ODJ: eileen and esther
May 6, 2014
READ: Esther 4:1-17
Perhaps you were made . . . for just such a time as this? (v.14).
Nine year old Eileen approached a pack of older boys in a schoolyard. They were beating an autistic student who was lying on the ground curled up in the foetal position. She asked the bullies to stop hurting the other student. The boys did stop, but only to push Eileen to the ground, where they cursed at her and stepped on her before fleeing. The local autism centre later honoured Eileen and said, “She defended this boy because of her courage.”
Eileen’s courage reminds me of Esther’s bravery. Esther was a Jew and a queen whose people faced the danger of annihilation (Esther 3:8-11). Her cousin Mordecai urged her to speak to the king to try to stop the persecution, telling her that “perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this” (4:14).
There was just one problem. The king’s court was off-limits to anyone he had not summoned. An uncalled visitor would be “doomed to die unless the king [held] out his golden sceptre” (v.11). The king hadn’t called for Esther in a month, so approaching him meant possible death. Still, Esther risked everything for her people, saying, “If I must die, I must die” (v.16).
Interestingly, Esther’s brave act came after some spiritual preparation. She asked Mordecai and her people to fast for 3 days and committed herself and her servants to the same discipline (v.16).
When God calls us to defend the disadvantaged or to speak out in favour of His goodness, we can prepare our hearts for the occasion by humbling ourselves, praying and seeking God’s face (2 Chronicles 7:14). He’s the source of true strength who prepares us for specific tasks (Psalm 59:17). Let’s follow His leading today! —Jennifer Benson Schuldt
Esther 5:1-14 ‹365-day plan
Look up Psalm 59:6-10 to see how God goes before us as we face trying times.
Esther risked her life to defend her people. What, if anything, might be worth such a risk in your own life? How can you help the needy and powerless in your sphere of influence?