Esther’s life had radically changed. Only a few months ago, she had been an unknown girl named Hadassah destined for a life of obscurity living in her cousins house. Now she found herself in a world she could hardly have imagined - and even now didn’t fully understand.
This world had strange rules, and dire consequences. As queen, she was part of the Emperor’s harem, and thus forbidden from associating with any man other than the eunuchs who acted as her servants - including her cousin Mordecai, the only family she had left in the world. Even approaching her husband, the Emperor, was a dangerous affair. If her presence displeased him, she could be banished or killed for daring to come to him without being summoned.
In this new world, everything Esther did was scrutinized, and every action had consequences. One false step, one ill-chosen word, could cost her freedom or even her life, as the previous queen had learned the hard way.
In such strange circumstances - and such high stakes - it must have been tempting for Esther to simply sit on her throne and pretend to be the pretty princess her husband, and the kingdom, expected her to be. She could have lived her whole life quietly enjoying her new life of luxury and stayed out of the deadly political intrigues that were swirling around her. Even when she hears about Haman’s decree, and the doom that it promised for the Jews, there was surely part of her that just wanted to keep playing her (silent) role, to save herself from the promised persecution.
Many centuries later, a famous statesman would say, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.” The great tragedy is that “nothing” is a very appealing thing to do. Doing nothing requires no effort, puts us at little risk, is very inexpensive and rarely draws unwanted attention. It is little wonder then that cowardice is so much more popular than courage - after all, it is certainly cheaper.
Like Esther, we are all presented with opportunities to stand up and do the right thing, or to slink back and do nothing. We live in a world full of injustice, profound need and a shocking lack of leadership. Will you, like Esther, heed the call? Will you realize that you have been put where you are “...for just such a time as this?” Or will you choose to let the evils of the world be someone else’s problem?
Ask God today to draw your attention to evils that you can help set right. Ask forgiveness for your complacency and seek his guidance on how you can make a difference in the world for the sake of His kingdom. Finally, ask for the courage to do what is right.
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