By Allen J. Huth, President of the Ezra Project |
Risk. In Esther 5, Esther takes a risk that could have cost her life. She went unsummoned to the king, but in verse 2 it says, “she won favor in his sight”. Well, it could have gone the other way, remember. The previous queen, Vashti, acted boldly by not coming when summoned and she was dethroned and banished. Esther also was acting boldly as well, and easily could have suffered similar or even more drastic consequences. She took the risk and God allowed her to find favor with the king.
Let’s remember, too, that this is after Esther honors her word and fasts and prays for three days. I suspect during those three days, as she prayed and fasted, she tried to figure out what God would have as a course of action. Although it’s not disclosed in this chapter yet, we’re going to see that she’s going to prepare a feast for the king and for Haman. But even at the feast when the king is asking her what her request is, she doesn’t make it yet. I wonder if it’s because she doesn’t know or because she wants more time. Not sure, but we’re watching the sovereignty of God again, acting behind the scenes.
Part of the sovereignty of God is after the feast Haman takes a stroll on the way home and runs into Mordecai. And even with all the pressure that Mordecai and the Jews are under, he still does not cave in. He does not bow down to Haman. And though he had a great feast with the queen, it just enrages Haman that Mordecai, the Jew, will not bow down to him.
So he gets home. He gathers all his friends. And he is so arrogant with his wife and friends, bragging about his position in the kingdom and his promotion he’s had. And yet, with all that, he is so frustrated because of one guy, one Jew named Mordecai.
I wonder if his friends and his wife sort of had enough of this and said, “Okay, if you’re so powerful, if you’re so strong, why don’t you do something about it? Why don’t you build a gallows and hang the guy tomorrow morning?” He thinks a pretty good idea, so he has the gallows made, but he still needs permission from the king.
Now let’s think about the circumstances. Mordecai doesn’t know Haman plans to hang him. Esther doesn’t know. The king doesn’t know. Nobody knows. Again, God’s sovereignty at work in and through people and around the scenes of our lives.
There are some powerful lessons that we learn in Esther 5. Lessons we may need as challenges come our way and we’re going to need to be strong, prepared, and be able to take risks, knowing that God is working with us and for us.
Father, though I make plans, your plans are better. Thy will be done in my life. And may I find favor in your sight. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.