Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezra 6:14b-22; Ezra 4:6; Esther 1:1 through 4:17
Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die. –Esther 4:15-16
Esther did not seem like a person who could change the course of a nation. She certainly wasn’t the Joan of Arc type:
- She was accustomed to being taken care of and pampered.
- Her life was one big beauty pageant
- Most women in her place would have been a queen of selfishness and self-centerness
- Most decisions were made for her
Etiquette in the Persian court was very strict. Except for the “seven nobles” (Esther 1:4), no one could approach the king unless they were summoned by him. The punishment for entering without being summoned was death, the same punishment given for murder or rebellion. The intruder was instantly put to death by the court attendants unless the king extended his golden scepter to the person to show approval, or at least acceptance, of the act. It was well understood, therefore, that whoever so appeared before the king risked his life. (Manners and Customs of the Bible)
What caused Esther to rise up with courage and accept Mordecai’s challenge to go to the king and beg for mercy and plead for her people?
I believe Esther was inspired by Mordecai’s faith in God and belief in her…
If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this? –Esther 4:14
Have you ever had a time when one sentence from someone changed the course of your life? I can’t count the times in my life when God used a seemingly casual comment to move me to change direction, vocation, or mindset.
In our day-to-day life we’re either an Esther or a Mordecai. We’re either being led by the encouragement of others or leading others through our encouragement.
Who knows if perhaps a seemingly casual conversation or chance meeting was your “such a time as this” moment?
But we can’t have what Esther had unless we’re willing to do what Esther did—die to our selfish desires and agendas.
Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. –John 12:25
Heavenly Father, what a privilege it is to be used by you. Help us to grasp the understanding that we were placed on this earth for “such a time as this” moments. Help us to expectantly look for them and be willing to say with Esther, “if I must die, I must die.” Use us to make a difference in the lives of others.
© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Esther 5:1 through Esther 10:3