God of Truth, I live in a world overcome by lies. Today, may my words be disciplined by Your Word.
Read Esther 4:1-17
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes” (Psa. 37:7). Hard to do, but important.
Some time ago, as I resolutely climbed the office stairs to present an issue of serious concern to a superior, I was reminded of Esther. Unlike Esther’s, my situation was hardly life- (or even career-) threatening; nonetheless, I felt I’d been placed in my role for “such a time as this” (14). Maybe you’ve had a similar experience. Esther, from within the palace confines, was not aware of the plot to kill the Jews until she learned of Mordecai’s extreme behavior. Maybe he was trying to catch her attention with his expression of deep mourning–and with good reason: the whole Jewish community recognized their situation was dire, as the threat of genocide within the year loomed.
A series of messages, conveyed by a trusted intermediary, eventually had the desired impact on Esther. The content of the edict would have shocked her. Her people were vilified as ill-disposed, defiant, outlandish, hostile and to be given no pity or mercy–for the sake of Persian stability and peace. Esther proposed several legitimate reasons why she could not obey Mordecai’s request to act on behalf of her people, but she was finally persuaded by his proposal that maybe she had been placed in her present position just so she could act. She agreed to put her life on the line, without fully sharing Mordecai’s seeming certainty that somehow the Jews would survive.
Any reference here to God’s involvement is veiled, but as Esther prepares for her courageous approach to the king, she is supported by a fasting (and praying?) community. “We only recognize the working of providence by looking back, but we have to commit ourselves to God’s providence and live our lives going forward” (David G. Firth; see also Gen. 50:19-20).
Would you risk life itself to obey Christ’s challenge to some difficult but necessary task or role? If not, how might you become better prepared “for such a time as this”?
Lord, I need to be prepared for those moments of challenge You bring before me. Assure me of Your grace for such events.
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