Only one missionary invests his whole life in a remote area, and an entire tribe is ultimately evangelized. Only one statesman stands for right, and a country is saved. Only one strong-willed and determined citizen says, “I stand against this evil,” and a community ramps up morally and changes its direction.
And only one woman decided it was worth the risk to break with protocol and speak her mind, and a nation was preserved.
The Jews have been threatened with extermination. Wicked Haman has influenced King Ahasuerus with his promises: “Because of this plan I have set up, it is possible for me to pour money into your treasuries and for us to rid the land of these people who will not bow down and worship you as the king.” Though it pandered to the king’s pride, that plan had the makings of the worst kind of holocaust. “The Jews will no longer be in our land. We’ll be rid of these people.”
In case you wonder what impact it had on the community, return to the last phrase in chapter 3: “the city of Susa was in confusion.” That had to be a major understatement!
While Haman and Ahasuerus sat over their drinks in the palace, the general public wandered in bewilderment and confusion, especially the Jews, not unlike those in the ghetto at Warsaw and other European scenes of horror in the late ’30s and early ’40s. “What’s going on here?” “Why have those in authority ordered this?” “How much worse can things get?”
What terror this struck in their hearts, what fear in their minds! “How can we continue?” “How can we fight this?” This was the law of the Medes and the Persians. When an edict was issued in that era, it was final. Nobody could change this plan, even the king, but certainly no Jew. Helplessness quickly eroded into hopelessness.
Yet, in the midst of all this, God was not sleeping. In His sovereign plan, He determined that one person would make the difference. One individual would stand in the gap. Her name is Esther.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives