And If I Perish, I Perish
12 When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, 13 he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”
Queen Esther had overcome, beyond even her own expectations, to win the heart of the king, and become queen. She held great sway over the king, for she had stolen his heart. The words of her uncle, Mordecai, must have seemed bitter, for he assured her that in the light of the decree of Haman, the Agagite, that the Jews were to be destroyed, that she and her family would also be utterly destroyed. Power and privilege are of no use when you have already received your death penalty notice.
Destined for Deliverance
But God had placed Esther in a position of high authority to be used by Him to save His people. God cannot ignore His covenants, and He had promised Abraham that his seed would be as many as the stars in the sky. God would certainly keep His promise, even if Esther, her father’s family, and all people of Hebrew descent that were found through Haman’s decree, approved by the king, killed every Jew they could find. God always has a remnant. And God would raise up someone else to deliver His people.
When we fail to do what God has prepared for us to do, God has a backup plan, and a backup plan for that. But He knows exactly how we will react, and what we will do, for He has seen the end from the beginning. Like taking a snapshot of a battlefield, and carefully watching how everything plays out, God already knows what we will do, when we will do it, and how we will do it. He has already planned for every contingency.
And Esther, in preparation for her role to intercede on behalf of her people by approaching the king, was taking a very great risk. Anyone who approached the king unbidden who was not then approved by the king would be put to death. Esther recognized the danger to her life, and took the necessary precautions that she knew to take: She had Mordecai tell the people to humble themselves with fasting and prayer on her behalf, when she did as well. And in humbling herself before the Lord, He would lift up her head.
It takes great courage to face death head on, doing what is right, unsure of the outcome. Esther modeled courage for us, and resigned herself in trust to the One who can be trusted in all things to help the helpless. Her response to Mordecai of “and if I perish, I perish” should be the cry of our hearts as well when faced with any difficulty. Courage is the ultimate test and show of our faith. We can be courageous, because we believe that God is completely and totally trustworthy, both in life and in death.
We are to trust that the King of kings and Lord of lords will work out everything to His glory and deliver us in life, and if not life, in death. We need to take heart and trust God, for in all things, god can be trusted. Knowing in our hearts that God can be trusted and then acting on it is the ultimate test of faith, and shows courage. We need to be courageous in all that we do, operating without fear, so that the enemies of God will be afraid, knowing that our conviction in the truth is unshakeable because God is who He says He is, and will bear us up no matter the circumstances.
A Qualifying Question
Let’s ask a question: When faced with difficulty, possibly even death, do we respond with courage born by trust in God?
A short prayer of preparation:
Father in Heaven, You gave Your One and Only Son the courage to face the cross of crucifixion for us. You have, throughout Your word, shown Yourself to be faithful and true in all things. Give me courage today to do what is right, especially in the face of opposition that threatens to destroy my reputation, career, family, and especially my life. Help me to overcome all resistance by remembering Your faithfulness. And help me to continue to be faithful, even if it means that I go to my death, for You will resurrect me as You have Your Son. Help me to do all that You desire me to do, in life even to the point of death, that I may hear You say, “Well done, good and faithful servant”. This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.