READING: Esther 3-5, Acts 5:22-42
“. . . liberation and deliverance will come to the Jewish people from another place.”
I’ve heard this verse from the book of Esther quoted many times, especially when someone is facing a difficulty or dealing with a question of timing: “Who knows, perhaps you have come to your royal position for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). The context was Haman’s plot to kill all the Jews, followed by Mordecai’s pleading with Queen Esther to approach the king about that plot. What I had glanced over too quickly was this expression of Mordecai’s faith regardless of what Esther chose to do: “If you keep silent at this time, liberation and deliverance will come to the Jewish people from another place” (Esther 4:14). He was convinced that God would not allow the Jews to be destroyed, though he apparently did not know how God would deliver them if not through Esther. Either way, God would keep His covenant to bless the nations through Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3).
It is not insignificant that Mordecai trusted God’s providence, but he also did what he could do to protect the Jews. He sought the help of the queen, who called the Jews in Susa to fast on her behalf “for three days, day or night” (Esther 4:16). Knowing the people were praying and fasting, Esther approached the king. Even if her doing so would cost her life – “If I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16) – she was willing to take that risk.
Mordecai and Esther thus picture the ongoing tension between divine sovereignty and human responsibility: we work even as we trust God. For example, trusting God to save my loved ones does not eliminate my responsibility to share the gospel with them. Believing that God will meet my needs doesn’t give me permission to be lazy. Trusting Him to work through my preaching assumes that I will give significant time to study and prayer. Like the Hebrews who had to choose to cross the dry ground of the Red Sea and the Jordan River, we walk forward as we trust God to hold the waters back. Even “such a time as this” requires our steps of obedience and faith.
- Take time to read Hebrews 11 today, noting what heroes of faith did in faith.
- Take some step today that requires you to trust God with the results.
PRAYER: “Father, I trust You. Help me to walk in such a way that illustrates that truth.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Esther 6-8, Acts 6