“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained loyalty for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14
These are, perhaps, the most well known words in the Book of Esther. The righteous servant of God, Mordechai, spoke these to Esther when she was in desperate need of encouragement to be bold in her calling. Esther, a young, beautiful, and newly appointed queen, was standing against the most difficult test of her life; she faced the possibility of death whether she chose to remain silent or chose to be brave and advocate for her people. She was essentially between a rock and a hard place with no real assurance of deliverance!
Let’s review the story of Queen Esther for a moment. During the time of the Persian Empire, the Jews were in exile in Babylon. Esther, a young Jewess, was chosen to replace the ousted Queen Vashti because she found great favor in the eyes of King Ahasuerus. Esther had kept her identity as a Jew secret, per her cousin Mordechai, when she entered the palace, for reasons we later understand as the story unfolds. The evil Haman, the King’s right hand man, devised a plot to annihilate the Jews by declaring that they were to be killed for obeying a law different from that of the king. Mordechai immediately implores Esther to intervene and go before the king to reverse the decree, for the king would effectively be sentencing his beloved queen to death.
Yet, Esther responds in complete fear. She says, “All the king’s servants…know that for any man or woman who comes to the king to the inner court who is not summoned, he has but one law, that he be put to death, unless the king holds out to him the golden scepter so that he may live…” (emphasis mine) Esther 4:11 She understood very well what she was up against – death was the most probable outcome of either choice. While this is a familiar story for many, and indeed, millions of Jewish people throughout the world commemorate it in the celebration of Purim, what often gets lost or forgotten is that we are all called for such a time as this.
While Esther was a type of deliverer – a foreshadowing of the Messiah who would deliver us from death – as believers in Messiah, the scripture tells us that we have been chosen by the Father before the foundation of the world (reference Ephesians 1:4). For what have we been chosen? We have been chosen to be sons and daughters of the Almighty (Eph 1) in order to bring glory to Him through our acts of obedience and good works (Eph 2:10). Just as Esther was chosen to glorify God through her obedience, so are we chosen to glorify Him.
In this day and age, it is increasingly dangerous and costly to follow Him. Believers in many parts of the world are literally paying with their lives. For those of us in less dangerous places, we risk our jobs, our livelihoods, our families and friends for the sake of Yeshua. Yet is this not part of our calling as children of God? Yeshua promised that we would endure trial and tribulation for His namesake. The question is whether we will respond with willing, bold hearts, or cower in fear, even to the point of denying Him.
He has given us all we need to live victoriously in Him. Indeed, the scriptures say that He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and boldness (2 Timothy 1:7). Like Esther, we can easily fear the obvious outcomes for any situation; what we cannot forget is that our “common sense” can betray the supernatural wonder that is found in our God. I think Esther also understood this, because she called upon her people to fast and pray for her once she decided that she would go before the king. She harnessed the power of the LORD to give her the strength and boldness that she needed to fulfill her calling.
In the end, God honored her obedience by delivering the entire Jewish population from death. Her faith led her to obedience, which in turn led to deliverance of an entire people! I can only imagine her trembling as she walked forward into the king’s presence, knowing that her life hung in the balance. Yet, she remained bold in her resolve to trust the LORD, and stay the course. And the rest, as they say, is history…
In summary, let us not grow weary from doing good, and trusting the LORD for all we need each and every moment. The stakes will only grow higher as time goes on; the choices we will all face will be quite costly in this life, but will reap great rewards for eternity! Trust Him and do not fear for your life; be bold in your resolve to stand firm for His Kingdom…the results could alter history!
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