When we think about fathers, we often search the Bible for stories about Abraham. We study the plight of Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus. Or we consider even the struggles of David in raising his large family. But I'd like to take you to a text that I've never seen used as a character sketch of a good father. Mordecai isn't a father by choice. He is an adoptive father—maybe a single dad, for all we know. His wife is never mentioned. He lived 500 years before Christ—a minority in an oppressed land.
Many of the Jews had returned to Jerusalem because the period of 70 years of captivity in Babylonia had ended. The Persians, or the Bible calls them the Chaldeans, had overcome the Babylonians and been strangely kind to the Jews. Consequently, Nehemiah, Ezra, and Zerubabel led three different expeditions from the city of Susa, or the area of Persia, back to Jerusalem. But there were some who chose to remain. What you find as you look at the Book of Esther is the only account in the Bible of the Jews who chose to remain in Persia after the captivity—an interesting insight into the lifestyle and the ways and the means of those people who stayed behind.
What you also have in the Book of Esther is a riveting drama, carefully sewn together by some unnamed author, perhaps Mordecai himself. What you also have is one of the only two books of the Bible in which the name of God is not mentioned. The Song of Solomon is the only other one. But though his name is not written in the Book of Esther, his fingerprints are on every page. The theme of the Book of Esther is the providential hand of God.
Now it may have been a while since you thought about the Book of Esther. So let's review the characters. ...
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