CHOOSING to SERVE God FAITHFULLY
May 22 Bible Reading: Esther Chapters 4-6
Mordecai told them to answer Esther: "Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king's palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: "Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!" (Esther 4:13-16)
Chapter 4 tells us about the agony of Mordecai and Esther after they came to know that the king had ordered upon the persuasion of the wicked Haman to kill all the Jews. Mordecai urged Esther to intercede on behalf of the Jews (v. 13). Esther realized that God had placed her as queen for this reason, and she finally resolves that she will come out of her own “closet,” and try to use her influence with the King to stop the slaughter of the Jews. There’s only one small problem. By law, even Queen Esther was expected never to initiate contact with the King sitting in his court, unless summoned (v. 10-11). His advisors and sycophants had seen to that – that no one could approach the King unless summoned, on pain of death! But Esther resolves to risk her life for her people!
Why would a beautiful young queen decide to do so, to take such an enormous risk in “lobbying” the King to stop the slaughter of her people—the people she had conveniently declined to identify with once she had been chosen as Queen? Esther fasted for three days and nights before she approached the king (v. 15-16) and we see that God granted her favor before the king when she approached him publicly in court (Esther 5:2).
This episode teaches us an important lesson: there are times we must take a stand for the good against the evil, even if it is at great cost or great risk. Every day we are being urged to take the moral high ground, live what is right, not wrong, and when necessary speak the truth to people of power even if we personally must suffer for it. When we do that, God may work a miracle on our behalf - like the case of Esther who found favor from the king or, the three young men who escaped the fiery furnace in the book of Daniel. However, God may also keep silent at times – like in the case of His only begotten Son Jesus Christ who stood before Pilate but was crucified on the cross or, the Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer who stood up to Adolf Hitler and was executed for his faith.