After King Xerxes's decree to annihilate every Jew was made known throughout his many provinces, the Jews went into deep mourning. Esther 4 states the Jews wept, wailed, and fasted in sackcloth and ashes. Their death was lawful and set to occur to all of God's people including women and children. It is written that Mordecai was also one of the many Jews who publicly cried out in despair over this legal wickedness. When Esther learned that Mordecai was mourning, she was troubled. So, she sent him clothes to wear instead of his sackcloth, but he refused to wear them. Esther then sent one of her attendees to discover the cause of Mordecai's grief. Mordecai then explained everything that had occurred and sent a copy of the king's decree to Esther. He asked her to intervene for the sake of her people. When Esther's attendant returned to her, she voiced her concerns. Esther 4:11(NIV) reads: “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 scepter to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.”
So, Mordecai was asking Esther to risk her life for the sake of the Jews. Putting her life on the line probably didn't seem to be the wisest decision to her at that time. Esther, of course, didn't want her people to perish. But if she went to the king without being summoned, it was possible that she could be killed before she could even ask the king to spare their lives. She was caught between what we call a rock and a hard place.
When Mordecai received word from Queen Esther, he stood by his original advice. In fact, the text suggests that Mordecai believed that even if Esther didn't aid in delivering God's people, then someone else would. Esther 4:14 (NIV) reads: 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?”
Mordecai's confidence is admirable and something that we should all pray to have. But what I appreciate about the text is that Mordecai recognized that it appeared that God placed Esther in the position of a queen for that specific moment in time... for such a time to help deliver God's people. We can apply this to our lives by looking at our position to see how we can help others.
You may be in just the right position to encourage someone, to uplift your fellow brother or sister, or most importantly, to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ to someone. We are the light of the world and the salt of the earth. God's people are needed in every industry and in every place. So, no matter what job or position you are currently in, pray that God will open your eyes so that you may view your positioning in the right light... which is what Esther did. Mordecai's words helped her see her position for what it could possibly be. She saw her position as queen as an avenue that God could use to deliver the Jews. Esther 4 concludes with Esther's decision to go before the king unsummoned, even though it was unlawful for her to do so. Esther requested all the Jews to fast for three days, and on the third day she would either face death or liberty. As I read this chapter, I attempted to put myself in their position. I tried to imagine how Queen Esther felt in that moment. I thought of how the Jews must've felt about their pending death. And I, of course, cannot imagine anything that devastating. I simply cannot relate. However, I can relate to praying to God for deliverance and not being entirely sure if my prayer would be answered. In this moment in time, the Jews were not sure if they would live or die. It also appears that Queen Esther was not sure if God would spare their lives. But they knew to ask God if he would. And that's all we can do. Like Esther, when we need help, even if we aren’t sure of what the outcome may be, we need to go to God in prayer.
Lastly, I must refer back to the positioning of Queen Esther. It is easy for many of us today to romanticize her position. She was a queen, a woman of authority and status. Her position was exalted, and she was highly esteemed. Often when scriptures like these are studied, we envision God exalting us as he did them.
We look at how God elevated Joseph from the pit to the palace or how David went from being a shepherd boy to a king and we become excited. We become optimistic at the possibility of God promoting us in the same fashion. While I am not necessarily against this line of thinking, we must think bigger. We need to ask ourselves why these people were exalted.
Esther became Queen Esther to help deliver her people from a massacre. Joesph was elevated as the second in command to deliver his people from famine. David was exalted as king and helped deliver his people from being oppressed by the Philistines. There was a bigger picture—and deliverance of God’s people was the portrait.
So, then Esther becoming queen was never about her. It was bigger than her. It was about an entire nation of people being saved. Her elevation was about how she could aid in saving her people from destruction. We tend to have a self-centered focus about elevation, and we lean towards wanting promotion without thinking about the bigger picture.
But when God elevated Esther, he wasn’t only thinking of Esther. He also wasn’t only thinking of saving the Jews in that time. But God was also thinking about you and me. He was thinking about the grand salvation plan—how to save the entire world from destruction. The promised seed of Jesus Christ laid within the Jews. And if they were all destroyed, there would have been no hope for reconciliation with God for any of us.
The deliverance of God’s people has always been at the forefront of God’s mind. And since God does not change, the deliverance of God’s people is still on his mind. He would have it that all men might be saved and to ultimately join him in heaven at the end of time. So, any elevation that we might receive on earth may indeed be a blessing for our enjoyment. There is nothing wrong with being blessed and there is nothing wrong with elevation. But it is only a by-product of the bigger picture.
May our thoughts, actions, and even our aspirations align with God’s will, which is the saving of souls through Jesus Christ. So, when it comes to you and your life, don’t think on a small scale. Think like the God that you serve. Think like God. Think bigger.
Quin Arrington is a Christian writer and author with fictional and nonfictional books available on Amazon at www.amazon.com/author/quinarrington
Thank you for your time and attention. God bless!