The Esther story is often told in a way that presents the young queen as a fearless heroine.The picture we are left with is one of a woman who never for a moment entertained a doubt about her destiny, nor her ability to fulfil it.
Yet when we turn to the fourth chapter of Esther, we find someone very different. Esther is not initially open at all to Mordecai’s plea to represent the cause of the Jewish people to King Xerxes. It is only after a strongly directive coaching session mediated by her servant Hathak.
When Esther tried to turn down Mordecai’s request, he set about dismantling the beliefs that underlay Esther’s reluctance.
In verses thirteen and fourteen of chapter four, Mordecai challenges the idea that Esther can remain safe in the palace while everyone else perishes.Then, he impresses on Esther that God will work anyway, but if she does not play her part, she and her family will miss out. Finally, he touches the deep sense of destiny that God had put in her soul: this is your moment Esther.
We all need people around us who will challenge us to embrace the will of God at any and every moment in our lives, especially when it entails doing something that is intimidating.
Who are the people that challenge our false sense of security and our instinct to “play safe”? Who among our friends helps us to see that the difficulty before us is an opportunity for God to work and for us to work with Him? And who draws out of us the deep sense of destiny that the Holy Spirit has planted within us?
We need such people. If the kingdom of God is to advance and our nation is to be turned around, we need an army of such people. Pray that God will give you such people. Pray for the courage and humility to be open to their godly provocation.
Esther needed Mordecai. We all need a Mordecai. Such people help to shape our future and perhaps even the future of our nation.