Today’s Bible reading
Mordecai told him everything that had happened to him, including the exact amount of money Haman had promised to pay into the royal treasury for the destruction of the Jews. He also gave him a copy of the text of the edict for their annihilation, which had been published in Susa, to show to Esther and explain it to her, and he told Hathak to instruct her to go into the king’s presence to beg for mercy and plead with him for her people.
Hathak went back and reported to Esther what Mordecai had said. Then she instructed him to say to Mordecai, “All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.”
When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, 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. 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?”
Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”
So Mordecai went away and carried out all of Esther’s instructions.
More thoughts for meditation
In the story of Esther, a Jewish woman becomes Queen for the intimidating King Xerxes. One of the king’s men, Haman, hated the Jews and was plotting to destroy them. She was in a unique position of power to prevent the annihilation of her people.
When the opportunity came for her to act, she was afraid, and reasonably so! She knew what she ought to do, but the desire to preserve her hidden identity, comfort, and safety was strong. Mordecai, her uncle who had cared for her since her parent’s death, urged her to step up to save her people. It even took more than one nudge to get her going!
Even after deciding she would go through with it, it took several days and the prayers of her people to build up the courage to go before the king – and in the end save her people.
Suggestions for Action
God calls us to stand for justice, to care for the downcast, to eat dinner with the outcast, and to forgive our enemies. Often these radical acts of love are scary – what if we get hurt? This story reminds us that when it comes to taking bold action, we don’t have to do it alone. Our community and family of fellow believers are here to support and encourage one another.
What community do you have that encourages you to live selflessly, caring for others around you? Is there a tough or scary decision that lays ahead of you? Consider reaching out to a friend for support.