It was urgent. The situation was bleak. A trusted but treacherous servant of the King of Persia had concocted a scheme to annihilate the Jews in the Persian Empire. Haman advised the King that the Jews were, in fact, a hidden but very real threat to him and his kingdom. Haman’s hidden motive was to eliminate Mordecai, the Jew, who was refusing to bow down before him when their paths crossed. Proud, egotistical Haman was infuriated. His arrogant and revengeful heart hatched the annihilation scheme. An edict was passed to purge the kingdom of the Jewish race by mass execution.

Queen Esther herself was a Jew but no one in the palace knew about her roots. Her Uncle Mordecai, through an aide, broke the news to her about the genocide in the works. He urged the shocked queen to seek a private audience with the King himself.

But here’s the problem: no one invited themselves into the King’s presence. To do so, was to risk your life. It would be viewed as an act of aggression, perhaps with the intent to assassinate him. She sent this message back to her uncle:

“All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that if any man or woman goes to the king inside the inner court without being called, there is but one law–to be put to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter so that he may live. But as for me, I have not been called to come in to the king these thirty days.” Esther 4:11

Thirty days had elapsed since she had any communications with the King. Had she fallen out of favour with him? Given these circumstances, it was even riskier for Queen Esther to proceed. According to the laws of the empire, the King had every right to put her to death if she approached him unsolicited.  But for her, it was a matter of life and death – not only for her but for her people.

Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” Esther 4:16

Queen Esther put on her royal robe and appeared at the entrance of the throne room. The King, from his throne, saw her standing outside. Holding the golden scepter, he lifted it towards her. In walked Esther – right to the very throne of the Monarch himself. She touched the golden scepter. It could have condemned her to death but instead, Esther hears from the King’s lips:

“What is troubling you, Queen Esther? And what is your request? Even to half of the kingdom it shall be given to you.” Esther 5:3

Rather than judgment falling on her, she experienced grace. Rather than the sentence of death, she experienced blessing.

Does the story remind you of anything? Do you recall being in great distress over the bad news of your sins? Do you remember it becoming a matter of eternal life or eternal death for you? You had no right to approach God in your sins – yet, you came to Christ. And what happened?

Did His lips roll into a snarling curl? Did His eyes flash with anger as you drew near to Him? Did He lift the executioner’s sword or hold out the golden scepter to you? It was the latter, right?

Christ promised:
“Whoever comes to me, I will never cast out.”
John 6:37

He blessed you not with half of His kingdom but with eternal blessings as a joint-heir to all things with Himself. Would you call that grace?

And what about this – the golden scepter is continually lifted in favour towards you since that initial encounter. You never have to be fearful of approaching the King any longer. You have continual access into His immediate presence.

Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.

Warmly in Christ
Peter Ramsay

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