READING: Esther 1-5
TEXTS AND APPLICATION: Ahasuerus was the king of Persia. Esther, a Jew, was the queen. Haman, a leader in the government, sought a decree to have all the Jews killed. Mordecai heard about the decree and encouraged Esther to approach the king and plead for her people. That task — to approach the king unsolicited — was a frightening task indeed.
Mordecai’s response to Esther is perhaps the best known section of this book:
Esther 4:13-16 Mordecai told the messenger to reply to Esther, “Don’t think that you will escape the fate of all the Jews because you are in the king’s palace. If you keep silent at this time, liberation and deliverance will come to the Jewish people from another place, but you and your father’s house will be destroyed. Who knows, perhaps you have come to your royal position for such a time as this.” Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go and assemble all the Jews who can be found in Susa and fast for me. Don’t eat or drink for three days, day or night. I and my female servants will also fast in the same way. After that, I will go to the king even if it is against the law. If I perish, I perish.”
Esther had no easy choice. If she did nothing, she would die with the rest of the Jews. If she did approach the king when he did not summons her, that could cost her life as well. But then again, Mordecai said, maybe God had raised her up to her position “for such a time as this.”
“For such a time as this . . . ," he said.
"If I perish, I perish,” she responded.
God had raised her up at that moment in time for that specific situation. It was risky, yes, but God was in charge. Esther called the people to fast, and she confirmed her willingness to go to the king even if it cost her life. She was willing to take that risk for her people.
I am forced to consider this question today: if God calls me to accept a task that risks my life, am I willing to go? Would I rather perish doing what God told me to do than live while ignoring God’s commands?
I pray I would rather die.
After all, that’s what Jesus did for me.
PRAYER: “Give me that kind of faith and trust, God. If You call me, empower me to follow.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Esther 6-10