Read Esther 4
Esther is faced with the question that many of us have had to face: Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such time as this? (Esth. 4:13-14). She can avoid involvement — but, being a devout Jew, Esther is led of God to reveal Haman's intentions to the king (5:1-12; 6:14 — 7:10). In spite of Haman's evil plan and hatred of Mordecai (5:9,13-14), God protects His own people in a miraculous way (6:1-13; 7:10).
Haman, the most powerful assistant to the king, had issued a decree to execute all Jews (Esth. 3:9-13). When this was made known, Queen Esther requested prayer and fasting, for Mordecai had told Esther that she must ask the king to spare her people.
The king who controlled the Persian Empire, the most powerful kingdom on earth, had made a decree that no one could come into his presence without his permission or they would risk execution. To make Esther's situation even more serious, she had not been called to see the king for thirty days. Although she was queen, the king may have lost interest in her. If so, she could not hope to influence him. Success appeared unlikely.
The edict had gone forth. The death warrant was signed and sealed. To all human appearance, all Jews, including Mordecai and Esther, were doomed. But, then as now, Mordecai's God reigns and controls the deliverance of His oppressed people. Mordecai's unshakable confidence in God was revealed in His words to Esther: If thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place (4:14).
After she had sent word to Mordecai with the words: If I perish, I perish (4:16), Esther stood in the inner court of the king's palace, waiting to see if the king would extend the scepter to her. She was willing to give up everything — even her life, if necessary — for what she knew to be the will of God. Not only did the king accept her, but he also offered her half of the kingdom (5:3,6; 7:2). Esther could have clutched her prize, considering it far too precious to lose by making her request. But saving her people meant more to her than riches and being queen.
Mordecai looked to Esther, but he looked still higher, for he expected deliverance to come from God. It is our responsibility to make use of all known legitimate earthly means to accomplish the known will of God and, at the same time, recognize that God is not limited to the resources known to us.
Thought for Today:
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? . . . Seest thou how . . . by works was faith made perfect? (James 2:14,22).
In the honor shown to Mordecai as he was led through the streets (Esth. 6:10-11). Jesus was greatly honored in His triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Matt. 21:8-9).
4:1 rent more, as an act of grief and mourning; 6:13 be of the seed of the Jews is of Jewish origin; 7:4 countervail justify, compensate, or make up for; 7:5 that durst who dares to.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Lt. Col. and Mrs. Walter W. Swanson and in memory of Henry Rogers • Staff: Pam Murton • Government Officials: Rep. Jerrold Nadler (NY) • Country: Latvia (2.48 million) eastern coast of Baltic Sea in northeastern Europe • Major languages: Latvian and Russian • Religious freedom • 20% Protestant (mainly Lutheran); 20% Roman Catholic; 15% Orthodox; .9% Jewish; .4% Muslim; 43.7% Atheist/Agnostics/Other • Prayer Suggestion: Ask for the Lord's blessings and peace upon His children (Num. 6:24-27).
Memory Verse for the Week: