Uniting The One People

"Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king's palace any more than all the other Jews.

"For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish."
(Esther 4:13-14)

King Ahaseurus ruled the most powerful empire at the time. Esther was his queen, but she was Jewish. A people who today continue to be persecuted without cause, by the nations.

The plot to annihilate all the Jewish people had been decreed. On the 13th day of the month of Adar all the Jews in every province were to be killed ... "both young and old, little children and women, in one day ..." (Esther 3:13) Conceived by King Ahaseurus' closest advisor, the wicked Haman was a friend to the community of the nations, and a proud enemy of Israel.

Residing in the palace, Esther was not aware of the decree until Mordechai drew it to her attention. Mordechai had put on sackcloth and ashes and arrived at the king's gate where he continued to cry " ... out with aloud and bitter cry." (Esther 4:1)

Esther was told and she sent some clothes to Mordechai to ..."take his sackcloth away from him, but he would not accept." (Esther 4:4)

Esther persisted and sent a trusted servant who returned with the news and a copy of the evil decree. Moreover, Mordechai instructed Esther that she consider pleading the king "for her people."

The Queen was not convinced. Everyone who entered the inner court to the king without being summoned was put to death, that was the law. The only exception, was for the king to hold " ... out the golden sceptre".  Esther had not been summoned by the king in the last thirty days. And he was unlikely to summon her anytime soon. She would be forced to enter the inner court without being summoned. There was a very good chance she would die. "So they told Mordechai Esther's words." (Esther 4:12)

The Queen had a point. What if when she enters the inner court, the king doesn't see her? He could be busy with some other issue of the kingdom? Or he might be just having a bad day? She could be committing suicide, then what use or influence could she be. Surely, there was another way of getting the king's attention ... petitions, holding rallies, media outlets, there was time, still twelve months before the decree was enforced, how about negotiations with the enemy. There must be another way.

Mordechai's reply to Esther was chilling. There was no escape for Esther, despite her living in the palace. Moreover, her action at this time was pivotal.

"Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king's palace any more than all the other Jews.

"For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish."
(Esther 4:13-14)
Mordechai warned, 'if you do nothing then not only you, but your father's house also will perish!'

Esther had options, she had to choose wisely. Esther was important and would have a vital role in the uniting of the people. Mordechai was saying, 'This is your moment, we, your people are waiting for you! Otherwise, deliverance will come for elsewhere!'

They could wait for another Deliverer, but who could that be? God would deliver His people, regardless of status or position. God can save His people by many or by few. Israel's deliverance does not require precedence or protocol. No need to meet man-approved standards or regulations here. Indeed, because God is holy, all His judgements are righteous and true.

The issue of deliverance was not so much with God, but with His people. Let the righteous be seen! This was Mordechai's affirmation to Esther, God has placed you where you are to be His light. Now is the time to shine.

Mordechai was not asking Esther to be anyone else, she just needed to be Queen.

There is a popular saying. 'Many hands make light work.' This is true where intensive labour is required to accomplish a task.

How much more then when the righteous shine where they are, not being someone else, but just being who God has made them to be.

Esther commanded Mordechai, get everyone to fast and pray. As Chief Rabbi, Mordechai was already doing his part (in sackcloth and ashes), but now with Esther onboard, the Chief Rabbi was armed with a command from the Queen.

"Go gather all the Jews who are presently in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!

"So Mordechai went his way and did according to all that Esther commanded him."
(Esther 4:16-17)

It worked. The righteous stood in their place and the light of God was seen dispelling the darkness.

The Queen was accepted, the golden sceptre extended. The decree was overruled. The wicked Haman executed. The Jewish people delivered. The God of Israel glorified.

The Jewish people were united under the leadership of Queen Esther and the Chief Rabbi Mordechai. A genuine leadership of Israel requires a faithful connection to God.

It is a helpful lesson for the State of Israel today. Israel's leaders can not afford to be like the leaders of other nations who behave as though they are unaware of God's presence, or be like those who are ignorant of His promises. As in the day of Esther and Mordechai, so too today, Israel's leaders must be God-fearing. May they have courage to implement God's commandments, and to shine His light, as indeed did Mordechai and Esther.

The Jewish people do not have to be thinking or saying the same thing in order to be united. However, they do need to be humble before their God. He alone is their Help and Redeemer. As Queen and Chief Rabbi, Esther and Mordechai instructed and facilitated the fast and prayer, helping the people to humble themselves to seek their God, as one.

Mark Warren