Esther could have died. Sure, all the Jews were scheduled to die anyway but Esther could have been the first one. She did something that was illegal and went, unsummoned, to the king. The punishment for doing so was a date with the royal executioner. And why would she do such a thing, take such a risk?
Let’s rewind a little bit. After finding out about an evil man’s plot to kill all the Jews, a man named Mordecai, grieved so publicly that Esther (his cousin) heard about it. She asks what’s up and he tells her they’re all going to die. He then asks her to go do something about it by talking to the king. Her reply is: I can’t, that’s illegal. Then Mordecai says: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:13-14). That was enough of a push for Esther, so she risks her life.
That was a bold message to give to a queen! But what does money, title, or position matter before God? No matter who you are you cannot remain silent. Mordecai tells her: it is your job to speak up. Cowardice has consequences. God will punish those who live by fear and reward those who live by faith. Mordecai then asks: why do you think you are where you are? Was it just by chance that you became queen? “From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live” (Acts 17:26). You are queen because God put you there! And it wasn’t just by chance, you were placed where you are for a purpose. You were called to be God’s instrument of justice in such a time as this.
We live in uncertain times. It is usually a risk to speak up for or about the Lord. Doing so could cost us friendships, closeness to family, maybe even our employment. But who knows if we haven’t been placed in our situation for such a time as this? Perhaps you have been elevated in the workplace so you would be in a position to speak to your boss or a fellow employee about Christ. Perhaps God put that friend in your life for more than just a golf partner. I imagine the Lord also hoped that you would speak to him about what would lead to his salvation. Could salvation come from another place? Sure – but has not God raised YOU up for this purpose? Boldness in Christ will surely be rewarded. Being ashamed of His name . . . not so much. In case you were wondering, Esther spoke up in her time and the Jews were saved. Will we speak up in ours, in such a time as this? I think people could be saved today also if we do.
Doug Wells, Camden Avenue church of Christ, Parkersburg, WV