Devo Series: If I Perish, I Perish
Our story picks up when Esther was crowned as the new queen... all seemed to be going well until Mordecai, her cousin, refused to kneel down to Haman, a man that the king elevated to a seat of honor higher than that of all the other nobles.
When Haman found out about this, he was so enraged that he plotted to kill not only Mordecai, but all of Mordecai's people, who are the Jews. Talk about ego issues, eh?
When Mordecai found out about this, he persuaded Esther to help and it would have been an easy feat since Esther was alreay Queen at that time so she already had access to the king, but here's the clincher:
"All the king's officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king." Esther 4:11
So if it pleases the king, he would hear out Esther but if the king does not extend his golden scepter, then Esther would be put to death...
But Mordecai encouraged Esther and reminded her on the timing of things and how this was possibly the best thing to happen for their people and the role that she would play in it:
When Esther's words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: "Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?" Esther 4:12-14
Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai:
"Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish." Esther 4:15-16
Somehow the words and her reply came quickly, but the implications were huge -- "if I perish, I perish." In modern-day speak: if this does not go down well, then it's adios for me, but at least I died trying.
Easier said than done, right? But she ended up going to the king with her request to save her people. Going through the story, I cannot help but be inspired by the characteristics that Esther has:
1. She is obedient (Esther 2:20)
Ever since she was a child, she has always followed Mordecai's instructions. Obedience to authority even though you don't exactly know the reason for it is one of the characteristics that God also asks of us. We may not always understand His ways, but we have to trust His heart that He knows what He is doing.
2. She is faithful (Esther 2:12-13)
I'm not sure about you but being in a palace and going through treatments and training for 12 months seemed like a long time but Esther was faithful to carry out the things that are expected of her. Faithfulness is obedience carried out for a long period of time. It entails waiting, not giving up and focusing one's eyes to the Always-Faithful God that we have.
3. She is humble
Esther had everyone fast for her in the time when she was preparing to go to the king with her request. She knew that she needed all the help that she can get so she, together with all the Jews and her attendants, fasted for 3 days.
4. She is brave (Esther 4:15)
Being brave means that we have counted the cost of what we are about to do, but we choose to do it anyway because we value something much higher than our fears and our lives.
Then Queen Esther answered, "If I have found favor with you, Your Majesty, and if it pleases you, grant me my life--this is my petition. And spare my people--this is my request. For I and my people have been sold to be destroyed, killed and annihilated. If we had merely been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept quiet, because no such distress would justify disturbing the king."
To make the long story short, the king was pleased with Esther and he granted her her request -- which was to hang Haman in the very gallows that he built for Mordecai. (HA! In your face!)
The story is so exciting and it would be great if you read the entire story in the Bible... It really does sound like a great movie, right? But this one's so much better because it highlights God's hands in the overall scheme of things -- all the while molding His people along the way.
1. Are there situations in your life that God is calling you to obey Him in? Be faithful with? Exercise wisdom in? To be brave for?
2. Ask God to work in your heart that others may see your obedience, faithfulness, humility and courage through your words, thoughts and actions.
Photo Credits: https://www.theurbanlist.com/content/article/snowy-mountains-header_1.jpg