“For Mordecai was great in the king’s palace, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces; for this man Mordecai became increasingly prominent.” —Esther 9:4 NKJV

By Leslie M. Grant

Esther means “I will be hidden.” The book deals with the Jews during the time of their captivity, outside their own land, hidden among the nations, yet cared for providentially by the God whom they had disobeyed. God’s name is not found in the book – He is also hidden. He could not link His name publicly with them for their dispersion was due to chastening [correction] because of disobedience. Moreover, these people had chosen to remain in Persia despite God’s having opened the way for them to return to Israel. They had no real concern for returning to God’s place for them when others had done so.

Still, God’s overruling hand in mercy and protection is beautifully seen here. It is typical of the blessing that is to come to the now-scattered children of Israel after much cruel affliction and persecution.

Esther herself reminds us of the beauty that God sees in His people in spite of their failure and departure. Mordecai is a type of Christ, first in protecting the Gentile king from those who plotted his death and then in becoming greater and greater among the Gentiles after having first been marked out for death.

How well this account illustrates the dealings of God with any true believer who becomes careless and disobedient in his ways! He has no real communion with God and no joy in the Lord’s presence. Yet God cares for him by means of trials that have in view his restoration in submission to the Lord.