Reflection for January 2016 on the theme Be Courageous

July Reflection – Silent but Sovereign

Amelia Heaford

By Amelia Heaford

“Where are you, God?” Regardless of how mature you are in your Christian faith; it is likely you would have asked this question at some point. Like Esther and her fellow Jews then, as Christians we live in an ungodly society impressed by money and power facing marginalisation and persecution. Yet through the story of Esther and Mordecai, we see that God is sovereign even when he appears silent. The book of Esther is known for not mentioning the name of God once yet the preservation of his people despite his absence highlights God’s use of imperfect people to fulfil his promises.

In the face of an edict calling for the genocide of her people, Esther uses her position as Queen to intercede for the Jews with a dramatic reversal of fortunes; the edict is not only cancelled but her cousin Mordecai is elevated to second highest position in the land and Haman, who had led the plot, is killed. Whilst Esther’s ultimate courage in the face of grave danger is rightly remembered, her initial response was one of fear and reluctance. Entering the king’s presence without an invitation could be punishable by death and having not been asked to attend the King for 30 days, Esther was not sure she was in his favour. Only through being reminded of God’s faithfulness and turning to him in prayer did she find the courage.


10 Then she instructed him to say to Mordecai, 11 “All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold sceptre to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.”

Esther 4:10-11

The hesitancy of Esther is not unique in the Bible. Moses also trembled, feeling ill-equipped to lead God’s people and pleading with God to choose someone else, whilst Jonah ran in the opposite direction to where he was sent. And in David and Paul, both of whose crime of murder are documented in the Bible, we see God using sinners to rescue the nations.


10 Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”

11 The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

13 But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”

Exodus 4:10-13


As we strive to Rise in Strength…for such as time as this, these examples can give us courage and confidence that although we may be imperfect and feel underprepared, God can still use us (and chooses to use us) to spread his gospel today. God equipped Moses with Aaron, a powerful orator, and through Esther, whilst not named, we see God’s hand actively at work in every scene of the story. Whilst the opposition we face will be different in our various contexts, as then, God is constantly with us.


Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9

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