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Choose This, Not That

Choose This, Not That – Instrument, or Obstacle? (Esther 4:13-14)

Today’s Reading: Esther 4-7

Today’s Reflection: Esther 4:13-14

13) Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. 14) For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Through a series of circumstances that could only have been guided by God’s hand, Esther was queen of the empire of Persia and Media at a time when a decree to wipe out the Jewish people had been devised and passed into law by King Ahasuerus’ chief counselor Haman.  Esther’s uncle Mordecai asked Esther to petition the King for the Jews salvation, but Esther was hesitant.  Coming before the king without permission could bring her death, and the circumstances suggested she might not have the king’s favour at this time.  It was then that Mordecai made the statement in today’s text.

We, as Christians, tend to focus on the latter half of the statement, that God’s divine timing brought Esther to the office of queen at this time precisely to address this crisis.  But what Mordecai says before is even more compelling.  He doesn’t ask Esther to act because it is the only way to save the Jews, in fact Mordecai says God will work out the Jews salvation one way or another.  He asks Esther to act so that she can be a part of the work God was going to do, and emphasize that her position is a sign she was called to do so.

God was going to act to preserve His people no matter what Esther did.  Her choice was between being an instrument of God’s will, or an obstacle to God’s will.  She faithfully chose to be an instrument, risked her own life, and in the end was a crucial to bringing about salvation for the Jews and even helping Mordecai ascend to the second highest office in the kingdom.

We too have the same choice to make.  God is doing a great work in these days and times, the work of reaching the world with the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ and preparing people for the eternal Kingdom to come.  Those of us who have this good news—this Gospel—are either playing a role in spreading it, or are holding it back.  Our words, actions, the way we treat one another, whether we show Godly love and compassion to others, all of these things are opportunities either to help draw others closer to Christ, or to further hide His visage from those who have yet to truly know Him.

The work will happen whether you do what God has prepared and positioned you to do or not, but you have to decide: are you going to be an instrument of God’s will, or an obstacle to it?  There is no third option.

Choose this: Be a faithful, obedient instrument of God’s will, doing all He instructs you to do.

Not that:  Be a doubting, fearful, obstacle to God’s will, more concerned with your temporary comfort and security than with the eternal work of the Kingdom.

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