Read Esther 4
Fasting by the Jews; Esther's banquet for Haman and the king; Haman forced to honor Mordecai; Haman hanged.
So will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish (Esth. 4:16).
God's enemies had manipulated a plot to completely eliminate the Jewish nation. Mordecai recognized the hand of God when he said to Queen Esther: Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? (4:14). Esther was willing to give up everything — even her own life, if necessary — for what she knew to be the will of God to save His chosen people. With the words, if I perish, I perish, she stood in the inner court of the king's palace, waiting for his word that would mean either life or death.
There will always be opposition to God's people. Sometimes it may come from government powers and other times it may come from more personal places such as family and friends. Jesus told His disciples: If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you (John 15:18). Our character in Christ is revealed by how we face this opposition. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle (II Thess. 2:15).
Queen Vashti had been dismissed, so the risk was real: Let the king give her royal estate unto another (Esth. 1:19). To make Esther's situation even more serious, she had not been called to see the king for thirty days. Did this mean the king had lost interest in Esther? If so how could she hope to influence him on behalf of her condemned Jewish people?
A further temptation presented itself when the king not only accepted her, but he offered her half of the kingdom (5:3,6; 7:2). She could have clutched her prize, considering it far too precious to risk losing by mentioning her request to the king. But she didn't. No matter how great the temptation, we should never let anything come between us and our relationship with God. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: for this is the First Commandment (Mark 12:30).
The world's attitude is to firmly clutch our rights and possessions. We run the risk of losing God's best for our lives and our families by allowing selfishness to guide us in reacting to the fear of losing them. But the way to gain the most for our lives, our children, or our mate is to commit them to God.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the Gospel's, the same shall save it (Mark 8:35).
Thought for Today:
God never asks us to do something that He doesn't supply the strength to accomplish.
In the honor shown to Mordecai as he was led through the streets (Esth. 6:10-11). Jesus was greatly honored in His triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Matt. 21:8-9).
4:1 rent, tore, as an act of grief and mourning; 6:13 be of the seed of the Jews, is of Jewish origin; 7:4 countervail, justify, compensate, or make up for; 7:5 that durst, who dares to.
Pray for Staff: Pam Murton • Government Officials: Rep. Jerrold Nadler (NY) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC) • Country: Hong Kong (7 million) in eastern Asia • Major languages: Chinese and English • Limited religious freedom • 90% Chinese religions; 10% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for national leaders and their families (Ezra 6:10).
Optional Reading: Galatians 2
Memory Verse for the Week: Ecclesiastes 5:4