Weeping, Pleading, and Speaking
Self-interest is never acceptable for the child of God.
If Esther had only been interested in making sure that Haman received his just deserts and that her own life was saved and her own exalted status secured, then her purpose would have been completed with Haman’s death. Her aim, however, encompassed not only Haman’s punishment and her own security but the salvation of the whole Jewish nation. For Esther, rescuing herself was not enough as long as her people still faced annihilation.
As Esther “spoke again to the king,” it was only a matter of hours since Haman had fallen at Esther’s feet, concerned only for himself (Esther 7:7-8). She, by contrast, fell at the king’s feet concerned only for her people. She could not bear to see their destruction.
Centuries later, another Jew, when his life was radically grabbed hold of by God, stated, “I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises” (Romans 9:2-4). The apostle Paul wasn’t content that he alone had met Jesus on the Damascus road. He longed to see his people come to a saving knowledge of Christ. In this he followed his Lord and Savior, who came from His heavenly throne to the squalor of a stable in order to lift His people from the miry pit and take them to His eternal paradise. The Lord Jesus Himself wept over those who would not see that in His coming, God was offering them peace instead of conflict and rescue instead of judgment (Luke 19:41-44).
When a man or woman comes to know Christ’s salvation, not only are they set in a right relationship with God; they also become aware that those who are unconverted are in a wrong relationship with God and are facing judgment and an eternity outside of His loving presence.
We should never be like Haman, concerned only for ourselves. God forgive us when we are. It is right for us to weep as we recognize the calamity that is facing people if they will not find refuge in Christ—our family, friends, and neighbors included. Like Paul, we should care more for their salvation than our own. But, also like Paul, we can do more than cry, for our tears can be accompanied with prayers that those we love would turn to Jesus and embrace Him as their Messiah, and with a proclamation of the gospel, in the hopes that the Lord will use us to divert their path from death to life, just as He used Esther to rescue the Jews. Who will you weep over, pray for, and seek to speak to?
How is God calling me to think differently?
How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?
What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?
Esther Saves the Jews
1On that day King Ahasuerus gave to Queen Esther the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came before the king, for Esther had told what he was to her. 2And the king took off his signet ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.
3Then Esther spoke again to the king. She fell at his feet and wept and pleaded with him to avert the evil plan of Haman the Agagite and the plot that he had devised against the Jews. 4When the king held out the golden scepter to Esther, 5Esther rose and stood before the king. And she said, “If it please the king, and if I have found favor in his sight, and if the thing seems right before the king, and I am pleasing in his eyes, let an order be written to revoke the letters devised by Haman the Agagite, the son of Hammedatha, which he wrote to destroy the Jews who are in all the provinces of the king. 6For how can I bear to see the calamity that is coming to my people? Or how can I bear to see the destruction of my kindred?” 7Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, “Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and they have hanged him on the gallows,1 because he intended to lay hands on the Jews. 8But you may write as you please with regard to the Jews, in the name of the king, and seal it with the king's ring, for an edict written in the name of the king and sealed with the king's ring cannot be revoked.”
9The king's scribes were summoned at that time, in the third month, which is the month of Sivan, on the twenty-third day. And an edict was written, according to all that Mordecai commanded concerning the Jews, to the satraps and the governors and the officials of the provinces from India to Ethiopia, 127 provinces, to each province in its own script and to each people in its own language, and also to the Jews in their script and their language. 10And he wrote in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed it with the king's signet ring. Then he sent the letters by mounted couriers riding on swift horses that were used in the king's service, bred from the royal stud, 11saying that the king allowed the Jews who were in every city to gather and defend their lives, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate any armed force of any people or province that might attack them, children and women included, and to plunder their goods, 12on one day throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar. 13A copy of what was written was to be issued as a decree in every province, being publicly displayed to all peoples, and the Jews were to be ready on that day to take vengeance on their enemies. 14So the couriers, mounted on their swift horses that were used in the king's service, rode out hurriedly, urged by the king's command. And the decree was issued in Susa the citadel.
15Then Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal robes of blue and white, with a great golden crown2 and a robe of fine linen and purple, and the city of Susa shouted and rejoiced. 16The Jews had light and gladness and joy and honor. 17And in every province and in every city, wherever the king's command and his edict reached, there was gladness and joy among the Jews, a feast and a holiday. And many from the peoples of the country declared themselves Jews, for fear of the Jews had fallen on them.
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