When we are convicted that we need to take action, especially if in a challenging situation, we generally need courage – and lots of it. In the book of Esther, we are introduced to Esther the Queen who had some important decisions to make. We can learn from her experience.
Esther the Queen was informed that her cousin Mordecai was in distress. He had raised her when her parents had died (Esther 2:7). Though she was living in a palace, her cousin’s problem became her problem and to help Mordecai, she arranged for clothes to be sent to him. But he refused. (Esther 4:4).
Realizing that there must be a reason for her cousin’s behavior, Esther sent Hatach to find out what the problem was. Esther discovered that her people were in grave danger. Mordecai also requested that Queen Esther go to the king and plead for her people’s deliverance. Esther’s first response to Mordecai was that she would be risking her life, if she went to the king without being called. Esther shared the facts (Esther 4:12).
Modecai’s response to Esther was that if she did not get involved, God would bring deliverance, but Esther and her “father’s house shall be destroyed” (Esther 4:14). Then Mordecai uttered the words declaring purpose; ‘and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?’ (Esther 4:14). These words sealed it for Esther. Though she knew she needed help and strength, she was convicted of what she had to do.
Esther then requested that others fast for three days with her (both in and out of the palace); after which she would go into the king – uninvited. Then she uttered her resolve ‘if I perish, I perish’. (Esther 4:16). These words revealed that Esther recognized the extent of the danger that she was in. But her initial fear and her realization of the danger did not prevent her from moving forward; but she did not move forward without being prepared.
Having prepared, Esther dressed in her ‘royal apparel’ (Esther 5:1) and went to see the king. ‘When the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, she obtained favor in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre” (Esther 5:1). In the remaining chapters of Esther we read how Esther successfully helped to deliver her people.
To get to the point of making a firm choice, then taking decisive action, Esther listened to the counsel of her cousin Mordecai who had raised her; so she had learned to trust him. Mordecai helped Esther to find purpose. But she did not try to prepare alone; she asked others to seek God’s help with her. Mordecai also worked with and supported Esther by doing all that Esther requested (Esther 4:17).
Esther’s story shows us that we can find our purpose even in unfavorable conditions. Her actions were not from impulsive decisions, but after careful planning and preparation.
Today, each of us have been called by God to action. Esther’s story shows us that we don’t have to be crippled by any facts that are stacked against us. But realizing that the hurdles that we have to overcome are real, we can ask God to help us to:
- understand what we are called to do;
- correctly assess our situation;
- seek out the associations that He wants for us;
- prayerfully put plans in place utilizing the resources that God has provided for us; and
- go forth confidently in God’s strength.