Week 7 – Lessons from the Prophets Cont’d
Day 5 – Esther Cont’d – Mordecai’s Care: Esther 2:7,11
“And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter.” (Esther 2:7)
Mordecai was Esther’s cousin. It is tempting to say, “Well, of course, he took her on as his own daughter – he was her cousin!” But stop and think before making that assumption. Obviously, he was an older cousin, so it is possible that his parents were also dead by this point, but with that unknown ask yourself this question: Who usually takes on the children of deceased relatives? Cousins? Not usually. Sometimes it is an Aunt or an Uncle, often a grandparent. So, why in this is case was it a cousin? We don’t really know the answer to that question, but it brings up another question – were the other relatives simply unwilling?
Remember the story of Ruth? The Kinsman Redeemer was willing to do his part until he found out that Ruth was included in the deal. He didn’t want to mar his inheritance, so he was willing to leave her a widow and childless to protect his own wealth. Could it be that in this time of captivity the other relatives were not willing to risk the well-being of their own families in order to take on the needs of an orphan, family or not?
An adoptive mother once told an orphanage worker, “Well, if the child was mine, I could love them, but because they are not my own, I simply can’t do it.” That woman was not only the mother legally, but she was also the child’s biological aunt. We can no longer say, “Of course the family will take them on.” In our world there is no “of course” clause. We have cast off responsibility in all areas of life, including this one. There was nothing binding upon Mordecai except his own desire to honor God and his love for his cousin. Still, he took her on as his own daughter. He did not take her on as some burden that must be taken care of, but AS HIS OWN DAUGHTER. A big difference exists between simply feeding, housing and clothing a child, and actually parenting them. Mordecai didn’t make the choice to babysit, nor did he make the choice to “put up” with someone else’s child. He, like Job, made the choice to love like a father. Will we make this choice when there is nothing binding upon us? Are we making this choice?
Mordecai’s care for Esther did not end when she left him for the palace. In fact, his care for her then gives us some idea of the kind of care that he gave her before she went to the palace. I remember thinking as a child that maybe Mordecai was mean because he sent Esther to the palace. Maybe he didn’t want her. Maybe they came to get her and he didn’t protect her as he should have. Esther 2:11 dispels all such thoughts, “And Mordecai walked every day before the court of the women’s house, to know how Esther did, and what should become of her.”
Mordecai’s care for his cousin was daily, it was knowledgeable and it was with concern for her future. Many of our ministries already touch the lives of fatherless children, bus ministries are a perfect example, but do they go this far? Are we involved with these children on a daily basis? Do we know what is going on in their lives? Are we concerned about their entire future – yes, salvation is the most important aspect of their future, but they still have to live in this ol’ world for the rest of their lives. Are we investing in them in a way that would enable them to be the people who “save our people” as God used Esther to save hers? Based on your personal/church involvement with these children:
Could they be the next leaders in our churches?
Could they be the next founder of a solid, Bible college?
Could they be the next great missionary?
Could they be the next great statesman, living a godly testimony before the nation?
Could they be the women who will raise up the next godly generation of sons and daughters?
Statistically speaking, if we don’t make this kind of difference in their lives, they will simply repeat the lifestyle that put them where they are in the first place. Are you making the kind of difference in their world that will enable them to make a difference in the world at large for Christ? Mordecai did not prepare Esther to simply scrape through life, He prepared her to be used of God and to make a difference. Mordecai and Job – will we follow their example?
Up Next: Week 8
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