This Day in History: 0000-08-22

August 22 – Esther 4:10-16

Then Esther told Hathach to go back and relay this message to Mordecai:
“All the king’s officials and even the people in the provinces know that anyone who appears before the king in his inner court without being invited is doomed to die unless the king holds out his gold scepter.
And the king has not called for me to come to him for thirty days.” So 
Hathach gave Esther’s message to Mordecai.

Mordecai sent this reply to Esther:
“Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed.
If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die.
Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?

Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai:
“Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me.
Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day.
My maids and I will do the same.
And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king.
If I must die, I must die.”

Yesterday we talked about how we desire to have the bravery and faith of Esther and Mordecai, and we looked at Mordecai’s part in this story. Today, we’ll look at it through Esther’s eyes. Yesterday we noted that these two iconic Bible characters didn’t find themselves in the middle of a fairy-tale story, but rather a fairly disturbing situation.

They were living during a time when the Jews were suffering the consequences of their idolatry and rejection of God, and were part of those exiled to Babylon.  Esther’s parents had died, and her cousin Mordecai had adopted her. Even worse, Esther was brought to the palace, more or less, as a sex slave for the king. She was “fortunate” enough to have pleased him, and received the title of queen, but it didn’t really change much about her role, just her title. So, her story wasn’t at all some glamorous situation. No, Esther lived a difficult life, just as many of us do. It was marked with all sorts of trauma. Yet, she remained faithful.

When Mordecai brought the news that Haman had tricked the king into sentencing the entire Hebrew race to death, I love the way Esther was able to keep her head and act in faith. I appreciate that as she was trying to figure out what to do she started with an honest evaluation of the situation with a trusted mentor. She didn’t go into hysterics and overstate the situation, but she also didn’t go into doormat mode and underplay the personal danger. She simply laid the facts out on the table for consideration: If I go to the king, I will be putting my life in danger.

Do we approach the difficult things we feel God asking us to do with the same levelheadedness? Let’s commit to turn our backs on both the drama and the martyrdom, and to simply approach life’s crossroads for what they are. Eyes open, nothing but the facts on the table.

Do we have people like Mordecai in our lives who will have the integrity to speak truth into our situations? Are the people we go to for advice trustworthy to call us to action according to God’s Word? Or will they more likely take up our offenses and soothe us into complacency? Let’s resolve to find and surround ourselves with a handful of faithful, trustworthy siblings in Christ who are wholly committed to the Word of God, to obedience, and to speaking the truth in love.

Mordecai sent his advice, challenging Esther to step out in courage for such a time as this. I am absolutely in love with how she responded.

Oh, how I want to live my life after the pattern of that last passage! When confronted with truth and a difficult call to action, I want to be a woman who grits my teeth and marches forward in obedience – but only after falling on my face before the One who holds my future, and imploring everyone I know to do the same! Like Esther, I want to not just understand my place in the story, but to wholeheartedly accept it! I want to trust the Author with my life and be able to say, “I will go…if I must die, I will die.”

Friends, do we understand what gave Esther that kind of confidence and courage? It was total humility before the King of Kings. It was an understanding of her position in Him that penetrated the whole of her being! She knew who she was. Sure, she was the Queen – wife of the King of Babylon. But far more important than that, she was a Princess – daughter of the High King of Heaven. His dearly loved daughter! She knew He had uniquely designed her to do something great for His Name, and nothing else mattered.

Friends, we are no different! We serve the same God. He has created us for the very story in which He’s placed us, and if we must die, we will die! May we fall on our faces before Him and ask for His help as we commit to a life of obedience. May we impact our stories for the exact purpose for which we were created: The glory of His great Name, and the furtherance of His Kingdom!