A Silent Interlude

Esther 4:12–17

Between chapters four and five of this ancient book of Esther, there’s a break in time. It’s a space of suspense when we don’t know what is happening. Nothing is recorded for us to read. At the end of chapter four, we left Esther just as she had sent word to Mordecai that she was going to enter the king’s presence uninvited, which could mean her instant death. Then there is a grand pause, and we pick up the story again in chapter five, three days later, when Esther is preparing to walk into the presence of the king, not knowing what the future holds. She literally breaks the law of the land by voluntarily interrupting the king.

This space represents a silent yet powerful interlude during which Esther draws on the source of her strength. How easy it is for us to forget that source. How easy for us to believe that she was born with a Mother Teresa conscience and a Joan of Arc courage. Yet just as no one is born prejudiced, so no one is born courageous.

Allow me a moment to pause here and ask you a couple of very personal questions. Do you teach your children to stand up for what they believe? Are you teaching your grandchildren how to be people of character, regardless? That’s the way they will learn it. Let me probe one question deeper. Are you modeling authentic character? That leaves the message permanently etched in their minds.

You see, Esther didn’t come onto this earth with a sensitive conscience and a courageous heart. She learned it from her cousin, Mordecai, who became her mentor and adoptive father. He knew how far he could stretch her with his challenge. And she rose to the challenge and said, “I’ll do exactly as you have taught me to do.”

Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (NIV).

Has God worked in your life in a significant way through Chuck Swindoll and the ministry of Insight for Living? Whatever your story, we’d love for you to tell it to us! Psalm 9:11 tells us to “declare among the peoples His deeds” so others can be encouraged. Submit your story.

Taken from Great Days with the Great Lives by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson. www.thomasnelson.com

Posted in Parenting.

Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.