Esther’s response to her challenge was to seek God and to encourage the Jews to do likewise – to fast and pray. Esther then risked her life and approached the king, with salvation on her mind. She showed wisdom, restraint, bravery, discretion and respect. Not knowing God’s plans, she played her part, despite personal risk and uncertainty.
Mordecai and Haman are starkly contrasted in their reaction to Haman’s plot. While Haman callously sits down to drink with the king, Mordecai demonstrates his profound grief by tearing his clothes and mourning in public.
Our world, our country is struck by poverty, homelessness, injustice, persecution. What is the appropriate Christian response? Should we not respond with compassion? With an outpouring of grief?
We, like Mordecai, like Esther, must be prepared for God to use us, even if it costs us everything. Through his power in us, the world can be transformed.
Haman was descended from a nation that had been a long-standing enemy of the Jewish people. King Saul had not obeyed God and completely destroyed the Amalekites. Instead he had left descendents – descendants with a grudge. These descendants of the Amalekites now represented the devil’s plan to destroy God’s people.
King Ahasuerus honoured Haman and required all people to bow down to him. Mordecai, who owed such duty to God alone, declined to do so. And thus the ongoing enmity between the Jews and their oppressors escalates.
Conflict and threats like these need not trouble servants of Christ. Though in this life we may experience persecution and hardship, we are ultimately citizens of the heavenly kingdom of God. We are, in a very real sense, safe.