Daily Devotionals

Queen of Hearts Week 2: Wednesday

"And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.” Esther 4:16b

Have you heard the phrase risk versus reward? From my minimal understanding, this phrase is often used for investors, but it is a process we have all engaged in. For example, when deciding whether to purchase a new pet, we would decide whether the rewards of pet ownership outweigh the risks (for example, the cost of the pet, the time investment involved, etc.) This is just one example of how we engage in this practice, and there are many, many more. In our Scripture reading today, we will see how Esther determined the risk versus the reward of trying to save her Jewish people from being killed and how the reward for obeying God is always worth any risk.

Esther had a decision to make after Mordecai asked her to go to the king and "beg for mercy and plead for her people" who were at risk of being destroyed: Would she go or keep to herself? To go was risky. If she went to the king without being called on, she would be killed unless he extended his gold scepter. If she did not go, the Jews could be destroyed. Would she risk her life to save the Jews, or would she keep silent and potentially see the Jews destroyed? She decided to go to the king. After she and her fellow Jews fasted and prayed, she committed to go, telling Mordecai, "If I must die, I must die" (Esther 4:16).

Finally, the moment came. Esther went to the king and approached his royal throne. This was the moment of truth. Either the king would extend his golden scepter, or he would have her killed for approaching him without permission. When he saw Esther, he was pleased. He "welcomed her and held out the gold scepter to her" (verse 2). The king immediately asked her, "What do you want, Queen Esther? What is your request? I will give it to you, even if it is half the kingdom" (verse 3). She asked the king and Haman, the king's official who had devised a plan to destroy the Jews, to come to a banquet she had prepared. Esther was waiting for the right time to tell the king what was happening. She hosted the banquet and decided it was not the right time to explain her people's situation. She asked them to come to another banquet the next day. She took the risk, approaching the king, and asked him and Haman to come to a banquet again the next day. Then, she would explain everything. Each step of the way, she chose the risky move. She would soon find that the reward was far greater than the risk she faced.

The same is true for you and me. Sometimes the things God calls us to do are risky. He calls us to take risky moves in our relationships, careers, and more, and we must decide whether we will take these risks. If we do, we will find that the rewards outweigh the risks every time.

Moving toward action

Write out Esther 4:16 today at least five times. Reflect on Esther's courage and commitment to God and her people as you write. Let her courage in this passage of Scripture sink in. Let it remind you that with God, the reward always outweighs any risk you may face for obeying Him.

Going Deeper

Romans 16:1-14 (NLT)

"I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a deacon in the church in Cenchrea. 2 Welcome her in the Lord as one who is worthy of honor among God’s people. Help her in whatever she needs, for she has been helpful to many, and especially to me.

3 Give my greetings to Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in the ministry of Christ Jesus. 4 In fact, they once risked their lives for me. I am thankful to them, and so are all the Gentile churches. 5 Also give my greetings to the church that meets in their home.

Greet my dear friend Epenetus. He was the first person from the province of Asia to become a follower of Christ. 6 Give my greetings to Mary, who has worked so hard for your benefit. 7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews, who were in prison with me. They are highly respected among the apostles and became followers of Christ before I did. 8 Greet Ampliatus, my dear friend in the Lord. 9 Greet Urbanus, our co-worker in Christ, and my dear friend Stachys.

10 Greet Apelles, a good man whom Christ approves. And give my greetings to the believers from the household of Aristobulus. 11 Greet Herodion, my fellow Jew. Greet the Lord’s people from the household of Narcissus. 12 Give my greetings to Tryphena and Tryphosa, the Lord’s workers, and to dear Persis, who has worked so hard for the Lord. 13 Greet Rufus, whom the Lord picked out to be his very own; and also his dear mother, who has been a mother to me.

14 Give my greetings to Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers and sisters who meet with them."