Esther’s story of a sacrificial life, her response when her physical life was most endangered, and what God did stir up a lot of gratitude and looking forward in hope.
Jesus says explicitly in Matthew 20:16, “so the last will be first, and the first will be last” and we’ve seen this spiritual principal over and over again throughout the Hebrew bible, from brothers to kings. Now the greatest is about to become the smallest for us to glorify into Eternity.
My heart always is full when reading Esther’s plea for prayers at the close of Chapter 5, the note Mordecai obeyed her, and all her actions and choices.
A more subtle parallel in this story is directly connected to the main theme. The king had put on a great banquet and, at first, with all the parables about heaven and its kingdom, my thoughts went there. Next though, the phrase that everyone was invited and reflecting on everyone who came, probably many out of fear, reminded me of the census the Holy Family was forced to travel for.
There is an ugly chapter of King David’s life when he calls for a count as well, resulting in God’s displeasure and severe consequences. Since the Scripture says that Joab, who was not of the same caliber of David’s heart in character, even knew this to be wrong, I was puzzled both by David’s decision and God’s response.
The best explanation I got was from a Messianic Rabbi who said he didn’t know, but would suspect it had to do with counting on man’s resources and not God’s.
The verse from Esther that stood out to me the most after these thoughts was 6:1-3, how the king couldn’t sleep, and happened upon the record of Mordecai’s report of spies and nothing had been done to honor him. Yet.
Reflecting on all the power plays, ambition, and deception in this book, let’s ponder together the bigger picture for leaders, nations, and the least of all nations on the world stage. Our Lord is Sovereign, and may He help us to live out that same courageous trust and sound discernment present here in Mordecai, Esther, and the Jewish people whose faith has kindled and retold these stories.
If a particular nation or leader comes to mind, please take some extra time today to look for their specific needs.
Lord Jesus, thank You for leaving the Father to live here and agreeing to suffer unimaginably in our stead. Thank You for Your people who have kept alive Your light and tell and retell Your story. For those that don’t know the full story, reveal it to them today Lord. Help us all as a church to set aside ourselves and our ideas of how You work and submit fully to Your ways. Thank You for sharing human life so fully, we can celebrate Your birthday every year. Grant this year, many are reborn around the world. In Your Upending Name, Amen.