“You should be like Esther.” These were the first words that popped into my head this morning (after the ever popular “I wish my dog would let me sleep longer”).
I know…deep thoughts first thing in the morning.
So after a couple mugs of tea, my morning devotions, and some time to really wake up, I thought about it. How should I be like Esther?
She was being held captive in a foreign country. Ummm….no thanks. She was an orphan adopted by her cousin. I don’t think I’d like that either.
She was taken from the only family she had and sent off to live in a harem. I really don’t think that’s something I’d volunteer for. (Although….the year-long spa treatments she got – those I think I could handle.) 🙂
She was favored and chosen above all the other women in all of the kingdom to become the new queen. To marry King Ahasuerus. To marry a heathen king. The leader of the country holding her and her people in bondage.
And yet God put her there in that position, married to a heathen king, on purpose. That was His plan. So she could help her people when crisis arose. Selah –
Even as I read it again this morning, I kept wondering how He wants me to be like Esther. She risked her life going in to the king to sway his heart. To change his decision.
I’m not married to a king. Or president. Or governor. How can I be like Esther?
And then I saw it.
Esther: Tell Mordecai, “In preparation for my audience with the king, do this: gather together all the Jews in Susa, and fast and pray for me. Intercede for me. For three days and nights, abstain from all food and drink. My maids and I will join you in this time. And after the three days, I will go in to the king and plead my people’s case, even though it means breaking the law. And if I die, then I die!”
Mordecai left the king’s gate and put all of Esther’s instructions into action. (Esther 4:16-17 voice)
Esther didn’t just go into the king to change his heart willy-nilly. There was something she did before that. First she fasted and prayed. First she talked to the One who could sway the king’s (or the president’s, or the governor’s) heart.
Praise the name of God forever and ever,
for all wisdom and power belong to Him.
He sets in motion the times and the ages;
He deposes kings and installs others; (Daniel 2:20-21)
The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD;
He guides it wherever He pleases. (Proverbs 21:1)
Esther did go into the king, but there was something else. Esther had a before. She had a first. And before she did anything in and of herself, she first talked to the One who holds all things in His hands.
We all need to be like Esther. All of us. No, He doesn’t want us to storm the oval office. We may not have physical access to the president or the leaders in our country, but we do have unlimited access to the One who is greater than they. To the King of all kings. To the One who holds the king’s heart in His hand.
We’ve all heard people say, “They’ve taken God out of our government.” And I kind of take issue with that.
Now, I get what they’re saying. They don’t necessarily say a prayer before meetings anymore. They don’t do those sort of things within the buildings anymore. I get that. But to be honest, the only way that God can be removed from our government is if His people stop praying for their government. And really, the main reason people don’t pray is because they don’t think it will make a difference.
God has used heathen kings all along. He actually spoke to King Abimelech when Abraham and Sarah lied to him. Spoke to him. Had a conversation with him. And the king ended up doing God’s will. The heathen king obeyed what God wanted.
Isaiah calls King Cyrus God’s servant who will do all His pleasure. And God used him to release His people from captivity and rebuild His temple.
And here. In Esther. God used this heathen king to spare His people’s lives. And He used Esther to physically go before the king and intervene.
And first, Esther prayed. And so should we. Pray. Intervene.
We may not have access to a leader, but we have unlimited access to the One who holds the heart of the king. And has the power to do anything.
Lord, give us the revelation of how influential we truly are in our prayers and what a difference we can make.
So….are you going to be like Esther?
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. (I Timothy 2:1-4)