Day 36

Esther



Esther 3:1-6, Esther 4:1-17, Esther 8:1-7, Hebrews 4:14-16

BY Amanda Bible Williams

When I look at the “what ifs” in my life, I see a thread of fear running through.

What if I’m not enough?
What if I’m misunderstood?
What if I fail, or what if I succeed?
What if they reject me?
What if they betray me?
What if they let me down?

Whatever the circumstance or uncertainty, my “what if” statements have something in common: their subject is usually me, or some other flaw-filled, doubtful human.

But when I hang all my hopes on me, they are dashed before they even get off the ground. When I look to others to fix or fill me, staying broken and empty is inevitable.

When focused on anything other than God and His promises, “what if” is a banner of fear instead of a flag of faith.

No one could have predicted the “what ifs” of Esther’s unconventional life. Raised by her cousin Mordecai after her parents died, young Esther was summoned to the king’s palace in his search for a successor to the ousted Queen Vashti (see Esther 1). After a year of royal “training” in which her identity as a Jew remained secret, Esther went before the king. He was immediately taken with her, and the orphan girl became the queen.

But Esther’s unlikely rise to favor and influence was only the beginning of her story.

Not long after Queen Esther helped save her new king’s life (see Esther 2:21-23), she learned of another evil plot. In a murderous rage incited by Mordecai’s refusal to bow before him, Haman, a top advisor to the king, issued a decree that all Jews in the empire be killed. By granting Haman undue power, Esther’s king had unknowingly declared the genocide of her people.

Imagine the what ifs that must have run through Esther’s heart and mind. The life of her people—the very survival of the Jewish race—hung in the balance. Any attempt to intervene could very well cost Esther her life. But Mordecai, the man who raised Esther and loved her as his own child, spoke up:

“And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
(Esther 4:14b, ESV)

Mordecai spoke from faith. “The Jews will be delivered,” he told her, “even if not by you. But what if this is your time? Esther, what if you are the vessel of deliverance?” (my paraphrase)

I wonder if scenes from Esther’s childhood flashed through Mordecai’s mind like old home movies as he sent her the impassioned and dangerous plea: What if this is why you’re here?

Esther listened. She prayed. She sought God’s will and favor before and above that of the king. She did so publicly, asking others to pray and fast with her. Though her earthly king might very well smite her dead, she went before him with the authority of the heavenly Father who bids His children come to His throne of grace with confidence (Heb. 4:16). And God used Esther to rescue her people from certain death.

Here’s the glorious secret, friends: redemption is a sure thing. Look at this beautiful word from Paul in 2 Corinthians:

“For all the promises of God find their Yes in him.
That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.”
(2 Cor. 1:20, ESV)

Jesus is the fulfillment of every one of God’s promises—our job is simply to agree! Why then, do we shrink back in fear, talking ourselves out of participating in Kingdom work?

What if we reclaimed our “what ifs” today?
What if, like Esther, we seized the opportunity to turn our faith into action?
What if, like Mordecai, we saw deliverance where others see doom?
What if we redirected our gaze from our empty expectations to His real redemption?

What if we set down the burden of fear and picked up the promises and possibilities of God?

His love trumps our fear, no matter the circumstance (1 John 4:18). May we know that truth today and have the courage to live it.

 

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Post Comments (88)

88 thoughts on "Esther"

  1. Jasmine says:

    WOW! I am revisiting the Women in the Word readings and now 2 years later, this reading on Esther along with this beautifully written passage from Amanda is exactly what I needed today! Right now, my “what ifs” are tearing me apart due to my sin but through the what if’s in the back of my mind, I continue to push through and remind myself of God’s forgiveness, compassion and redemption! I LOVE when Amanda said we should set down the burden of fear and pick up the promises and possibilities of God..whew AMEN. God is so good today and everyday. It is not a coincidence I saw this today. May we all leave the fear of punishment from our sins which are our “what if’s” but instead be perfected in His love and set our minds on His hope and endless possibilities. God can do all things! Amen

  2. Andrea Z. says:

    I love the part of the devotional that says What Ifs are completely dependent of me. But when I hang all my hope on God, his promises are good to go and I just need to say Amen and agree. I’ve been looking for a new job for a couple months now and it’s been hard for me to stay hopeful. I know God will open the right doors for me, but time and time again I allow for the What Ifs to come in and make me question if I’m good enough. But when I see how Esther’s life purpose was wrapped up in her “job” my mind, soul, and spirit are reminded that God is doing the same for me even at this very moment. Stay encouraged, friends! It may seem like nothing is happening, but God is on the move behind the scenes.

  3. Erin says:

    “The what ifs of regret, are far worse then the what’s if of hesitation.

  4. Kari says:

    God, help me to be bold and brave as Esther and Mordecai were and to seek after YOUR will and YOUR favor before and above that of anything or anyone else.

  5. Sarah says:

    Let us come before His throne so we can find grace and mercy in our time of need.

  6. Bri says:

    "Give me faith to trust what you say, that You're good, and Your love is great."

    "And I may be weak, but Your spirit's strong in me. My flesh may fail, but my God You never will."

    -Elevation Worship {Give me Faith}

  7. Camille says:

    I love how clear Mordecai ‘s message to Esther is. There is no beating around the bush. God’s will is perfect and he will bring it to fruition whether we get on board or not. But he stands and waits at the door with his hand outstretched to us asking “Will you join me and see what I have in store for you? ” who am I to think that my plan for my life is more than what my Father would have for me? Who am I to question whether I have what it takes to do his calling?

    1. Phylicia says:

      Love this perspective! Thank you for sharing :) His plans are the best. Lord, help me to remember!

  8. Kylee says:

    Sent comment too soon! Another big “what IF” for me is “what IF I’m not being enough of a Christian influence??” – the above prayer is for that one, too ❤️❤️ our influence extends so much further than we think, and the word of God never returns to us without accomplishing what it was sent to do! Lord let us be your mouthpieces. To ask others “what IF God has a plan for your life?” And to believe it’s true because it is!

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