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Esther's Call to Courage (Esther 3-5)

Esther 4:12-14 teaches us an important lesson about God’s plans and our involvement with them. Because of the wicked actions of Haman, the king decreed that the Jews would be wiped out on a specific date in the near future. God, having plans for His people, would clearly not allow this to happen. And here we see that the Lord, as He usually does, endeavored to use a people (or a person) to advance His plans. In this case, it would be through the actions of Esther that the tables would eventually be turned on Haman and the Jews would be spared.

In short, Esther had a job to do. Mordecai correctly reminded her that there was a good chance the whole reason she was even in her position in the palace was because God had put her there for this very moment. She had to act. She had to do the right thing. This was a critical point, perhaps the entire climax of Esther’s life. In these chapters, she submits, and at great risk to herself intervenes on behalf of the Jews. This is all great stuff. Esther’s heroics are inspiring to us today as they have been to every generation since her own. However, Mordecai points out that it wasn’t really Esther who saved the Jews. It was the Lord. When entreating her to stand up to Haman, Mordecai told her in 4:14, “If you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place.”

Mordecai’s perspective was correct. Esther was in a position to serve God. She did, and God advanced His plans through her actions and immortalized them in the pages of Scripture. However, she could have chosen not to do what she did, and as Mordecai said, God’s plans would still be fulfilled, He would just use another channel to accomplish them.

This is an important lesson for us to wrap our heads around. We will likely never have to intervene in a king’s court the way Esther did, but every single one of us is fully tied up in God’s greater plans for the world. And like Esther, we have a choice to make. We can submit, do what God wants us to do, and bring Him glory, or we can forsake our commitment to the Lord, do our own thing, and watch as God fulfills His plans through someone more devoted to Him than we are. At the end of the day, God’s plans are fulfilled either way. We must choose, through our life’s decisions, whether we want to be used as an instrument of the Lord, or to just simply live a life of abject selfishness. I’m personally glad Esther chose the former, but had she chosen the latter, we’d likely just have a different book in the Bible showing how someone else was used by God to thwart the evil plans of Haman.

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