“15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 ‘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.’17 So Mordecai went away and carried out all of Esther’s instructions.” NIV
Jesus taught that if you try to save your life you will lose it. But if you choose to lose it you will in fact find it. It seems to me that Esther:
- Acted honourably. Mordecai had raised her as if he were her father, and she honoured him as if he were. She obeyed him. (But note the mutual submission – verse 17);
- Spoke wisely. She called first for an absolute fast. Desperate times may call for desperate measures. This applies in the spiritual realm also. Only after this total fast, lasting three days and nights, would she approach the king: ‘’When this is done…’’ (16). Fasting may often be a preparation for something. ‘Among the Jews, fasting was always associated with prayer; so we can understand that Esther and the Jews of Susa would be both fasting and praying – praying that Xerxes would respond favourably to Esther’s plea that the Jews be spared.’ Tom Hale:‘The Applied Old Testament Commentary’, p.774.
- Dared greatly. There was nothing reckless about what she did. She was well prepared spiritually. But when the moment called for it, she was prepared to break the law, and even die if necessary. Numerous saints have followed in her footsteps over the centuries.
‘For Christians today, the book of Esther has a special spiritual application. Like Esther, we are intimate members of the family of the King. We too are instruments to be used for saving thousands – millions – of people doomed to destruction. Are we, like Esther, willing to risk our lives to save them?’ Tom Hale.
PRAYER: Lord God, help us to live with a due sense of the seriousness of these times, and of our responsibility before you. Deliver us from complacency and spiritual unreality.