Ever Fashionable Sack Cloth, Esther 4

>> Tuesday, March 17, 2009

As we learned earlier, it was the King's edict that all Jews would be put to death - young and old. Mordecai tore at his close and put on the very fashionable sackcloth. He wailed, drawing much attention to himself. And he wasn't alone. There was lots of fasting, weeping, and wailing.

It makes me wonder what we would do if given the same news. All Christians in Illinois would be put to death - babies, young and old men and women - everyone. What would I do? Fight city hall? Move to Ohio? Go into hiding? Renounce my faith?

What if you had the perfect cover. No one knew you were a Christian (or a Jew, in this case.) You lived in the Governor's mansion (King's harem) where you had a very special job as maid (one of the favorites of the King.) Why would you tell anyone you were a Jew and take the chance of getting killed?

Esther was very upset to hear her uncle was going around half naked so she sent him some
clothes but Mordecai had more on his mind than fashion. He was praying for a nation. He told Hathach, a man assigned to take care of Esther's needs, everything that happened.
He showed Hathach the edict for annihilation. He told her how much money Haman promised to pay into the royal treasury. Mordecai had a plan. He wanted Esther to go to the King and beg for mercy and plead for her people.
The problem was this: No one could approach the King without being called. If a person did, he or she would be put to death. The only exception to that rule is if the King held out his gold scepter. The life would be spared then.
Esther may have been one of the King's favorites but she hadn't been summoned for a month. What were the chances that she would be called on now? There is no way. Messages were sent back and forth from Mordecai to Esther and Esther to Mordecai.

Mordecai laid it on the line - told her the truth. He didn't hold back, relative or no. "Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape.

For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish.

And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" (12-14)
Esther may have been young. She may have been a woman. But she was also smart and very brave. She knew he was right. She could die either way.

15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 "Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish."
The fate of the Jewish nation rested on this young under-cover Jewish woman.

The plot is laid out. Lives are on the line. Esther has made up her mind. And Mordecai is praying. Will God find favor with this young woman and save the Jewish nation?

Of course, we know He did. But just imagine with me again:
What if this were you and your family? Your kids? Your parents? Renounce your faith or die! What would you do? What would I do?

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