Tag Archive | Purim

Dangerous Times call for Dangerous Actions

Chapter 4 opens with 15 million Jews fasting, weeping and lamenting. Mordecai is one of them. Many of them were in sackcloth and ashes, the common response to distress in the Bible. Mordecai was also dressed this way. It is also a hint that prayer was going on. Prayer, God and any statement of religion is not found in the book of Esther but hints like these are found throughout the book. The Jews had a year to prepare for this devastating event. All of this came about due to Hateful Haman’s ability to manipulate a clueless and careless King.
Mordecai had to get a message to Queen Esther. I believe he was wise enough in the ways of the court to know that Esther was probably unaware of what was going on in the kingdom due to the fact she was tucked away comfortable in the Harem. He also knew that his attire would prevent him from entering the King’s gate. Royalty didn’t like to be reminded of any unpleasantness that the people had to endure. Mordecai made enough of a fuss to be noticed by the Queen’s maids and eunuchs and they let her know of the spectacle he was making near the King’s gate. Esther sent him the proper attire to change into but he refused to change. She must have sensed the seriousness of the situations and sent Hatach the King’s Eunuch assigned to her to speak to Mordacai. Mordacai provided Hatach with all the information he needed including a copy of the edict and a command to the Queen to go to the King and plead for her people. Some scholars believe that Hatach was a Jew himself and that is why Mordecai trusted him not only with this information but with the knowledge that Esther herself was a Jew. I imagine this shakes Esther to the core. Perhaps she doesn’t believe it is as serious as Mordacai makes it out to be. She certainly knows that Vashti was exiled for disobedience and here is Mordecai is commanding her to disobey the law. A law that could get her killed. She sends a message back to him explaining her situation a little more clearly. The fact she hadn’t been called for over 30 days could mean the King was tired of her and wouldn’t appreciate her coming before him without being called. She wanted to stay in her comfy cage. After all there was no guarantee that this would work. Well, her guardian sent a “reality check” back to her in which is the now famous “for such a time as this” speech. Read it for yourself in verses 13-14. It is his call to her to “step up to the plate”. She relents and sends him the request to gather all the Jews in Susa to fast for 3 days and nights. Even though it is not spelled out in Scripture this is no doubt a call to prayer. Then she add’s that “I and my maids will do the same. Then I will go to the King and if I perish, I perish. Is this a faith statement or a fear statement of resignation? I believe due to her kind and faithful nature it is a faith statement. Now the plot thickens. It almost feels like a “Soap Opera”. What will she do? What is the outcome? Will we turn the page and find her head on a stake? Check in to the next chapter and find out. Who said the Bible was boring?!