Acting When Danger Is Before You

Acting When Danger is Before You
Esther 4:13-17
Pastor Aaron Robinson

Have you ever been scared? Have you ever been unsure of what to do? Have you ever been in a situation where others were being mistreated and something inside of you said speak up but you were afraid? Has anyone ever asked you to go to a superior and speak up for the masses but you were hesitant because you were unsure of how it would affect you?

All of these, are questions that Queen Esther faced. Kings Xerxes had already proven that he did not tolerate insubordination nor noncompliance with the rules of his Kingdom. Queen Esther was in a tight situation that demanded action on her behalf but also required courage in the moment. The Jewish people were being threatened by someone who means them harm and need a courageous individual to take action.  Mordecai, the uncle of Esther, informs her of the position she's been placed in and the responsibility that she's been given. He reminds her that her position is a gift from God for the purpose of acting for her people.

We are in the holy high season of the Christian calendar; Holy Week is about Jesus acting when danger is before him. Jesus’ popularity had grown throughout Israel and with that popularity people in high places wanted to stop him.

I'm reminded of a scene in the movie X by Spike Lee where the police chief says Malcolm X has too much power after Malcolm takes the fruit of Islam to the police station after a member is arrested. I bring this up because in Jesus’ day the conversation was, he had too much power and it needed to be dissolved. The Roman government felt threatened by him as well as those in the Jewish religious establishment. Jesus’ very decision to go into Jerusalem was an act of courage, him acting in the face of danger. Throughout the various gospels we are reminded that often, Jesus slips away in the crowd, this is important because it informs us that Jesus was sought after by the authorities. Like Esther, Jesus had to be courageous enough to speak up for the multitude.  Jesus sets the tone for those who will follow him, reminding us that we must be courageous enough to act when danger is before us.

As I reflect on this text found in the book of Esther, I’m encouraged by her actions. I'm reminded that each of us are called for a time such as this and we all have a divine obligation to speak up for the voiceless even when danger presents itself before us. We all have been put in positions to act for God in the midst of evil. It tells me that God places agents in palaces of evil to stop what Satan is trying to do.

I believe the story of Esther is placed in the cannon of scripture to show us that God is with us even when danger is before us. Esther gives us a recipe for confronting our fears in the face of danger. She informs us that we should first seek support, next petition prayers and finally fast and focus on what God is calling you to do.

  • Seek Support, call on your tribe to pray with you and pray for you. Be specific with your tribe about what you need from them.

  • Petition Prayer, ask for prayer from others that you trust have your best interests at heart. Request prayers of courage and clarity in the situation(s) that you must face.

  • Fast and Focus on what God is calling you to do, remove all of the distractions that will stop you from hearing God clearly and humble yourself so that you can receive a word from God.

As you move through this Holy Week toward Resurrection Sunday reflect on the courageous acts Jesus and the early church engaged in. Remember those who stood up when they were told to go sit down so that you might have access to all that God has promised. Recall the times God enlisted you to be courageous and you acted. Recite words that encourage you to do the will of God. Resolve that you have been put in the position that you are in for a time such as this, now act for God and God's Kingdom.

Prayer:  Most gracious and merciful God, we come thanking you for all of the courageous example in your word. We thank you for all of those individuals who spoke up for us when we weren't in rooms. We thank you for all of those who prayed for us when we were in dangerous situations. God, we come humbly asking that you give us the courage to overcome all of the fears before us and in us because we know that you have prepared us for a time such as this. Amen and Ase
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