Courage is defined as “the attitude of facing and dealing with anything recognized as dangerous, difficult, or painful.” Courage is a very honorable trait; we admire it in people. One such individual in the Bible displayed a tremendous amount of courage—Esther. She puts her life at risk to save her own life and the entire Jewish nation from annihilation (3:13).
Built on the foundation of strong character development, we really get a sense of how each of the four major players in the book of Esther operate. Ultimately, their lives are interwoven to detail a fascinating story. Here are three lessons we can take away from the book of Esther.
Remember your position is from God: Esther’s cousin, Mordecai, says in 4:14: “And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Mordecai believed in the providence of God. He’s saying to Esther, “How do you know God hasn’t arranged you to be queen over this powerful kingdom, for the very reason to save your people?” Mordecai was encouraging Esther to use her position and influence to serve God and His people. We all have different abilities, opportunities and positions. Let’s use them to serve God and His people today.
Do what you know is right: We must act. Mordecai was certain that God would deliver His people, but he still sent Esther in to petition the king. Esther fasted, but she still had to get up and go into the king’s presence. Additionally, there are times when we need to speak up. Mordecai warned Esther that she was in trouble (4:13); we must warn those around us who are in sin. We can do all the praying we can do. We can claim to trust God all day long. We can say we are willing to die. But in the end, will we speak up in God’s name?
Rely on God: Mordecai had great faith in God. He believed that somehow, someway, God was going to deliver the Jews (4:14). Esther also had great faith, by fasting and praying with her maids for three days and asking the Jews in Shushan to do the same for her (4:16). Esther was even willing to die: “If I perish, I perish!” (4:16). We don’t always know where serving the Lord will lead us, but would you be willing to die for Him?
Esther is a great example of courage. She’s an ordinary person doing extraordinary work for the Lord. Every one of us can do the same kinds of things for God. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (II Tim. 1:7).