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  • Shawn Thornton

She Needed Focus

Sunday - September 26th

Scripture to Read Today: Esther 4:9-17

Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: "Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish."

Esther 4:15-16


The book of Esther provides the incredible story of a Jewish woman God used to rescue His people at "such a time as this." After becoming dissatisfied with his existing wife, Queen Vashti, the Persian monarch Ahasuerus chooses Esther, a Jew, to be his queen. Mordecai, who has been like a father to Esther, overhears a plot to assassinate the king and promptly informs Queen Esther, thus sparing the king's life (2:21-23).


Haman, an Agagite, gets promoted to the highest position in King Ahasuerus' royal staff. He requires everyone to kneel down and give him reverence, which Mordecai refuses to do (3:1-2). This enrages Haman, who wants to exterminate not only Mordecai but all of Mordecai's people, the Jews (3:5-6). An edict publicized this new genocidal legislation throughout the kingdom (3:9, 12-14).


Mordecai delivers this terrible news to Esther during a period of sorrow among the Jews (4:1-9). He instructs her to approach the monarch and "personally plead with him for her people" (4:8). However, she understands that doing so will put her life in jeopardy since "one law applies to every man or woman who approaches the monarch...who has not been summoned – death punishment — unless the king extends the gold scepter, enabling that person to live" (4:11).


Mordecai warns her against remaining silent, saying, "If you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you...will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?" (4:14). Esther enlists the help of Mordecai to call on the Jews to fast with her and her servants as they seek God's protection for Esther (4:16).


After much fasting and prayer, Esther enters the king's presence without his calling her. He extends the royal scepter to her - allowing her to live for coming in without being invited. Esther tells the king about Haman's plot. Enraged, the king orders Haman's execution and the promotion of Mordecai as his replacement (8:2). New legislation is created that allows Jews to defend themselves, and as a result, they are spared extinction (8:11).


With her life on the line, even as she attempted to save the lives of all of her people, the Jews, Esther utilized fasting and prayer to maintain spiritual focus. So, likewise, God uses fasting to help us silence the noises of this world and center on God, His power, and will for our lives!


Perhaps you are going through something confusing, everything seems noisy, and you are losing sight of God and His direction for your life. Pray and fast. As you do, ask God to give you clarity. Allow your heart and mind to focus on Him.


When we seek clarity in life, fasting can provide greater focus in our quest for God and His help.


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