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When Service Is Risky   Esther 3:2, 5-6; 4:5, 8-16    Feb. 11,2007


Introduction

       All of us should be very pleased with the response of Esther to the national crisis she faced. Her words, “if I perish,

Iperish,” echo down through the centuries as examples of how one can stand in commitment to God and country. Her words further illustrate how one can stand When Service Is Risky.

 

1.   When Service Is Risky . . Adhere To Godly Principals. 3:2, 5-6

       A.   Adhere To Godly Principals . . Refusing The Command of Kings. 3:2

                 2 The entire royal staff at the King's Gate bowed down and paid homage to Haman, because the king had commanded this to be done for him. But Mordecai would not bow down or pay homage.

 

       B.   Adhere To Godly Principals . . Rejecting The Rage of Haman. 3:5

5 When Haman saw that Mordecai was not bowing down or paying him homage, he was

filled with rage.

 

       C.   Adhere To Godly Principals . . Rescinding The Plan Of Haman. 3:6

6 And when he learned of Mordecai's ethnic identity, Haman decided not to do away

with Mordecai alone. He set out to destroy all of Mordecai's people, the Jews, throughout Ahasuerus' kingdom. HCSB


       How does one adhere to godly principals? In the text we receive an answer as Mordecai refused to obey the king, rejected the rage of governmental officials, and rescinded their plan.  If we must chose between the command of God and the command of a king; we need to refuse the kings command. This may need to be followed by rejecting any fear caused by the rage of governmental officials. We must depend upon the Lord for direction in rescinding the plan of the pagan officials.

 

2.   When Service Is Risky . . Ascertain The Enemies Plan. 4:5, 8-9

       A.   Ascertain The Enemies Plan Through . . Investigation. 4:5, 8a

              5 Esther summoned Hathach, one of the king's eunuchs assigned to her, and dispatched him to Mordecai to learn what he was doing and why. 8 Mordecai also gave him a copy of the written decree issued in Susa ordering their destruction, so that Hathach might show it to Esther, . . .”

 

       B.   Ascertain The Enemies Plan Through . . Instruction. 4:5, 8b

              “. . . explain it to her, and instruct her to approach the king, implore his favor, and plead with him personally for her people. 9 Hathach came and repeated Mordecai's response to Esther.


      If we want to get a hold of the enemies plans how do we do that? One must investigate, and listen to wise instruction. Esther sent her servant to inquire about the plan of the enemy. She received a copy of the plan. She then listened to the instruction given to Hathach by Mordecai.   Too often people do not want to listen to the wise instruction gained through their inquiry. We may judge that Mordecai showed love to Esther as his adopted child. His walk with the Lord no doubt demonstrated a godly life worth imitating. His way of making risky decisions to insure loyalty to the Lord and His commands affected Esther.

 

3.   When Service Is Risky . . Attack The Enemies Plan. 4:10-16

       A.   Attack The Enemies Plan Through . . Confrontation. 4:10-11

              10 Esther spoke to Hathach and commanded him to tell Mordecai,  11"All the royal officials and the people of the royal provinces know that one law applies to every man or woman who approaches the king in the inner courtyard and who has not been summoned — the death penalty. Only if the king extends the golden scepter will that person live. I have not been summoned to appear before the king for the last 30 days."

 

       B.   Attack The Enemies Plan Through . . Contemplation. 4:12-13

              12 Esther's response was reported to Mordecai. 13 Mordecai told the messenger to reply to Esther, "Don't think that you will escape the fate of all the Jews because you are in the king's palace.

 

       C.   Attack The Enemies Plan Through . . Calculation. 4:14-16

              14 If you keep silent at this time, liberation and deliverance will come to the Jewish people from another place, but you and your father's house will be destroyed. Who knows, perhaps you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this."

 

       D.   Attack The Enemies Plan Through . . Commitment. 4:14-16

              15 Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 "Go and assemble all the Jews who can be found in Susa and fast for me. Don't eat or drink for three days, night and day. I and my female servants will also fast in the same way. After that, I will go to the king even if it is against the law. If I perish, I perish." HCSB


       It is very curious how the name of God does not appear in the English translation of this book of Esther while the title king appears 127 times in the ten chapters. Did Esther and Mordecai depend upon God? In my opinion it is obvious they leaned on the strength, and guidance of the Lord. No doubt He lead them to confront the king about the plan of Haman. Then they contemplated what to do and how to do it. While contemplating what to do I believe their calculations were led by the Lord. All of this must be met with a commitment to act on the plan. Too many plans lack the commitment to carry out the details. If we really believe in an all powerful God we need to act that way, and display the same kind of commitment Esther showed.  She said, “If I perish, I perish.” Esther gives an excellent example of what to do When Service Is Risky. Amen? Amen!