Esther 4

Esther Learns of Haman’s Plot

When Mordecai learned all that had been done, [a]he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city and wailed loudly and bitterly. He went as far as the king’s gate, for no one was to enter the king’s gate clothed in sackcloth. In each and every province where the command and decree of the king came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping and wailing; and many lay on sackcloth and ashes.

Then Esther’s maidens and her eunuchs came and told her, and the queen writhed in great anguish. And she sent garments to clothe Mordecai that he might remove his sackcloth from him, but he did not accept themThen Esther summoned Hathach from the king’s eunuchs, whom [b]the king had appointed to attend her, and ordered him to go to Mordecai to learn what this was and why it wasSo Hathach went out to Mordecai to the city square in front of the king’s gate. Mordecai told him all that had happened to him, and the exact amount of money that Haman had promised to pay to the king’s treasuries for the destruction of the Jews. He also gave him a copy of the text of the edict which had been issued in Susa for their destruction, that he might show Esther and inform her, and to order her to go in to the king to implore his favor and to plead with him for her people.

Hathach came back and related Mordecai’s words to Esther. 10 Then Esther spoke to Hathach and ordered him to reply to Mordecai: 11 “All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that for any man or woman who comes to the king to the inner court who is not summoned, he has but one law, that he be put to death, unless the king holds out to him the golden scepter so that he may live. And I have not been summoned to come to the king for these thirty days.” 12 They related Esther’s words to Mordecai.

13 Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews. 14 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?”

Esther Plans to Intercede

15 Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, 16 “Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa, and fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens also will fast in the same way. And thus I will go in to the king, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish.” 17 So Mordecai went away and did just as Esther had commanded him.

Esther needed a perspective shift, and I think perhaps Mordecai also had started in a place of despair. But when Esther sent a messenger to Mordecai, he began to see God’s hand at work. Esther though, when she heard the news, was in a place of fear. She was feeling like she had to save her people, but fortunately, that was not her responsibility.

Mordecai’s faith in God is shown when he tells Esther, “if you remain silent, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place…” He knew God would not allow His people to be destroyed, and though perhaps his faith had faltered in the beginning, it was making a comeback now because he was putting his trust in God.

We then see a similar shift in Esther, when she realizes it really wasn’t up to her to save the Jews. God would save them no matter what, and she would “only” be a willing instrument in His hands. It reminds me of one of my favorite passages from Perelandra, “Have no fear, lest your shoulders be bearing this world. Look! it is beneath your head and carries you.”

And the world itself is in the capable hands of our Creator, who will never fail us or forsake us. Anytime you feel overwhelmed, and I’ll admit I’ve felt that way lately, remember that you are not the savior of the world, or even of your own life. There is only One who can (and did) do that, and He will be with you every step of your day. There is nothing God cannot handle, or that He has not already taken into account. He is the rock upon which all other rocks are built, and that’s the surest foundation you could ever find.

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