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Leaving the Shadowlands

Leaving the Shadowlands

By: Alistair Begg - July 31, 2023

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 4:8

“Her people.” The secret was out. Esther was the woman who won the beauty pageant, became queen to the most powerful king in the known world, and kept her true identity concealed for years. Yet if no one had known before, Hathach the eunuch now knew that the queen was a Jew. She and her family were included in the edict of extermination. Esther’s identity had been flushed out, not as a result of God intervening with a burning bush, a miraculous sign, or a dramatic voice from heaven but by a message from her cousin.

The queen was confronted with a situation that called for her to leave the shadowlands behind and reveal who she was, what she believed, and to whom she belonged. In her private world she knew she was a Jew, part of the covenant family of God, but she had been living in a public world where that fact remained undisclosed. Privately she had one identity, but publicly she had another—and now circumstances had brought her to the moment when she would have to determine who she would be. Was her identity primarily in being a queen of Persia or in being a woman of God?

Some of us are confronted by that very same predicament: we’ve got a private little world, we believe the gospel in our hearts, and we’re in church on a Sunday, but there’s no one in our office, on our streets, or anywhere around us who knows. And then the moment comes when private and public cannot be kept apart: a note from a friend, a call from your mom, a conversation with your business colleague, or a seemingly random interaction brings you to a moment when you must choose which side of the fence you will live on. The ancient words of Joshua challenge you: “Choose this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15). For ultimately, a private faith that never reveals itself publicly is not a true and living faith at all. If our allegiance to King Jesus is real, it must be public.

So perhaps this verse and this page bring you to your moment of challenge. Perhaps today you find yourself in the shadowlands between two worlds, and you know that you are being challenged to declare boldly, in the place where you have been keeping it private, “This is who I am, this is where I belong, and this is what I believe.” Will you do that? God is worthy of nothing less than your full, open devotion.

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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