“When Mordecai learned of all that had been done, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the city, wailing loudly and bitterly. 2 But he went only as far as the king’s gate, because no one clothed in sackcloth was allowed to enter it. 3 In every province to which the edict and order of the king came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping and wailing. Many lay in sackcloth and ashes.4 When Esther’s eunuchs and female attendants came and told her about Mordecai, she was in great distress. She sent clothes for him to put on instead of his sackcloth, but he would not accept them. 5 Then Esther summoned Hathak, one of the king’s eunuchs assigned to attend her, and ordered him to find out what was troubling Mordecai and why.6 So Hathak went out to Mordecai in the open square of the city in front of the king’s gate. 7 Mordecai told him everything that had happened to him, including the exact amount of money Haman had promised to pay into the royal treasury for the destruction of the Jews. 8 He also gave him a copy of the text of the edict for their annihilation, which had been published in Susa, to show to Esther and explain it to her, and he told him to instruct her to go into the king’s presence to beg for mercy and plead with him for her people.” NIV
Mordecai knew that he had been the catalyst for Haman wanting to wipe out all the Jewish people. It wasn’t Mordecai’s fault that Haman was as he was, but he must have felt badly about it. Mordecai’s wearing “sackcloth’’ was a genuine expression of his grief. There was no pretence about his actions. But I think it was maybe also a way to get Esther’s attention. He desperately needed to get a message to her to use what influence she had with the king: “…he told him to urge her to go into the king’s presence to beg for mercy and plead with him for her people’’ (8).
I would want to say to the church, ‘Go and do likewise.’
‘Thou art coming to a King,
Large petitions with thee bring.
For His grace and power are such,
None can ever ask too much.’
By the way, thinking about verse 2, I want to add that it’s not like this with our King. As someone wrote:
‘All your anxieties, all your cares,
Bring to the mercy seat, leave them there.
Never a burden He cannot bear,
Never a Friend like Jesus.’
PRAYER: Lord, may your church rise to the challenge of this hour. Help us to see the privilege and opportunity to come into your presence and intercede.