5 There was a Jew living in the safest place in Susa. He was from the tribe of Benjamin. His name was Mordecai. He was the son of Jair. Jair was the son of Shimei. Shimei was the son of Kish. 6 Nebuchadnezzar had forced Mordecai to leave Jerusalem. He was among the prisoners who were carried off along with Jehoiachin. Jehoiachin had been king of Judah. Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylonia. 7 Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah. He had brought her up in his own home. She didn’t have a father or mother. Hadassah was also called Esther. She was very beautiful. Mordecai had adopted her as his own daughter. He had done it when her father and mother died. 8 After the king’s order and law were announced, many virgins were brought to the safest place in Susa. Hegai was put in charge of them. Esther was also taken to the king’s palace. She was put under the control of Hegai. He was in charge of the place where the virgins stayed. 9 Esther pleased him. He showed her his favor. Right away he provided her with her beauty care and special food. He appointed seven female attendants to help her. They were chosen from the king’s palace. He moved her and her attendants into the best part of the place where the virgins stayed. 10 Esther hadn’t told anyone who her people were. She hadn’t talked about her family. That’s because Mordecai had told her not to. 11 Mordecai tried to find out how Esther was getting along. He wanted to know what was happening to her. So he walked back and forth near the courtyard by the place where the virgins stayed. He did it every day.
We don’t really know anything about Esther’s personality, was she adventurous and outgoing or cautious and quiet? Either way I imagine that the succession of changes that occur in this passage took some getting used to. One day you wake up in what was probably a modest dwelling, living as an exile in a foreign land and help keep house for your guardian. The next day you wake up in the palace complex and start a process of preparing to be ‘tried’ to see if you would make a good queen …. I’m sure Mordecai’s visits and the knowledge that he was looking out for her were of great encouragement and comfort – he was someone who knew her true identity and her history.
I’m thankful that God never allows us to experience things beyond what we can bear, and that He helps us through life, positioning people around us to encourage and comfort us.
God please help me to recognise the Mordecais’ you’ve put in my world, and to see where I can be a Mordecai for someone else. Amen.
Written by Beth Waugh