READ: Take some times before your begin to sit in silence. Let your thoughts settle. Now, read the passage once silently.
(3) Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor in your eyes, O King, and if it please the king, give me my life, and give my people their lives.
(4) “We’ve been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed–sold to be massacred, eliminated. If we had just been sold into slavery, I wouldn’t even have brought it up; our troubles wouldn’t have been worth bothering the king over.”
(5) King Xerxes exploded, “Who? Where is he? This is monstrous!”
(6) “An enemy. An adversary. This evil Haman,” said Esther.
Haman was terror-stricken before the king and queen.
(7-8) The king, raging, left his wine and stalked out into the palace garden. Haman stood there pleading with Queen Esther for his life–he could see that the king was finished with him and that he was doomed. As the king came back from the palace garden into the banquet hall, Haman was groveling at the couch on which Esther reclined. The king roared out, “Will he even molest the queen while I’m just around the corner!”
When that word left the king’s mouth, all the blood drained from Haman’s face.
(9) Harbona, one of the eunuchs attending the king, spoke up: “Look over there! There’s the gallows that Haman had built for Mordecai, who saved the king’s life. It’s right next to Haman’s house–seventy-five feet high!”
The king said, “Hang him on it!”
(10) So Haman was hanged on the very gallows that he had built for Mordecai. And the king’s hot anger cooled.
THINK: Read this story of justice being served again, this time aloud. Listen specifically for a word or a phrase that touches your heart in some way. When you finish reading, close your eyes. Recall the word and sit quietly, mulling it over. After a few minutes, write the word down. Don’t explain it or say more about it; just note it.
PRAY: Read the passage aloud again, this time looking for a person or an action that accentuates your internal picture of God’s justice or heightens your understanding of how he governs the world. Perhaps it will be Haman’s response to his fate or King Xerxes’ authoritative command. How is this depiction of God’s justice meaningful to you today? Again sit in silence. Briefly note what comes to you.
LIVE: Read the text one final time. This time, listen for what God, through the text, is inviting your to do or become. Perhaps he is offering a new perspective on how he cares when unjust things happen to you, just at King Xerxes was outraged to discover the threat to Esther’s people. Or maybe you sense that God is calling you to take a stand for justice in a particular situation, like Esther did. Write down what you are being invited to do.
I’ve read this story many times, and I admit that I always feel a little bit guilty at how satisfying it is to see Haman get his come-uppance. But this time, the word that stood out to me was “Monstrous.” I know God’s timing is not my timing, so things happen with him when they are supposed to happen to achieve His greatest Glory. The problem that has created for me, at times, however, is that sometimes it can look like God does not really look at injustice as monstrous. Most times what it ends up looking like, to me, is like He’s choosing to ignore my pleas for justice because it isn’t delivered as swiftly as I’d like, or according to my terms. From there, it’s all too easy for The Enemy to get his foot in the door and start with his lies about how this apparent unwillingness on the part of God to answer my prayers must mean that He doesn’t really care about me as much as the Bible would lead me to believe; that, maybe, the Bible is true for everyone but me.
What do you think? Is it just possible, then, that this is why we are cautioned to take captive every thought, holding it up to the light of scripture to see if it holds true, so that we can demolish every argument that sets itself up against the knowledge of scriptures (2 Corinthians 10:5)?
I know I’ve spent a lot of time since April 2011 wondering just how much God really cares about the injustices that have happened to me and my family. I’ve come to this conclusion. Because we live in a fallen world, injustices are going to happen. The world is full of people who just want what they want. Most of the time, it’s nothing person when they get what they want at the expense of someone else. Most of the time, they simply were not thinking about how their actions would affect anyone else. One thing I’ve always known, but have finally started to truly plumb the depths of is the idea that there is nothing I can do that will have NO impact on somebody else (well, except for choosing which pair of socks I’m going to wear today). We were created to be in relationships. As a result, everything we do will have an effect on someone else, because it can’t NOT. And though I might have to play some weird, far-fetched game of “Six Degrees of Separation” to be able to figure out exactly how or if George Clooney’s recent marriage has affected my life, if it has at all, God already knows it. In fact, He would have anticipated it. My part: to come alongside Him, in agreement, and allow Him to do in my life whatever it is He is needs to do in my.
Years ago, when I read the story of Esther, I had a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that Esther was put on this Earth at precisely the time she was because the job she had to do was hers to do. I figured: Anyone could do that job. Why would Mordecai say that perhaps she was put there for such a time as this? It could’ve been any other Hebrew girl. While it’s true that God could’ve chosen anybody to play this role, He chose Esther. That’s all that matters. Though he could’ve picked anyone to walk the path that I’m walking (and several people have walked a similar path before me), He chose me for this and this for me. So, for such a time as this, I have been created. I need to trust that God knew what he was doing and that He knows what He is doing. He has a plan. All I have to do is let Him work it and be available when He calls me. The injustice that has occurred to me and my family: I’ll let Him worry about that until He shows me the next step.