24 Jun Esther: Fearlessly Doing The Next Right Thing
June 24, 2021
Thus I will go in to the king, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish.
This week we are looking at survival tip #10: do the next right thing. When I think of doing the next right thing even when you cannot see the whole picture, I think of Esther. Did you know that Esther is the only book of the Bible in which the word “God” is not mentioned? Yet His fingerprints are all over Esther’s story. It is a book about the providence of God.
Esther was a Jew living in Persia, which is where some of the Jewish people lived in exile. She was orphaned as a young girl and adopted by her older cousin, Mordecai. Through a miraculous set of circumstances, Esther was chosen by King Xerxes to be the queen of Persia. Esther 2:17 says, “The king loved Esther more than all the women, and she found favor and kindness with him more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen.”
One day King Xerxes’s right-hand man, Haman, ordered all the people to bow down before him. When Mordecai refused, Haman was infuriated. He went to the king and persuaded him that all the Jews in the land should be killed. So King Xerxes signed the edict, not knowing that his own queen was Jewish. When news of the edict came to Mordecai, he asked Esther to intervene. Esther was hesitant to approach the king, because there was a Persian custom that you never went into the king’s presence uninvited. If you did, you risked execution.
She expressed her reservation to her cousin Mordecai, and he pled with Esther on the basis of three things. First of all, he appealed to her common sense. He told her, “Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews” (4:13). In other words, “Do you think if he exterminates all the Jews he is going to spare you?” Second, Mordecai appealed to Esther’s conscience. He said, “If you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place” (v. 14). He was saying, “God is going to fulfill His promise to preserve His people. Wouldn’t you rather be a part of God’s plan?” Finally, Mordecai appealed to her calling. In verse 14, he added, “Who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” Esther had not been made queen by accident. God had a great purpose for her life.
Mordecai finally persuaded Esther to do the next right thing. But before she rushed into the king’s presence, she asked Mordecai and the other Jews in the land to pray and to fast for her, and she said, “If I perish, I perish” (v. 16). But Esther did not die when she approached the king. Instead, the king told her he would grant her any request she made. She did not unveil her request that day, but later on at a banquet she revealed that she was Jewish herself. She told the king how Haman had plotted against Mordecai, and she persuaded the king to intervene on behalf of the Jewish people. As a result, the entire Jewish people were saved–all because of the courage of one woman to do the next right thing. At every stage, Esther had no idea how it was going to turn out, but she did the next right thing.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Survival Tip #10: Do The Next Right Thing” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2019.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.