God calls His people to be bold and courageous, willing to face the forces of this world and even death if it comes to it. Since the beginning of humanity, the enemy has been set on destroying the people of God. The story of Esther is no exception to either of these truths. Esther was the Queen of King Ahasuerus (or Xerxes), the king of the Persian Empire. Previously in the book of Esther, we are introduced to a few important figures in the story: King Ahsuerus, Esther the Queen, Haman, an official of the king who hated the Jews, and Mordecai, her cousin who took her as his own daughter. Long story short, Haman devised a plan that would bring the targeting and killing of all the Jews in the land. For obvious reason, Mordecai and all the Jews were mourning and in great distress over this decree from the King for their execution!
That is when we see an amazing conversation between Mordecai and Esther with the help of some messengers going in and out of the King’s palace. (Mordecai was in mourning garments and thus was not allowed to enter.) As you read this conversation between Esther and Mordecai, remember the situation Esther is in. She is the beloved Queen of Ahasuerus, living in luxury and high status to one of the most powerful people in the world at that time. She is also a Jew herself and her King unknowingly ordered the decree of her people’s destruction! She had a choice to make, stay quiet and continue her way of life that was pleasant and full of material wealth, or risk her life in an attempt to save her people. The fact that she is even discussing what to do with Mordecai shows her heart. As the conversation continues, Mordecai says something of brilliant wisdom and faith towards God, “If you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Mordecai brings up a few excellent points. One, sometimes our worst course of action isn’t doing something evil, but not doing something good. Two, God loves his people and will bring them into salvation, no matter how messy or tragic things become. Three, recognize how your particular situation can be used by God to bring God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. In response to this, Esther completely reveals what choice she is going to make, “I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish”. That is a claim of boldness for her God. That is a heart of love for Yahweh and her neighbor. That is what it looks like to live for the glory and worship of God!
What problems do you see around you? With whom do you have a strong relationship? What tools do you have at your disposal? What choices do you have to make? How will you rely on God to be bold and courageous while facing the struggles around you? I encourage you all today to look at the amazing example Esther set for us about what it means to be a child of God. Be willing to serve Him with such boldness that you are truly willing to say, “If I perish, I perish.” Be smart with the time, place, and resources God has put at your disposal. “Who knows whether you have not come…for such a time as this?”
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
- Give some examples of when the worst course of action isn’t doing something evil, but not doing something good. Are there any that come to mind from your own life? What did you do – or not do? Any good (and courageous) actions you wish you would have done?
- Do you have a Mordecai in your life – someone who helps break down the problem in front of you and helps you see your potential while challenging you and praying for you? To whom can you be a Mordecai?
- What were all of God’s people in Susa to be doing to support Esther? What were the results? Go ahead and read more from the book of Esther to see how God’s perfect timing and work in men’s hearts, along with Esther’s courageous actions saved the day. Have you ever tried calling out to God with fasting?
- How will you rely on God to be bold and courageous while facing the struggles around you?
And, that concludes our look into the Highlights of the Old Testament books of law and history (the first 17 books of the Old Testament). Tomorrow, we go back to the New Testament with a one-chapter-a-day look at the gospel of John which will lead us right into Resurrection Sunday. What will we learn about our Savior Jesus?