We are so far past the days of kings and queens in this country that it is hard to imagine the trepidation. After all, it was only a conversation. A woman simply wanted to have a conversation with her husband.
But that wasn’t up to her. If conversations needed to take place, protocol was to sit and wait until Husband decided conversations could take place. Might I add, in this story, Husband is also King.
But the pressure was rising. Time was ticking. The loud cries of hopelessness was a constant reminder.
Whenever she left the palace, she could see the children tugging on their mothers’ dresses, “Mom, what’s wrong? Why is everyone so sad? What is happening?”
And the mothers attempts to avert the conversation. How long until they couldn’t hide it anymore?
The men could scarcely keep it a secret. They were constantly gathering together, trying to find a way to protect their families. Many times the city was a blend of noise- weeping and wailing to high heaven and heated speeches. Something had to be done… but what? What could they do, surrounded by people who wanted nothing more than their blood running through the dirt roads? Who would help, when even the government had them signed, sealed, and delivered to death?
And now all eyes were on Hadassah. “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Mordecai was always right. Nevermind that he was like a father to her and she loved him so dearly she would do anything he asked just because he asked it, he was always right. He loved God more than life. It had gotten him in trouble from time to time, but that never stopped him. And now he was asking the same of her. Could she do it? Could she go to the king unsummoned? It could literally cost her life. If not that then maybe her position as queen, her marriage, her home, her livelihood, everything that her life entailed if she was free to live.
And he would finally know the truth. Her husband would know her long kept secret. At Mordecai’s request she had not said a word about her heritage or the fact that she was an Israelite. She had taken on the Persian name Esther. Queen Esther. And now her wise cousin wanted her to reveal it all! Logically thinking, this would be the time to sigh in relief, “Thank goodness I hid my identity! Now perhaps my life will be spared if no one spills my secret.”
But no. Her people asked her to spill her own secret, in the most dangerous of circumstances.
She’s fasted for three days but is far from hungry. What is eating and drinking against a death sentence? Her stomach flipped. Will I really die? How will he kill me? Fear coursed through her body, through her veins, and her heart beat harder at its demand.
Calm down Esther. Calm down. She sat down, breathing deeply, and looked up at the sky through her window. She let her mind travel back in time, searching for faith.
“Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
If only she could go back to that moment. She remembered hearing Mordecai read those words by the glow of the fire, his face lit up by the dancing flame as he spoke.
“Remember Hadassah, remember this: God is with you wherever you go, just as He was with Joshua many years ago when our people entered the land. We do not need to be afraid of things in this life.”
We do not need to be afraid of things in this life. What can man do to me? Isn’t that what King David said? If I perish, I perish.
Esther put her fingers to her neck. Ba-boom, ba-boom. Her pace had slowed. Standing up, she straightened her dress and looked down the hall. A mere thirty feet away was the door. His door. The door no one, not even his own wife, could walk through unannounced.
But in that moment Hadassah, an orphaned Israelite girl turned Esther Queen of Persia, in the most unlikely of events, was about to do just that. With her head bowed down, she felt a cry for help leave her heart. Strength. Courage. Hope. Faith. Step… by step …. by step.
This is a fictional story based upon the true story of Esther, as found in the Bible. Every year, Purim is celebrated around the world in remembrance of the amazing turn of events that brought God’s people from “sorrow to joy.. and from mourning to a holiday, that they should make them days of feasting and joy, of sending presents to one another and gifts to the poor.” Esther 9:22
Strength, courage, hope, faith. “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
This story of Esther is a living one, much like everything else written in the Bible.
It is for us. You. Not only Esther, not thousands of years ago. You… now.
Can you take that step? Can you say those words “If I perish, I perish?” There are Believers that can in the world today and they are perishing as I type. Maybe not in your neighborhood, maybe not right in front of you, but get in the news. It’s happening.
Ask yourself. Be honest. Too often we like to assume we are on track with the right answer, but what are right answers in the mouth? Honesty is the foundation for growth. It is better to be honestly off track and take steps for growth than to piously gloss over serious questions. Are you really willing to lose it all for the sake of Christ? What about your business or your job? What about your home? And here’s a hard one: what about other peoples’ acceptance and approval?
Jesus’ teachings were highly unpopular with some people while He walked this earth. His teachings are still highly unpopular with some people and I’d say that number is probably on the rise. What if that makes you highly unpopular? Is it worth it?
Are you willing to identify with Him? Are you willing to “go and make disciples of all nations.. teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” even if the phrase “observe things that I have commanded” makes your audience uncomfortable? But look at the end of the verse here, “And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28
Just as He was with Joshua, just as He was with Esther, so is He with you. Take heart, body of Believers. Take heart.
“Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Bride, we need to be that Esther. We need to be willing to lay it all down. We have come to His Kingdom for such a time as this. If we perish, we perish. If our social standings perish, they perish. If our jobs perish, they perish. If we are mocked, rejected, or called crazy for it, we can know that He has traveled this path first.
I know it’s not easy. I know futures can seem daunting and that world news is horrifying and that sharing the Gospel is complicated because so many hear its words of love and cry “Hate! Hate! Hate!”
Believe me. I have felt the discouragement that is hanging in the air. I have even let it hang up its coat in my own heart. But not today. Not right now.
“And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” -Yeshua
In faith, and hope, and love,