One thing I have always found interesting, is how the people God uses in his Kingdom building are not always those close to God, devout, theological types. This has ever been the way God has done things, but sometimes it surprises us, nevertheless.
The story today takes place between 486 – 465BC, when the Jews were living in the region of Judea, but it was part of the Persian Empire, so they lived under the rule of King Xerxes.
You probably know of Esther, because there is a book in the Old Testament bearing her story, but today we look at Mordecai, Queen Esther’s uncle. Now Mordecai seems to have been a very able sort of chap, with his ear to the ground. He had managed to arrange for his orphaned niece to become Xerxes wife, despite them both concealing the fact that they were Jewish. He foiled a plot to kill the king, and later another plot to exterminate the Jews.
In Chapter10:3 we read that Mordecai was made prime minister, second in rank to King Xerxes, was prominent among the Jews, and held in high esteem. Neither he nor Esther seem to have been particularly religious, and their story contains no mention of God, yet it is the basis for the important Jewish festival of Purim. They celebrate God providentially working to save his people from extermination and how he continues to care and provide for them.
At this time of year, many pleas for your support will be posted through your door, or pop up on facebook, or on TV. Children in Need, Crisis support for the homeless, Tearfund, the Salvation Army, Medecins Sans Frontieres, Embrace the Middle East… the list of needy is endless. Do you sometimes wonder where to give your money? Should one stick to Christian organisations, or do we acknowledge that God works through all people, where they stretch out their hand to help others. Ponder these things.