The Book of Esther in the Older Testament of the Bible is the story of a young woman forced to make a decision concerning the total commitment of her life…a decision she was reluctant to make. She had to be vigorously challenged, and many of us may be able to relate to that need for challenge, to break out of an insulated life, and for discovering the true meaning of life.
Read Esther 4:1-17.
The story takes place in the ancient kingdom of Persia, where a Jewish man named Mordecai lived. Mordecai had a young cousin named Esther, whom he adopted after her parents died, and raised her as his own. Esther grew into a woman a grace and beauty. One day the king of Persia ordered a search made for the most beautiful single woman in the kingdom. Esther found favor in the king’s eyes and with her Jewish background unknown, was crowned queen of Persia.
Later, Mordecai learned that a top government official named Haman planned to murder all of the Jews in the entire kingdom. Mordecai immediately got a message to Esther and said, “You must do something…you may be the only person who can persuade the king to stop this plan!”
But Esther didn’t want to do anything. She quoted palace protocol and said, “Unless the king summons a person, you don’t go in unannounced…any one who does would be put to death. The only exception is if the king extends his royal scepter to the person and spares his/her life. And thirty days had passed since I was called into his presence. I don’t want to lose my life.”
Mordecai however, wasn’t dismayed by her refusal to help. Thousands of Jews were destined to die, so he sent a second message, which had three themes.
The first is problem. Mordecai said to Esther, “Don’t think that you’ll escape this situation any more than the rest of the Jews…you’ll lose everything you have if this plan is carried out…all comforts and benefits…they’ll find out you’re a Jew, too.” Mordecai is saying if it’s comfort and security that stops you from saving your own people, you’re no more secure than the rest of the people. Esther shares in the problem.
The second theme is privilege. “If you keep silent, Esther, at a time like this, deliverance will arise from another place. But God has given you the privilege to serve and if you don’t, God will give your role to another person to accomplish.” Do you recognize the privileged status you have as a college student? The family heritage you have? Your reputation in school? Your gifts?
The third theme is providence. “Esther, who knows but that God has placed you in such a royal position for such a time as this?” Mordecai’s final appeal finally struck home with Esther. Her response was, “Go gather together all the Jews and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days. I and my servants will do the same. Afterward I will go to the king, even though it’s against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” That my friends, is an example of total commitment.
Can you relate to Esther? The world is ripe for women and men who will recognize that they are not immune from the problems of today; are willing to accept the privilege of obedience; and who are ready to see that the providence of God may have brought them to such a time as this. Serve globally. Let’s transform the university, the marketplace, and the world for Jesus.
Love is a verb,
©2016 by Mike Olejarz