Thy Will be Done (The Story of Esther) Part 2
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
9 If it please the king, issue a decree that they be destroyed, and I will pay $20,000,000 into the royal treasury for the expenses involved in this purge."
Esther 3:8-9 (Living)
Then Xerxes took off his signet ring and gave it to Hamon. This would be like a presidential seal, and Xerxes told Hamon, “Keep the money, and you can do with these people as you please.”
And so an official, irrevocable decree was issued, saying that on a single day, the 13th day of the 12th month, all the Jews, men, women, and children were to be annihilated.
Scene Four, “The Purpose”
1 When Mordecai learned what had been done, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the city, crying with a loud and bitter wail.
2 Then he stood outside the gate of the palace, for no one was permitted to enter in mourning clothes.
3 And throughout all the provinces there was great mourning among the Jews, fasting, weeping, and despair at the king's decree; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes.
Esther 4:1-3 (Living)
Suppose you are watching TV tonight, and they break into your program to bring a special news bulletin. It’s a message from the oval office; the cameras zoom in on the president, and he makes this announcement, “Today, we want all people in America to hear this decree. We have decided, with America’s best interests in mind, to make the following law. We, therefore, declare that on this day, June 16, 2002, that on December 25, 2002, all Christians; men, women, and children are to be completely and utterly annihilated.”
How would you feel? What would you do?
Right now, for us, this is a hypothetical situation, but for the Jews, it was cold, dark reality.
And Mordecai and the Jews were in deep, and I mean deep, emotional turmoil and distress. They said, “We are all going to die and so are our precious little children.”
When news about Mordecai reached Esther in the palace, she was greatly distressed, so she sent clothing to Mordecai to put on instead of sackcloth, but Mordecai refused to take them. Esther apparently did not know about the decree, so she sent her attendants back to find out what it was that had caused such great mourning.
Mordecai told them everything; he even gave her a copy of the text of the King’s edict. And Mordecai urged Esther to go into the King’s presence and plead with him, for mercy for her people.
The messenger brings to Esther the words of Mordecai, and she sends these words back to him. “Now everyone knows that if anyone goes into the presence of the King without being summoned, that the king has but one law; put them to death. The only exception is for the King to extend his golden scepter, and grant him life. It’s been 30 days since the king has summoned me; if I go, I risk my very life.
Now, let’s pick up the reading again.
12 So Hathach gave Esther's message to Mordecai.
13 This was Mordecai's reply to Esther: "Do you think you will escape there in the palace when all other Jews are killed?
14 If you keep quiet at a time like this, God will deliver the Jews from some other source, but you and your relatives will die; what's more, who can say but that God has brought you into the palace for just such a time as this?"
Esther 4:12-14 (Living)
He said, “Sooner or later it will come out that you are also a Jew, Esther. Esther, you are not indispensable. It is God’s plan to send the Messiah as a Jew. God’s plan will work. And if you don’t do it, someone else will. God’s will, will be done.”
Mordecai continued, “And Esther, not only are you not indispensable but if you reject God and His people, while the Jews are being delivered by another, you and your family will perish.”
And now listen to these powerful words, “And who knows, but that you have come to this royal position, for such a time as this.”
What Mordecai is saying to Esther is this, “Esther, I believe that God’s invisible hand has guided you, and has brought you to this very place, to this very time, so that you can deliver His people from destruction. Esther, this is your moment of truth, this is the purpose of your life.”
15 Then Esther sent this message to Mordecai:
16 "Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day; and I and my maids will do the same; and then, though it is strictly forbidden, I will go in to see the king; and if I perish, I perish."
17 So Mordecai did as Esther told him to.
Esther 4:15-17 (Living)
Esther sent back these words to Mordecai, “Let’s seek God’s guidance on the matter, have all the Jews in Susa fast for 72 hours and I and my maids will fast as well, here at the palace.”
“And when this is done, I will go before the King, even though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”
“If I die doing God’s will, then I die.” Esther understood, like the apostle Paul who wrote, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Obeying God’s will is the most important thing we will ever do. Esther was willing to stand upon that rock!
Scene four ends with thousands of Jews in the city and Esther and her maids, all in humble prayer before their God.