History is littered with battles, wars, genocide, race discrimination, and meaningless deaths. Torture, abuse, slavery, and death based on race are not new under the sun. This abuse of the races has been happening for centuries. A people group is conquered and they are taken captive and led into slavery or are murdered. Today is no different with the militant group ISIS beheading children and Christians. It is shocking that people think so highly of themselves that they have the nerve to feel their life is more superior than another’s and take it in a most barbaric way.
The part of the story we come to in Esther 4 shows the response of the Jews based on the edict sent forth to all the provinces of the Persian Empire. “Letters were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces with instruction to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all Jews, young and old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods.” (Esther 3:13) Mordecai “tore his clothes, and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and he cried out with a loud and bitter cry.” (Esther 4:1).The Jews in every province when they heard the edict “there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting and weeping and lamenting, and many of them lay in sackcloth and ashes.” (Esther 4:3).
When Esther heard that Mordecai was sitting in the midst of the city in sackcloth and ashes she was “greatly distressed.” She sent a messenger, Hathach, to Mordecai to find out what was causing him to be so upset. Mordecai sent Esther news of the edict along with a copy of the edict and asked Esther “to go to the king to beg his favor and plead with him on behalf of her people.” (Esther 4:8). Now, Mordecai wants Esther to reveal her heritage to the King, but in the past he had told her to keep it a secret. By this time it would not have been a secret to all. Many knew the relationship between Mordecai and Esther and all knew that Mordecai would not bow down to Haman, because Mordecai was a Jew. For a year, Mordecai had refused to bow down to Haman because he was a Jew, so those in the palace had a year to come to the conclusion that Esther was also a Jew.
Mordecai’s request to Esther to go into the King and “beg his favor and plead with him on behalf of her people” (Esther 4:8) was not an unusual request since the entire Jewish population was at risk for being completely annihilated. Esther, also a Jew, was destined to die based on this edict. A law in the land that “all the king’s servant’s and the people of the king’s provinces knew that if any man or woman goes to the king inside the inner court without being called, there is but one law–to be put to death, except the one ‘to whom the king holds out the golden scepter so that he may live.’” (Esther 4:11). Esther had not been called by the king for 30 days so she was worried about her favor with the king.
Mordecai reminded Esther that if she kept silent deliverance for the Jews would come from another source and all of Esther’s family would perish. “And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14). Esther requested all the Jews to fast night and day for three days before she entered the King’s presence.
This is a pivotal moment in the book of Esther, and Esther accepts the challenge. God has ordained each of us with a purpose, and this purpose whether great or small has an impact on people. The impact could be monumental or the impact could be small. It seems a small matter to us to go to our husband, as Esther was to do, and make a request. Yet, for us the day and times we live in are different. We do have important moments in the destiny of others that God has brought to us. These small important moments have a ripple effect far and wide that must not be squandered or taken for granted. Carpe Diem…Seize the Day.
1.As a Christian, do you seize the day and take every opportunity that God gives to impact another’s life?
- How could you improve in your service to God by serving others?
- God gives us 24 hours in each day. It is our choice how we spend that time. Is the time spent building your relationship with God and with others or is it spent strictly on meeting your own selfish desires?
- The name of God is mentioned nowhere in the book of Esther, yet the hand of God and the dedication of the Jews to God is unmistakably clear. With fasting comes prayer, and with the prayer of the many Jews that were fasting and praying shows a change in the Jews worship. These Jews were in exile because of the decisions their ancestors had made to follow other gods. Now they had an opportunity to go to God to protect them and show Him they depended entirely on Him for deliverance. Have you experienced a trial because of the sins of another and depending on God for deliverance was your only hope?
- Just because there is no mention of God in the book of Esther does not mean He is not acting and moving in the lives of people. Whatever your answer to the previous question, have you seen God work in situations in your life that have increased your faith. Write your story below or even write a prayer of thanksgiving to God in how He worked even if the end of the story is not written, praise Him for carrying you this far.