Daily Devotional

Esther: Speaking Out for God

by Simon Whitton

14 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 royal position for such a time as this?"
15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai:
16 "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 maids 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."

Esther 4:14-16 (NIV)

The Persian king's right hand man had implemented a plot to kill all the Jews throughout the empire of Persia.  Esther was the queen of Persia, but the royal court and even the king were unaware that she was Jewish.

Esther's relative Mordecai urged her to speak to the king about this unjust plot. However, Esther knew that to come before the king uninvited carried a penalty of death, unless the king chose to extend mercy.

This put Esther in a situation where she had to decide if she would speak out. Her life was in jeopardy whether she spoke out or not.  But probably more so if she did speak, because first she'd have to survive the king, then, after revealing her Jewish identity, she'd have to survive the plot.

Esther was in a comfortable position; she was one of the most beautiful women in the empire, living in a palace with wealth and servants.  But when forced to face her mortality, Esther decided 'If I perish, I perish'.  She knew she was taking a risk, but she put herself in God's hands through prayer and fasting.

Perhaps Mordecai's strongest argument was his famous declaration: “And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"  This speaks of destiny, of a calling, a brief opportunity to influence events and people's lives.

Each of us is faced by opportunities to influence people's lives and shape events. But we must make the decision of whether to speak out or not.  Similar to Esther, people may not even know you are a Christian, and perhaps you need to reveal that.  Or maybe you have an opportunity to speak up for the truth, to take an unpopular stand on some moral issue, or to speak out against injustice.

It could be that we are too comfortable and would rather keep quiet, staying safe and hidden.  But none of us are going to get out of this world alive.  Our lives are in jeopardy, each one of us will eventually die whether we speak out or not.  At least let's die after having done the right thing.  To do what's right often involves risk or cost, so prayer is important; but if you wait until you have complete confidence, you will never take that risk.

We have been chosen by God for a purpose.  We 'have come to a royal position', and the Lord has uniquely put each of us among people in a particular place.  It could be 'for such a time as this'.  We have a brief opportunity to speak out, but 'if you remain silent at this time', the Lord's purposes will still be accomplished, but they 'will arise from another place'.

Spend some time in prayer and pray that you would not miss the opportunities that come your way.  Offer yourself as an instrument for God's plans in the world.  Pray that the Lord will give you the courage to take risks, to step out in faith, and to speak out for Him.

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