An Honorable Man: Mordecai

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: II Corinthians 13:1-10


I.         Because of Paul’s late arrival on the scene, his apostleship was at times questioned.

            A.        In Corinth, though established by Paul, the church struggled with many sins.

                        1.         There were some among the Corinthians less inclined to correct their problems or to heed Paul’s rebukes

                        2.         Paul warned that if he must he will come displaying his full authority - II Corinthians 13:2-3

            B.        It was the Corinthians who needed to examine themselves in regards to whether sin was in their lives - II Corinthians 13:5

            C.        Paul didn’t need the truth of his apostleship to be examined by them - II Corinthians 13:6

            D.        However, it was Paul’s prayer that the Corinthians would not sin - II Corinthians 13:7

                        1.         Not because he said so, but because it was the honorable thing to do

                        2.         Paul could tolerate not having an opportunity to prove his apostleship if they remained out of sin

            E.        “I pray to God that you do no evil ... that you should do what is honorable (or right)”

                        1.         We don’t talk about honor that much in our society

                        2.         The Greek word kalos means things that are beautiful, good, excellent, advantageous, and noble.

            F.        In Galatia a similar problem was erupting - Galatians 4:17-18

                        1.         Instead of doing what was noble and honorable, people were trying to get Christians to be followers of men.

                        2.         Christians need to be zealously honorable at all times, and not just when someone is standing over them.

            G.        It was Peter’s wish that all Christians conduct themselves with honor, even while living in a world lacking in honor - I Peter 2:11-12

                        1.         And it is a struggle - Romans 7:18-19 (second “good” in verse 18 is kalos)

                        2.         Thus we must fight the honorable fight of faith - I Timothy 6:12

                        3.         Making ourselves a example, or pattern of honorable works - Titus 2:7-8

II.        There is a man of noble character found in the Old Testament, a man by the name of Mordecai.

            A.        A man of responsibility - Esther 2:7

                        1.         Mordecai took in his cousin and raised her as his own daughter

                                    a.         There was no law requiring this of him

                                    b.         It was needed, and Mordecai took up the burden

                        2.         A man is responsible to provide for his own - I Timothy 5:8

                                    a.         Instead we find ways for others to care

                                    b.         Or as becoming a common practice, men bringing children in the world and simply walking away because they made no commitment

                        3.         The providing is not just financial - Ephesians 6:4

                                    a.         Fathers are needed for training,

                                    b.         A fact to which our society is slowly waking up

            B.        A man of loyalty - Esther 2:21-23

                        1.         Circumstances caused Mordecai to become aware of a plot on the life of the king

                                    a.         He didn’t “forget” what he heard out of fear

                                    b.         He didn’t say “I don’t want to get involved”

                                    c.         He reported it to Esther who passed on the information to the king

                        2.         Here was a man who feared God and honored the king - I Peter 2:17

                        3.         How much loyalty do we show to our Lord and King? - Matthew 6:24

                                    a.         When sin abounds around us, do we timidly avoid it? Or should we do something about it?

                                    b.         Matthew 5:10-12 - willing to face persecution

                                    c.         Being loyal (holding to) the faithful word - Titus 1:9

                        4.         What loyalty to our marriage? - Ephesians 5:28

            C.        A man of discernment - Esther 3:1-5

                        1.         We are not told why Mordecai refused to bow to Haman.

                                    a.         There are cases in the Old Testament where people gave honor to men - Ruth 2:10; I Samuel 20:41; II Kings 1:13

                                    b.         We must suppose that Mordecai did not find Haman to be a man worthy of honor - Psalms 15

                                    c.         Righteousness is not about accepting or tolerating everything

                        2.         We too need to discern between good and evil - Hebrews 5:13-14

                        3.         Be picky - I Thessalonians 5:21-22

            D.        A man of brotherly love - Esther 4:1-4

                        1.         Mordecai genuinely was distressed over the fate of his people.

                        2.         It is the characteristic of Christians - John 13:34-35

                                    a.         It is a common concern for our fellow Christian - I John 4:20-21

                        3.         But it is also a concern for man in general

                                    a.         Our fellow men are in danger - II Corinthians 5:11, 20;

                                    b.         We strive to bring every man to perfection - Colossians 1:28-29

            E.        A man who encourages righteous action - Esther 4:13-14

                        1.         Mordecai did not wallow in grief, but took steps to save his people by encouraging Esther to take action

                        2.         Speak words of encouragement - Ephesians 4:29

                        3.         Set a proper example - I Timothy 4:12

III.       We all need to be people of noble character

            A.        Let your light shine so the world sees beautiful, honorable deeds and there by give glory to our God - Matthew 5:16

            B.        As seed on the honorable, noble ground, yield an abundant harvest - Matthew 13:23

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