“9 Hathak went back and reported to Esther what Mordecai had said. 10 Then she instructed him to say to Mordecai, 11 ‘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 sceptre to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.’12 When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, 13 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. 14 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?’ NIV

When Esther received her intel from Mordecai, via Hathach, she explained her predicament. No-one, male or female, was to approach the king unbidden, on pain of death. This applied even to the queen, and she had not been sent for in ‘’thirty days’’ (11). The only exception to this case was if the king extended ‘’the gold sceptre’’ (11) to the approaching supplicant, as an act of mercy.

So now it was time for Mordecai to tell Esther the unvarnished truth. ‘Look, if you go to the king you may die. But if you don’t, you will die anyway, and the rest of us! If you try to save your life you will lose it. Don’t think you will escape because you are the queen. God will raise someone up to save the Jews, but you will have missed your destiny.’ He wanted Esther to understand that she had been given her position for this very moment in history. So what was she going to do with it?

‘We may be quite sure that God will carry out his plans – with us, if possible; if not, in spite of us, to our utter loss. We should look upon our position as a sacred trust to be used for others. We are created for good works, which God hath prepared for us to walk in.’ F.B.Meyer: ‘Devotional Commentary’, p.212.

We too would die; we would be consumed by the ‘’blazing fire’’ holiness of our Heavenly King, if He did not extend to us ‘’the gold sceptre’’. But in Jesus He does. Whenever we approach God we may do so with boldness and confidence because of the cross. As a hymn says, ‘Oh the welcome I have found there.’