Living between a rock and a hard place.

Living between a Rock and a Hard Place

Esther 4

 

“And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” (Verse 14)

 

            Esther was faced with a conundrum.  The decree had been established, and once it was declared, there was no turning reversal.  Haman’s hatred for Mordecai had turned into a hatred for all Jews, and so he had established a plot to destroy the whole Jewish people.  Under the guise that the Jews were rebellious and insurrectionists, Haman manipulated King Ahasuerus to declare that they would be annihilated on a specific date.  Because of Haman's distortion, the King saw the Jews as a threat to be destroyed.  Yet the general population was thrown into confusion.  Why would the king make such an edict to destroy a segment of the people that had shown no signs of rebellion? Finally, the King and Haman sat down to drink in a display of remarkable indifference to life. Much like events throughout history, people quickly become indifferent to the lives of others.  

            Yet this was not just an attack on the Jews; this was an attack upon God and his character.  When God established a covenant with Abraham, he promised that he would “bless those who bless you and whoever curses you I will curse” (Gen. 12:3).  If God did not deliver his people, not only would they be destroyed, but his faithfulness to the promise would be proven false.

            Esther is now between a rock and a hard place. If she remained silent, her people would be destroyed, including her uncle Mordecai.  If she identifies herself as a Jew, she faces the genuine prospect of being labeled as a rebel and would face certain death.  The King had disposed of Queen Vashti for a minor offense; how much more severely would he react to a Queen who was identified as a part of a rebellion?  If she speaks out, she faces death; if she remains silent, she abandons her people.  To further add to the tension, it would seem that Esther has already fallen into disfavor with the king, for he has not summoned her for the last month.

            Mordecai, sensing her indecision and the precarious position of Esther, sends her a message. In the mention, he not only expresses her dilemma but reminds her that God is the unseen hand working in her life and perhaps the reason she was chosen to be queen was to intercede on behalf of the Jews. In a remarkable display of trust, Mordecai points out that God can deliver the Jews from any source, but perhaps she has been put in this position to be God’s instrument in saving the people.  He reminds her that if she fails to act, God will bring judgment upon her and her family (the very people she wanted to protect) while simultaneously bringing salvation to the nation. 

            In the events, we are reminded of two important lessons.  First, God will put us in difficult circumstances to display his multi-faceted glory more fully.  His power and deliverance are not manifested when we can deal with the events in our strength.  It is when we face situations that are beyond our control and ability that his power becomes evident. Second, God does not need us, but he desires to use us so that he might bless us by displaying himself through us. As Mordecai points out, God does not need Esther, but he may choose to use Esther.  God works in our life to place in in the maximum position to display his glory through us.  The challenges we face are never a threat to God’s will for us but are an expression of his will so that he might bless us by displaying his glory through us.  Instead of looking at the impossible circumstances confronting you, look at the undefeatable God working through you.  

            

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