I should have listened when my mother told me not to go into the river wearing my brand new, sparkly jelly shoes. Man, I loved those shoes. I loved how they felt and how they looked. Mine were clear slip-ons with sparkles embedded in them, how I imagined Cinderella’s slippers were designed. Most of all, I loved the sound they made when I walked on certain surfaces, almost like high heels.  Those were the “in thing” in the 80’s and I had received a brand new pair right before we went to the river with my aunt and cousins.

The problem was that I hated walking around in the river. The slimy feel of the plants, the fear that something might bite me, and the jagged rocks that kept poking my feet had to be avoided. So, when we took a boat out to another sandy spot I wore my jelly shoes into the water. That was another great thing about them, they could get wet!

I was waist deep when I got knocked off my feet and one of my shoes slipped off. I frantically looked everywhere for it, but it was gone. Dread is not even close to what I felt walking out of that water. I cried, of course, but that didn’t bring back my wonderful shoe. If only I had listened.

It’s a silly story, but it still tells the truth about wisdom and folly. A wise person listens to the advice given by others, especially those who are older and wiser in the faith and in life.

Had I listened to my mother’s wisdom I would have kept my shoes. In Esther, we see wisdom shared and heeded leading to a much more important outcome.

Esther was now queen. God had placed her on the throne for a very special purpose–to protect his people. This account should remind us that God has placed each of us where we are for very specific purposes. We may not know all of them at the moment, but we do know many of the purposes for our lot in life. If you have a husband and a family then it is to minister to them and point them to Christ, their only hope for salvation. If you have friends then it is to be a godly example to them and encourage them. If you have to “clock in” at the workplace then it is to show honor to God through your faithfulness and work ethic.

Though Esther was queen she did not disregard the advice which Mordecai gave her (to keep her ethnicity a secret). She honored him not only by listening to his counsel but by doing what he advised.

There are two beautiful things seen here.

1. The Honor of Age

Many people ignore the elderly. They are viewed as irrelevant and unnecessary. In the West we place them into communities where they can live with others their age. Sometimes we do this to alleviate ourselves from having to care for them, listen to them, and practically love them. For the most part we do not honor those with gray hair in American culture. But Esther respected Mordecai, an elderly man, and listened to what he had to say. With age comes experience and wisdom. “Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.” (Proverbs 16:31)

2. The Honor of Wisdom  

Esther respected Mordecai. She did not nod her head and patronize the man. She listened and followed his counsel. She knew that he had more insight than she did. She knew that “Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days.” (Job 12:12)

We need wisdom. And God is faithful to supply it to those who seek it; to those who ask for it (James 1:5). We must be ready to seek it when we need it, and heed it when we hear it. The book of Proverbs tells us over and over again about the beauty and value of having it. Wisdom is a mark of someone who fears the Lord, who is mature in the faith and who will have an impact on others.

Looking to Jesus,

 

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