The book of Esther is an account of when God’s people lived under a corrupt government with hidden motives and evil agendas. Haman, who was second only to the king, had plotted against the Jews and was determined to annihilate God’s people. He set the date, stamped the edict, and sent out the king’s decree into all of the provinces of the Persian empire. Yet as the narrative unfolds, it is easy to see, from the reader’s vantage point, how God was working even when it seemed like all hope was lost.
Esther and Mordecai
You see, before evil Haman had ever arisen to power, God had first raised up Esther to become the king’s wife – Queen of Persia. Thus, the book reveals three important truths: (1) God already knows what the future holds, (2) God has already planned divine deliverance for His people, and (3) God is actively involved in all human affairs.
When Haman sent out his genocidal decree, Esther 4:3 says that “…in every province, wherever the king’s command and his decree reached, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting and weeping and lamenting, and many of them lay in sackcloth and ashes.” Though there were many Jews spread all throughout the kingdom, there was only one Jew who could make a difference – Queen Esther. Even Mordecai, who had a position in government, knew this. That is why he went to her and plead for her to intercede on behalf of her people (4:13-14).
What About Us?
Well, first let me begin by stating the obvious truth that all governments are corrupt. The reason is because everyone in government is a sinner who desperately needs Jesus. Nevertheless, it is true to say that many within our own government are using COVID-19 to secure for themselves certain powers that they really do not have. So, how should Christians respond?
Ultimately, the answer to that question will look differently based upon your context, but I do believe that we can learn at least one very important application point from this book: Trust God and be humble. We all wish we were the main character [i.e. the chosen one] when we read stories and historical accounts like this, but very few of us are or ever will be in that position. So, we should be humble and have an appropriate view of ourselves. Within the ancient Persian empire, Esther was the only one who could literally make a difference. All the other Jews, regardless of who they were or even what they said or did, simply had to understand that they were not able to change the king’s mind.
So, in our context, unless you occupy a position in government with the ability to make changes to the current system, much of what we say or do will have little to no effect on the current political climate. That being said, unlike Esther, we do live in a society that allows us to speak up, peacefully protest, and cast our vote to bring about change. Thus, do so, but do it with the humble understanding of who God has made you to be and where God has placed you in life. And ultimately, as Esther understood, the only One who could really bring about change was God alone. So, speak to Him about these things.
- Pray for deliverance and trust that God has a plan and is currently raising up Esthers who are in that position to change things.
- Humbly understand who you are and what influence you have.
- If you want, then be like Mordecai and contact those in office.
- Vote responsibly – this November is election month.
- Know that our country has suffered from evil agendas before and has broken our constitutional rights time and again, but God has always brought us through.
- Remember that very few things are under our control, but all things are under God’s control.
- Never forget that in any context, if deliverance does not arise for God’s people from governing authorities, then it will certainly arise from another place (Esther 4:14).