The Book of Esther
And Hatach came and told Esther the words of Mordecai. Again Esther spake unto Hatach, and gave him commandment unto Mordecai; All the king's servants, and the people of the king's provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days. And they told to Mordecai Esther's words.
Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews. For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer, Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish. So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.
The Golden Scepter
Access to the king was under strict control. Everyone knew the influence and power the king held, therefore, every precaution was taken to protect the king from those that would make attempts on his life. Even his wife had no right to come before him without his personal invitation. For thirty days, Esther had not been called to approach or accompany the king. Only those the king knew or welcomed a visit from, would he extend the golden scepter. This protocol was a sign of monarchal authority. Esther sent word to Mordecai of her concerns and perhaps even feared that the king had lost favor with her.
Mordecai’s answer to Esther exhibited great faith in God’s sovereign power to preserve His people. He may have even been reminded of God’s promises to Abraham in which was said, “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed Genesis 12:3.” Mordecai strongly implies to Esther that just because of her position and prominence in the royal palace, she would not be excluded or escape the death sentence that was decreed. Esther’s circumstances are exhausting and perplexing but she must now act courageously and fearlessly while exercising great faith.
At the Crossroads
Mordecai helped Esther to realize that she was queen of Persia for a reason, it certainly was no fluke and she needed to cease every opportunity in her influential position, to glorify God. Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” Esther was living out the truth of the New Testament, not altering her values or allowing the privileged life of luxury in the royal palace to change her principles. Though she was at a crossroads in her life, she pondered what Mordecai had said and in her dilemma, she made a most difficult choice. The words she spoke, “And if I perish, I perish.” provided strength and guidance to those that awaited her response.
Thought: Esther’s reply was also her confession of faith though it was not covered with terms of religious expressions. The duty revealed by Mordecai, filled Esther’s heart with apprehension indicating the seriousness of the hour and the great need for her people to fast. Though the word “prayer” is not mentioned in these verses, it is most obviously implied during this critical time in her life. Queen Esther is not without flaw in her life, but she is a heroine to her people and her acts of bravery are recorded in Scripture for all eternity. Would we be able to take a stand knowing we may die for what is virtuous, right or honorable? Esther gives us a picture of what a principled, exemplary life should demonstrate and God honored her for it.