When Mordecai learned of all that had been done, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the city, wailing loudly and bitterly. Esther 4:1
Mordecai had already been in hot water when he refused to bow down to Haman. When he was asked why, he explained that he was a Jew and would only give homage to Yahweh. He took a stand among the few who encountered him everyday at the king’s gate.
Things escalated from there. Haman rose to power and declared war on all Jews. That might have been the time for Mordecai to hide. He did not. He not only vented his grief, but took it to the streets. He publicly identified with his people, the enemies of the crown. He knew theirs was a righteous cause and must be defended, even at personal risk.
There may be times in our lives when we are called to stand beside someone who bears the brunt of undeserved, negative public opinion. We perceive that a lynching is taking place, driven by an unholy agenda. The test of our character is on the line. If we identify with them, we will share their stigma. If we hide, we will lose our self-respect and forfeit God’s favor.
Mordecai did not know the end of the story. He could not have predicted deliverance, though he prayed for it. He was familiar with the dark history of his people. That they would again be assaulted would not have been a surprise to him yet God infused him with the strength to take a stand in spite of the real threat of personal injury and death.
I have lived long enough in this world to know that there is often no justice here. Not all who are mis-judged will be vindicated. If my goal is to be well liked, I will never take risks and put my reputation on the line for the sake of someone else. If my goal is to identify with Jesus however, I will be willing to identify with someone who suffers righteously. To be like Mordecai, I must begin by taking a stand in remote corners. Then when called, to public places. His boldness lived on throughout history in the lives of the apostles who stood before rulers and religious leaders and defended their faith at great cost.
Jesus, You were never afraid to stand for the truth. My goal is not to live comfortably, but to walk behind You. I must not only profess it but mean it when the time comes. Help me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.