“14 For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
15 Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai,
16 “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”
17 Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.”
Esther 4:14-17, ESV
A while back I mentioned that I was walking through the book of Esther with some high school boys that I meet with on a regular basis. I finished the book of Esther with them this past week but my reading plan has me going back through the book again on my own. It’s a little bit refreshing to be reading this story again with different eyes. Previously I have read the book to prepare for teaching my boys. This time, I’m looking at the book with a lot less scholastic viewpoint and with a little more practical outlook.
Yesterday I read Esther chapter 4 and as I read again this specific piece of the story where Esther agrees to risk her life for the good of her people, The Lord highlighted a specific portion near the end of the chapter. In Esther Chapter 4, the memorable line “if I perish, I perish” gets the majority of the attention. However a couple versus ahead of that Mordecai, while relaying a message to Esther, called her to take a hard look at her circumstances and consider that maybe the Lord has put her in the position that she is in for a time such as this.
Quick background of the story, Esther is named Queen by king Ahasuerus despite her hidden Jewish heritage. The Jews are threatened with genocide by the wicked Haman. Mordecai, Esther’s guardian, calls her to the carpet on being a force for the good of her people especially considering her elevated position.
At the end of this chapter, Mordecai reminds Esther that perhaps she has been given the position that she is in for a specific purpose which God had ordained long before the current circumstances. I read that line and I consider my current circumstances and the same challenge is presented to me. Has not God placed me in Dallas, in the gym that I am coaching, with the people that I’m coaching, and writing this very blog for a time such as this? I think it is extremely easy for u, as progressive-minded people who pride ourselves on taking initiative, to always look past our current circumstances and look ahead to where we could be or what we could be doing next. Mordecai’s challenge calls us to quite a different thought process. Mordecai called Esther to consider the moment she was in and the circumstances she was a part of. We are challenged with the same thought. Have you considered that maybe you are a part of the gym you’re in or the city you find yourself for a reason? What’s more than that, are you leveraging the position you’re in and the place you find yourself for the glory of God and the good of the people around you? Regardless of whether you consider yourself to be there for a specific reason or not, that is our call as believers. Have you considered your situation in the same way that Esther was forced to consider hers? Have you thought that we might, as believers in the Gospel, leverage where we are and what we’re doing for something bigger than our own personal gain?
I read the challenge from Mordecai’s lips and can’t help but be personally challenged to consider my own circumstances. Esther was placed in a position to put her own life on the line. Mordecai charged her to consider that maybe that was the entire reason she was in the position she was in. Most of us are not putting our life on the line but are we in the position that we find ourselves with opportunities presented before us to make much of the Lord. Are we acting on the circumstances or are we living idly and looking forward to what could happen in the future?