Esther 4

* The Jews lament their danger. (1-4) Esther undertakes to plead

for the Jews. (5-17)1-4 Mordecai avowed his relation to the Jews. Public

calamities, that oppress the church of God, should affect our

hearts more than any private affliction, and it is peculiarly

distressing to occasion sufferings to others. God will keep

those that are exposed to evil by the tenderness of their

consciences.
5-17 We are prone to shrink from services that are attended

with peril or loss. But when the cause of Christ and his people

demand it, we must take up our cross, and follow him. When

Christians are disposed to consult their own ease or safety,

rather than the public good, they should be blamed. The law was

express, all knew it. It is not thus in the court of the King of

kings: to the footstool of his throne of grace we may always

come boldly, and may be sure of an answer of peace to the prayer

of faith. We are welcome, even into the holiest, through the

blood of Jesus. Providence so ordered it, that, just then, the

king's affections had cooled toward Esther; her faith and

courage thereby were the more tried; and God's goodness in the

favour she now found with the king, thereby shone the brighter.

Haman no doubt did what he could to set the king against her.

Mordecai suggests, that it was a cause which, one way or other,

would certainly be carried, and which therefore she might safely

venture in. This was the language of strong faith, which

staggered not at the promise when the danger was most

threatening, but against hope believed in hope. He that by

sinful devices will save his life, and will not trust God with

it in the way of duty, shall lose it in the way of sin. Divine

Providence had regard to this matter, in bringing Esther to be

queen. Therefore thou art bound in gratitude to do this service

for God and his church, else thou dost not answer the end of thy

being raised up. There is wise counsel and design in all the

providences of God, which will prove that they are all intended

for the good of the church. We should, every one, consider for

what end God has put us in the place where we are, and study to

answer that end: and take care that we do not let it slip.

Having solemnly commended our souls and our cause to God, we may

venture upon his service. All dangers are trifling compared with

the danger of losing our souls. But the trembling sinner is

often as much afraid of casting himself, without reserve, upon

the Lord's free mercy, as Esther was of coming before the king.

Let him venture, as she did, with earnest prayer and

supplication, and he shall fare as well and better than she did.

The cause of God must prevail: we are safe in being united to

it
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