I’ve wrestled with writing this post for a while, specifically wondering if this series fits into the purpose of my creating this blog. As much as I am encouraged by the responses to my writing about everyday life here in South Asia, learning more about biblical womanhood remains a vital, continual part of my time here, and so I must write. Revisiting this teaching on Esther has been convicting and refreshing all at the same time, and as I learn to be a woman in pursuit of a deeper relationship with her Creator, I hope that the fiercely beautiful display of godliness we see in the character of Esther forever remains a point of sharpening for me. And so, with my new South Asian eyes, I continue in this series of Biblical Womanhood through The Eyes of Esther (part one). Here’s part two.
“ Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat of drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king…”
Trust in Christ brings honest, real, urgent intimacy that shows the value I place in the His character and my relationship with Him. And that goes for any relationship. Whenever I confide in or ask advice from someone, I inevitably show the worth I place in said relationship. Our girl, Esther, in the midst of crisis, runs to the One for whom her soul ultimately waits—the One who alone possesses all righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness (1 Timothy 6:18). It is here, in her response to her uncle’s demand that she put aside her personal fear and work for the good of her True King that we see where she places that value. He is the One who takes all her chaos, mess, and brokenness and draws forth the cosmos—and her trust, confidence, and honesty in Yahweh remains that which becomes necessarily used to save the Jewish people. And it’s all for the glory of Jesus.
“[A woman’s love for her God] is love to his person, not love called forth by a desire for riches which he disposes of, not even of the splendor of the position which awaited her, but free, responsive love with which she answered his free love to her.”
Here lies the gloriously intricately dependent part of the story: during Esther’s 3 day fast where she sought the Lord for her next step (not all of her friends nor every form of social media), King Ahasuerus can’t sleep. He then calls for the “record of memorable deeds” to be read aloud to him, and it’s here that he realizes that Mordecai, the Jew, saved his life from a conspiracy and was never rewarded. During the time of Esther’s prayer and fasting before the God whose eyes run to and fro over all the earth, the Lord uses that time to soften the heart of the man who had approved the total annihilation of God’s chosen people.
I’m not saying that every time you pray and fast before the Lord entire races of people are saved from destruction by any means—but what I am attempting to convey is that silence and solitude before Jesus remain a discipline—one that the Honeybadger, Esther, beautifully portrays.
I wonder how many of us, if we’re honest with ourselves, will admit that it is our mouth that often gets us into even more sin in the first place? I’ve tried to avoid this characteristic of Esther as it walks with conviction so heavily upon my own life, but I know it’s the same truth echoed in James that I cannot deny, and, therefore, of which I must proclaim (let me stop here and also highlight that Esther seeks wisdom in others, but it is appropriate advice. As I’ve spoken of in another post, the body of Christ needs each other—my heart remains not to demand that you never speak of life to anyone, for Scripture also speaks against this fallacy. We’re all members, one of the same body with Christ as our head, and sharing life together is imperative).
As we grow in knowledge and understanding of the Lord may it propel us into the trustworthy action that places infinite value on the only One perfectly worthy of such trust.