Vs. 3, “In every province to which the edict and order of the king came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping and wailing. Many lay in sackcloth and ashes.” Earlier we see Mordecai set the example in both bravery and now in mourning (sackcloth and ashes were a visible sign of mourning). Remember, it was Mordecai who had told Esther to hide her nationality. But now we see a different unashamed Mordecai who would not be afraid. When Esther finds out why Mordecai is mourning, she begins to realize the ball is now in her court. If she approaches the king without being summoned she could die immediately! It is a intense time for Esther as she weighs the death of her people and her own mortality.
Regarding application…Tough Decisions. Vs. 14, “…And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” Remember the saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” This is what seperates the little boys and girls from the Men and Women. I’m sure Esther’s little hairs on her neck stood up when she realized the decision she was to make. While Mordecai had faith that God would deliver them, he also realized Esther could play a huge role in this. This is where we see God’s providence shine through. Esther would become Queen, so she could eventually save her own people. She was now willing to even die so that others may not perish. Jesus would say, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13). We make many tough decisions in this life we live. While many of us probably won’t have to physically die for another (though it could happen)…we still must die to ourselves so others can see the reflection of the Lord in our lives.