It was a time in history that large numbers of Jews were still subjects of the Persian Empire when Esther was chosen to be queen to King Ahasuerus. "Esther had not showed her people nor her kindred: for Mordecai had charged her that she should not show it" Esther 2:10. You see, her cousin Mordecai, who had raised orphaned Esther as his own, did not want the king to be prejudiced against this young Jewess before getting to know her personally.
About this time a man named Haman was promoted "above all the princes that were with him. And all the king's servants, that were in the king's gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence" (3:1, 2). Regardless of the consequences, Mordecai, a devout Jew, would not give to a man the reverence that belonged to God alone. That's a decision worth emulating!
Haman's wrath led him to plan the destruction of not only Mordecai, but all the Jews. He cleverly convinced the king that it would be in his best interest to eliminate this people group by decree and even promised funds to execute the plan! (See Esther 3:6-15) King Ahasuerus had no idea that his own wife was one of this targeted group!
"And in every province, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes" Esther 4:3. Mordecai sent instructions to Esther to "go in unto the king, to make supplication unto him, and to make request before him for her people" verse 8. Her reply was a reminder to him that no one could go into the king uninvited without risk of death. "Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews" was his reply, ". . .and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" verses 13, 14. Esther resolved that, following three days of fasting and prayer, she would take the risk for the sake of her people stating, "if I perish, I perish" verse 16.
Esther may have felt quite secure in her status as queen, but it was right that she think beyond herself. All of us will encounter situations that we would rather ignore – not become involved, but as Christians we are to reflect Christ in all our actions, even when it involves personal risk. Remember Christ's words, "whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it" Matthew 16:25.
Where do you find yourself "for such a time as this?"
Kathryn Irizarry is a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.