What do you do when you receive bad news?
“When Mordecai learned about all that had been done, he tore his clothes, put on burlap and ashes, and went out into the city, crying with a loud and bitter wail. He went as far as the gate of the palace, for no one was allowed to enter the palace gate while wearing clothes of mourning. And as news of the king’s decree reached all the provinces, there was great mourning among the Jews. They fasted, wept, and wailed, and many people lay in burlap and ashes.” Esther 4:1-3
While Mordecai was dressed in burlap, covered in ashes, and crying out to God, Queen Esther was unaware of the evil plot against her people.
When Queen Esther heard about Mordecai she didn’t understand and was worried about him. She sent clothes out to him, but when he didn’t receive them, she sent out her servants to find out what was wrong.
Mordecai sent word to Queen Esther explaining why he was mourning. He told her about the decree, sent along a copy, and told her about the money that Haman promised to put into the treasury. Mordecai also asked Esther to go before the king and to beg for mercy for her people.
Sometimes life is suddenly invaded with bad news.
Sometimes life requires that you do the impossible.
What was that last thing Mordecai said to her? ” …go to the king to beg for mercy and plead for her people.”?
I’m sure Esther felt bad about the decree against her people. I’m sure she wanted to help Mordecai and the Jews to be saved from the evil plot, but to go before the king when he didn’t call for her, that was more than she was willing to do.
This was her response…
“All the king’s officials and even the people in the provinces know that anyone who appears before the king in his inner court without being invited is doomed to die unless the king holds out his gold scepter. And the king has not called for me to come to him for thirty days.” Esther 4:11
From Esther’s perspective Mordecai’s request meant certain death.
Because Mordecai responded to bad news by humbly “mourning” and crying out to God, God enabled him to see things from a different perspective.
“Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” Esther 4:13-14
In God’s presence everything changes!
In that place alone with God, He gives you insight and wisdom that aren’t from your own understanding, but from His heavenly perspective. God enables you to see the big picture and He brings comfort, strength, and hope to do what He puts on your heart, even if it does’t make sense.
In God’s presence Mordecai was reminded of God’s love and faithfulness to His people.
In God’s presence Mordecai was given divine revelation.
Sometimes God calls us to speak into the atmosphere words of faith that will fulfill our destiny.
From Mordecais’ perspective he saw this “divine positioning” as perhaps God’s way of working all things together for the good of His people, for such a time as this!
From Esther’s perspective, living as queen in the palace she found herself distant from her people, unaffected by the decree, and unwilling to risk her life to plead for the king’s mercy.
Sometimes we must heed the advice from someone who sees our situation from a different perspective.
As Mordecai explained to Esther the bigger picture; as he told her that she too would be killed along with all the Jews, when he reminded her that God is a loving God who is always faithful to rescue His people, and as he shared his thoughts about why she was chosen as queen…
his words caused her to look beyond herself, to see from a different perspective, and to consider the greater purposes of God.
Through the years Mordecai raised Esther she learned to respect and obey him. Esther found favor in listening to and submitting to his advice and suggestions. So now, when Mordecai asked her to do something that was literally a matter of life and death, Esther was willing to trust him.
Esther’s respect and obedience to Mordecai was based on her fear of God. She realized that what Mordecai was saying and what he was asking her to do weren’t just his ideas based on his own understanding, but in fact he was speaking words from God.
God used Mordecai’s words of faith to change Esther’s heart.
“Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same.” Esther 4:16
Esther began to see the bigger picture; that it wasn’t just about her life, or even her death. The evil plot was meant to destroy all the people of God. And if she really was in the palace for such a time as this, to save her people, she was willing to lay down her life for their salvation.
It was no longer about self preservation, but about fulfilling destiny!
“And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.” Esther 4:16
May we learn from the examples of Mordecai and Esther and choose to draw near to God to receive His perspective in times when we are faced with bad news or an impossible request.