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The Hero of the Story

Advent 2020: December 19
The Hero of the Story Hero Image The Hero of the Story Hero Image
Scripture:

“When Mordecai learned all that had been done, Mordecai tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and he cried out with a loud and bitter cry. He went up to the entrance of the king’s gate, for no one was allowed to enter the king's gate clothed in sackcloth. And 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.

“When Esther’s young women and her eunuchs came and told her, the queen was deeply distressed. She sent garments to clothe Mordecai, so that he might take off his sackcloth, but he would not accept them. Then Esther called for Hathach, one of the king’s eunuchs, who had been appointed to attend her, and ordered him to go to Mordecai to learn what this was and why it was. Hathach went out to Mordecai in the open square of the city in front of the king’s gate, and Mordecai told him all that had happened to him, and the exact sum of money that Haman had promised to pay into the king’s treasuries for the destruction of the Jews. Mordecai also gave him a copy of the written decree issued in Susa for their destruction, that he might show it to Esther and explain it to her and command her to go to the king to beg his favor and plead with him on behalf of her people. And Hathach went and told Esther what Mordecai had said. Then Esther spoke to Hathach and commanded him to go to Mordecai and say, ‘All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that if any man or woman goes to the king inside the inner court without being called, there is but one law—to be put to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter so that he may live. But as for me, I have not been called to come in to the king these thirty days.’

“And they told Mordecai what Esther had said. Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, ‘Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?’ Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, ‘Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.’ Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.” (Esther 4:1-17)

Devotion:

Have you ever read a book or seen a movie in which the hero risked her own life for the chance to save others? There is no one we would rather root for, and no story that naturally stirs our affections more, than when someone is willing to sacrifice themselves for the sake of someone else.

That’s what happened in the book of Esther. A death plot was planned against the Jews who were living in exile. Queen Esther was Jewish, but no one knew that except her cousin, Mordecai. Esther could speak up and attempt to save the Jews—but, by doing so, she faced the very real risk of being killed herself.

Mordecai suggested to Esther that she might have been chosen as queen “for such a time as this.” Perhaps God had put her in that position specifically so that she could thwart the evil plan against her people. Sure enough, Esther was able to speak to the king and talk him out of allowing the plot against the Jews. Esther’s faith was demonstrated by her willingness to stand firm and speak up, which enabled her to be used by God in His plan to rescue His people.

God’s rescue plan in Esther points to another, even more amazing rescue plan. Esther, who couldn’t see the big picture, faithfully risked her life to save God’s chosen people. Jesus, who did know the whole story, gave His life to save us. God proved Himself faithful in Esther’s day, and He continues to show His faithfulness to us through Jesus. God loved His people in exile by sending a faithful queen and her encouraging cousin to deliver His people from certain death. Generations later, God sent King Jesus to deliver His people from the punishment, power, and presence of sin.

God, the hero in every story from creation to Esther to Jesus, is a God who rescues.

Questions:
  1. What other heroic stories can you think of that reflect elements of Jesus’s story?
  2. In your own life, how has God prepared you and placed you where you are “for such a time as this”? What opportunity is God giving you right now to be a part of His plan in “rescuing” the world from sin and death?
  3. Who can you encourage this week by sharing God’s Word with them?
Family Activity:

Draw a picture of a queen on your ornament to remind you that God is always with us, so we can be strong and courageous even in moments of worry and doubt. Make a list of things that seem scary to you. Make a second list of what you know is true about God. Pray for each other to remember what’s true about God during the scary times and thank Him for never leaving or forsaking you.