How long would it take a slave to rise from the position of a gate keeper to being a Prime Minister in a foreign land were he to rise through the ranks? What chances are there for an orphan slave girl raised by a poor relative to emerge as an effective replacement for a queen well famed for her elegant beauty after a twelve-month meticulous process to select a bride for a king: a king who reigns over one hundred and twenty-seven provinces spanning from India to Ethiopia with a majesty requiring nothing less than three months to display. Nothing much I believe could actually be said in their favour. These thoughts came to my heart as I went through the book Silent Labours That Take a Man from Nothingness To Greatness.
Silent Labours, a book written by Gbile Akanni and published in the year 2008 by Peace House Publications, Gboko, Nigeria is a devotional study of the book of Esther. The author brings out the lessons God confronted him with during his personal devotional study of many months. The circumstances of Esther, Mordecai and other characters are used as typical illustrations of the life of a disciple.
In this book I discovered the consecrations and heart attitudes that grants a man a circumcised devotion to God and opens doors of ministry purged of self to the body of Christ; that take a man from nothingness to greatness.
From the story of Mordecai and Esther illustrated in the book, I saw the testimony of individuals who chose to stand with God in difficult circumstances, putting their lives in jeopardy till the purpose of God was established in the lives of their brethren.
By faith, Mordecai raised Esther as his own daughter after her parents’ death. He saw in her a proper Queen and supervised her path to the throne from afar. He also prompted her to stand before the king at the proper time. How can one contribute a queen to the kingdom without struggling to be acknowledged?
I have always wondered why the book of Esther wasn’t named after him but now I see. It may be the picture of his lifestyle… a silent labourer.
Mordecai and Esther both laboured behind the scene and that, not for their own benefit. Esther in like manner obeyed her foster father, keeping to her spiritual disciplines even when in the palace. She rose to the challenge to take her life in her hands as she laboured to preserve the race bearing the seed that will bruise the head of Satan. These and many they did behind the scene and that, not for their own benefit.
In Silent Labours, the author draws our attention to the fact that the Church has a unique position in the heart of God. Though the heavens and earth declare His glory from generation to generation, He still longs for men through whom He will display His riches and glory. Queen Vashti lost this privilege. A search for her replacement was instituted. Virgins were gathered for a twelve-month purification process and Esther emerged as the king’s choice. Though virgins, all the young women/ladies needed to be purged and beautified before the final choice was made. Here, I learnt that no one can walk away from the world system and win God’s approval without passing through discipleship.
Sometimes the enemy may appear to be in control. But an uncompromising stand against unrighteousness with a heart that says, “If I perish, I perish”, provides the occasion for God to show Himself mighty on behalf of His people. God responded to the myriad of prayers by granting favour and divine wisdom. Who would think of a banquet at this time and what is more… the enemy was invited? When God sets to work, only the spiritual can discern it. Like the author said, “unless Mordecai had seen with the eyes of faith, such a report of the gallows could be depressing. But Mordecai knew his God. The fall of the wicked does not come by bombarding Satan and his host with words but as we build a vibrant relationship with the King.
Righteousness exalts a man. Promotion, to an on-looker may appear as an overnight occurrence or a sudden event but for the man on the spot, I believe it is a crown placed on his head in due season. It is the reward of faithfulness and steadfastness to God in the secret place. Mordecai came before the king and served as his Prime Minister. Joseph also rose from prison to become Prime Minister in Egypt.
Esther and Mordecai will not allow the open doors of their exaltation to be wasted on peripheral issues. They sought for a reversal of Haman’s decrees. A day to still the avenger must come. One would wander at the need for the battle on the 13th day. Hadn’t Haman died? Though he had, his decree still lived and needed to be dealt with. The enemy will also not accept defeat. God needed to give the opportunity to his people to avenge every wickedness, spoil the devil and make manifest His defeat among men.
The author clarions a much-needed call in our time for men who will tread the silent path of deep communion with the Master seeking primarily the establishment of His kingdom. Here, all victories are established.
May the increase of God’s government know no end as He graces us to step into the vacancies left for us as we walk in the insight we receive from Silent Labours alongside the Bible.
“And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.” Isaiah 45:3 (KJV).