Esther 4:16b, “’When this is done, I will go the king, even though it against the law. And if I perish, I perish.’” (NIV)
Esther is a truly astounding biblical chronicle for so many reasons. One, we see the beauty of the Lord’s providential hand. Even though God’s name is not mentioned in this book His divine imprint is readily displayed in the outcome of events, and the timing of the activity. When all seemed lost for the Jewish people salvation was found. When death seemed inevitable life was redeemed. The only way this was made possible was because of God’s involvement. Two, we see the ugliness of evil. Haman, an Agagite, was so insulted by a perceived slight from Mordecai, a Hebrew, he set in motion a heinous plot to try and eradicate Mordecai’s entire heritage. A personal offense escalated into a racial assault. And when the plan was formally set in motion Haman sat down for drinks with the king, completely at ease with the chaos he had just generated (Esther 3:15). Three, we see the power of sacrifice. Esther took a major risk in seeking the counsel of the king without invitation, or summons. In fact, it was a very real possibility that such an act would result in her death. And somehow, in bold faith, she declared that she would accept death over standing in silence as a scheme to destroy the Hebrew people was underway.
God’s command over earthly affairs is undeniable. In this account, the Lord used the most powerful, and seemingly unapproachable, man in the world, King Xerxes, to accomplish liberation from an enemy: Haman. King Xerxes had already displayed a degree of temperamental behavior, and moodiness, especially toward women. So-much-so that King Xerxes deposed his queen wife because she would not consent to be objectified as a royal beauty trophy before the kingdom’s nobility at a festival (Esther 1:10-12). And yet the heart of this prideful, arrogant, and stubborn monarch was softened toward Esther. In all, the book of Esther overflows with God’s mercy and movement. The reality being that mankind is not alone. We are not outside the Lord’s aid, or authority. In Esther, we can observe a young woman’s bravery. “If I die, I die” is a brave proclamation and reveals deep humility and faith. It also reveals the power of sacrifice. But in the account of Esther we can also observe God’s bountiful blessing and profound providence. And with that knowledge may it embolden the Lord’s followers to declare, “To God be all glory and praise”.
Kevin Orr (9/14/2018)