If I Perish, I Perish - Gospel in Life

If I Perish, I Perish

Tim Keller |  April 22, 2007

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  • Purpose and Calling
Esther 4:5-17
RS 195-02


The book of Esther poses a fascinating question to us: In such morally, culturally, spiritually ambiguous situations as this, does God still work with us? We’ll see how God works in this passage under three headings: 1) The importance of being in the palace; 2) The danger of being in the palace; and 3) How to live in the palace with greatness.

Esther 4:5–17

The story of Esther, a young Jewish girl who became a queen by hiding her true identity, makes us think about the choices she made. It also gets us wondering: Can God work even in tricky situations that aren’t clearly right or wrong? The answer, as shown in Esther’s story, is yes. It shows us the importance, the risks, and the final success of Esther’s life in the palace.

1. The importance of being in the palace

When Mordecai was crying at the palace gate and asked Esther to use her position for justice, it showed us a big idea about God. God uses both religious and non-religious people to do His work. God’s plan is bigger than just saving individuals – He wants to fix and perfect the whole world. To do this, He needs everybody’s help, including people who aren’t religious. The stories of Joseph, Daniel, and Esther show the different ways God uses individuals to heal and rebuild nations. This reminds us that we should be serving our cities and institutions, not just focusing on ourselves.

2. The high danger of being in the palace

Esther was scared to go to the king without being called, because she could be put to death. Mordecai argued that keeping silent wouldn’t keep her safe, but might actually lead to her downfall. On the other hand, being brave might save her and her people. He even suggested that God might have put her in her royal position for this very reason. This idea has deep implications.

3. How to live there with greatness

It’s important to use our abilities and influence to serve others and improve the world. We shouldn’t base our worth on our achievements or status, because that can lead us to make wrong choices and stop us from helping those who are less fortunate. Instead, we should find our identity in grace, knowing that we owe everything to God. We should follow the examples of Esther and Jesus Christ, who used their positions to serve others selflessly.



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