I have been thinking about Esther, who was faced with a difficult decision when she found that the King of Persia had given Haman authority to destroy all the Jews in his kingdom in 473 BC. As a Jew Esther was ask by her uncle Mordecai to intervene with the king for her people. However, Esther had not been summoned by the king in thirty days. Esther knew their was the possibility of death to someone who appeared before the King without his summons.
Esther must not have taken this threat lightly. She knew how careless and capricious the king could be. He had dismissed the prior queen when she disobeyed him. He had carelessly given the authority to Haman to destroy the Jews without even asking who they were and how many Jews would be destroyed. She was also surely aware of intrigue among the other women in the king’s harem, maybe even as to why she had not been called by the king in thirty days.
I thought about my wife and it caused me to wonder about the true relationship between the king and queen and Esther’s concerns. In our 52 years of marriage I have never been away from my wife for 30 days.
Esther had a decision to make that demonstrated her free will. God’s providence or sovereignty is evident throughout the book of Esther, but here Esther’s free will is also evident. What would she do? Her uncle Mordecai told her “who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this? 15 Then Esther…replied to Mordecai, 16 “Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa, and fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens also will fast in the same way. And thus I will go in to the king, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish.” (a)
Do you hear the concern, but also the trust in God in her voice?
“2 And the king said to Esther …“What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you…. 3 Then Queen Esther replied, “let my life be given me as my petition, and my people as my request; 4 for we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed and to be annihilated. 5 Then King Ahasuerus asked Queen Esther, “Who is he, and where is he …?” 6 Esther said,… this wicked Haman!” 7 The king arose in his anger”. (b) The king responded favorably to Esther, Haman was hanged and the Jews were not destroyed.
I have thought about the question “who knows whether you are called by God for such a time as this?” as it applies to my life as a disciple. What should I do “now” in the grace and power of God to fulfill the great commandment (c) and great commission (d)? My friend Joe serves as Santa Claus each year at Christmas. Last week he was talking with an 8 year old girl and she said “you are a fake Santa”. Later God used that to cause Joe to examine his life as a disciple. Is it possible to be a faking it as a disciple. Thank You Jesus for events that cause us to “abide in You” (e) and to take risks for God.
Henry Luke December 17, 2014
Notes: a–Esther 4:13-16, b–Esther 7:1-7, c–Mark 12:29-31, d–Matthew 28:18-20, e–John 15:5-8
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