“For how can I endure to see the evil that will come to my people? Or how can I endure to see the destruction of my countrymen?” Esther 8:6
One thing that makes the Bible so captivating to me is all the people you get to meet on the pages. You learn from their stories and are often encouraged. God breathed each word into them and they recorded it. I like to think of Him whispering into their ear and I wonder if they had a hard time keeping up. What an experience that must have been for them. I wonder if they were sad when their part had been written? I have a lot of questions.
Open to the book of Esther and watch as one man plots to destroy an entire race. It seems to begin with an intense hatred of one man and carries over to the Jewish people. Mordecai was the hated man. He was also a Jew and could be found near the king’s gate. He heard a lot of life saving information in this particular spot. He was also the uncle and guardian of a young woman named Esther. Through a series of events, Esther ends up in the king’s palace in a 12 month beauty regiment. The king was in search of a new queen and Esther was chosen. Per Mordecai’s instruction, which she had always obeyed, she keeps her nationality hidden.
Meanwhile, Haman who is highly ranked in the kingdom, cannot stand that Mordecai will not bow down to him. In fact, “he was enraged. Yet having learned who Mordecai’s people were, he scorned the idea of killing only Mordecai. Instead Haman looked for a way to destroy all Mordecai’s people, the Jews, throughout the whole kingdom of Xerxes.” (3:5-6). The pride here is evident and you can just picture him furiously walking about, trying to come up with the most horrible plan. Here I picture satan whispering in his ear and Haman obeying.
The story continues and Mordecai advises Queen Esther again. She courageously goes before the king and makes a request. Her life was literally at stake in this bold move, but she said went anyway. She truly valued life. I love the words her uncle spoke to her, “…who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this.” (4:14). God placed Mordecai and Esther in this precise moment in history for an incredible purpose. All the events that had to be orchestrated are far to complex for any human being. Only God is the one who determines when and where a person is born. He also gives each person purpose. As we see with Esther, her entire life was leading up to this moment. Her obedience to her uncle and then in the kingdom are also noted. Queen Esther’s courage is also noteworthy. I pray you pick up your Bible and read the account for yourself. It is far more exciting than anything on tv.
I will not ruin the outcome for you, but I will say it ends in victory. It also has me thinking about our purpose during this time. Obviously, God placed each of us here and was very aware that this virus would hit in our lifetime. What will we do? Will we complain, accuse and waste our time at home? What do you think Queen Esther would advise? She was in an extremely dangerous situation and she could have been killed. Might we be in something similar with this Coronavirus? We read in chapter 4 that she requests Mordecai to gather the Jews and fast. She is also going to do the same. My study Bible notes say that prayer is involved too, for you need prayer to fast. I wonder what would happen if we followed their example?
There are several things we can fast from. Food is usually the most common, but can I suggest another option? What if we fasted from complaining and criticism? What about we use our words to whisper prayers that actually have purpose instead of dividing? I have to believe this would please God far more than what He is hearing all to often by us, people created in His image. Queen Esther could not bear to see her family destroyed. Can we not all relate to her words? Listening to the number of people who have contracted this virus, the number of deaths and the impact it is having on finances, is heartbreaking. Everyone has been affected and that is enough to put us all in the same boat. We will not get anywhere if we are rowing in different directions.
May the Lord see and hear our prayers. May He see hearts turned towards Him in worship. May He see unity and kindness like never before. May He heal our nation, not just from this virus, but the division that has evil roots. May we learn from the story of Haman, Esther and Mordecai. It did not end well for Haman and his family. I pray we see a much better outcome.