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Archive for May 8th, 2016

If I perish I perish!

Posted by appolus on May 8, 2016

The story of Esther is a fascinating story. From the book of Esther we can see that she was a orphan, no mother and no father. Now, this would be difficult enough in any generation but it must have been very difficult in the ancient world. To add to Esther’s trouble she lived in a time when the king of all the land was looking for a new wife. The king was Ahasuerus and he was very powerful and his dominion was vast. It is reported in history that he had a bridge built near the ocean and it was destroyed by a storm. He had all the builders killed and he ordered that the sea be “whipped and chained.” They literally flogged the sea carrying out the orders of this man who had the power of life and death.

Now the reason he was looking for a new Queen was because his current wife and queen refused to appear before him and the royal court naked, wearing only a crown. apparently he had been boasting to other men just how beautiful she was and he wanted to show her off. She refused him and she would be replaced and banished and never be seen by him again. So, people were sent out into every corner of the vast empire to collect the most beautiful young woman who could be found and assemble them back in the capital city for preparation. Esther was chosen from her region, there would be 400 young women on all. Now you might think that this would be an incredible opportunity for Esther, but it was a truly horrifying prospect. Each young woman would be prepared for a year for their ” encounter,” with the king, meaning they would have to sleep with him. Out of these 400 he would choose a queen. The other 399 women would be, effectively, slaves for the rest of their lives. They would not get married or have children nor have a family. They would be kept in separate quarters and, unless they had somehow pleased this wicked old man, they would quite probably not be called upon again.

And so Esther’s life was one of many difficulties and she faced many trials. It is reckoned she would only be about 14 when she was taken. You can imagine the trauma. What really interests me is what happens after she is indeed chosen and becomes queen. She obviously has to make the best of it being married to a man famed for his hedonistic ways. Yet then comes the crisis that we know about from the book. The Jewish people face being wiped out and Esther is called upon by her uncle Mordecai, an honorable man, to make an appeal to the king. Esther has to break convention and enter into his presence without invitation, a crime whose punishment was death. So, she makes up her mind to do it and makes this statement in regard to it ” If I perish I perish.”

Although there is no mention of God at all in the book of Esther, I see her actions and her statement as an act of faith that can be found all throughout the Bible. In Revelation 12:11 it says “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” This loving God and following the truth more than loving one’s own life is fundamental in the examples of faith throughout the Bible. It is supernatural and can only be achieved by the power and the unction of the Holy Spirit operating in the depths of the children of God. I think of Job when he says in Job 13:15 “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” Now we know the life that Job had lived and the circumstances that had befallen him.

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