Thursday, October 17, 2013

Lessons from Esther: Sitting at the King’s gate

21 In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king's gate, two of the king's chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, of those which kept the door, were wroth, and sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus. 22 And the thing was known to Mordecai, who told it unto Esther the queen; and Esther certified the king thereof in Mordecai's name. 23 And when inquisition was made of the matter, it was found out; therefore they were both hanged on a tree: and it was written in the book of the chronicles before the king. Esther 2:21-23

The workings of the palace went on as usual. Everyone was in their right place doing their job. Again, we find Mordecai at the king’s gate. As I mentioned in the last blog, he had a position of authority, probably as a judge or an official of the court.

One of the jobs of this position was listening. Mordecai sat and listened, maybe to complaints, maybe to cases, maybe to people asking for favors, whatever the reason, he was listening and probably making decisions.

One day, Mordecai got an “ear full.” Someone came and told Mordecai about a plot to kill the king. Mordecai probably researched the source, and then he went to Queen Esther and told her.

Esther documented the incident in “Mordecai’s name” meaning she had it written down with the details noting that Mordecai was the one who discovered the “plot.” After an investigation was held and verified, the men were hung on a tree. The case was written in the king’s book.

What can be learned from this portion of scripture?

Mordecai being in the right place at the right time was not an accident. Mordecai hearing about the plot to kill the king was not just hearsay.

God is in control

The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. Proverbs 15:3

For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. I Peter 3:12

For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings. Proverbs 5:21

Pay Attention

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: James 1:19

We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.  Epictetus 

When I was a child, my grandmother would quote this to me often. Usually it was when I was talking away and not listening or “carrying tales” about others.

A wise old owl lived in an oak
The more he heard the less he spoke1
The less he spoke the more he heard.
Why aren’t you like this wise old bird.

Be aware

We need to be aware of our surroundings. Mordecai was aware of what was going on around him. He was listening more than he was talking. He was a captive in a strange land, he needed to keep “his guard up”.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: I Peter 5:8

Today as you do your daily tasks, pay attention, know God is in control and be aware of your surroundings.

I’ll end today with the words of an old hymn:

This world is not my home I'm just a passing through
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue
The angels beckon me from heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore
Oh Lord you know I have no friend like you
If heaven's not my home then Lord what will I do
The angels beckon me from heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore

Looking heavenward,

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