Hi. Welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host of the daily challenges. Today is Tuesday, the day we study the Bible together. This week we’re going to study the story of Esther.
It’s a great story, you can find it in the book of Esther, though it’s longer than we can read here. It starts with an impulsive and dangerous Babylonian king staging an ancient beauty contest to select a new Queen, after the last one displeased him. A beautiful young Jewish woman, Esther, becomes a Queen. She keeps her Judaism a secret, until her adopted father, Mordecai, discovers a plot to kill all the Jews that the king was tricked into signing. Here’s what he did:
And they told Mordecai what Esther had said. Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him. (Esther 4:12-17 ESV)
Mordecai is encouraging Esther to stand up for her people facing genocide, and herself if anyone finds out she’s a Jew. This means placing herself at risk, since she’s not permitted to enter the king’s court without being summoned. Revealing her identity as a Jew is also risky – thanks to their enemies in the administration, they now have a reputation for dissent.
But Mordecai utters that beautiful line – And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
Maybe this is her legacy, her reason for living. Maybe this is why God put her on this earth. But finding out may cost Esther her life.
Question: What would convince you to take such a risk for others? Self-preservation? Or something more?