“Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night and day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” Esther 4:16
What confidence Esther has in God with those last five words. What bravery she portrays of acceptance and trust in God when there was a high chance of her fatal outcome in this moment.
Here is a very brief summary for the context of this situation and why Esther’s words reveal so much about her trust in God’s sovereignty:
Esther is a queen who has kept her Jewish identity a secret from the king up to this point. All Jews living within the Persian region at this time had recently learned that an order was made by the King’s right-hand man to destroy every last one of them. Mordecai, Esther’s cousin and someone she very much looked to for guidance like a father, had revealed this newfound plot of destruction to Esther in hopes that she would use her status as Queen to help change the mind of the king and reverse it all to help save God’s people.
Esther was hesitant at first to Mordecai’s suggestion of confronting the king, for she knew that it was against the law to approach the king without first being summoned by him. Such an act of initiation would cause her life to be at risk! Mordecai shows his immense trust in God’s providence in this scripture that is not to be ignored. His encouragement to Esther here was vital to her realization that she needed to lay down her fears and do the right thing.
Her life was at risk already being a Jew within the King’s household, and if she sat and did nothing out of fear while all of her God-loving people perished before her, what was to be of her life then?
Her response and order in verse 16 for Mordecai and all of the Jews to hold a fast on her behalf was an attempt to increase her chances of success of this risk she now knew that she needed to take. She and her people will make this fasting an act in earnest desperation for God to hear their cries and for His favor to be with them in sparing them all.
But what if that doesn’t happen?
What if God doesn’t answer their prayer to save them?
“…if I perish, I perish.”
God will either allow this destruction to happen or He will bring them through it.
Is God wrong when he doesn’t answer our prayers how we’d like Him to?
What if someone’s life is at stake at the end of those prayers like it is here? How would you feel if you were praying for God’s healing or for God’s miracles to be in your favor of your specific desperate circumstance? Can we accept that it is okay to pray for miracles and that God DOES provide them….but we are not to be the ones to determine when or how?
Are we ready to say, “…if I perish, I perish..”?
God is not to be manipulated.
God already knows the outcome.
God hears your prayers.
God weeps for your losses.
God is not punishing when He allows loss in your life.
God always uses our pain for His ultimate good.
God does not forsake you even when He does not provide you your miracle.
It is okay to be upset with God and even angry with God when we so desperately want Him to answer our prayers, but there is an acceptance we absolutely need EVEN IF He does not answer them. Even if He answers them differently than how we would like. Even if we never know His reasoning until we get to Heaven, because sometimes we are not to know if we just are not meant to know.
We cannot determine what is good for us even if we think we know what the best possible outcome would be.
Are we trusting of God through our times of desperation?
Are we accepting of His sovereignty?
I can learn to have a little more faith like Esther and Mordecai in my desperate prayers. Faith that expresses trust and acceptance. Faith that puts God above any outcome….even if that means laying my life down at His feet.