A WOMAN OF VALOR
Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish. Esther 4:16
As Queen of Persia, we might have expected that Esther had one of the more secured positions in all the empire. Yet, such security came with a price. Queen Esther enjoyed the privileges of her position as long as she obeyed the king and did nothing to incur his wrath. Her “security” teetered on a delicate balance that could easily tip if she made the wrong move.
So when Mordecai, her Jewish cousin, informed her of Haman’s plot to kill all the Jews in Persia and begged her to intervene on her people’s behalf, Esther was faced with a difficult choice: Either she could remain silent and hope that the king would not discover her secret identity as a Jew, and thus, survive; or she could risk death by appearing before the king, revealing her identity, and seeking relief for her people.
Mordecai’s words surely must have guided her decision:
Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews. 14 For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Esther 4:13-14
Esther must have realized that her security did not rest on her position, or her possessions, or even her husband, the king, but in the One whose name is not mentioned at all in the book: God. And so she made her decision to approach the king, calling upon her fellow Jews to fast and pray for her. And, as she told Mordecai, “If I perish, I perish.”
We might not face such grave circumstances as Esther did, but God has placed each one of us in unique situations and positions. We all have a choice to make; to remain silent in the face of injustice and suffering to “save” our reputation. Or we can decide as Esther did, to be courageous and take a stand, no matter what the consequences.
What will you decide today? Where will you stand and be accounted for in a time such as this?