Esther 4: Willing to Sacrifice
Naturally, the Jewish people were getting a little bit nervous in Esther 4. The date of their planned extermination was drawing nearer, and they were trying to figure out how they could somehow avoid this terrible thing that was about to happen to all of them.
Being the smart man that he was, Mordecai had an idea.
Est 4:8 Also he gave him the copy of the writing of the decree that was given at Shushan to destroy them, to shew it unto Esther, and to declare it unto her, and to charge her that she should go in unto the king, to make supplication unto him, and to make request before him for her people.
Esther was in a position of influence. She had access to the king, and Mordecai knew that the king was really the only one with the authority to alter his own order. Politically, they needed to change his mind in order for any of this to work out.
Unfortunately, when you wanted to see the king, it wasn’t as if you could just walk in.
Est 4:11 All the king’s servants, and the people of the king’s provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days.
I don’t quite know how such a strong penalty ever developed for just entering a room, but that is what Esther had to consider. Was it worth putting her own life in danger to potentially help all of her people? Potentially is a very important word in that sentence because if he decided to kill her, no one would have benefited.
However, here is what she decided by the end of the chapter.
Est 4:16 Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.
Quite frankly, this is one of the best expressions of human love in the Bible. Obviously, the love of God rises above all human love, but Esther was willing to put her own life on the line for all of her people. This kind of radical concern for the well-being of others is something that I think we can miss a lot today. We probably all won’t be in a position to stop a genocide, but we can still take this attitude into our lives. We can worry about other people despite the consequences.
Esther is a great example of that and was prepared to give up her own life for many people who she probably had never even met.
Joh 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.