Genuinely Humble

Esther 6:1–14

Excellent!” the king said to Haman. “Quick! Take the robes and my horse, and do just as you have said for Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the gate of the palace. Leave out nothing you have suggested!”

So Haman took the robes and put them on Mordecai, placed him on the king’s own horse, and led him through the city square, shouting, “This is what the king does for someone he wishes to honor!” Afterward Mordecai returned to the palace gate, but Haman hurried home dejected and completely humiliated. (Esther 6:10–12)

“What goes around comes around.” That popular saying has never been truer than it is here. Things have gone around for Haman—yet they finally come around for Mordecai. Sitting on that horse in regal attire, he was the most surprised man in the kingdom. That’s the beauty of the story. He was not a proud man. He was not a vengeful man. He was not whispering, “Say it a little louder. Eat your heart out, Haman.” According to what is written here, Mordecai didn’t utter a word.

I think that’s what I appreciate most in this whole episode: the silence of Mordecai. How rare are the people who can be promoted to a place of highly visible significance and not live for their own clippings or crave the spotlight or demand center stage. Soft-spoken, genuinely humble celebrities are extremely rare. Not convinced? Check the rank and file of today’s pro athletes. How refreshing (and unusual!) to find a modern-day Mordecai!

In fact, the next thing we read is that “Mordecai returned to the king’s gate.” A brief phrase, it’s easy to overlook. But isn’t it wonderful? “Mordecai returned to the king’s gate,” it says, rather than, “Mordecai accepted a major promotion.” And do you know why it’s significant? Because that’s where he’s been all the time. His honor has not gone to his head. He just went back to work.

Have you recently been promoted? Has God’s providence smiled on you so that your name is now honored in circles where you were once not even known? Have you come to a place of popularity and prosperity? Are you now esteemed in the eyes of others? If so, the real question is: Are you still comfortable at the king’s gate, or must you now live in the palace? Must you now be treated with special care and be given kid-glove treatment and not be bothered with everyday problems? Mordecai shrugged, “Just drop me off where all this started—at the king’s gate.”

No matter what happens to you, remember “the pit from which you’ve been dug.” You’ll find the best place on earth is still pretty close to your roots. Like the country song reminds us, “Look how far I had to come, to get back where I started from.”

Taken from Great Days with the Great Lives by Charles Swindoll. Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll. Used by permission of HarperCollins Christian Publishing. www.harpercollinschristian.com

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Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.