When the Church operates according to God’s design, we serve effectively to accomplish His will. Unity should be the hallmark of God’s people, but it’s not always easy. From biblical times to this present day, God has drawn a variety of people to Himself. Certainly, we could never have imagined the cast of characters God chose to carry out His plan in the book of Esther.
In this final section of the story the author notes each person one by one, resembling the final curtain call of a dramatic performance. Queen Esther is noted first—both her royal Persian name and her Jewish lineage. Both aspects of her identity were necessary. She was celebrated for her role in the salvation of God’s people—but also for the authority she received to confirm the religious practice of Purim for all Jews, for all time (9:32).
The author named Mordecai next and identified him as “the Jew” (10:3) and as “second in rank to King Xerxes.” Mordecai received the final mention in the book for the way in which he used his position in the pagan Persian kingdom for the ultimate good of God’s people. Interestingly, King Xerxes was also mentioned in the conclusion. Even this sometimes spineless, indulgent king played a role in God’s plan. Although he “imposed tribute (i.e., levied taxes) throughout the empire” (v. 1), Xerxes also empowered Esther and Mordecai and recorded these events in the official records (v. 2).
Ultimately, the stories of these three very different individuals were woven together for God’s purpose. Together, their actions were used by God for His redemptive work. Of course the most important character of all is God who, while not specifically named in the book of Esther, was certainly everywhere present.
>> What has God taught you during our study of Esther? Today, consider the people God has brought into your life, particularly your brothers and sisters in Christ. As in the past, God is preparing and guiding His followers “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14)!