Bravery, for such a time as this!
“And if I perish, I perish” — Esther 4:16b
No-one will dispute the bravery of Esther to defy the law in the time of crisis. Was she fearful? Indeed, such a supposition would not be ill considered, for she raised this very protocol as being the reason not to do what Mordecai had requested. Her request for fasting and prayer on her behalf additionally reveals not only her recognition of required Omnipotent assistance, but her insecurity and reserve. Even her concluding remark, “And if I perish, I perish”, does not reveal a state of confidence, but of unsureness. Yet, despite Esther’s reservations and uncertainty of the outcome, she donned a brave resolve – she would do what was needed, and understood that her rise to prominence may not have been solely for her comfort and pleasure, but for a time and a purpose.
Did Esther truly have reason for concern? With the unilateral power that the king could wield by the wave of his sceptre, influenced in part by the feelings that possessed him at the time, she had reason for concern when stepping outside of the law’s protection. Is this not true of a saint’s walk? Faith is tried not behind the walls of plenty and ease, but when stepping outside of one’s comfort zone and into the tempest of uncertainty. When the carnal reasoning cannot provide confidence and surety, this is where the total reliance on God’s provision and providence lifts and carries the resolute heart fulfilling His purposes. For the brave heart, what a prodigious place to be in, knowing that despite your finery and efforts, the ultimate success and victory rests in the mercy and favour of the Sovereign, who is King of kings.
Although in differing degrees of application, as children of God, we are called to nothing dissimilar than that of Esther’s destiny. Mordecai plainly spelled it out to her – Your life is not your own; seek to save it, and you will lose it. These are words that the eyes of the believer have scanned more than once, or heard multiple times, and they speak directly to every child of the Living God, small and great alike – for they encompass a foundational principle of God’s Kingdom. Jesus establishes the principle: “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.” Paul expounds it: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
Dear reader, are you content, snug and safe behind the walls of the King’s Palace? What about your children, family, friends, associates, community? Are they secure in the Kingdom of our Lord, or perhaps in spiritual danger, being targets of the enemy, and in need of your help? Has God granted you His grace just so that you may enjoy its comforts for yourself? Did not your Saviour step out of His rightful residency in order to expose and destroy the works of the enemy of mankind, and to bring liberty to those who call upon His name? Rouse yourself then, O comfortable Christian dweller! Let Mordecai’s words stir your heart to action as it did Esther’s. Entreat the Omnipotent with earnest prayer; seek the favour and mercy of the King to grant your petition; and stand up against the tyrant that bids destroy your people and loved ones! If you remain comfortably reclined, with not a care as you consider yourself safe, beware! You may find yourself so well fed on dainties and weak from lack of exercise that your arm may not be willing to pick up your sword and fight to protect even yourself! Harken to the words of Revelation, “They overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” Who knows; the joys of Purim may be visited unto you!