Hey Tribelet – Asher here! How are you all?
Today I’ll be talking about Esther, one of my favorite characters of the Bible for part 3 of our ‘Women of the Bible’ series.
Esther started from the bottom of the pile. She was an orphan, cared for by her uncle, Mordecai. On top of that, she was a Jew – a race that was looked down upon at the time.
I wonder if Esther had big dreams for her life. Today, many of us can hope to become an athlete, veterinarian, detective… But most girls back in Esther’s time had a much more limited future: their main destiny was to marry someone of a similar social standing.
Even if she did have big dreams, I doubt Esther expected much more.
Unexpectedly, king Xerxes, the most powerful guy in town, picks her to be his wife. Her life is totally changed. From a dirt-floored house to a palace. From girl next door to having all eyes on her. From being able to talk to Mordecai casually to not being able to speak to the king unless he summoned her.
Soon Esther finds out that the king’s right hand man, Hanan, has passed an order for all Jews to be killed. Her people. Mordecai begs her to ask the king for mercy. But the king doesn’t summon her. By approaching him she could die.
Mordecai, I’m sure, is aware of this – but he continues to encourage Esther to speak up:
12 When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, 13 he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 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 your royal position for such a time as this?” (NIV)
He tells Esther to make the most of her power. Her voice, her royal position, her race – everything God placed in her life was an opportunity – to speak out for the oppressed Jews.
“I’ll go to the king, even though it’s forbidden. If I die, I die.” (MSG)
I find it interesting that Esther’s feelings don’t come up in the Bible. We never find out whether she feared approaching the king or not.
Bravery isn’t the absence of fear. It’s doing the right thing even if you are scared to death.
By focusing on how Esther takes action instead, we can see the importance of bravery. Regardless of how she felt, Esther chose to do what counted.
“If I die, I’ll die.” She also accepts the fact that things might not go her way. She knows she can’t do anything about the result of the situation, but God will take care of her eternity.
I don’t know about you, but to me, that is true bravery.
In the comments, we’d love to know:
We may not have opportunities as “significant” at Esther’s lives right now, but what do you have that you can make a difference with? Maybe you’re in the same class as someone who is lonely. You could still try to do what you can and be by their side. Perhaps you’re great on the piano, and could offer to play at the old folks home in your town.
Also… what holds you back from taking action? Maybe you’re afraid your friends will abandon you if you start spending too much time with the lonely kid. Perhaps you get stage fright and performing on the piano is out of your comfort zone. Do share if you’re comfortable – there’s no shame in weakness!
Personally, I can make a difference by supporting family members going through tough times. The sacrifice of time, comfort and energy that takes holds me back sometimes, but I’m working on it.
Can’t wait to hear from you!