Esther: Day 4

Mordecai Appeals to Esther

by

Today's Text: Esther 4:1-17, Isaiah 15:1-3, Romans 5:6-11

Scripture Reading: Esther 4:1-17, Isaiah 15:1-3, Romans 5:6-11

Rachel is a scourge to the devil in Vienna.

Every time I saw her she was flushed with excitement over a recent chance to share the gospel. Any encounter on the subway, any phone call, and every relationship irresistibly impelled her to tell people the good news. Although she was a gifted linguist with a degree from Cambridge, she carried Bible tracts in her pockets and she wasn’t afraid to use them.

No amount of poor or sad or weird was enough to keep Rachel from befriending strangers and reaching out to them with hope and love. She was inspiring and a little overwhelming.

One afternoon, Rachel invited me to a street music event she was staging on Kärntner Straße. She is a classical violinist and had gathered other string musicians to play a concert and share the gospel on that ancient, black stone street.

Feeling both a little shy and peckish, I got a gelato and went antique shopping instead.

I missed an opportunity. God didn’t need me to help share His gospel; His gospel will go forth whether I stand up and speak His name or not. In fact, if I can’t muster a good word about the Lord, Scripture says even the stones will cry out in my place (Luke 19:40).

God invites us to join His work, not for His sake, but for ours. God invited Esther to join Him in saving the Jewish nation. If Esther had refused to go to the king, God still would have saved His people, but she would have missed an opportunity. As Esther’s cousin Mordecai said:

If you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will come to the Jewish people from another place, but you and your father’s family will be destroyed. Who knows, perhaps you have come to your royal position for such a time as this.”
- Esther 4:14

Our refusal to take part in God’s work doesn’t thwart God. It limits our privilege to take part in what He is doing. God can even use unrepentant sinners to achieve His good purposes. Consider Pharaoh, Caiaphas the high priest, and Pontius Pilate (Exodus 9:12; John 18:14; John 19:5-16). “But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

God’s providence is comprehensive, wise, and holy. His timing and calling are no mistake, and just as He did with Esther, He has placed us here and now, for such a time as this.

We, like Esther, can have courage, comfort, and peace. From a human perspective, our lives and circumstances can seem totally out of control and scary. But we can rest in God’s providence, knowing that He is working.

Look for God’s invitation to join Him in His work. Have courage, comfort, and peace—you can join Him now! You can always go get a gelato later.

SRT-Esther-instagram Day4

  • There is something so humbling about God’s work through Esther. “If I️ perish, I️ perish.” Oh God, give me the bravery and steadfast courage to be ready to give my life to serve you at any moment of every day.

  • Kathleen Raygoza

    I love how participating not only “helps” God’s kingdom grow, but helps me grow. When I miss out, God can still accomplish his will, but I miss out on the opportunity to grow! (And even when that happens, he can still help me grow, but anyway. Who likes missing out?)

  • “Our refusal to take part in God’s work doesn’t thwart God. It limits our privilege to take part in what He is doing.” I love this so much and it is a much needed reminder that I am the only one missing out on the opportunity I was so graciously granted by Him. I pray to be more aware and not miss out on these God given chances.

  • This resonated with me, as I tend to be silent when I should speak and act. However, it is reassuring that missing my cue to speak does not “ruin” what God is doing.

  • Churchmouse

    I admire Mordecai. He so trusted God that he believed an declared that if Esther did nothing, God would still save. So often I burden myself with the idea that I must act for God’s will to be accomplished…when His plan doesn’t rely on me at all. He’s the actor, the producer and the director. I’m just called to be His stage hand. I pray that I would be faithful to, and rest in, my role and not assume His.

  • “From a human perspective, our lives and circumstances can seem totally out of control and scary. But we can rest in God’s providence, knowing that He is working.” This is exactly where I am in life right now. From the human perspective and world’s view my life is falling apart but I have honestly never had more peace in my life than I do now and while I do have moments of white hot fear mainly I am trusting God and resting in His amazing peace while I try to figure out next steps. Our Father is amazing in His love for us. I have really been learning that this last 2 years of craziness. Thank you Father.

  • What strikes me the most in Esther’s behaviour is her humble heart, ready to be counseled by her uncle, despite being the second most important person in the country.
    Also, her young age.
    A very brave, godly woman who has ready to suffer the consequences, despite not knowing if her actions would actually bring any good to her people.

    That is how we must face adversities. We do not know if our proclaiming of God’s name will being anyone close to the truth, we don’t know if our good samaritan actions will benefit other people, or even might jeopardize us, but ALWAYS TRUST IN GOD.

    I’m 25 years old and I know how difficult it is to proclaim faithfulness to God in the middle of a society that spits on the mere comment of anyone saying “I believe in God.”
    Perhaps one day it will be a terrible thing to be considered a Christian, but it will be terrible in terrestrial ways.
    Being pushed over and brought down to ones knees in the future, by remaining faithful to the Lord, it will be the purest and most important treasure we will ever live, because we will have proven we love our Father, not merely say we love Him.

  • Sometimes I think the bottom line here, for me (and our individualistic culture) is seizing opportunities to take part in God’s plans, not covet endorsement for our own. Somewhere we picked up the notion that the latter is what’s important in this life, but nowhere in this story does it say that Esther “dreamed for years and worked hard” to be Queen– it doesn’t even say that about desiring to free the Jews. I do believe that God wants to use our gifts, but really have to remind myself sometimes that it’s neither the gifted OR the qualified that he chooses (over and over) in scripture. This is hard to hear in a world where credentials and experience mean everything, but also liberating to know that God is above those things. May we be fearless enough to risk our own plans, for those that are greater. :) I loved reading through the comments about so many examples of this– super encouraging! ✨

  • Cecelia Enns Schulz

    My desire is to say along with Esther, ‘if I perish, I perish’. In fact, I’ve been completely undone (in a bad way) knowing that I couldn’t. Faithful unto death? I don’t want pain and death and I’ve wept for my fear that God might require that of me. But God is good. All the time. And when I finally remember to lay my fears down at the foot of the cross and look to my Daddy God, I see the love in his eyes for me. I see the grace poured out for me. I hear the words that he speaks to me, “My strength is sufficient, child. My grace is enough. You can do all things IN ME. Don’t borrow troubles from tomorrow. Look to me, and I will lead you where you are supposed to go”. So I rest in the fact that God knows my heart is to be all in for Him. My heart is to be wholly and completely sold out. A laid down lover of my Jesus. And He will never leave me alone or without hope. He is my hope. Where he leads me, I will follow.

  • Sabrina Klomp

    Love the devotional along with this passage! So good!

  • Hailey T

    what I love about Esther is she isn’t “perfect”. she doesn’t start out this story knowing her calling. she doesn’t run up to the king the day she is chosen and tell him what’s up. she is unsure and frozen. she needs counsel and guidance. AND YET God sees her. and God sees us. in the place of new mother (a refining, beautiful strength, the single woman (a strong and courageous place), the anxious child of God (infinitely loved with patience and Grace). we are all Esther, even if we don’t yet feel a calling such as hers.

  • Caroline

    I love this so much! God is God whether we obey and follow or not. It’s not his loss when we don’t, it’s ours.

    —> It limits our privilege to take part in what He is doing. <——-

    So good!

    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • When God called my husband and I to move to China to reach out to Chinese students on a university, I was fearful but wanted to be obedient. When I think of what I would have missed out on makes me feel so humbled that the Holy Spirit gave us courage to say “yes”! And in this obedience, God blessed us way “beyond what we could have thought or imagined” our life would be now! Praise God that He has the abundant life for us, if we humble ourselves to His plans.

  • Loved this! Reminds me that God’s will will play out but if we get the chance to be apart of it we should take it.

  • Caroline

    Today’s reading has my mind spinning. Fear is an all too familiar emotion for me – I’ve struggled with anxiety for years now (worsening post-child), and I hate it. I recognize that fear is an absence of faith, and I know in my heart that God is always working and is always in control, but my mind breeds doubt. I so admire that Esther was able to recognize the risk and accept the possible outcomes, but I don’t know if in the same situation I could have that faith. I’m praying for the faith and courage of Esther – in all parts of my life. It seems impossible to me to ever find that, but I guess I am particularly fortunate then that all things are possible through Christ!

    • Alexis

      Thank you for posting this. I deal with the same…a mind that breeds doubt. I am praying for the courage of Esther too!

    • Beth L.

      Dear ladies, remember fear is one of Satans number one instruments to make a Christian helpless. May times we just allow him to insert thoughts of fear into our minds day after day until it becomes such a habit that we think it is normal, but it is not. It is a stronghold that Satan has taken in our minds and rendered us helpless. Those strongholds need to be torn down and godly things (thoughts) put in the place of fearful thoughts. Satan can only introduce those thoughts to us, he does not make us think and dwell on them. As christians it is our responsibility to stop those thoughts in our minds and replace them with the right thoughts. God will not even do that, He had left that as our responsibility to control the thoughts that we allow into our minds (2 Cor. 10:3-5). Do not let Satan continue to have daily victory in your life. Begin to take back control of your mind and thoughts. It will not be an overnight change and complete victory, but start with little victories each day and grow them to consistent victories every day. God will bless you in ways you can never imagine and give you a great peace (Phil. 4:6-7.

  • @rebeccafaires excellent

  • Rachelle Bull

    This was a great reminder that God has put us in positions of privilege and power for “such a time as this”. It has nothing to do with our own personal gain, rather it’s about what God is doing in the kingdom.

  • One time I was talking to my Dad about the book of Esther. He asked me what the most important line in the book was and I replied “if I perish, I perish”. He laughed and said that he was talking about “For such a time as this”, but my answer was just as good. I’ve been pondering this recently.

    I live a relatively small life and my sphere of influence isn’t very big. I think of Esther and how she had the opportunity to save the entire Jewish race. I feel very small and insignificant in the overall picture, especially right now with times being so turbulent. What can I do?

    In addition to that, I wonder if God thinks that I’m not doing much for Him either. I sometimes worry that He is disappointed in me. This devotion today struck home with me. It isn’t about me. God doesn’t need my help to achieve His purpose. He is giving me the opportunity to step up and be a part of something BIG.

    I’m beginning to see that we can’t all be Esthers, but we can all help in our way, in the life that God has set us in. God created me for a purpose and it may not be to save an entire race, but that isn’t what matters. It may be to offer a cup of water to someone I encounter today.

    I pray that today, and every day, God will open my eyes to see what he wants me to see and have the courage to act.

    If I perish is not impossible, especially in these times. We never know what a day may bring and I’m thinking that ‘such a time as this’ is very relevant to our time.

    God bless you all as we start this new day that God created! May be rejoice and be glad in it!

    • SB

      Beth! Yes! I have felt the same way! I’ve always felt different than my friends not having the urge to go somewhere and minster to people. I have always been wanting to share God in how I live and what I do daily. The smile on my face or the outlook on life, stopping to talk to an older man or women in the grocery store and listen and love them, opening a door or saying an enthusiastic hello. I know God doesn’t need me and for some reason that’s always given me relief. There is no pressure, God can make it all work I just have to be willing to love and be faithful. Thank you for sharing today! You have encouraged me that little things make a difference.

    • Tina

      Amen Beth and SB … not always about the ‘gangho’ mentality or attitude, but who we are and live our life in Christ… Not all are called to be ‘Esthers’ but, we are ALL called to be followers of, and doers of the Word in whatever way we can…to bring honour and glory to God… Amen…
      Every blessing Sisters. X

    • Ellen

      Thank you for your words, Beth. I often feel bad that I’m not doing enough, or I’ve missed an opportunity to make a big impact. Not many of us were created to save a whole nation, but we were created to make a difference…to further mankind and be a positive influence. So today I will reach out; with a kind word, a smile, a hug when needed, and an offer to pray.
      God bless you!

    • Rebekah DeLibro

      This is so what I am feeling right now Beth! I love your prayer and have prayed something similar for the last year and the Lord I feel has been bringing me to people but I’m impatient for more. I am praying now for God’s time not mine. More of Him, less of me I say every morning. I am a selfish individual by nature and just trying to suppress the desire to be this way. I need to succeed at the little things God asks me to first before He grants me with more responsibility.

    • Marytony

      Hi Beth! I think that many times we do not realize the impact we may have on others, and we might not come to realize it in this life. I mean, not everyone will get to see their immediate result of their faithfulness like Esther…. think about Ruth for instance, she is part of the linage of Christ, but she didn’t know in her lifetime… sometimes the ripple effects continue after we are gone… and there is where it takes faith to live in a way that honors Christ in all we do and believe that it matters…. It may look like our life is “simple and small” because we might not have a preaching platform… but we might touch or influence profoundly someone else and that is worth it!
      I have to remind myself this constantly. He placed eternity in my heart, so I am living for the long run! And I will most likely get to see all those “unknown” fruits in heaven!

    • Summer

      I love your spirit! Very inspiring and encouraging.

    • Heidi V

      Yes Beth! You spoke my heart also. Thanks for sharing. ❤

    • Dee

      I think it was Billy Graham, or perhaps some other great evangelist, who was saved in a little church with a handful of people. My memory of the story is that the regular minister could not make it, so one of the members of the congregation had to do an impromptu sermon. He did not speak with eloquence or flair, but God used his stumbling words to speak to the young evangelist-to-be’s heart, and the rest is history. I find that encouraging – God can use us when we make ourselves available, no matter our ability.

  • If I perish, I perish…!

    These are strong strong words! I mean would I run into a burning building shouting that as I went in to rescue a loved one… I am sure I would stop in my tracks once I had uttered the last of those words.. because I would begin to think, and fear would set in… wouldn’t it? Don’t get me wrong I would do anything for my loved ones including running into a burning building to rescue them WITHOUT THOUGHT OR HESITATION… I think thats my point…

    In the mental state that I am in right now, I still couldn’t say them! I have too much to lose here. My mum. My two boys. My grandchildren. My life.

    Yet, these words haunt me, to my soul. They are not saying ‘do it and your life is over’ I know they are not saying, take the risk and lose all you have…

    Yet in this world we live in, it seems we are forever holding onto things that are not ours to keep or hold so tightly to, which distorts our, for sure, MY thinking… I wonder whether my faith is as strong as I profess it to be? I should be able, don’t you think, to say for my Lord God and the Kingdom …’ I will speak and tell of the gospel of the Good News…’ without fear of dying for it, without fear of what is to come… bearing in mind, I say, I trust God, and my faith in Him is strong… yet, those words are too haunting to think straight and if I were honest, even to think TRUTH….

    But God..
    Thank you God…
    I know He has walked with me when there was noone else, He has carried me when I was too weak to put one foot in front of the other, He has poured out more Grace than I have ever deserved, He has shown me mercy when I, would not show ME mercy for the things I have done, He has held me close and held me even closer in the countless rewrites of my life I have written, He has loved me, no matter what…. Goodness me, no matter what…,
    Yes, these are my truths. My God is awesome and He loves me, He cares for me, He provides, He protects, He redeems, He blesses… He is near, He carries me through deaths dark vale…..and on the list goes…

    My TRUTH.

    Thank you God..
    So back to those heavy and fright filled words…
    If I perish, I perish…
    What I’m realising now is they can be fright filled… but, IF.. despite the possibility that; no matter whether..the Oxford English says..
    Yes, there’s a possibility… but let’s face it, whatever the possibility, God is near. HE is close, because He is the author of our stories, has been since the beginning of time…He knows, He planned, He purposed, He authors.
    Lord God help me to trust you more, to believe and have faith in you more. to hold fast to you more strongly, so that when those ‘such a time as this’ moments come… I am ready to say… IF I PERISH; I PERISH… Thank you Lord God, Thank you for everything…Amen

    Amen.

    Apologies for the length of my response today…

    Sending love and hugs dear Sisters from across the pond… xxx

    • Nita

      Tina, please never apologize for the length, or anything else, about your response. Your words touch and teach me just as much as the daily message does. You are an inspiration to me. Hugs and prayers to you.

    • Ellen

      Thank you for our thoughts and words. I copied your prayer into my book to read again and again. God bless!

    • Churchmouse

      I think it is an exercise in futility to predict how we would respond in a difficult and threatening situation. I would like to think I’d be bold in my faith and stand firm even as they light the pyre. But I also know that I don’t know. I try to not get too far ahead of myself and leave tomorrow to tomorrow. It is enough to trust Him for today and to share His love in the next 24 hours. You have suffered in so many ways and yet you are a strong Christian woman, Tina. Was your strong faith born in the suffering or an outcome from it? Was it from a good foundation or one that you yourself laid, brick by brick, over time? I think what is important is that you are a witness to His love and care and that speaks volumes to many. When you post I am so blessed. Whatever comes in the future, is His business. Let us just live for Him today. As best we can. He knows all too well how human we are. Hugs right back to you, friend.

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