Stand down - Bible Studies for Life for May 6, 2018
Bible Studies for Life
May 6, 2018
Esther 4:1-3,10-16 (ESV)
In Esther 3, Mordecai, a Jew, refused to honor an Amalekite named Haman after King Ahasuerus “promoted him in rank and gave him a higher position than all the other officials” (Esth. 3:1).
Upon finding out about Mordecai’s refusal to bow down to him, Haman was irate, and after finding out that Mordecai was a Jew, he vowed to destroy all the Jews in Ahasuerus’ kingdom.
After convincing Ahasuerus that it was “not in the king’s best interest to tolerate” (Esth. 3:8) the Jewish people, Ahasuerus agreed to accept 375 tons of silver in exchange for allowing Haman authorization to destroy the Jews.
In Esther 4, Mordecai heard that Haman intended to destroy his people. In response to the news he put on sackcloth and ashes, went to the middle of the city and cried (Esth. 4:1). Sackcloth and ashes were a symbol of mourning in Jewish culture.
In Esther 2, we read that Esther, a Jew, became King Ahasuerus’ queen.
Later in Esther 4, when she heard of the edict to destroy her people she was “overcome with fear” (Esth. 4:4).
Through her servant, Mordecai commanded Esther to plead with Ahasuerus “personally for her people” (Esth. 4:8). Esther told him anyone who approached the king without being summoned is subject to the death penalty, and that she had not been summoned in 30 days.
Mordecai told Esther that she should not expect to be spared from the edict due to her royal status and that if she did not stand for her people, the Jews would be delivered some other way, but she and her father’s family would be destroyed (Esth. 4:13-14).
Esther responded to Mordecai by asking him and the Jews of Susa to join her and her female slaves in a three day fast, following which, she “will go to the king even if it is against the law. If I perish, I perish” (Esth. 4:16).
Esther chose to stand for the people of God in spite of the chance that it could cost her her life. I pray each of us would have Esther’s courage as we attempt to stand for Christ in our lives!