“Who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” … Esther replied, “Assemble all the Jews in Susa, and fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maidens and I also will fast. Thus prepared I will go to the king, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish.” Esther 4:14–16
Whether we find ourselves in a prison, like Joseph, or a palace, like Esther, we will encounter opportunities to live in a godly way, understanding that our position is a product of God’s providence. Esther didn’t desire to live in the palace or even choose to live there. She was, essentially, a victim of an oppressive, unjust culture. But when the opportunity arose for her to risk her position and her life for the people of God who were in danger, she committed herself into God’s hands and took action. After learning that her people were in danger, she consulted with her trusted advisor, who encouraged her to see the full scope of their—and her—situation, both culturally and spiritually. Then she engaged her community and assembled her closest friends to ask God’s favorable support in her effort to seek justice from the king. Finally, she humbly and courageously worked within the parameters of her culture to fulfill the ministry God gave her. In the midst of this she realized, as we all must, that even though God gives us an opportunity to exercise our responsibility as his agents in the world, there is real risk. Real risk but not ultimate risk, for God never ceases to act with supernatural grace toward his godly ones, as Jesus’ resurrection demonstrates.
O Lord, when unexpected needs arise that require a godly response, grant me the courage to obey as you did for Esther.