Esther 4

We should consider for what end God has put us in the place where we are and should study to answer that end lest our opportunity slip.

1 When Mordecai perceived all that was done, Mordecai rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and a bitter cry;

2 And came even before the king’s gate: for none might enter into the king’s gate clothed with sackcloth.

3 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.

4 ¶ So Esther’s maids and her chamberlains came and told it her. Then was the queen exceedingly grieved; and she sent raiment to clothe Mordecai, and to take away his sackcloth from him: but he received it not.

5 Then called Esther for Hatach, one of the king’s chamberlains, whom he had appointed to attend upon her, and gave him a commandment to Mordecai, to know what it was, and why it was.

6 So Hatach went forth to Mordecai unto the street of the city, which was before the king’s gate.

7 And Mordecai told him of all that had happened unto him, and of the sum of the money that Haman had promised to pay to the king’s treasuries for the Jews, to destroy them.

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.

9 And Hatach came and told Esther the words of Mordecai.

10 ¶ Again Esther spake unto Hatach, and gave him commandment unto Mordecai;

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.

12 And they told to Mordecai Esther’s words.

13 Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews.

14 For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

15 ¶ Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer,

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.

17 So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.

Esther 4 – Opportunity for Patriotic Devotion

   It seemed as if the whole nation would suddenly be cut off to satisfy the hatred of Haman, and Mordecai knew that he had been the cause of the plot. Esther was evidently living in close sympathy with her uncle, though now separated from him. In reply to the demand that she should hazard her life for the people, there was at first a natural reluctance. Was her love for her people greater than her love for herself? In her resolve there was surely something of the great love of Christ. We may be quite sure that God will carry out His plans—with us, if possible; if not, in spite of us, to our utter loss. We should look upon our position as a sacred trust to be used for others. We are created for good works, which God hath prepared for us to walk in. There can be no presumption in action which is preceded by prayer and heart-searching. —Through the Bible Day by Day

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5 Then called Esther for Hatach, one of the king’s ________________________, whom he had appointed to ____________ upon her, and gave him a ______________________ to Mordecai, to know ________ it was, and ______ it was.

7 And Mordecai told him of all that had ________________ unto him, and of the sum of the __________ that Haman had promised to pay to the king’s treasuries for the Jews, to ______________ them.

14 For if thou altogether ______________ thy peace at this time, then shall there ______________________ and ______________________ arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s __________ shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a ________ as this?

Esther 4:14—Who knoweth whether thou art come to the Kingdom for such a time as this?

   What grand faith was here! Mordecai was in God’s secrets, and was assured that deliverance and enlargement would come to his people from some quarter—if not from Esther, then from some other; but he was extremely anxious that she should not miss the honor of being her people’s emancipator. Therefore he suggested that she had come to her high position for this very purpose.
   We none of us know, at the first, God’s reasons for bringing us into positions of honor and trust. Why is that young girl suddenly made mistress over that household? Why is that youth taken from the ranks of the working-people, and placed over that great City church? Why is that man put forward in his business, so that he is the head of the firm in which he served as an office-boy? All these are parts of the Divine plan. God has brought them to the Kingdom that He may work out through them some great purpose of salvation. They have the option, however, to serve it or not. They may use their position for themselves, for their own emolument and enjoyment, they may surround themselves with strong fortifications against misfortune; but in that case they court destruction. Their position and wealth may vanish as suddenly as it came; or ill-health and disaster may incapacitate them.
   If, on the other hand, all is used for God, though at the risk of perishing—for it seemed to Esther as though the action to which Mordecai urged her meant that—the issue is blessed. Those that love their lives lose them; those that are prepared to forfeit them keep them. The wheat grain which is buried in the soil bears much fruit. —Our Daily Homily