17: Taking risks at work (Esther 3:5-15, Esther 4:5-16)Devotional / Produced by TOW Project
Scripture Reading: Esther 3:5-15; 4:5-16
While Esther’s entrance to Ahasuerus’ palace granted access to power and influence, she concealed her Jewish ancestry at the urging of her cousin Mordecai. She did not seem interested in whether God had any plan or purpose for her there. In fact, God is not even mentioned in the book of Esther. But God had a plan anyway.
Mordecai after some time came into conflict with Ahasuerus’ highest official, Haman. Haman responded by plotting to kill not only Mordecai, but the whole Jewish people. Esther protested that getting involved could jeopardize her position, and even her life. Mordecai responded, "Do not think that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silence at such a time as this, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another quarter, but you and your father’s family will perish. Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this.”
Esther could continue to conceal her Jewishness and spend the rest of her days as first lady of Xerxes' harem. Or she could take her life in her hands and do what she could to save her people. Esther took on the service of intervening with the king, risking her position, her possessions, her life.
Serving God requires risking our positions. If you use your position to serve God, you might lose your position and your future prospects. Yet the truth is our positions are also at risk if we don’t serve God. It is no foolishness to risk what you cannot keep in order to gain what you cannot lose. Work done in God’s service can never truly be lost.
How can God use you today?
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for my place in the world at such a time as this. Though I am limited, help me to use the power and position I do have to bring about your good purposes today. I submit my life to you. I place my hope in you. Amen.
For Further Exploration: Read Esther and Work from the Theology of Work Bible Commentary.