Commitment: Reluctant or Realized?
In the book of Esther, we find Esther is a prototypical person like you and me. Her life of commitment to a kingdom cause is reluctant before it is realized. When we are first introduced to her, we see her life-path broken with the loss of her parents. Her older cousin, Mordecai steps in to raise her. She prepares well for her first half. During her early adult years she is asked to lead. Like Moses, she is reluctant at first and cannot see herself taking on the indicated assignment. She cannot see herself stepping out by faith. Eventually, however, she becomes a type of redeemer—willing to give up her life for her people. Esther uses her training, gifts, skills and position not to make a bundle, but to make a difference.
The most dangerous spot for Esther would have been to retreat to a "safe" place, remain silent and immobilized. It would have led to great destruction, including the likely loss of her life. But being willing to take initiative, take a risk by faith, Esther had a great experience with results that made a positive difference.
Contrast her actions to the King, for example. Like many in our generations he was only into himself. He was immobilized by fear of personal failure and criticism from his peers. He could not make a decision on his own. There was no adventure or positive outcome in that.
The Lord's involvement is evident in the interplay between Haman and Mordecai. Haman flourished for a season, but was on a slippery slope. What Haman intended for evil, the Lord orchestrated for good. In the end, evil was dispatched and the kingdom expanded.
What will be the story of our lives? Will we retreat to a "safe" place, possibly causing the destruction of many while man's inhumanity to man takes its natural course? Or will we lay down our agenda for the Lord to use as a model of redeemer to make a positive difference for some? We each face this choice. This could take any form—on a team or on our own. But the lesson from Esther is, to not risk something for God, is a very great risk.
Nelson Malwitz, Finishers Project Founder, February 2010
* A meaning of the name Esther is secret or hidden. In the biblical account, Esther keeps her identity hidden; the involvement of the Lord is hidden as well. There is no direct mention of the Lord. Nevertheless, the Lord's involvement is unmistakable.
* This is the season of the celebration of Purim, a festival established by Esther to commemorate the victory that the Lord superintended. (Es 9:27) Thanks to Rabbi Eric of Southbury, CT for graciously sharing his expertise on the Hebrew scriptures and, more specifically, turning the lights on the Book of Esther.