Skip to main content

A lifetime or a day

Have you found yourself in a circumstance where just remaining silent was the only choice you could take? It may have been there was so much discussion going on that you didn't agree with, or that you just didn't know how to answer with some semblance of grace and tact, so you remained silent. There are times when silence is definitely the best "tactic" to utilize - yet there are others when remaining silent will just worsen a situation. Learning how to use silence in a positive manner is a skill many of us never fully grasp. In fact, many of us don't like silence. We avoid it at all cost. There are also a group of us who like to express our opinion - invited or not. Either way, what we do with the silence is important - what we do with the spoken word is even more so.

When Hathach told Mordecai what Esther had said, Mordecai sent her this message: "Don't think that just because you live in the king's house you're the one Jew who will get out of this alive. If you persist in staying silent at a time like this, help and deliverance will arrive for the Jews from someplace else; but you and your family will be wiped out. Who knows? Maybe you were made queen for just such a time as this." (Esther 4:12-14)

Esther finds herself in such a sticky predicament. Her cousin was Mordecai and he had just learned of the king's decree (issued through Haman, a top leader in his government) to destroy all the Jews in the land simply because he didn't like their customs. The day had been set - all were to be killed - none were to be spared. Up to that point Esther's family line had not become a topic of discussion in the court of the king. She was a Jew, yet we doubt Haman was aware of this as the decree is being issued. If he knew the peril in issuing a decree which would affect the king's "special lady", he might have thought twice about such a severe penalty for not bowing the knee to show him honor!

Her dilemma becomes more apparent as she learns of the decree - to remain silent, or speak up about her heritage - either way carries some form of loss to her and her family. She runs the risk that the king will no longer want her in his courts - not sure how he will take the  news of her being a Jew.  Have you ever been in such a situation? You could speak up, but if you do, you will be "implicated" in the process? You could remain silent, but your silence will affect you just as severely - and possibly even others who will be harmed because of your fear or unwillingness to speak up? Not a great place to find yourself, is it? The choice we make in the moment is often what determines the outcome. One seemingly insignificant decision can make such a huge difference. Silence is indeed a difficult "weapon" to learn to master. I call it a "weapon" because it is indeed a weapon in the hands of one skilled in its use. Silence in the hands of a skilled debater can give the audience just enough time to consider the point being made. Silence in the hands of a vindictive person can give someone just enough rope to hang themselves! Either way, it is a weapon to be used wisely.

Esther learned something in her years of growing up under the care of Mordecai - trust. She learned to trust wise counsel. She may not have possessed the things of other young women in the community, having been orphaned at an early age. She possessed something many others did not - a caring and compassionate counselor (Mordecai). He positions himself each day at the gate of the court of the king and in turn, he is at her gate, as well. He is at the "ready" - just in case she needs him. In seeking counsel, she learns the need for an advocate for the Jewish people - speak up or remain silent - she must decide. In trustful faith, she determines to speak what she knows may be the words which determine her own fate. She cannot remain silent, but she can prepare for the message! She takes three days of fasting and prayer - calling on those who are of like faith to do the same. It is a great thing when we "rally the troops" to storm hell's gates, is it not?

In the preparation of the three days of fasting and prayer, she is counting on the king's heart to be prepared to receive what she will say. In the same three days, her will becomes determined and she develops the boldness she needs. The words of this passage are spoken over and over again in churches across this world: Who knows - - perhaps you have been prepared for such a time as this. I had a pastor once tell me these words in just a slightly different manner. I have held onto them all these years. In closing, I will leave those words for your consideration: Are you willing to prepare a lifetime to be used even one day in the hands of God? Just askin!


Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,

Do me a favor

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. (Philippians 2:1-4) Has God's love made ANY difference in your life? What is that difference? Most of us will likely say that our lives were changed for the good, while others will say there was a dramatic change. Some left behind lifestyles marked by all manner of outward sin - like drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution, or even thievery. There are many that will admit the things they left behind were just a bit subtler - what we can call inward sin - things like jealousy,