Esther · Faith · Sacrifice

How to Have Faith to Stand up for Others

Most of us know someone who is weaker than we are, and has been taken advantage of. It often takes faith to have the courage to help them. We may have to sacrifice something. However, willingness to sacrifice something of yourself to care for others glorifies God. 

The story of Esther is one such story of sacrifice. We find Esther in the Old Testament in a short book named after the queen herself. Esther was a Jew who, through a slew of events, is chosen to be the new Queen of Persia after the king dethrones the former queen. She is an unlikely candidate to be the queen because she doesn’t have the status that most kings would look for in a royal bride.

There is a man named Haman who is close to the King who enters the story. Haman is not only evil, but he hates the Jews. He gets the king to sign a decree stating that on a certain day, anyone can murder any of the Jews without any repercussions. The king, not knowing his wife was a Jew, signs the decree.

All of the Jews find out about this, including Esther’s uncle Mordecai. Mordecai goes to Esther and calls her to help stop the slaughter before it begins. 

Esther is nervous about her own life in trying to stop the decree. This is because she must enter the king’s courtyard. At that time, Anyone who did so without being called by the king was often put to death. The only way to avoid this fate was for the king to hold out his scepter and pass over the person entering. Mordecai tells Esther in 4:14 that maybe you were put into this position for such a time as this.

“For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Esther 4:14

Esther has faith that God has called her to help spare her people and enters the king’s palace. We are told before the Queen even made her request that “she won favor in his sight (5:2).” Not only that, but he promises her anything she wants, up to half of his kingdom. She makes her request to stop Haman’s decree, and they come up with a plan to sign a new edict allowing the Jews to defend themselves on the day of slaughter. 

While Esther was the one who did the action, God was the one who really gave the power for this to happen. We know this because in the story we see Esther, her palace assistant, and all the Jews of Susa going into a fast and praying several days in advance for Esther to be heard upon entering the king’s palace. God was the one who worked in the king’s heart. Or as Proverbs says it, “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will (Proverbs 21:1).”

For Esther to have faith to stand up for others, she ended up having to sacrifice something. She risked her life in order to defend others. Most of the time, in order to stand up for others, you have to risk something. 

Who around you needs to be stood up for? Who is truly being taken advantage of that can’t stand up for themselves? What are you willing to risk in order to stand up for others? In God’s strength, are you willing to sacrifice to stand up for others?

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