Two other Hebrew children deserve our consideration as examples of persevering faith. The first is Mordecai. Our first glance at Mordecai is in Esther 2:5–7: “Now there was in the citadel of Susa a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin, named Mordecai son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, who had been carried into exile from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon,…Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah, whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. This young woman, who was also known as Esther, had a lovely figure and was beautiful. Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died.”
The text above gives us a little background to Mordecai’s life. First, He was a caring guardian to Esther (Esthers 2:7). Second, He was a loyal and faithful person. He didn’t join the plot to assassinate the Persian king, Ahasuerus (Xerxes). He rather revealed the plot to Esther, who informed the king (Esther 3:21-23). Third, He was a humble and diligent worker. After he revealed the plot to assassinate the king, he was not rewarded, but he continued to serve the king. (Esther 6:10-12). Four, he was a motivator and a man of persevering faith. He helped to position Esther to contest as a queen in Shushan. He believed God that there would be deliverance for the Jews from another source even if Esther failed to act (Esther 4:8, 13-14). He refused to be intimidated by Haman, he did not bow to him. Five, his persistent and persevering leadership made the Jews overcome the threats over their lives in Shushan. Mordecai coordinated the writing and the dispatch of the king’s counter decree which mandated the Jews to defend themselves (Esther 8:9-10). Furthermore, he sent a letter to the Jews to start the annual festival (Purim) in commemoration of their deliverance (Esther 9:20-30).
Mordecai’s history is inseparably tied to Esther, the Jewish maiden who became queen of Persia and rescued her people from a murderous plot to annihilate them.
King Xeroxes had invited his wife, Queen Vashti, to come before his guests to flaunt her great beauty. Queen Vashti’s blunt refusal of the king’s request, enraged King Xerxes who then consulted his advisers on what he should do. His advisers declared that Vashti had broken the law and had wronged all the people of the land. They feared that if her disobedience was not appropriately dealt with the women of Persia would begin to despise their husbands. They suggested the king should ban Vashti from entering his presence. The king did so, proclaiming the edict in all the provincial languages. After a rigorous search, a new Queen, Esther was eventually chosen to replace Vashti.
Esther was a woman of sterling qualities. Her inspiring statement, “If I perish, I perish,” singles her out as a woman of persevering faith. Initially, reluctant to intervene on behalf of the Jews, the timid young Esther was suddenly transformed into a lioness due to the prodding of Mordecai. Her bold entrance into the king’s presence to request on behalf of the Jews was very remarkable. Her skilful invitation twice to the King and to Haman to a banquet where she courageously unveiled the plot by Haman to the King turned the table against Haman (Esther 5:4-8). Her boldness to approach the King with a request to nullify the decree against the Jews made her heroin of the Jews in Shushan (Esther 8:3-8). Talk about persevering faith, Mordecai and Esther are good examples.