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Truth for Life: Called to Action

Truth for Life: Called to Action

By: Alistair Begg - July 30, 2023
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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.

Esther 4:7-8

\Mordecai regularly walked up and down the streets outside the entrance to King Ahasuerus’s gate in order that he might pick up snippets of information and hear the latest news. What he heard on the day described in these verses, however, was irregularly distressing: the Persian Empire was about to drive the Jewish people to extinction.

His cousin, Queen Esther, wasn’t around the city gates. She was isolated in her palace and had no clue about what was going on. When the news reached her that the Jews, including Mordecai, were mourning, fasting, and weeping, she responded with compassion, but she was in the dark as to the nature of the problem (Esther 4:3-5).

Though one understood the gravity of the situation and the other was at this point unaware, both Mordecai and Esther were confronted with weighty questions. How was a man like Mordecai to hold the line as both a believer in God and a significant subject of the king? Was he helpless against the tyranny of the Persian Empire, or could he make a difference and change the course of events? How was Esther, who had been taken into the king’s bed, to navigate the fact that she had a Persian name and a Jewish name? Would she identify with God’s people? Or would she choose to live in the splendid isolation that was afforded her in the palace?

Ultimately, Mordecai did not just sit back. He attracted the attention of Esther’s companions and helped her to understand what was happening—and the role she could play. Esther chose to sacrifice her comfort, and possibly her life, to risk intervening on behalf of God’s people. Both understood that the providence and sovereignty of God do not relieve believers of their responsibility to do what is right and use whatever influence they have on behalf of His people.

As people believing in God’s providence, then, how should we live in a world that is opposed to the gospel? At times, we may feel that we are helpless to effect any change in a culture that seeks to undercut our faith. We may also simply prefer the comfort of naivety, isolating ourselves from society by talking only with other believers, reading only Christian books, and watching only “faith-based” movies or TV shows. But God’s providence doesn’t call for inactivity. It calls for activity. For God’s providence is often worked out through the bravery of His people, through their refusal to cease striving for what is right and good. Today, as you read your Bible, seek to understand how it relates to the current events of your world. And ask God’s Spirit to show you how He might be calling you to step out in faith, take risks, and speak up, for the sake of the gospel and the people of God.

About the Author(s)
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Alistair Begg

Alistair Begg has been in pastoral ministry since 1975. Following graduation from The London School of Theology, he served eight years in Scotland at both Charlotte Chapel in Edinburgh and Hamilton Baptist Church. In 1983, he became the senior pastor at Parkside Church near Cleveland, Ohio. He has written several books and is heard daily and weekly on the radio program, Truth For Life. His Daily Devotionals are presented here via a syndication agreement.
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