Reward and Retribution
Esther 6:3
And the king said, What honor and dignity has been done to Mordecai for this? Then said the king's servants that ministered to him…

I. IT TEACHES US HOW WELL A GOOD MAN CAN AFFORD TO WAIT FOR THE DUE ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF HIS UPRIGHTNESS, AND FOR ANY REWARD HE MAY NEED FOR THE GOOD HE HAS DONE. The conjecture is that six long years had gone by since Mordecai revealed the plot of the chamberlains and saved the king's life, and not even a word of acknowledgment had come to him during all that time. But what we most admire is his behaviour meantime. If he had been a self-seeking man, he could easily have found means to refresh the king's memory as to his services; but he kept silence. If he had been a malignant man, he might have sought what he would, in that case, have called a just revenge for the ungrateful neglect with which he had been treated, by hatching or falling in with some other plot. And then, how well all turns out in the end! How much better than if the reward had been given at the time! "He that believeth shall not make haste"; God's time is always the best. Righteousness is its own reward, and we are never righteous as God would have us be until we feel this deeply and act accordingly. He who, in God's strength, looks every day on the face of duty, and walks with her along whatever paths her sacred feet may tread, has in his own spirit, in his own character, what soon or late will blossom out into all beauty and grandeur; what will in the end become "glory, honour, and immortality."

II. The next lesson is just the opposite of this, viz., "HOW CERTAINLY A BAD MAN MUST BE OVERTAKEN AND PUNISHED!" We say "how certainly" because there is in his badness the root and element of the retribution, and often, without knowing it, he carefully develops and ripens by his own action the retribution that falls on his head.

III. FOR THERE IS AN INCRESCENT POWER IN EVIL (as indeed there is also in good), IN VIEW OF WHICH WE CANNOT BE TOO WATCHFUL AND ANXIOUS, LEST BY ANY MEANS WE SHOULD FALL UNDER THE POWER OF IT. The power of it, remember, is very silent and gentle, generally, in its operations.

(A. Raleigh, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And the king said, What honour and dignity hath been done to Mordecai for this? Then said the king's servants that ministered unto him, There is nothing done for him.

WEB: The king said, "What honor and dignity has been bestowed on Mordecai for this?" Then the king's servants who attended him said, "Nothing has been done for him."

Pacification of Conscience
Top of Page
Top of Page