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Thursday, June 20, 2013

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In despair, our once noble public servant went in front of the king’s gate, clothed with sackcloth and in despair. Mordecai was not permitted inside. His mournful wail was echoed by his people throughout the kingdom as the Jews fast and, although it is not mentioned, must have prayed. 

 

Esther was told of this, and was deeply distressed. She sent a fresh set of clothes to Mordecai, but he refused, and remained outside the gate. With a servant relaying messages, Mordecai explained what happened, finally getting a physical copy of the decree into Esther’s hands. 

 

Perhaps if it were only his life on the line, Mordecai would have begged Esther to remain silent and to continue her disassociation with him and their people to protect herself.  But, too many lives were at stake. A changed Mordecai asked Esther to go to the king and share her people’s distress. Perplexed, Esther sent back word reminding him that everyone knows that going in to the king uninvited meant almost certain death.  And, of course, Mordecai knew that and the thought must have kept him awake the entire night before.

 

Mordecai gave a hint at his trust in God’s providence in verse 14. He reminded Esther that relief and deliverance would arise from another place—God would protect His people—but Esther’s life would be lost with any other plan. Asking her to risk her life was the only way that he could possibly save it. She was God’s Plan A, and had come to the kingdom for such a time as this.

 

We aren’t told how long Esther pondered these words. Did she pace the palace corridors, soak in a hot bath or kneel at her bedside? She had been Queen for five years; did she dwell on the fact that her husband had not spent time with her at all over the last month? She may have contemplated for hours, but I imagine her message went almost immediately to the distressed Mordecai. This time she issued the command: gather all the Jews in Susa, fast for 3 days, and I will go before the king, and if I perish, I perish.

 

Esther’s life as queen of Persia was undoubtedly living comfortably in her royal quarters. Her decision to risk her life to save her people—a people she was virtually cut off from—showed her character. Jesus left the comforts of Heaven, to come to us as a helpless, ordinary babe. He sacrificed himself for us—a people He was virtually cut off from—knowing His Plan was the only Plan for our Salvation. His sacrifice shows us His character, God’s character, and a heart full of love.

 

Jean Boonstra
Voice of Prophecy