In our study of Esther chapter four, we will see how God has a plan for the life of each of His children. We will also see how our following that plan may have larger consequences than we think.
"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. But he went only as far as the king's gate, because no one clothed in sackcloth was allowed to enter it." NIV translation
When Mordecai learned of the decree he immediately went into mourning because he believed that it would happen. It is interesting to note that he did not pray as he knew that he was out of the will of God. (He had not returned to Jerusalem.)
"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." NIV translation
We see that the mourning spread throughout the kingdom. Sackcloth and ashes were a sign of repentance so many of the Jews thought that this was a judgement for their sin and they repented. Sackcloth was made out of the skin of dark colored goats and it was rough and uncomfortable to wear. Ashes were a symbol of being consumed by the sin.
"When Esther's maids and eunuchs 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." NIV translation
Esther's royal servants saw Mordecai at the king's gate and reported it to her. She was embarrassed and sent him clothes to put on but he would not. God's hand was at work even in where Mordecai stopped as it was just the right place for her servants to see him.