Monday, November 23, 2015

Haman & Esther, Judas & John

"Esther Denouncing Haman", by Ernest Normand, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

My Bible reading this past week had me in the Old Testament book of Esther and this time through it, a new part of the story caught my attention. In Esther 4, Mordecai tells Esther that if she doesn't act bravely, help will surely arise for the Israelites from another place.

There is faith, if you want it. Mordecai allows that Esther might fail to do her part . . . but God won't.

Mordecai trusts in God, but he declares to Esther that it makes a difference to HER whether or not she is willing to serve, whether or not she is willing to adventure her life on behalf of God's people.

Here is the verse in question:
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?
It's the second half of that verse that's more famous - the "for such a time as this" bit.

But it's the first that struck me this time through: "if you keep silent . . ." deliverance will still arise.

It reminds me very strongly of C. C. Lewis' observation in The Problem of Pain:

For you will certainly carry out God's purpose, however you act, but it makes a difference to you whether you serve like Judas or like John.

Or, we might say, after reading this story, whether you serve like Esther or like Haman.

Peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

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