So will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish – Esther 4:16
The life of Esther is one of the most extraordinary in all the Bible. A true rags-to-riches story, she was plucked out of obscurity, chosen to be queen, and then faced with one of the most difficult choices any ruler ever had to make.
Esther was a Jew, one of God’s chosen people, but her husband the king did not know it. With the king’s consent, a decree had gone out over all the land that every Jew was to be killed. Esther was faced with a choice: she could either stand up for her people—and the God of her people—or save her own skin by remaining incognito. To stand up meant, not only the danger of revealing her ethnic identity, but also approaching the king unbidden… an offense punishable by death.
But Esther made her choice decisively: “if I perish, I perish.” I wonder, are we ready to throw ourselves into the cause of God’s kingdom with that same abandon, with a willingness to do whatever it takes no matter what the personal cost?
Although the name of God is nowhere mentioned in this book, the fingerprints of God are all over it. It was, of course, God who allowed Esther to become queen at just the right time and who gave her favor in the sight of the king, empowering her to save his people.
But Esther had to make her decision by faith, not knowing what the outcome would be. And there is a trail of martyrs through the centuries that attest to the fact that God does not always deliver from death those who stand in his name. Like Esther, we must be willing to lay down our pride, and our concern for self-preservation, and be willing to serve our Lord no matter what the cost.
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