Monday, March 5, 2018

Year 8, Day 64: Esther 4

Theological Commentary: Click Here

When Mordecai hears of the edict against the Jews, he puts on sackcloth and mourns.  He is inconsolable.  Esther tries to send him clothing with which to dress, but he refuses to wear it.  He has no desire that his people should be killed.  He has even less desire that such a fate should come about because of his own actions.

This leads us to Mordecai’s conversation with Esther through the servant Hathak.  Mordecai tells Esther that she is in a position to do something about this threat against her people.  Naturally, Esther is afraid.  She doesn’t want to extend herself, make herself vulnerable, and then feel the consequences.  Her fear is natural, if not unfortunate.

I love Mordecai’s point when Esther is afraid. Mordecai says that redemption will come from somewhere.  But if she does not allow herself to become the agent of God’s salvation, why would she expect herself to be saved by God?  In other words, she’s as good as dead if she does nothing.  Why should she not try to save herself and her people?

To be fair, though, in getting to Esther’s conundrum I have easily skipped over a significant point in the story.  Mordecai has incredible faith in God.  He doesn’t doubt that redemption will come.  He doesn’t worry that if Esther doesn’t act that God’s people might be lost.  For Mordecai, salvation is assured!  God will work. For Mordecai, the question is whether or not God will be able to work through Esther or through someone else.

In hearing this, Esther’s heart is changed.  She realizes what she must do.  If she wants to be a part of God’s salvation, she must be willing to do her part.  Esther asks Mordecai to fast for three days.  After the fast, she will go into the presence of the king and risk her own life for the benefit of being part of God’s plan.  Esther responds to the challenge offered to her by Mordecai.