We can learn lessons by teaching the wonderful history of Mordecai, an oft forgotten Jewish leader. Through his life, Christians can learn to be more effective Christian leaders, and positively impact people throughout our society that are battling the pain and trauma of constant hopelessness.
Moses teaches us not only love the Lord of God with all our heart, but to also keep his words of wisdom deep within our heart where they will anchor our very souls (Deut. 6:4-7). God’s Word reminds us of the Lord’s unchanging character, and the amazing love, encouragement, and provision given freely to His children. As Moses further explains, it is paramount for the children of God to learn and teach these truths to every generation, “lest you forget the Lord” (Deut. 6:12, NKJV).
Yet today’s society has forgotten. Too many people live in the pain of hopelessness. Instead of searching God’s truth for answers, they seek “clarity” from social media influencers, and spend countless hours on make-up tutorials, prank videos, sports highlights, superhero fandom, video games, and binge watching TV shows. Research data from 2019 show that 16-34 year olds spent an average of 3.77 hours p/day on their electronic devices (Statistics of electronics usage). The COVID-era most assuredly exacerbated this metric. The inference here is that fewer people are seeking answers and truth from God’s Word; for additional details as to why this occurring, please see one of my previous articles (The Aquila Report – Why is Christianity declining in America?).
In this environment, as Christians, we must turn back to the Lord’s Word, remember Moses’ exhortation, reteach ourselves, and teach our youth about the hope and encouragement we have through the Lord. We can learn lessons by teaching the wonderful history of Mordecai, an oft forgotten Jewish leader. Through his life, Christians can learn to be more effective Christian leaders, and positively impact people throughout our society that are battling the pain and trauma of constant hopelessness.
Mordecai, Queen Esther’s cousin, traveled a similar road as Joseph did (Gen. 37-50). Both men came from humble, meager beginnings to be catapulted into the second most powerful positions of authority and notoriety in their kingdom – Joseph in Egypt and Mordecai in Persia. Neither man sought fame or power, but the Lord used their lives to impact countless others.
The book of Esther chronicles Mordecai, a humble man of relative obscurity, who received royal authority from the king himself (Esther 8:2), who wrote pronouncements in the king’s name (8:9-11), and who was adorned in royal garments (8:15-16). Mordecai’s presence in the royal household led to great fame in the kingdom and admiration by the king himself (9:4), so much so that he was recorded in the king’s book of history (10:2). He rose to such power and prestige that he was second only to the king (10:3), but more importantly Mordecai sought good for his people and spoke peace to all his countrymen (10:3).
One lesson from Mordecai’s amazing life is to have hope. In an apparently hopeless situation where the Jews expected their impending death and destruction the Lord provided a way. Through the God-ordained introduction of Esther and Mordecai into this moment in history the Lord was able to thwart Haman’s plot to kill the Jews to great effect. However, this was only possible because Esther and Mordecai were faithful to the Lord their God.
It is this same hope that must be alive in all of us today. Despite the ills of this world, we must remember that the Lord our God is alive and sovereign. We must have hope. Hope in the face of adversity, hope in the face of hopelessness. What an amazing character trait to exhibit, which is why I find it imperative for Christians, and especially those leading others. Christian leaders must be hopeful. There should be no question about your hope – you live with blessed assurance (Hebrews 10:22).
Frances Crosby wrote more than a century ago:
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.
The same assurance described by Crosby should be manifest in our lives today. However, this requires an active, radical faith that remains unshakeable. A faith that is courageous despite the foe. Psalm 31:24 teaches us to “Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the Lord” (NKJV). This was written by David, a man who knew a thing or two about the power of the Lord to reinforce his own courage.
Mordecai’s courage to remain faithful allowed him to be in a place where the Lord could use him for His glory. By remaining a courageous, faithful man in the face of a deadly enemy, Mordecai positioned himself to be used by God. A man of lesser faith would have run for their lives, but Mordecai stood firm before the threat of Haman. His steadfastness resulted in eventually serving the king and bringing retribution upon the enemies of the Lord.
Christian leaders must have the same faith – knowing that the Lord has a plan for them. Big or small it doesn’t matter, the point is that the Christian will wait upon the Lord and remain faithful despite COVID, political unrest, persecution, wars, racial tension, loss of job and/or benefits, financial instability – whatever it may be. Because ultimately God is bigger than all of this. He reigns outside of the petty issues and problems of our times and is sovereign over all of history at once – past, present, and future. As A.W. Tozer wrote in The Knowledge of the Holy, we are inextricably tied to the nature of our present lives, and only God is absolutely free from the creation because He is sovereign over all. The makes the issues of today, although important to us, nothing in the palm of hands.
Mordecai has taught us to maintain hope, remain faithful, and to never allow adversity to define who you are. If that were the case, Mordecai would have bowed down to the earthly power of Haman and renounced his own faith. Instead, he stood strong and never allowed the challenges he faced to define who he was.
In today’s culture of wokeism, virtue signaling, and cancel culture ideology everyone wants to claim victimhood. However, Christians should never claim this status, because we have victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ. Our enemies have no power over our faith or spirit. Adversity doesn’t define who we are; rather, God calls us by name. The prophet Isaiah reminded Israel that the Lord knew them by name, and that He would be with them throughout trials and tribulations (Isaiah 43:1-2). The same promise is available to us today from our unchanging God.
Lastly, Mordecai’s life shows that true leaders, having overcome the obstacles in their path, will use their authority to seek good and speak peace (Esther 10:3).
Christian leaders must wholeheartedly care for the people under their authority. Christ teaches us that to love our neighbor is second only to loving the Lord (Matthew 22:37-39). Therefore, the Christian leader must love the people they lead. This sentiment of love translates into altruistic behavior that focuses on the betterment (personally and professionally) of those under a leader’s authority.
The Christian leader also uses their authority to seek peace. This could be in the form of facilitating a peaceful resolution of workplace conflicts or striving for security and stability within an organization. Regardless, the leader’s goal is to establish a healthy and productive environment where the people under their authority can succeed.
Moses’ exhortation in Deuteronomy is a fantastic reminder to continually revisit the biblical examples provided to guide our lives. Mordecai’s story, although brief, can have a far-reaching impact on our lives and is worth recounting for our edification. Taking the truths he exhibited – maintaining hope, living faithfully, not allowing adversity to define you, seeking good, and speaking peace – and applying them to our lives, especially as Christian leaders, is a powerful lesson.
Of course, the story of Mordecai has many lessons, but think of the powerful impact on our society if Christians stepped up to lead in a lost world and lived like Mordecai. Think of the implications of keeping these truths alive in the workplace, school, or politics. It is a powerful message, and one that Christians are best suited to apply, because of their unique relationship with the risen Savior.
Jason D. Bland is a Doctoral student at Regent University, specializing in Strategic Leadership. His writing focuses on Christian leadership as well as social and political commentary from a Christian worldview. Jason currently leads business operations for a construction company and also serves as an independent coach and consultant. He lives in Pasadena, MD.