Minutes With Messiah Logo

Esther and Moses

by Tim O'Hearn

In the Megilla, the scroll of Esther, the fourth chapter, we find Mordechai, uncle to Esther, Queen of Persia, sitting at the palace gates in sackcloth. This is reported to the queen who sends him a change of clothes through Hatach the Chamberlain. The scripture then says:

And Mordecai told him of all that had happened unto him, and of the sum of the money that Haman had promised to pay to the king's treasuries for the Jews, to destroy them. Also he gave him the copy of the writing of the decree that was given at Shushan to destroy them, to show it unto Esther, and to declare it unto her, and to charge her that she should go in unto the king, to make supplication unto him, and to make request before him for her people. And Hatach came and told Esther the words of Mordecai.

Apparently Esther had been unaware of her husband's decree that would lead to the destruction of all Jews in the empire. She was isolated from her people because of her elevated station. In this, perhaps, we can see a little bit of Moses.

Both Esther and Moses spent time in the court of their respective kings. They were part of the king's family, and accorded honors and privileges not given to their kinsmen. In both cases they had been fully taught about God and their people. But at a certain, critical time each was isolated by their royal position.

Moses realized the condition of his people one day as he traveled around "his" kingdom. (Ex. 2:11) Perhaps his mother had told him about the cruel servitude his people were enduring. It is one thing to hear about suffering and another to see it, though. The first time he actually saw the plight of his people, he killed the Egyptian taskmaster, and in so doing killed "Prince Moses." He spent the next forty years of his life learning to be a shepherd, a Hebrew, and (incidentally) a leader.

Esther, living in the harem where she had little contact with even her husband, knew nothing of the fate planned for her people. Since "no Jew lives in the palace," the decree had nothing to do with palace gossip. When faced with her uncle's sorrow, her first reaction is, "get up and get properly dressed." Only after she is forcibly presented the evidence of what was planned for her and her people did she react.

What has all this to do with us? We are not royalty. We are not isolated in some harem. TV and the internet keep us informed. And yet people of our faith are being beaten, enslaved, even killed because they refuse to deny their God. And we sit in our royally outfitted rooms in the palace called America, and don't want to hear, of the plight of God's people. What we do hear is like Moses hearing it from his mother. Only when some Mordechai presents us with a copy of the document might we begin to understand.

What can I do, though? Am I Esther, at the center of the controversy? Am I Moses, that God calls me before kings? No, I am not Moses, and I am not Esther. But I am I. There is something I can do. Could the Jews of Susa go before the king? Not likely! But Esther asked them to do what they could. "Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish." (Esth. 4:16) I, too can fast and, especially, pray. In the final analysis, going before The King may be the most important thing I can do.

Purim falls on March 18 this year.