Dave Burnette's Commentary

Esther Chapter 4

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Mordecai
Date Penned: (470 BC)
Overview: God's Sovereignty and Power Through Esther's Life (c 1-10)
Theme: the Jews are threatened (c 3-4)
Message: Mordecai Ask Esther for Help (1-17)

Esther 4 Commentary

(4:11) Esther's Courage - Esther risked her life by coming before the king. Her courageous act gives us a model to follow in approaching a difficult or dangerous task. Like Esther, we can do the following: (1) Calculate the cost. Esther realized her life was at stake. (2) Set priorities. She believed that the safety of the Jewish people was more important than her life. (3) Prepare. She gathered support and fasted. As a Jew, this included prayer. (4) Determine a course of action. She immediately contacted Mordecai and sought advice. (5) Move ahead boldly. She didn't hesitate or second-guess what she needed to do. She went to the king uninvited. Do you have to face a hostile audience, confront a friend on a delicate subject, or talk to your family about needed changes? Rather than dreading difficult situations or putting them off, take action with confidence by following Esther's inspiring example.

(4:13-14) Mordecai and Esther's Faith - After the decree to kill the Jews was given, Mordecai and Esther could have decided to save only themselves, or just waited for God's intervention. Instead, they saw that God had placed them in their positions for a purpose, so they seized the moment and acted. When it is within our reach to save others, we must do so. In a life-threatening situation, don't withdraw, behave selfishly, wallow in despair, or wait for God to fix everything. Instead, ask God for his direction and then act! God may have placed you where you are "for such a time as this."

(4:13) God Protects Esther - Although Esther was the queen and shared some of the king's power and wealth, she still needed God's protection and wisdom. No one is secure in his or her own strength in any political system. It is foolish to believe that wealth or position can make us impervious to danger. Deliverance and safety come only from God.

(4:14) Trusting the Lord - God is not specifically mentioned in the book of Esther, but it is obvious that Mordecai expected divine deliverance. While the book of Esther does not mention God by name or title, his presence fills the pages. Esther and Mordecai believed in God's care, and because they acted at the right time, God used them to save his people. When you face challenges in life, seek to know what God wants you to do, and then do it, confident that he will do his part. You don't know ahead of time how he will accomplish his will. Trust God and prepare to be surprised by the ways he demonstrates his trustworthiness.

(4:16) A Call to Prayer - By calling for a fast, Esther was asking the Jews to pray for God's help on her dangerous mission. In the Old Testament, serious calls to prayer often accompanied fasting (see Exodus 34:28; Deuteronomy 9:9; Ezra 8:21-23). An important function of a community of believers is mutual support in difficult times. When you are experiencing struggles, turn to fellow believers for support by sharing your trials with them and gaining strength from the bond that unites you. Ask them to pray for you. And when others need your support, give it willingly.

(4:16) Faith in the Lord - "Save your own skin" and "Watch out for number one" are mottoes that reflect our world's selfish outlook on life. Esther's attitude stands in bold contrast to this. She knew what she had to do, and she knew it could cost her her life. Yet she responded, "If I perish, I perish." We should have the same commitment to do what is right despite the possible consequences. Do you try to save yourself by remaining silent rather than standing up for what is right? At times boldness is needed. Decide to do what God wants, and trust him for the outcome.

(4:17) Acting on Our Faith - God was in control, yet Mordecai and Esther had to act. We cannot understand how both can be true at the same time, and yet they are. God chooses to work through those willing to act for him. We should pray as if all depended on God and act as if all depended on us. We should avoid the two extremes: doing nothing and feeling that we must do everything.


Dave Burnette's Life Application


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we  continue the Book of Esther with Chapter 4. In our text today we see Mordecai asks Esther to help and Esther risks her life to petition the King. Esther had faith and acted upon it to save the Jews. In making application we see the principle of acting on our faith. True faith produces a work and reminds me of what a old preacher said that true faith has "shoe-leather" on it, meaning our faith will get us come to our feet and go down an isle and then go to others as we share our faith. He said a good Christian could be measured by wearing out the leather soles of your shoes, or shoe-leather, because of their activity. How about you? Do you have faith in God? Let us learn from our text today and the example of Esther to act on our faith putting a little shoe-leather to what we believe. 


Esther 4

Esther 4

 1When Mordecai perceived all that was done, Mordecai rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and a bitter cry;

 2And came even before the king's gate: for none might enter into the king's gate clothed with sackcloth.

 3And in every province, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes.

 4So Esther's maids and her chamberlains came and told it her. Then was the queen exceedingly grieved; and she sent raiment to clothe Mordecai, and to take away his sackcloth from him: but he received it not.

 5Then called Esther for Hatach, one of the king's chamberlains, whom he had appointed to attend upon her, and gave him a commandment to Mordecai, to know what it was, and why it was.

 6So Hatach went forth to Mordecai unto the street of the city, which was before the king's gate.

 7And 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.

 8Also he gave him the copy of the writing of the decree that was given at Shushan to destroy them, to shew 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.

 9And Hatach came and told Esther the words of Mordecai.

 10Again Esther spake unto Hatach, and gave him commandment unto Mordecai;

 11All the king's servants, and the people of the king's provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or women, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days.

 12And they told to Mordecai Esther's words.

 13Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews.

 14For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

 15Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer,

 16Go, 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.

 17So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.