esther contains —

evidences of inspiration of the highest kind and value. The brief summary

of this verse is the more impressive as coming at the very end of the book.

But passing by all other suggestions, it speaks of a certain greatness, and a

greatness evidently of very comprehensive character. It is the greatness of

an emphatically good statesman. Let us take the opportunity suggested by

a leading instance of considering:

 

  • THE STATESMAN’S OFFICE.

Ø      It is the expression of government. If man were only gregarious, he

would need, and undoubtedly be subjected to government. ALL living

things are subject to government, need it, and are rapidly being brought

under the rule of man, according to the charter originally given to man.

 

Ø      It is the expression of order. Man is emphatically not merely gregarious;

he is social. The variety of his sympathies and antipathies is very large,

and their range amazing. So much so, that the saying, “The chiefest

study of mankind is man,” might, if reversed, express to perfection a

great truth for some, and read, “The chiefest study of man is mankind.”

 

Ø      It is the expression of concentrated purpose, of intelligent, united

advance. The highest and most beneficent results of SOCIETY would

without it be unattainable by the human species. Development of

society is always tending toward higher developments of government.

And the beneficial reaction is sometimes abundantly evident. Again,

the higher developed form of government is always tending to render

possible higher social results.

 

Ø      It is in some degree the expression of morality and religion.  (Of

this fact, the Founding Fathers of the United States were well aware.

One of the two things done under the Articles of Confederation was

the Land Ordinance of 1787.  That document contained these words: 

Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good

government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means

of education shall forever be encouraged.  The ignorance of this by

such pushy organizations as the American Civil Liberties Union, to the

point we no longer practice these foundational truths in our society is

why the country is so divided along moral lines and the house is falling

down! – CY – 2014)  Where the religious sense is lowest, then it is

lowest, and vice versa It has been well said that “the organization of

every human community indicates some sense of a Divine presence,

some consciousness of a higher law, some pressure of a solemn necessity.”

Government (and therefore the chief personage of government) is the

outcome of the most elementary necessities of humanity in some of the

very highest aspects of that same humanity. From the very first this was

testified; and through exceedingly various forms, lower and higher in

type, the principle has ever held its ground, and still excites attention

and interest second to not one of the profoundest problems.

 

  • SOME OF THE GENERAL REQUISITES FOR IT.

 

Ø      A certain passion for humanity as considered in large masses.

Ø      A natural gift for discerning the genius of a people.

Ø      Natural qualifications for exercising rule.

o       Sympathy strong.

o       Justice clear and inviolable.

o       Authority, often indefinable in its elements, but evidencing its

own existence conclusively.

o       Temper and moderation.

Ø      Carefully-trained ability to calculate the effects of certain legislative

treatment on Whole communities of people, and on their mutual

adjustments.

Ø      Favourableness of position, as marked out by Providence.

 

  • SOME OF THE MORE SPECIALLY MORAL AND BENEFICENT

REQUISITES OF IT.

 

Ø      The “greatness” which it inevitably marks will be, as far as possible, free

from the taint of personal ambition. Surely there was a minimum of this in

Mordecai, as there was a loathsome maximum of it in Haman. The very

way in which high position is attained will be a happy omen, or the reverse.

Ø      Its “greatness” will partake largely of the moral element.

o       It will have ready for the hour of special need of it an inflexible

moral courage. What an illustration of this Mordecai gave

before he attained high office, and when he would not bow to

wrong, and, when wrong became more wrong, still refused to

move,” though dread punishment overhung.

o       The natural temper and gift of authority will more and more

become transmuted into moral authority, and become

superseded by moral influence. Express mention is made

of this in the career of Mordecai. “The fear of him,” of

the moral power that was behind him, spread over enemy

and grew comfortingly in friend.

o       Its greatness will lay itself out in practical devotion to

the interests of the crowded multitude. Mordecai “sought the

wealth of his people,” and it made him “accepted of the

multitude of his brethren.”  Its greatness will speak the things

of peace. Special emphasis is laid on the fact that Mordecai

spoke peace to all his seed.” The statesman is not to seek to

give the impression of caste. He is not to flourish upon war

or strife. He is not to propagate the methods and the ideas

of the high-handed, but all the contrary. Like the spiritual

teacher, he also must not “cry, Peace, peace, when there is

no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14); but he is to make peace as far as

may be possible by breathing peace upon all.

 

  • SOME OF ITS REWARD. Beside all such as he will have in common

with every obscurest fellow-man who is faithful:

Ø      in the satisfaction of fulfilling duty,

Ø      in peace of conscience, and

Ø      in a persuasion of Divine approval, he may reckon upon :

o       The joy of seeing a prospered community, due in some part

to his work.

o       The gratitude of a discerning people growing round his

accumulating years.

o       An honorable, enduring place on the best of the pages

of history.

 

 

The Wealth and Peace of a People the Patriot’s Aim (v. 3)

 

It is a fine description of the aim of Mordecai’s public life with which this

book closes. What more could be said of the patriotic statesman in any

kingdom than this: that he was ever found “seeking the wealth of his

people, and speaking peace to all his seed”?

 

  • WEALTH. Under this we include not simply riches, but welfare in every

sense: prosperity, security, progress, happiness — all that can truly enrich

and bless a nation. Patriotism, observe, has regard to the people. It is no

special class or interest that the true patriot seeks to benefit, but ALL

HIS COUNTRYMEN!   Now, whilst this virtue does not take so wide

a range as philanthropy, it is, like philanthropy, opposed to self-seeking.

It is an expansive, liberal, generous, and withal practical attitude of mind.

And this end is sought by personal effort, by the exercise of wisdom in

the choice of means, and by diligence in their use.

 

  • PEACE. Under this must be included peace of heart, such as arises

from a sense of justice and security of government; social peace, such as

prevails where neighbors dwell in amity; political peace, or freedom from

civil broils and tumults; general peace, or concord between different races

and nations; universal peace, such as is destined, according to prophetic

declarations, TO PERVADE THE WHOLE EARTH!   All these will be

dear to the patriot’s heart, and he will use every endeavor to bring about

these high and noble ends. Causes of disaffection and disunion and discord

he will seek to remove, and he will do all that lies within his power to bring

on the reign of righteousness, of liberty, of happiness, of concord. And in his

endeavors the Christian patriot will be animated by the love and grace of

the Divine Son of man, whose mission it was to bring PEACE AND

GOOD WILL TO MEN!

 

 

A Life Summed Up (v. 3)

 

“For Mordecai the Jew was next unto king Ahasuerus, and great.” Gather

from Mordecai’s history something to stimulate our spirits in the battle of

life.

 

  • THE WAY IN WHICH HE EARNED HIS ELEVATION. Perhaps as

a Jew, he was a little revengeful towards aliens; but he filled well a lowly

position, and so was prepared better for a higher. Shall we desire rather

to reap rewards than to sow the seed which will produce them?

 

  • THE WAY IN WHICH HE PERFORMED HIS DUTY AND KEPT

HIS INTEGRITY. In this he felt that he was already rewarded. And shall

we not learn to be patient? Our impatience is our great hindrance. We do

not wait, trusting in God, as Mordecai. Yet “He knoweth the way that

we take,” (Job 23:10); and in His own time will bring us forth when

sufficiently tested.

 

  • HIS PROSPERITY WAS MATERIALLY AIDED BY HIS FAITH

AND PRAYER. By his words to Esther we are sure he looked to God

for deliverance. When the deliverance came it involved his prosperity as

well as that of his people, just as a stranded vessel, when again floating,

carries forward not only the captain, but any passengers on board.

Mordecai firmly believed that, even though Esther held her peace,

enlargement and deliverance would arise to the Jews from some

other place.” We can pray to be made faithful, holy, earnest, and in due time

the reward will come. It will then be in a sense the result of prayer.

 

  • HOW HIS ELEVATION CAME WHEN HIS HOPES WERE AT THE

LOWEST EBB. See on what a trifle they turned. And thus it is constantly

seen in life. Be prepared to seize the trifles, and remember that the darkest

night oft ushers in the brightest morning.

 

  • HOW HIS ELEVATION WAS APPROVED BY HIS FELLOW-MEN.

We are told he was “accepted of the multitude of his brethren.” There was

little envy at his rise, because there was much humility in the man. So there

are men in whose prosperity we may delight, because, instead of being

puffed up, or becoming purse-proud, they maintain their former humility,

and practice greater liberality.

 

  • THE WAY IN WHICH MORDECAI USED HIS ELEVATION FOR

THE BEST PURPOSES. He sought the welfare of his people, and spoke

peace to all his seed.” Not only so, but there is a tradition that many of the

Persians, and even the king, believed in God through him. Let us then go

through life seeking opportunities to do good, and using those we find.

Let us make the motto of Cromwell ours, not only to strike while the iron

is hot, “but to make it hot by striking.” As Christians, let us seek the welfare

and eternal peace of others. We rust, we freeze when we live only for

ourselves. We should be like the stream spoken of in a fable, “too active

to freeze.” “The mill-stream went dashing along, so that the frost could not

seize and bind it. The traveler over the Alps in winter was so earnest in

striving to save his brother, overcome by cold, that he was himself kept

alive by the attempt.” Remember that, after all, Mordecai’s elevation was

but a type of the heavenly honor and glory which awaits all those faithful

in spiritual things. The “declaration of his glory” was written side by side

with that of the king. He died full of years and of honor. That God who

had been his guide in life WAS HIS REFUGE IN DEATH!   When

ushered into heaven, he doubtless felt that he had been, at best, an

unprofitable servant. Still, God gave him, doubtless, in that world a

position far more elevated, far more lasting, far more satisfactory

than that which he, the former neglected deliverer, occupied as the

prime minister of the Persian king.

 

 

Moral Work (v. 3)

 

Integrity must prosper sooner or later. Were it not so, we should lose faith

in eternal righteousness. Appearances may be unfavorable for a time,

wrong, sorrow, suffering may precede, but either here or hereafter a

distinction will most assuredly be made between the true and the false.

Joseph, though consigned to prison, was subsequently raised to power;

Daniel, though cast into the lions’ den, eventually sat with princes;

Mordecai, though threatened with death, finally became “next unto king

Ahasuerns.” It is said that Mordecai was “great.” What does greatness

consist in?

 

1. Physical endowments. Strength, skill, courage are among these. The

athlete, the warrior, the hunter were heroes in ancient times. The deeds of

Hercules, Samson, Goliath were celebrated in song.

 

2. Mental powers. Genius is everywhere admired. Its mighty works are the

most precious inheritances of our race. In literature, in science, in art, in

the numberless inventions of civilized life, it continues to bless the world.

 

3. Exalted position. This may be due to mere accident. Kings, princes,

noblemen are as a rule born to their high rank. When such is the case they

deserve no credit for it. High places are sometimes snatched by the

unscrupulous — by men who have no better recommendation than their

audacity in the universal scramble for power which goes on round about

us. There is no meanness that some will not stoop to, for the sake of the

glittering honors of office, or even those petty distinctions which noble

minds hold in utter contempt. But distinguished stations are also the

rewards of physical endowments and mental powers honorably employed.

Then are they to be coveted, to be held in high esteem. The case of

Mordecai is a noted example. The text leads us to notice THE TESTS OF

MORAL WORTH. Speaking generally, these are ‘numerous; but we shall

confine ourselves to those suggested here — popularity, unselfishness,

peaceableness. Whom shall we consider morally great?

 

  • THE MAN WHO STANDS WELL WITH THE BEST PORTION OF

THE COMMUNITY. “And accepted of the multitude of his brethren.”

Popularity as such has no intrinsic value, and to seek it for its own sake is

degrading to the soul. Let any thoughtful man, while contemplating the

quality of the exhibition that attracts the largest crowd, ask himself whether

the admiration of such a crowd is really worth obtaining, and his inmost

soul will answer, No. Crowds have been so often on the wrong side in

great controversies that they have actually lost all claim to respect. They

have generally applauded unjust wars; they have persecuted the pioneers of

knowledge, both secular and religious; they acquiesced in the death of the

Saviour. And yet, though the crowds of one age murder the prophets, the

crowds of future ages will always build their sepulchers.  (Luke 11:47)

History ever does justice to the memory of the martyr, and even he becomes

popular when too late. But the Jews in captivity, the “brethren” of Mordecai,

were a select community. They possessed a knowledge of things Divine which

placed them on an incomparably higher level than the heathen among

whom they lived. To be accepted of them, therefore, was a mark of worth.

“The multitude of his brethren.” A man may be the favorite of a party

simply for party considerations. But when the upright among all parties

agree to honor him, it must be on account of sterling qualities.

 

  • THE MAN WHO DEVOTES HIMSELF TO PROMOTE THE

GOOD OF OTHERS. “Seeking the wealth of his people.” Self-sacrifice

was the Divinest quality in the Divinest Man. “The Son of man came not to

be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

(Mark 10:45)  Into the kingdom which He came to establish no man can enter

without denying himself, taking up his cross, and following him. Fallen man is

essentially selfish. Look around you for a single moment, and the proofs of

this will crowd upon your view. Most of the evils with which man afflicts

his kind are traceable to this source. But look at the grand lives of history

— lives which light up the gloom of sin and woe in which the world is

enveloped — and what constitutes their glory? They are grand only in so

far as they approach the sublime ideal which was fully realized ONLY

BY ONE!  Take the Apostle Paul. His memorable utterance to the

Corinthians was the key-note of his entire life: “I will very gladly spend

and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less

I be loved.”  (II Corinthians 12:15)

 

  • THE MAN WHO EXERTS HIS INFLUENCE IN THE INTEREST

OF PEACE. “And speaking peace to all his seed.” The primary reference in

these words is probably to the kindness of Mordecai’s disposition, but they

are capable of a somewhat wider application, so as to include the desire of

maintaining harmony, order, peace. It has been said of mankind, with too

much reason, that their “state of nature is a state of war.” SIN DIVIDES

MEN!   In private life, in public affairs, in international relations, this is

seen daily.  Envy, rivalry, strife are found everywhere. Such is the state of

things even in this enlightened age, that no nation feels itself safe except it

be prepared for the most deadly struggle with its neighbor. The advocate of

peace is consequently a benefactor of his kind. The kingdom of God is

“PEACE!”  The birth of its Founder was heralded by angels who sang of

peace on earth.”  The most precious legacy which Christ left His people

was His “peace.”  And among the grand utterances of the grandest sermon

 is found this: “Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the

 children of God.”  (Matthew 5:9)

 

 

 

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