By Alan Smith
The young people in one church had been studying the Book of Esther. It was obviously that one boy had been paying attention when his family had Brussels sprouts for supper. Spearing one and looking at it distastefully, he placed it in his mouth, saying, "If I perish, I perish."
The story of Esther is one of the greatest stories of courage in the Bible.
When Mordecai realized that there was a plot to kill the Jews in Persia, he saw only one possibility to save them, and that was through Esther. He asked Esther to go before the king and request that he rescind the decree and save the Jewish people. But Esther was hesitant to do that because there was a law that said that anyone who went into the king's court without an invitation could be put to death, and she hadn't been invited for a month!
Mordecai sent another message to Esther that said, in effect, "Think, Esther. The decree says all Jews. It doesn't exclude anybody in the king's household. You are a Jew and that means you've already been condemned to death. If the king receives you, you've got a chance. But even if he doesn't, you're no worse off."
One of the most powerful verses in all the Bible is found in verse 14. It's a question that I believe every Christian should ask himself when he's facing a difficult situation: "Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"
"Esther, have you ever thought that maybe this is the reason why God put you in the position of being queen? Did you think He did it just so you could have an easy life? This is the reason God has brought you where you are. Your presence in the palace is not by accident but by divine appointment."
The time had come for Esther to make a choice. She could approach the king and possibly lose her life, or she could remain silent and allow the annihilation of herself and her people. She decided to stand for what was right. And with the heroic words, "If I perish, I perish!" (4:16), she went to the king.
Has God put you in a position to make a difference to the people around you? Like Esther, will you have the courage to respond, regardless of what the consequences may be?
- Alan Smith, minister for the Cruciform Church of Christ in Spring Lake, North Carolina, may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the congregation's website: http://www.cruciformcoc.com/