Thursday, July 07, 2011

Disturbing the King

“…who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14.

We know the setting of this verse. The evil Haman had manipulated the king to issue a decree giving him permission to destroy all of the Jews. A time and a date had been earmarked for the deed. Mordecai took the news to Queen Esther, along with the warning that if she did not act, someone else would rescue the Jews – but she and her family would still perish. He went on to comment that maybe it was for this one event that she had been raised to the position of Queen. She had the access necessary to the one person who could make a difference – the King.

Doing nothing at all would certainly lead to her perishing. Doing something like approaching the king uninvited might also lead to her perishing. Esther chose to approach the king.

I think about those times when I have chosen to do nothing at all – and I wonder what has perished because of it.

She didn’t slap on a suit of armour and buckle on a sword. Not every warrior wears armour and wields a sword to win a battle. She made use of the skills and talents that she had been given. She dressed carefully and organised a meal. She created the perfect environment to approach the king with the petition.

The issue she raised was one of life and death. Only such a serious issue would have justified “disturbing the King”.

“I and my people have been sold to be destroyed, killed and annihilated. If we had merely been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept quiet, because no such distress would justify disturbing the king” Esther 7:4

That phrase “disturbing the king” caught my attention. Esther would have kept silent if Haman’s intention had been to merely sell the Jews into slavery. That was not a big enough issue to involve the king.

I wonder what the reaction of the king might have been if it had been just slavery, and Esther had said nothing, and Haman had no one to stand in his way…and then the king had found out later what had happened. Would he have wanted to” be disturbed”?

We have a tendency to stick labels on things – some things are urgent life or death issues, or if not life or death then something that comes close. Other things we label as petty and trivial – and so they are compared to world peace and the starving millions in developing countries.

God says He wants us to disturb Him about those big things – those life or death issues, world peace and the starving millions. He would like to step in and be magnificent in these areas. Those are things worth disturbing Him about. If we are disturbed by them, it shows that we have a heart beat and a passion to change the world.

God says also that He wants us to disturb Him about the things we label as petty and trivial too. Sometimes they are not as petty and as trivial as we think they are. Sometimes it is the petty and trivial things that we deal with that sap our strength. They are the little foxes that destroy the vines.

What really disturbs God is that we don’t disturb him often enough about the things that disturb us, or, more seriously perhaps, that we are not disturbed enough about things that should disturb us, that provoke us to disturb Him.

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