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©Michael Player

Chapter 4:9-17 (ESV)

Posted on November 28, 2023  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 4:9-17 (ESV) -  And Hathach went and told Esther what Mordecai had said. Then Esther spoke to Hathach and commanded him to go to Mordecai and say, “All the king's servants and the people of the king's provinces know that if any man or woman goes to the king inside the inner court without being called, there is but one law—to be put to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter so that he may live. But as for me, I have not been called to come in to the king these thirty days.”

And they told Mordecai what Esther had said. Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king's palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.

Question to consider: What argument does Mordecai use to convince Esther to come before the king?

When Esther received word from Mordecai that there was a plot to annihilate their people, she hesitated about whether to take the matter up with the king. I’m sure if this had happened close to the time in which she was first chosen for her beauty and had exposed the plot against him, she would have felt more than confident to approach the king with this. However, she knew the king was fickle, and she hadn’t been called in to be with him in a month so for all she knew, the king could refuse her the gold scepter as an excuse to get himself another queen. After all, he had already done this once with queen Vashti, and the primary criteria for choosing Esther was that she was even more beautiful than the queen she replaced. What if over the course of the last month, he found someone more beautiful than she was?

Mordecai understood that even though Esther had kept her ancestry a secret from the king, if Haman was able to carry out his plot, it would only be a matter of time before she would be found out and executed along with everyone else.  Mordecai also understood that the Lord would deliver the Jews another way if she refused, but there was no guarantee that any of them would survive the ordeal. Mordecai knew this because the promise God gave to Abraham had not been fulfilled yet. Whether or not he survived the ordeal was inconsequential.

However, Esther’s rise to the palace already appeared to be by God’s hand so it was reasonable to think that the reason He intervened in this way was for this very purpose. “Such a time as this” is one of the more iconic lines from the book of Esther because each of us can relate to it. As Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10) When an opportunity arises for us to do a good work for Christ, we can consider it something God prepared beforehand for us to do. 

Her response was to ask for everyone to pray and fast. There are different types of fasts that people enter into. Some are food-only fasts that allow for the drinking of water. Some are limited to the daylight hours and are broken after sunset. Some go without food or drink for 24 hours. Due to the graveness of the task ahead of her, she asked that everyone participate in the 24-hour fast for three consecutive days. 

Like Christ praying three times for the Father to take away the cup of wrath set before Him, Esther fasted for three days and rested in knowing God’s will would be done. The Festival of Purim centers around the reading of the book of Esther. As I mentioned a couple of days ago, the Persian word pur referred to the casting of lots. The Persians believed that the casting of lots was leaving a decision up to the gods. The Jews also cast lots and believed the outcome to be the will of the Lord— “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.” (Proverbs 16:33) In this situation, Esther treated her own life as a lot cast before the king, leaving its outcome to be determined by the Lord.


Dear heavenly Father, when we face times of difficulty, please give us the courage and faith to rest our lives in Your hands knowing that everything in this world is temporary, and we will one day be in Your presence without sin, disease, or death. To Christ be the glory! Amen.