|Mordecai Warns Esther - F. J. Barrias|
TO CHEW ON: "'Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!'" Esther 4:16
Esther didn't take much convincing to act on behalf of her people. A little back-and-forth with Mordecai and she realized how serious the situation was and had made a plan of action.
I love how her plan included first God and then others. Her first thought was not some kind of political manipulation, but prayer. Prayer and fasting actually—serious fasting with no food or drink.
She involved not only the Jewish people but her Persian maids, who may have had little knowledge of God. (I've often wondered what affect this incident had on them; did they begin to believe in God for themselves after they saw what happened as a result of their prayers joined with Esther's?)
I also love Esther's hands-off attitude about the outcome. She knew that death might be the result of uninvited appearance before the king, and she was prepared for that.
I see a couple things in Esther's approach that I'd like to apply to my own life. What about you?
1. We could acknowledge God's presence and working in the governing of our land as much as we do in our own lives. Instead of throwing up our hands in despair when things don't go well, we could pray and fast (alone and with others) in faith that God has the power to change the situation.
2. Instead of sticking with our preconceived notion of how God will answer, we need more of Esther's "If I perish, I perish," attitude that leaves the results in God's hands. We need to realize that God's ways may involve bigger issues, more time, and more steps than we perceive. As we let Him be God, we can stop stressing about the outcome and simply trust that He will work things out (both personally and in our nation) in His own time and way.
PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to have the simple faith of Esther, who brought her big problem to You and prefaced her action with prayer and fasting. Amen.
MORE: "Whatever Comes" by Brian Doerksen
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.