“When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: ‘Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?’
Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: ‘Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.’”
I love this passage. Stories of these incredible women in the Bible – Esther, Ruth, Mary – have inspired me ever since I was a little girl. A powerful and loving God elevates men and women alike.
Esther always seemed to me like a timid and gentle woman. She wasn’t really interested in stirring the waters. She did what she had to do. Throughout her story, Esther’s choices seem to be made for her and Mordecai always seems to be guiding her path. Even in the first part of this passage, Mordecai is warning Esther and telling her that she should take action. The strength of Esther’s reply catches me every time. I don’t know if I would be capable of responding with that much confidence if I was being required to do it. There had to have been a willingness, a faith, and a determination that Esther held.
That last sentence – “And if I perish, I perish” – seems unreal. This woman was ready to stand before a king who would surely kill her for speaking out. And what was her response? If I die, I die. So be it. Kill me.
I don’t know if this is faith, courage, or desperation, but whatever it is, it is admirable.
A theme in my life lately has been faith. A faith that releases worry, stands firm, and touches every part of my life. It is so far from a perfect faith. But when I hear those words from Esther, it gives me something to strive for. I want a faith that looks into the face of death and says, “Try me.”