Thursday, May 25, 2017

May 24, 2017


Esther 4:13-16

And Mordecai said to Hathach, “Go and say to Esther, ‘Do not say to yourself that you alone will be saved in the kingdom apart from all the other Jews. For if you choose not to heed this request at this time, help and deliverance for the Jews will arise elsewhere, but you and your father's house will perish. Besides, who knows whether it is for this occasion you reign as queen?’ ” Then Esther dispatched the one who came to her to Mordecai, saying, “Go and assemble together the Jews in Susa. Fast for me; do not eat or drink for three full days and three full nights. I and my maids will also fast. Then I will go to the king, contrary to the law, even if I am to perish.”

Encouraging Words

God has a plan! He always has a plan! However, just because God has a plan, that does not mean that He will force us to participate in His plan. God created us with free will, the ability to choose for ourselves. Anyone who has raised a child understands this very well. Since God created us with this free will, and He is perfect, He will not force us to do something that we do not want to do, even if it fits His plan. In this passage, Mordecai makes it very clear to Esther, his niece, that God had a plan to protect the Jews from annihilation. This plan involved Esther doing something that could mean her own death. When she expressed that concern, Mordecai gave her the response in this passage. He knows that God will execute His plan and that Esther could choose to be a part of that plan or not to. Either way, God's plan would still be carried out. Every day we also have the opportunity to make these kinds of choices. Here is how the Orthodox Study Bible explains this passage:
4:13-14 God's plan of salvation involves the cooperation of His people. If someone God calls is unwilling to cooperate, two things will happen: (1) God will find willing participants elsewhere, for God's plan can never be thwarted; and (2) those who were not willing will perish with the unfaithful (see Mt 21:41). Mordecai's question, who knows whether it is for this occasion you reign as queen? is a call to all believers to courageously discern the will of God for their particular moment in life in order to fulfill God's plan. Note Mordecai's unswerving trust in God in spite of the seemingly hopeless circumstances.
It is encouraging to know that God can, and will, use me in His plans, but He will never force me. Glory be to God!

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