Press On – The Story of Esther

I love the story of Esther in the Bible. The name of God is never mentioned but you sense His presence, protection, and provision throughout. Esther was a courageous woman who seized her moment, a moment that could have easily cost her life. When her kinsman, Mordecai, came to her to tell her the grave danger the Jews were facing, Esther realized her dilemma. She could only approach the king if he summoned her. If she broke protocol, he could have her executed. The knowledge she then possessed that her people would be exterminated weighed heavily on her heart. What would she do?

Mordecai’s message to her: “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?”

To her credit, her reply was decisive and bold. She sent word to call the people to a solemn assembly of prayer and fasting. She also made it clear that she would take the risk. She would go before the king.

We know how the story ends. The king welcomed Esther, granted her requests. Esther’s strategy to expose the villain in the story worked beautifully. Mordecai was rewarded. The people were saved. A strong woman rose to the occasion.

People who press on despite the obstacles and difficulties are inspiring, aren’t they? You and I may never face a challenge like the one that confronted Esther, but we are called to persevere, to endure in our circumstances. Like Esther, there is Someone who is always near, always able, even when it is hard to see Him at work. I believe in the old saying: “When you cannot trace His hand, trust His heart.”

How do we respond to a loving God who is generous, gracious, and giving? We do it best when we seize our moments to influence and impact the lives around us. I can imagine God cheering on Esther when she displayed her selfless bravery. I can imagine God cheering us on when we do the right thing, regardless. We were born for such moments!

This entry was posted in Newsletter Excerpts on by .

About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

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