Mordecai didn’t father Esther. But when Esther’s parents died, he assumed responsibility for his cousin. He was no doubt significantly older, so she was able to see him in a father role.
When Esther, “lovely in form and features” (2:7), was taken into the king’s harem, Mordecai did not stop fathering. “Every day he walked back and forth near the courtyard of the harem to find out how Esther was and what was happening to her” (v. 11). What a great “dad.”
Here’s a young woman brought into the citadel in Susa, the capitol of Persia, without her natural parents and far from home. He assumed responsibility for her well-being. “Esther had not revealed her nationality and family background, because Mordecai had forbidden her to do so” (2:10). Way to go, Mordecai. Way to obey, Esther.
Imagine if fathers took the same careful watch over their sons and daughters. We just dealt with the problem of pornography. We just gave teen girls the protection they have always needed, so they won’t find their love outside the home. We just gave kids a good reason not to smoke, drink or use.
And because they enjoy a healthy relationship with Dad, they like being with him. We just created a natural curfew, and kids obey it, because they have no reason for staying out late. They just found out who they are, so they don’t have to go looking for themselves with those who cross the lines and don’t need God.
As the story thickened at the citadel, Esther “continued to follow Mordecai’s instructions as she had done when he was bringing her up” (2:20). He raised this girl, and she didn’t graduate out of needing his guidance, even as a woman in the court. What wisdom he carried. He could not have known that God would use his faithfulness to save the Jewish people from extermination and exalt this Jew to a place of prominence in a Gentile court.
The strongest words Mordecai spoke to Esther related to risking her life. He urged her to “go into the king’s presence to beg for mercy and plead with him for her people,” (4:8) the focus of a sinister plot. She replied that “for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that the person be put to death” (v. 11).
Mordecai didn’t buy her reason: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape? For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish.” And then the question quoted thousands of times for people walking into their God-appointed destiny: “And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” (4:13,14).
These words gripped her heart. She responded that the Jews in Susa should gather and fast for her. She and her maids would also, and then she would go before the king. And then the words, equally time-tested: “If I perish, I perish” (v. 16).
She didn’t. The king received her, and she was used to save her people. How important for young people to have a father like Mordecai, if not a physical father a spiritual one. In the last days, these kinds of relationships will increase, lifting the curse upon an un-fathered generation and bringing revival in a troubled land (Malachi 4:5,6).
“He comes to make his blessings flow far as the curse is found!” So the word goes out to the older generation to see your important mentoring role in these last days! We need more “parents” like Uncle Mordecai.