In this short conclusion to the Book of Esther, we are shown the greatness and power of King Ahasuerus. He ruled over a vast dominion – both on the continent and among the islands – from which he raised a vast revenue. Besides the usual taxes which the kings of Persia exacted (Ezra 4:13), he laid an additional tribute upon his subjects, to fulfill some great need which he had for money. In addition to this instance of the grandeur of Ahasuerus, many more examples of his power and might could have been given; but these were not thought fit to be recorded here in the sacred Scriptures. The greatness and power of this Persian prince would not have been noticed in the Bible at all, if the situation of the people of God had not been connected with it. The Bible carefully carries on the thread of history concerning the successive kingdoms of the world, but only in order to show how they contributed to the introduction of the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus. The prophet Daniel was commissioned to tell the king of Babylon that the God of heaven would ultimately set up a Kingdom which would never be destroyed (Dan. 2:44). Therefore, the reader of the Scriptures is enabled to observe just enough to see the Divine footsteps marking the way through these temporary empires and monarchies, to the bringing in of that Kingdom of Christ, which shall stand forever! The Babylonians were succeeded by the Persians, and the Persians were eventually followed by the Roman Empire; and it was in the most peaceable and flourishing time of this government that Jesus was born in human flesh!
This chapter also gives us a quick description of the fame of Mordecai. He was great indeed, and his virtue and piety were highly honored. He was close to the king, as one whom he most delighted and confided in. Mordecai had sat contentedly as the king’s gatekeeper for years; and now, at length, he was advanced to the second-highest position in the kingdom. The declaration of the greatness to which the king advanced Mordecai was written in the chronicles of the Medes and Persians; for his actions were very memorable, and contributed to the great achievements of the king himself. Ahasuerus never did such acts of power as those which he did when Mordecai was his right-hand man.
But Mordecai was also a highly esteemed man among his own people, the Jews. What a delightful character was here given of him! He was respected by his brethren, he sought their happiness, and he spoke peaceably to all his descendants. We may imagine that his life fulfilled the description given in Psalm 128 of the blessedness of the man who fears the Lord. But as we think of what a blessing such a man as Mordecai must have been in his days, we must not forget to look to One Who is infinitely higher and infinitely greater than any other in His love, grace, and mercy! Our Lord Jesus is the happiness of all creation in general, and of His Church in a peculiarly sweet way. He not only speaks peace to all His sons and daughters, but He Himself is our peace and our portion forever!
We give thanks to You, O Redeemer, for Your selfless sacrifice on our behalf; for even upon Your throne of glory, You do not seek Your own advantage. Rather, like Mordecai did for the Jews, You use Your power for the blessing and good of Your people! Amen.
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photo of the ruins of the Persian capital Persepolis, by luca | Lightstock.com