Then so be it

so-be-it

 

 

There may be no clearer example of divine providence in the Bible than the case of the Jewish girl, Esther, who became queen of Persia and was God’s instrument in the preservation of her nation. Esther was one of the Jews who lived in Babylon (then under the control of Persia) as a part of the remnant who remained in that country after many of the Hebrews had returned to Palestine.

When the Persian king, Ahasuerus, rejected his wife, Vashti, he eventually took the beautiful Jewess, Esther, as his queen. Esther’s cousin was Mordecai, who had discovered a plot against the king, thus likely saving the monarch’s life—a deed which was noted in the the royal annals. An official in the Persian government, whose name was Haman, hated the Jews and wanted to see them exterminated. In fact, he persuaded the king to agree to his plot. Through the influence of Mordecai and Esther, the Jews fasted for deliverance.

God providentially responded! One night the king could not sleep so he decided to read; he reviewed the record of memorable acts and noted that Mordecai’s earlier deed had never been rewarded. Haman thus was commanded to honor the hated Jew, which eventually led to a discovery of his personal plot against the Hebrew people. This schemer was then hanged on the very gallows he had prepared for Mordecai, and the Jewish people were preserved. The circumstances seemed natural, but actually God was working to save his special people (in view of the coming Messiah).

Two passages in this narrative are of special interest: First, there is Mordecai’s statement to Esther that perhaps she had come to the kingdom “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). This surely hints of providence. The second is the bold message Esther sends Mordecai thru the king’s eunch. She tells him to relate this message to Mordecai and the jewish people: “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.”

If I must die so that others may live, then so be it…

This is huge! Esther, the queen of Persia, More powerful than any other human being in the land with the exception of the King himself, decides to put herself into harms way in order that a people, chosen by God, would be saved from the hands of death. There are all kinds of comparisions we can do with this story. However, I want to focus in on that last statement of hers.

“If I perish, I perish.”

If I must die in order for others to live, then I must…
If I take on the sins of breaking the law, then I must…
If it means my life for the sake of others, then I must…

It’s absolutely amazing how the scriptures are always pointing to Jesus, always looking at Jesus, and always leading from Jesus. The difference in Esther’s story and Jesus’ story is one thing…

Jesus died, Esther was spared.

Jesus died on the cross, baring the sins of the world that we might be found in “favor” of God covered by the blood of Christ. Esther entered the king’s inner throne room knowing that by doing so, she was signing her death certificate. However, upon entering, Esther found “favor” in the King’s eyes. Once again, Jesus was reflected in the eyes of Esther. To Esther, risking her life for the greater good of her people was more important than life itself.

For the Jewish people to live…She would have to die
For the Jewish people to strive…She would have to cease
For the Jewish people to have freedom…She would have to be bound

Yet, she found “favor” in the eyes of the king. When defining the word favor, we see it as: “Feel or show approval or preference for.” The king showed mercy to her, he showed grace to her. The king approved her. It didn’t matter that she had just broken a sacred law, all the king could see was…

Beauty…
Grace…
Glory…

I always believe that what the king saw entering his courts wasn’t the face of Esther, but that of the face of Jesus. Jesus in all his glory, beauty, and grace delivered the people from death in this time. He was the promised messiah, the savior of the world, the perfect, spotless lamb. Jesus would assumed all the sin in the world and die for it. He would count the cost and determine it was worth it. Esther would count the cost and determine that regardless of what happens, it would be worth it.

May you trust in the grace of Christ
May you be restored in the King’s inner courts
May you find favor in the creator
May you count the cost and find that it will be worth it
And May you in the depth of your soul know that even if it will cost you everything to gain everything…

Then so be it…

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