Series: Shaped by Environment
Preacher: Jessyka Albert
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 69:22-28.
Read: Esther 1-4 (ESV). As you re-read the text for the final time this week in the English Standard Version, what new insights did you discover about God’s character?Esther 1-4 (ESV). As you re-read the text for the final time this week in the English Standard Version, what new insights did you discover about God’s character?
Reflect: The decree to exterminate the Jews has been sent out, and as the confusion in the kingdom grows and Mordecai wails in mourning, Haman and the King sit down to drink. In all 127 provinces, the Jews mourn, covering themselves with ashes and clothing their bodies in sackcloth. When word reaches Queen Esther, she sends the eunuch Hathach to learn from Mordecai what is really going on. In Mordecai’s reply, he urges Esther to take action. Esther in the Persian language means “star,” and it is now her time to shine.
But she hesitates. She reminds Mordecai that she could lose her life by going to the King without first receiving a summons, and he hasn’t asked for her in a month! But Mordecai is having none of this. He has raised Esther, and he didn’t raise her to step back in difficult situations, and he didn’t raise her to fear anyone but God. He sends this message to her:
“Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” (4:13-14)
What a speech! Mordecai is not allowing Esther to live in her comfy peripheral environment any longer. He knows God will protect and preserve His people, and he is starting to see why Esther has been positioned to be queen. Maybe this isn't all nothing more than a drunken king’s order or a disobedient queen’s refusal. Maybe this is evidence of God’s hand at work.
Esther was not called to be queen. Esther was called to serve God, and it just happened that she could best serve Him from a pagan throne.
Respond: Pray for courage in your life and decisions.courage in your life and decisions.
Research: Research the history of King Xerxes.Research the history of King Xerxes.