How Did Mordecai Help Establish Purim? – Part 2

In part 1, “How Did Mordecai Help Establish Purim,” we explored…

  • How Purim is a celebration of God
  • How the book of Esther is commonly portrayed
  • How Mordecai’s raising of Esther molded her into the woman God desired
  • How Mordecai continued to play a role in her life even after she was taken from him to ultimately become queen.

Let’s discover how Mordecai was used for something more. He was used by God to turn what the enemy meant for evil into good for his people. 

Haman intended to eliminate the Jewish people in the kingdom of Persia. Through the obedience of Mordecai and Esther, God turned this evil for good. 

Discover how Purim came to be and the legacy and honor Mordecai found beyond the saving of the Jewish people.

Haman’s Role in the Book of Esther…

Haman, deciding that all the Jews would suffer because of Mordecai’s lack of reverence toward him, connived the king into giving him his signet ring. 

Haman spoke of a people who did not obey the laws of the land, who threatened the king’s power—never mentioning the name or specific crimes of the people. 

Haman Used Fear to Get What He Wanted

Instead, he used general fear tactics and his position of trust to wreak havoc. Upon receiving the king’s signet ring, Haman, who had chosen the date of the Jewish peoples’ destruction, was quick to send out an edict to all corners of the kingdom.

“The couriers went out, hastened by the king’s command; and the decree was proclaimed… So the king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Shushan was perplexed.”—Esther 3:15

Mordecai Mourned 

The very day the news went out—being himself in Shushan—Mordecai tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes. No matter if he knew that the decree had blossomed from his disrespect of Haman or not, the imminent destruction of his kin—the Jews—caused great mourning within his heart. 

He went, in his grief, as close to Esther as he could go… the king’s gate. Crying loudly and bitterly in his sackcloth and ashes until Esther learned it was he.

A wooden sign that says “Perhaps this is the moment for which you were created for.” ––Esther 4:14 - Symbolism for establishing Purim.

Mordecai Refused to Stay Silent

Esther tried to have him properly attired, sending out clothes for him, but Mordecai refused and would not be silenced. So Esther sent one of the king’s eunuchs, hoping to learn what was going on. 

Mordecai Informed Esther, She Was Created for “Such a Time as This”

And it is here that one of Mordecai’s most important actions takes place. Not only does he inform Esther of the edict against their people, but after she, in turn, informs him of the danger of going before the king and how long it had been since he had summoned her, Mordecai sends her these now-famous words,

“… ‘Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?’”—Esther 4:13-14

A banner directing readers to click on a link that will take them to a page for the Purim Children's Book.

His words gave courage to her, restoring her resolve and faith in God, as well as creating within her an acceptance of whatever fate might befall her. Yet, Esther also charged Mordecai and the other Jews to fast and pray for three days, as she would do. And that is exactly what Mordecai made happen. 

He went and created within the people a drive to fast and pray, not merely in mourning as they had been, but for the victory of Esther before the king; for her safety and the safety of all the Jews.

Mordecai Was Used by God

Yet, even when the fasting and prayer ended, and Esther completed the first of two banquets for the king and Haman, Mordecai still had a role to play… unwittingly or not. For Mordecai, standing in the king’s gate as Haman left the first banquet, would again not bow to him, destroying all the joy Haman had felt. And when Haman, returning home gloomy, told his wife and friends what had occurred, they advised him to build a seventy-five-foot high gallows to hang Mordecai on the next day… as a means to boost his mood.

Only, as the enemy moved, God moved. 

Mordecai Was Remembered by the King

So, when Haman went to the king in the morning—before the second banquet Esther was to hold later that day—he was met with something he did not expect. God had awoken the king in the night, caused him to have the chronicles read to him, and therefore, remember that Mordecai had not been properly honored for saving his life…

With that thought in mind, the king asked Haman how to reward one the king delights to honor. Haman, foolishly vain, thought the king meant himself… and suggested the honor that he, Haman, desired the most. And that is exactly what Haman was forced to do for Mordecai…

Mordecai Was Given a Royal Robe

Haman was commanded to dress Mordecai in a royal robe that the king had worn, place him upon a royal horse the king had ridden, with a royal crest… and parade Mordecai throughout the city.

“So Haman took the robe and the horse, arrayed Mordecai and led him on horseback through the city square, and proclaimed before him, ‘Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!’”—Esther 6:11

Mordecai returned to the king’s gate, but Haman went mourning in shame to his own house. Yet, when the king’s eunuchs came to retrieve Haman, he prepared for the honor to come… yet something far different from what he expected, for the prayers and courage of Esther, Mordecai, and all the Jewish people had been heard. Thus, Haman was hanged upon the very gallows he had chosen to build for Mordecai.

Mordecai Was Greatly Honored

Meanwhile, Esther’s heritage and relation to Mordecai were made known. Mordecai was given the king’s signet ring, and Esther appointed him over the house of Haman—which the king had given her. Still, the king’s prior edict could not be revoked, and it was up to Esther and Mordecai to devise a method around it. 

Mordecai and Esther Issued an Edict

Together, with God’s wisdom, they issued an edict allowing the Jews in every city to gather together and defend themselves. Further, Mordecai not only helped save the Jewish people, he was clothed “…in royal apparel of blue and white, with a great crown of gold and a garment of fine linen and purple; and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad. The Jews had light and gladness, joy and honor.”—Esther 8:15-16

On the day meant for the Jew’s destruction, a great fear of Mordecai came upon those who would attack or oppress the Jewish people, for he had become a mighty man in the kingdom. And indeed, this was likely true for the second day in which the king allowed the Jews to rid themselves of their enemies…

“…all the officials of the provinces, the satraps, the governors, and all those doing the king’s work, helped the Jews, because the fear of Mordecai fell upon them. For Mordecai was great in the king’s palace, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces; for… Mordecai became increasingly prominent.”—Esther 9:3-4

The Jewish People Celebrated! 

Yet, there was one major task left to perform… that of celebrating the day of victory–celebrating God.

This, the Feast of Purim, was established and put into motion by Mordecai and agreed upon by Esther. And to this day, it is celebrated as one of the few Jewish holidays not specifically spoken into being by God—though still honoring Him first and foremost.

Yet, Mordecai did not stop being used by God even after Purim was set in place. Instead, God raised him into a higher position of power, making him second only to the king—just as his kinsmen, Joseph and Daniel, had once experienced. 

Men feared Mordecai, God used him, and his fame and legacy became known throughout not only Persia but many of the world powers of the time.

Still, in all this, Mordecai did not work merely for his own good, but the good of the Jewish people and God…

“Now all the acts of his power and his might, and the account of the greatness of Mordecai, to which the king advanced him, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia? For Mordecai the Jew was second to King Ahasuerus, and was great among the Jews and well received by the multitude of his brethren, seeking the good of his people and speaking peace to all his countrymen.”—Esther 10:2-3

This is the legacy of Mordecai; of a man of God, chosen to raise a woman of God; of a good man whose footsteps were ordered by God. Yet, in the learning of We remember Mordecai, not to praise him, but to remember the mighty power of God celebrated at the Feast of Purim. We celebrate God’s love, His ability to use mere man to display His goodness among the nations, and His powerful Word.

“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”—Hebrews 4:12