Esther 4 Commentary
It should be impossible to write a story about God’s people without referring to their God. But the human author of this book has done it. And is it quite an achievement!
The chapter is highlighted by the following poster statement: “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Mordecai gets very close to saying it; having previously also declared: “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place.”
So Esther steps into her role as Israel’s deliverer. Yes. Another Deborah. She issues an instruction to fast. Again the word prayer has been avoided completely. It is like this book is still in production in 2022, and the editors are removing saintly words from the script in order to make the heathen world happy. Regardless, and hidden in these lines, is an admission of the presence of a higher power who could make things work. The fasting is an appeal to this hidden and very much present Authority and Power.
Yes, the laws behind Xerxes are rigid and final. The king is sitting on unlimited power. Yet there is another Power that can overrule this institution. To this power, they appeal.
Esther is all ‘beauty’ and elegance. All of it is wrapped in fear and weakness, and vulnerability. But prayer, deliberately called fasting here, can provide a wrapping of grace. The battle is elevated to another level. Haman’s incredible power, wealth, and influence versus Grace. Saints can easily guess who the winner is. But there is story-telling in this book to enjoy. The suspense is beautiful. There is brilliance written everywhere to rival any other in the world of literature.
Think of Haman as a goliath. Behind him is an institution capable of mass destruction. The saint can have this kind of battle. Or if you are Esther, from your position of affluence and comfort, you are still drawn into the battle by the need to intercede. It is every Christian’s calling. Let every saint know that there is an all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present Authority above all else.
To honor the tradition of keeping identities hidden, so faithfully observed in this book, we shall simply call this authority the Ultimate Authority. We guess the fasting was an appeal to this Ultimate Authority. Let’s see tomorrow what the fasting has achieved.
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