“…Mordecai told them to answer Esther: ‘Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king's palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?’" (Esther 4:13-14).
Esther was a Jew who had become queen over the mighty empire of Persia after she had won the king’s heart during an effort by the Persian King to find one to take the place of Queen Vashti. The king was unaware of Esther’s Jewish ancestry (Esther 2:10). She had been raised by her cousin Mordecai who himself had faithfully served the king of Persia, sat within his gate, and even uncovered a plot on the king’s life (Esther 2:21-23).
However, now the Jewish people were facing extermination because of an evil plot of another of the king’s servants, Haman. Mordecai had refused to bow down to Haman which enraged Haman (Esther 3:1-5). Not only did Haman want to kill Mordecai for this, but he decided to destroy all the Jewish people (Esther 3:6). He persuaded the king and offered to pay the expenses to destroy the Jewish people on the 13th day of the 12th month of that year (Esther 3:7-13). Mordecai and the Jews were distressed when they heard of the fate that awaited them in just 11 months (Esther 3:14-4:3).
Esther inquires of Mordecai for the reason he is so upset (Esther 4:4-7). Mordecai tells her about Haman’s wicked plot against the Jewish people and requested Esther’s help to influence the king to help her people (Esther 4:8-9). However, Esther faces her own challenges. She is not allowed to go into the inner court of the king to make a request unless the king holds out his scepter to her. If she attempts to do this without his holding out his scepter, the penalty she will face is death. Furthermore, she is unsure of where she stands regarding the king’s favor because he has not called upon her in the past 30 days (Esther 4:8-11)!
The opening verses above are Mordecai’s response to Esther. He lets her know that all because she is the queen, she is still a Jew and subject to Haman’s plot. She will not escape. However, through the eye of faith, Mordecai suggests that perhaps this is the reason God, in His Providence, has placed her in the position of queen. As queen she has the opportunity to save her people (Esther 4:13-14). To her credit Esther, after requesting Mordecai to have all the Jews fast and pray on her behalf, musters up the courage to go to the inner court and stand hoping the king will hold out his scepter to her. If he does not, the penalty is death. As it turns out, the king does hold out his scepter to her (Esther 4:15-5:2). After inviting both the king and Haman to a couple of feasts she has prepared, she tells the king about Haman’s plot, and saves her people by the king giving the Jews the opportunity to defend themselves (Esther 5:3-8; 7:1-6; 8:1-17).
As I consider these events in the life of Esther, I ask myself: “Why has God put me in the different roles I have in my life?” For example, I have roles as a father, husband, insurance agent, and deacon at my church. Why has God put me in these roles? Esther, was in the role of Queen of Persia, but needed Mordecai to challenge her to consider why God had placed her in this position. Mordecai suggested she was in this role to fulfill a greater purpose which was to save her people. Today, I will look through the eye of faith to see the possibilities of how God can use me in the different roles I have to glorify Him!
“By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples” (John 15:8).