Today's In "Other" Words Tuesdays is hosted by Patricia at Typing One Handed. She has given us a great quote to think and write about.
“Mordecai understood that it is not failure that brings despair, but unfaithfulness and idleness.”
~Dorothy Patterson, editor of Women’s Devotional BibleDevotion: Service Through Providence, Esther 3:13-4:17
I learned a valuable lesson from reading the book of Esther and reading the book Esther by Charles Swindoll. Faithfulness and action are required when you are faced with the seemingly impossible. If you fail after you've been faithful and active in despair, that's one thing. If you stew in your own juices, letting despair pull you under and fail anyway, who have you to blame but yourself?
As a Christian it is our duty to activate the trust and faith we have in our Heavenly Father. Calling on Him for help should never be a last resort but a first.
Mordecai would not bow to Haman or pay him honor because to do so would be as if worshipping another god. Modecai was holding fast to not having any other gods before him than the one true God of Israel. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Holy One of Israel. The Most High God. He wasn't about to bend his knee to pay homage to Haman and his refusal so irritated Haman that he manipulated from King Xerxes an edict signed by the king for the destruction of the Jews.
Then Haman said to King Xerxes, "There is a certain people dispersed and scattered among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom whose customs are different from those of all other people and who do not obey the king's laws; it is not in the king's best interest to tolerate them. If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them, and I will put ten thousand talents of silver into the royal treasury for the men who carry out this business." ~ Esther 3:8-9 (NIV)
Esther only mentions Mordecai's refusal to bow down, not the whole people! Although the king chose not to accept money, he did issue the edict.
Back in the day when an edict was issued it was issued. No turning back.
What was Mordecai to do? Expressing despair through their custom of wearing sackcloth and ashes, wailing loudly and bitterly, he made it to the city gate where his cousin lived, providentially placed by God as Queen of the provinces.
He did not wallow in his despair but took action. He asked to see Esther and prompted her to take action.
Had he simply wallowed in despair and conceded failure, I'm sure God would have still moved somehow; however, Mordecai would have missed out on tremendous blessings seen at the end of the book of Esther and would have caused Esther's favor with the King to have been modified to say the least.
Mordecai was a godly man. He knew that unfaithfulness and idleness could surely bring despair. That's what prompted him to action, thereby prompting Esther to action and ultimately prompting Xerxes to action. Failure never comes when God is involved. He is not the author of failure when the faithfulness and action of His children are involved. He is the author of victory and hope.
What are some ways we can show ourselves faithful and active, keeping failure at arms length and not letting despair overtake us?
Prayer - "The LORD is far from the wicked but he hears the prayer of the righteous." ~ Proverbs 15:19 (NIV)
Service - "But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you." ~ 1 Samuel 12:24 (NIV)
Wisdom - "Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her." ~ Proverbs 8:10-11 (NIV)
Faithfulness - "The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight. To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless," ~ Psalm 18:24-25 (NIV)
Hope - "And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." ~ Romans 5:5 (NIV)
Encouragement - "I lift up my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth." ~ Psalm 121:1-2 (NIV)