7 min 6 mths

12.4 For Such a Time as This
Read Esther 4:1–14. Why was it considered appropriate for Esther to reveal herself as a Jew at this time?
In these verses, we learn that Mordecai is in great distress upon hearing of Haman’s plan to exterminate the Jews. Mordecai puts on mourning clothes, covers his head with ashes, and goes through the city crying loudly and bitterly. As a result, sorrow spreads among the Jews in all provinces.
Ester, learning of Mordecai’s grief, sends clothes to comfort him, but Mordecai refuses them. Esther sends one of her eunuchs, Hathach, to inquire from Mordecai what has happened. Mordecai informs him of Haman’s plan and the amount of money he promised to pay into the royal treasury.
Mordecai gives Hathach a copy of the royal decree and urges Esther to go before the king to plead for mercy and the salvation of the Jews. However, Esther points out the danger of approaching the king uninvited and the law that anyone who does so could be put to death unless the king extends the golden scepter.
Mordecai encourages Esther not to think she is safe in the royal palace and emphasizes that salvation for the Jews may come from elsewhere, but she and her father’s house will perish if she remains silent. Mordecai reminds Esther that she may have become queen precisely for such a time.
At this time, it was deemed appropriate for Esther to reveal herself as a Jew because the threat to the Jewish people was imminent. Haman had issued a decree for the extermination of the Jews, and Mordecai recognized the need to appeal to the king for help. Esther was urged to disclose her identity as a Jew and implore the king for mercy and salvation to save her people’s lives.
The depiction of Esther’s courageous decision to approach the king uninvited, despite the royal prohibition, showcases her extraordinary faith and determination to advocate for her people. Her faith was ignited by Mordecai’s appeal to her love for her people, and although she knew the risk, she did not hesitate to put her life on the line.
Esther’s contemplation that she may have become queen precisely for such a critical situation reflects a deeply rooted belief in God’s providence and guidance in her life. This faith gave her the strength and courage to take the necessary steps.
Her words to Mordecai, “If I perish, I perish,” reflect dedication and trust in God’s guidance. Esther recognized that her deliverance depended not solely on human efforts but on God’s intervention.
The three-day period of fasting and prayer by the Jewish community in Susa, including Esther and her attendants, emphasizes the importance of the spiritual aspect in this crucial moment. Fasting was a symbolic act of humility, dependence on God, and seeking His guidance.
When Esther finally stood before the king and found favor in his eyes, she experienced God’s assistance in a way that surpassed human understanding. The scene where the king extends the golden scepter, and Esther touches it, underscores God’s direction and providence in this decisive moment.
Esther’s story in the Bible is an impressive example of the courage and dedication that can arise from a firm faith in God. Her actions demonstrate how faith in God’s sovereign control and trust in His help can strengthen us in times of trial.
In such a situation, as described above, the fasting of the Jews was surely accompanied by prayer. That is, although they acted for their sake, prayer was at the center of their reaction. What obvious lesson can we draw from this?
The combination of fasting and prayer, as depicted in the situation of the Jews in Esther, offers a significant lesson for believers:
1.Dependency on God: The combination of fasting and prayer illustrates the deep dependency of the Jews on God in a critical situation. By abstaining from food and focusing on prayer, they expressed their reliance, expectation, and devotion to God. This action underscores the acknowledgment that human efforts alone are insufficient, and they depend on God’s help.
2.Seeking God’s Guidance: Fasting and prayer were not merely ritualistic actions but also served as an intense search for God’s guidance. The community of believers in Susa actively sought alignment with and understanding of God’s will during this pivotal time. This highlights that prayer is not just a petition but also a means of seeking God’s guidance and wisdom.
3.Spiritual Preparation: Fasting was not only an external action but also an internal spiritual preparation. Abstaining from food was an expression of dedication and focus on spiritual matters. It helped believers cleanse their hearts, clarify their priorities, and prepare for the impending challenges.
4.Devotion and Willingness to Sacrifice: Fasting and prayer in a time of threat demonstrated the devotion and willingness to sacrifice of the community. It was an expression of readiness to sacrifice personal comfort and needs for a higher purpose. This attitude of dedication strengthened unity among believers.
5.Trust in God’s Sovereignty: Through fasting and prayer, the Jews also demonstrated a deep trust in God’s sovereignty. They submitted to God’s will and trusted that He would intervene in their situation. This emphasizes the realization that ultimately, God has control over all things.
The obvious lesson from this connection between fasting and prayer is that faith in God and actively seeking His guidance and help through prayer are fundamental to coping with difficult situations. Fasting and prayer serve not only to gain God’s favor but also to establish a deeper connection with Him and align with His sovereign will.

Visited 3 times, 1 visit(s) today