Against All Odds
In Be Real: Because Fake is Exhasting, Pastor Rick Bezet calls readers to build their lives on authenticity, motivating them to drop their defenses, get connected to a community and become fearless and passionate followers of Jesus.
Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group,” 2014, and Used by permission.
God is not going to reveal everything about his plans to you immediately. In my experience, all you can do is say, “Okay, that looks really cool,” and then go for it. When we take that ﬁrst step, God takes the next.
Sometimes—maybe even most of the time—the ﬁrst step feels like a really big step. Sometimes it has signiﬁcant risk attached to it. Take the story of Esther, for instance. In Esther 1:13, King Xerxes, who was furious with his ﬁrst wife for publicly disrespecting him, chose to “consult experts in matter of law and justice,” and spoke with “the wise men who understood the times,” before deciding how to respond to his wife, Queen Vashti. When he had received their advice, which was consistent with the laws and culture of that time, he wrote an irrevocable edict that she would be forever banished from his court and her position as queen would be given to somebody else.
Then we read about Esther, a beautiful young woman raised by her uncle Mordecai because her parents had died when she was young. She was entered in the ﬁrst beauty pageant recorded in history, as far as we know, and she won, of course. She was on her way to becoming the next queen.
Meanwhile, King Xerxes’s right-hand man, Haman, was getting ticked off" at Esther’s uncle for not bowing down to him, so he manipulated the king into issuing another irrevocable edict, this time to kill all the Jews. (Haman got mad at one guy and decided to wipe out an entire race. It’s probably safe to say that Haman had a lot of pride in him!) Next we see a snapshot of the entire nation of Israel fasting, weeping, and mourning. Fair enough—I would be too if I knew that my entire family was about to be executed! So Mordecai sent a messenger to Esther to “instruct her to go into the king’s presence to beg for mercy and plead with him for her people” (Esther 4:8).
Well, Esther already knew, based on what had happened with the previous queen, that Xerxes was all about following the law to the letter. And one of the laws back then was, “You don’t go to the king. Ever. If the king wants to see you, he summons you. Not the other way around, or you’ll die.” She was faced with a real decision: either go to the king and risk instant death, or wait it out and hope for the best. The only problem was that if she waited it out, it might possibly turn out okay for her, but it certainly was not going to be good for every other Jew in the kingdom. So she sent a message back to Mordecai saying, “I will go” (Esther 4:16).