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Unexpected Legacy Day 17

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Scripture: Esther 4:15-16 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai:  “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”

Devotional:  Esther makes the decision to put her life and the lives of all Jews, in the hands of God.  She declares a three day time of fasting and prayer for all.  She decides that she’s all in: “if I perish, I perish.”

In this, she demonstrates incredible solidarity with her people.  She could easily have considered herself separate from them, but she did not.  Her heritage was not something she was just born into, it was the core of who she was – faithful to and trusting in the God of Israel.

Reflect:

  • Do you perceive Esther’s actions as throwing in the towel, or having incredible hope?
  • What role, if any, has fasting and prayer taken in your life?
  • What can you learn from Esther’s engagement in this spiritual practice?

Unexpected Legacy Day 16

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Scripture: Esther 4:14 For if you remain silent athis time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time athis?

Devotional:  In chapters 2-4 of Esther, a story of intrigue unfolds as vile Haman, one of King Xerxes trusted nobles, hatches a plan to annihilate all Jews, who he hates.  He is unaware that Queen Esther is of Jewish heritage, but his hatred for the race has no boundaries.  His hatred is fueled by the fact that Mordecai, Esther’s cousin, considers loyalty and faithfulness to God above bowing down to him or any other earthly ruler.

In today’s passage, Mordecai has appealed to Esther to go to the King and plead for the life of her people.  This could cost Esther her own life, but if she does not take this risk, as Mordecai has so aptly pointed out, her family and all other Jews will face extermination.  It’s an excruciating position to be put in.

But Mordecai says something interesting to note: “relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish.

Reflect:

  • How do you suppose Mordecai is so confident that God will provide deliverance for the Jews no matter what?
  • Imagine yourself in Esther’s position What responsibility would you feel to approach the king, exposing yourself as one who is of Jewish heritage and risking your own life on behalf of your people?
  • How might you go about finding to courage to do such a sacrificial thing?

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