“Do not think to yourself that in the king's palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. 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.” (Esther 4:13b-14a)What stood out to me this morning was Mordecai's utter faith that, whether Esther spoke up or not, the Lord would deliver them. As a Jew, he would have known that the Lord had promised to protect His chosen people. Mordecai had a plan--Esther to intervene with the king--but greater than his trust in his plan was his faith in his God.
I am thankful that we can see Mordecai's humanness. "When Mordecai learned all that had been done, Mordecai tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and he cried out with a loud and bitter cry." (Esther 4:1). He didn't just nod and pray and twiddle his thumbs, waiting for divine intervention. He wailed. He grieved. He sought out Esther and had to ask her not once, but twice to speak to the king. Once Esther was persuaded, he led the Jews in fasting for her for three days.
Mordecai was facing certain death if the edict were carried out as written. He responded with honest emotion, a plan, and faith in a God who might or might not work through the plan Mordecai had conceived. Where did his faith come from? The knowledge of the promises of God to be faithful to His people.
Fast forward to me, a 21st century Christian facing not possible imminent physical death, but the possible death of hopes or dreams or security. I am going to lose loved ones. The idea I had in my head of what my life would be doesn't seem to be happening. I have waited and waited and waited for good things that I want (and, truth be told, believe that I need). Yet I, too, have promises from the Lord as well. Promises to meet my needs. Promises to give me the desires of my heart. Promises that nothing, NOTHING, can separate me from His love:
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)My plan may not work out. My idea of how God will work may not be correct. My desires may not be met in the timetable that I prefer (or at all). Will I, with Mordecai, have the faith to believe that "relief and deliverance" will rise from God's perfect plan, His powerful execution of that plan, and His purposeful timing in when that plan occurs? I may not get what I want, but I am promised that the Lord will give me what I need: "And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19)
Ultimately, my truest and deepest needs, for forgiveness and restoration to God, have already been met through Jesus. Romans 8:32 says: "He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" The deliverance of my soul has been accomplished, arising from the cross. I can trust the Lord for everything else, as well.