Daily Devotional – Day 11
Read: Esther 4:12-16
King Ahasuerus of Persia had been convinced by Haman, his second-in-command, to kill all the Jews because the Jew Mordecai would not bow down to him. Esther, a Jew, had been chosen as a queen of this kingdom and was in a crucial place to plead for the lives of her people. The king had already sealed the decree to have the Jews killed (Esther 3:10-12). Mordecai learned of this plot to kill his people there was “great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes” (Esther 4:3b). Mordecai had raised Esther after her parents had died and when Esther learned of the plot to kill her family and people she asked one of the king’s servants about it all.
Esther was in a prime place to stand up for her people and uncover Haman’s plot to kill the Jews. The challenge of going to the king and begging for mercy was in her court. Esther had not yet revealed her Jewish identity to the king at the request of Mordecai. In Esther 4:12, Mordecai heard Esther’s fearful response, as she could have been killed for approaching the king without being summoned. He responds to her by telling her she would not be exempt from death just because she was in the king’s house and who knows if she had been called into this royal position “for such a time as this” (v. 14). Did God design for her to be in this position at this very moment for this very cause? If so, would he provide for her and give the strength and courage she needed to plead for her people?
Esther called the Jewish people to fast for her for three days and nights. She and her attendants fasted as well. Esther stood before the king and evidently had God’s favor as the king declared at least three times that he’d give her up to half of the kingdom at her request. Think about that – what favor! They fasted three days and didn’t have to fight for favor – the Lord gave it to them. The kingdom of Persia in that day was about 125 provinces from India to Ethiopia. But a worldly kingdom was not her agenda. God intervened and the king discovered Mordecai had actually saved him by exposing a plot of two of his eunuchs to kill him. The king decided to reward Mordecai and Haman showed up at that very moment to ask the king to hang Mordecai. Instead of killing Mordecai, the king asked Haman to organize an event to honor Mordecai. How God can change things around as we fast and pray!
Esther asks the king to spare the life of her people (Esther 7:3-4) and revealed Haman’s plot. Haman had planned to impale Mordecai but the king ordered him impaled on the very pole he planned for Mordecai. The king issued a new decree and gave the Jews the right to defend their lives and destroy those who tried to destroy them. God had turned the Jews mourning into rejoicing! Three days of fasting and prayer turned a seemingly impossible situation around.
1. What are you fasting for that seems impossible?
2. Do you believe with Esther-like boldness that God will help you?
3. When danger seems near, like in Esther’s situation, do you turn to God through fasting and prayer?
God, help me have the boldness of Esther. I know you can do the impossible. You give favor when the world condemns and despises. I pray for your favor to accomplish your will and build your Kingdom. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Church Prayer Request:
Pray for our new food pantry, set to open in a few weeks. Ask God to help us connect with people and connect them to the Lord. Ask God to help those who serve to see people beyond the bag of food and physical need. Help us see spiritual needs as we pray for and serve those in our church body in need.
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.