Scripture Resource Passage: Esther 4
Dynamic timing draws disciples into decisive decisions, leading to spiritually direct determinations. Desperate occasions also demand deliberate development as disciples’ discern God’s leading.
These are truths operative in the twenty-first century even as they were in the days of Esther, Mordecai, Haman and King Xerxes. Make no mistake, Esther’s story is a temptation story. Disciples may be tempted to run in fear or hide from a decisive moment. Reading the book walks you into the middle of urgent moments demanding a response. Sound familiar? Did they choose social distancing?
Mordecai and Esther could have been passively aggressive and nearly frozen in place. They could have retreated into, “Let’s pray about this and we’ll get back to you in a month or two.”
Instead, seizing the opportunity as a moment of truth, they accepted the challenge. Temptation has no victory in their story. The redeemer’s, the ones who look most like Jesus, are Esther and Mordecai. Breathe a sigh of victory. They were faithful.
Mordecai sent word to Esther of Haman’s pending plan (Esther 4:6-9). Esther understood the message and apparently immediately accepted the charge, vibrantly calling for three days of fasting and prayer. They chose to respond in faith during a time of temptation (Esther 4:10-17).
When your temptation for silence arrives there may be a few hours or days to review your decision. At other times you may be called upon to replicate the reaction time of a batter facing a high-hard-heater from a world class pitcher. The batter asks, “Right now—to swing or not to swing?”
“…from [the pitcher’s] release of the pitch until it gets to the plate, [it takes] a 95-mile-an-hour fastball…around 425-450 milliseconds [to arrive]. Now, on the other side, it takes 150 milliseconds on average for a Major League Baseball player to get their bat around. So we’re really…[talking] tens of milliseconds here in terms of…[when] you have to decide on whether this is a pitch to hit or not.” How A Baseball Batter’s Brain Reacts To A Fast Pitch, September 3, 2016, NPR Radio.
During times of temptation, sometimes referred to as moments of truth, you may have time to review your values, then process the spiritual principles involved. Calling for three days of fasting and prayer is not foolish. On the other hand, you may need to mimic the baseball player who in milliseconds is called upon to swing, or not swing. God told Esther through Mordecai, “…who knows but that you may have come to royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14b NIV). Thankfully Esther and Mordecai hit temptation’s silence out of the park.
- Is there significance that three days of fasting and prayer were requested by Esther?
- Are the days of Covid-19 a time to speak or to be silent? Either way, pray and follow through with a disciple’s discernment.