Friday, 12 September 2014

God's plans

The plot thickens...first Esther is chosen to join the king's harem, now Mordecai has a job at the palace. How did he manage that? He has already shown himself to be astute; now, perhaps, he worked his way into the palace in order to be nearer Esther.

The Living Bible says: "Even after all the young women had been transferred to the second harem and Mordecai had become a palace official, Esther continued to keep her family background and nationality a secret. She was still following Mordecai’s directions, just as she did when she lived in his home."

A known relative of an important person would have expected to be given a favourable position at the palace, but Mordecai's position was relatively lowly, as his duties were at the gate to the palace or the entrance to the women's harem. Here, he could keep in closer contact with Esther; and here, he discovered a plot by disgruntled servants to kill the king.

Esther was the king's wife, his possession...but it was not marriage as we know it. Xerxes had already demonstrated a lack of mutual respect and trust in his marriage to Vashti, and Esther follows this tradition, keeping her family background secret and following Mordecai's instructions. Yet, when the plot against the king's life was discovered by Mordecai, he told Esther and then SHE told the king. Did the king then ask her how she knew, and, perhaps, as she admitted that Mordecai had told her, what the relationship was? Did the secret come out?  Or was Mordecai still just a lowly servant? He certainly doesn't seem to have received any reward for his service.

Here, again, we see how God uses this unpropitious circumstances to work things together for good: the plot is discovered, the perpetrators disposed of and Mordecai's service in this respect is recorded in the official record books. (Esther 2:19 - 23)

Proverbs 19:20 reminds: "Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life." Accepting advice means admitting that we need it; we need help; we have to humble ourselves.

Not always easy...

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