“Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer: ‘Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan and fast for me and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day. I, also, and my maidens will fast likewise—and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law. And, if I perish, I perish’.”
Doing God’s Will will require a good conscience, strong courage and firm resolve; but, we must always remember He will ultimately vindicate and give the victory.
The situation was serious. The outlook was dim. The Jewish people were desperate. And, if things were to change, it would require desperate actions.
Such was the case the day Esther uttered the words in today’s Manna. Through God’s sovereign, providential will, she’d been selected as queen to Persian King Ahasuerus, who, most likely, was also Xerxes, and reigned from 485 B.C.-464 B.C. Even a casual reading of this beautiful book of Esther will reveal God’s sovereign Hand in her selection (1:1-2:20).
The Lord God knew Haman, an Agagite or Amalekite, would be promoted to a prominent position by King Ahasuerus and would soon thereafter begin a campaign to exterminate all of the Jews (3:1-15). For centuries the Amalekites, who descended from Esau, had been staunch enemies of Israel (Ex. 17:8-16; Judg. 3:13; 6:3, 33; 7:12-22; I Sam. 14:48; 15:1-9; 27:8-10; I Chron. 4:39-43). But, most likely, Haman’s hatred of them rested more in his wounded ego and pride than it did his ethnic background (Esth. 3:2-6; 5:5-13; 6:4-9).
Such is always the case in the war of flesh vs. spirit. . .wrong vs. right. . .darkness vs. light. . . and the kingdom of evil vs. the kingdom of righteousness. In reality, Haman’s hatred was rooted in satan’s hatred of God. From his tempting of Adam and Eve in the Garden until his attacks on the Church today, he continually seeks way to defeat, discourage, disillusion, depress, etc., God’s People whenever/wherever/however he can.
That’s why there’s still the need of the likes of Esther and Mordecai in every generation. When Mordecai took Esther, his cousin, in to raise after her parents died (2:5-8), he had no way of knowing that she’d become queen (2:8-20). Likewise, later on, when he thwarted an assassination attempt against the king (2:21-23), he didn’t know God would eventually use that to help save him and the Jewish people from Haman’s intended slaughter (6:1-3, 10-11).
Truly, Mordecai’s refusal to bow down to Haman (3:2; 5:9), which would have acknowledged him as a god, took great courage. The same was true for Esther, who knew her drawing near to the king’s throne without his invitation could ultimately lead to her death, even though she was queen (4:11). But, she also knew her failure to do so would assuredly lead to the deaths of thousands of fellow Jews, her own family and quite possibly herself (vv.13-14).
That’s why she said, “So will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law—and if I die, I die.” We know this didn’t happen; instead, Haman and his own 10 sons were hanged on the same 75’ high gallows he’d prepared for Mordecai (5:14; 7:9-10; 9:13-14). May we never fear to stand firm in faith as we obey God. He will ultimately vindicate us one way or the other (Heb. 11:32-40). So, be faithful, Pilgrim. The Lord will take care of you.
August 13, 2011