March 27, 2020 by Pastor Chuck Swindoll
Scriptures: Esther 6:1-12
The King Honors Mordecai
1 That night the king could not sleep. So one was commanded to bring the book of the records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king. 2 And it was found written that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs, the doorkeepers who had sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. 3 Then the king said, “What honor or dignity has been bestowed on Mordecai for this?”
And the king’s servants who attended him said, “Nothing has been done for him.”
4 So the king said, “Who is in the court?” Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the king’s palace to suggest that the king hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him.
5 The king’s servants said to him, “Haman is there, standing in the court.”
And the king said, “Let him come in.”
6 So Haman came in, and the king asked him, “What shall be done for the man whom the king delights to honor?”
Now Haman thought in his heart, “Whom would the king delight to honor more than me?” 7 And Haman answered the king, “For the man whom the king delights to honor, 8 let a royal robe be brought which the king has worn, and a horse on which the king has ridden, which has a royal crest placed on its head. 9 Then let this robe and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king’s most noble princes, that he may array the man whom the king delights to honor. Then parade him on horseback through the city square, and proclaim before him: ‘Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!’ ”
10 Then the king said to Haman, “Hurry, take the robe and the horse, as you have suggested, and do so for Mordecai the Jew who sits within the king’s gate! Leave nothing undone of all that you have spoken.”
11 So Haman took the robe and the horse, arrayed Mordecai and led him on horseback through the city square, and proclaimed before him, “Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!”
12 Afterward Mordecai went back to the king’s gate.
“What goes around comes around.” That popular saying has never been truer than it is here. Things have gone around for Haman—yet they finally come around for Mordecai. Sitting on that horse in regal attire, he was the most surprised man in the kingdom. That’s the beauty of the story. He was not a proud man. He was not a vengeful man. He was not whispering, “Say it a little louder. Eat your heart out, Haman.” According to what is written here, Mordecai didn’t utter a word.
I think that’s what I appreciate most in this whole episode: the silence of Mordecai. How rare are the people who can be promoted to a place of highly visible significance and not live for their own clippings or crave the spotlight or demand center stage. Soft-spoken, genuinely humble celebrities are extremely rare. Not convinced? Check the rank and file of today’s pro athletes. How refreshing (and unusual!) to find a modern-day Mordecai!
In fact, the next thing we read is that “Mordecai returned to the king’s gate.” A brief phrase, it’s easy to overlook. But isn’t it wonderful? “Mordecai returned to the king’s gate,” it says, rather than, “Mordecai accepted a major promotion.” And do you know why it’s significant? Because that’s where he’s been all the time. His honor has not gone to his head. He just went back to work.
Have you recently been promoted? Has God’s providence smiled on you so that your name is now honored in circles where you were once not even known? Have you come to a place of popularity and prosperity? Are you now esteemed in the eyes of others? If so, the real question is: Are you still comfortable at the king’s gate, or must you now live in the palace? Must you now be treated with special care and be given kid-glove treatment and not be bothered with everyday problems? Mordecai shrugged, “Just drop me off where all this started—at the king’s gate.”
No matter what happens to you, remember “the pit from which you’ve been dug.” You’ll find the best place on earth is still pretty close to your roots. Like the country song reminds us, “Look how far I had to come, to get back where I started from.”
Verses to ponder –
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience . . .
Respect for the Lord is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor.
He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.