WHEN IN EXILE
Now there was in the citadel of Susa a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin, named Mordecai, who had been carried into exile from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. Esther 2:5
How could Mordecai have known that there was hope on the distant horizon as he and his people left Jerusalem in exile. It was a time for repentance and mourning. Would he see redemption in his lifetime? He surely doubted it. It felt like the end for the Jewish people, not a pathway to the saving hand of God.
Have you ever regretted the times in which you were born? I know many people who wish they’d lived 100 years ago, or even in the 1940’s. In this day of lawlessness, disrespect of authority and corrupt leadership, it’s easy to pine for the days when Leave It To Beaver was the model for home life. Did Mordecai pine for the days in Jerusalem? Probably so. He never could have guessed that he would play an important part in the plot to save his people.
There were righteous among the unrighteous in exile; it wasn’t fair by earthly standards. They suffered side by side. Perhaps Mordecai had been one of the faithful. I don’t believe he was bitter though ~ considering his faithfulness and obedience to God. The spiritual fruits of his future choices didn’t match up with abandoned faith. His spiritual vision was clear and he allowed God to use him in turbulent times. His refusal to bow down to an evil man was the catalyst that brought about the salvation of his own people.
If one lives long enough, he suffers the consequences of other’s choices. I certainly have. Because everyone’s lives are entangled with those in authority over us; imperfect people, sinful people, their decisions affect us. I have spent my time railing against the unfairness of my own captivity. It took a long time for me to embrace the sovereignty of God. My part is always to dwell in the land, cultivate faithfulness, and then glorify God, even if in exile.
Perhaps you are in bad circumstances not of your own making. The footsteps of God’s children are not unseen by the Lord. Your greatest hour is upon you. Bow down to the God who can be trusted to craft your life’s story. When your angry tears give way to silent ones, you will hear God calling you to your greatest purpose ~ to know God, to enjoy God, and to glorify God. The spirit of a man is the candle of the Lord and His glory shines the brightest in dark places.
I thought You had forgotten me. But like Mordecai, you empowered me to be a catalyst for change. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Originally published Monday, 25 March 2019.