Fast for Me: A Study of Esther
Updated: Jan 6, 2021
VIDEO VERSION and BIBLE STUDY GUIDE BELOW
2021 is the year of a fresh, clean beginning—a rejuvenation for your personal faith in God. Who knows but that you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
Esther 4:6-16 (AMPC) says:
So Hathach went out to Mordecai in the open square of the city, which was in front of the king’s gate.
And Mordecai told him of all that had happened to him, and the exact sum of money that Haman had promised to pay to the king’s treasuries for the Jews to be destroyed.
[Mordecai] also gave him a copy of the decree to destroy them, that was given out in Shushan [modern Iran], that he might show it to Esther, explain it to her, and charge her to go to the king, make supplication to him, and plead with him for the lives of her people.
And Hathach came and told Esther the words of Mordecai.
Then Esther spoke to Hathach and gave him a message for Mordecai, saying,
All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that any person, be it man or woman, who shall go into the inner court to the king without being called shall be put to death; there is but one law for him, except [him] to whom the king shall hold out the golden scepter, that he may live. But I have not been called to come to the king for these thirty days.
And they told Mordecai what Esther said.
Then Mordecai told them to return this answer to Esther, Do not flatter yourself that you shall escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews.
For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance shall arise for the Jews from elsewhere, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows but that you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this and for this very occasion?
Then Esther told them to give this answer to Mordecai,
Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast for me; and neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. I also and my maids will fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law; and if I perish, I perish.
It is important to note a few things about this passage—it describes the tension (ongoing to this day) between Israel and her neighbors and the Providential victory provided by God on the side of good, protection and peace for His people. This victory is produced in the relationship between one man and one woman—a relationship which itself defies all odds and the natural laws of the land. Esther must be transformed in her identity by God Himself—from an average, or non-remarkable girl among many to a queen. You have come to the kingdom [malak] literally means God is making her a queen. She has large shoes and robes and roles to fill for a country girl.
Her name reveals this great change from that of a myrtle tree [Hadassah; meaning = myrtle] to that of a single, rising star [Esther; meaning = star]. Myrtle trees contain a fragrant oil, are evergreen, associated with watercourses—a biblical symbol of recovery and the establishment of God’s promises. Esther’s namesake layers figuratively with the single star over Bethlehem, leading the Wisemen in that, if Xerxes’ heart did not choose to act on the side of love, forgiveness and favor over hatred, neglect and legality ~ at her request, Christianity would likely not exist today. The Jews would have been annihilated.
Xerxes was a considerate king. He did not grow bitter toward all women due to the abandonment of his first wife [Vashti]. In fact, he spent time considering and evaluating his own conduct in that severed relationship, learning from his mistakes. Further, he did not listen to the first story of the closest, and most wicked counsel offered by Haman, but rather used his own discernment. Finally, he gave Esther—someone he could have easily brushed aside due to her unimportance and his many responsibilities and distractions—three distinct chances to make her petition of him. Three times he asked her...
What do you want? (See Esther 5:6-7; 7:1-3; 9:12.)
Prior to this event, she decided to lay her life on the line for the sake of others—literally. She faced every fear she had and overcame all of them. She knew the nature of men’s hearts—but she trusted God with men. By “fasting and praying” she proved she honored God over any man. She knew that though God’s favor often needs to come through a man, that favor is by no mistake God’s Own.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:17, NIV).
In verse 16 above, Esther says to the people she is defending, “Fast for me…” She does so herself, and she asks the people to join her. “Neither eat or drink for three days, night or day” is the second request, apart from fasting. “Fast,” or tsuwm means to put a cover over one’s mouth. It means to be silent waiting before the Lord.
At this point, we are going to switch our discourse to modern-day. Jesus says every jot, every fleck of the pen, regarding the Word of God is true and shall come true (Matthew 5:18). I believe through all of this mask-wearing, the fears floating around, the influences of media, power and money, the turmoil within the government, a plague, and further events are leading us to a point upon which we are to choose God—individually and collectively. Are the forces of goodness and evil real? Yes. Are they manifesting? Yes.
Remember what Paul says:
For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere (Ephesians 6:12, AMPC).
Paul also says this…
What then shall we say to [all] this? If God is for us, who [can be] against us? [Who can be our foe, if God is on our side?] He who did not withhold or spare [even] His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give us all [other] things? Who is there to condemn [us]? Will Christ Jesus (the Messiah), Who died, or rather Who was raised from the dead, Who is at the right hand of God actually pleading as He intercedes for us?
Who shall ever separate us from Christ’s love? Shall suffering and affliction and tribulation? Or calamity and distress? Or persecution or hunger or destitution or peril or sword? Even as it is written, For Thy sake we are put to death all the day long; we are regarded and counted as sheep for the slaughter. Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us.
For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (See Romans 8:31-39, AMPC.)
Does God expect a lot out of one woman and one man—as imperfect and insignificant as they are? Yes. Christ is born within such feeble unions. The worlds are changed for the better. Beneath the myrtle trees, which Esther figuratively was named for, Zechariah had a night vision, of a Man, of an Angel of the Lord Who stood among them in a low valley, and behind him there were horses—red and white, war and peace. “Cry out” says the Lord, “for I am jealous…I am very angry with the nations, as they helped forward affliction and disaster. My house shall be built in Jerusalem…My cities shall yet again overflow with prosperity.” (See Zechariah 1:7-17.)
The cities and nations are God’s. The queen in Revelation is the true Church of Christ on the earth—she who OVERCOMES.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary states :
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 [that threatened Esther and the Jews] 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.
We are united in faith. We have already been fasting in silence, our mouths covered, though perhaps not fully conscious of it. Now, I ask you to fast consciously and electively for the sake of God and His Church. Take three days and nights to fast in silence—close your mouth, not in fear of evil, death, illness or things impending, but in reverence to the most high God, to listen to HIM in your soul. Shut out the voices of man and listen to the still, small voice of God. It is from Him we get our orders and from Him we gain our strength and direction.
I will be fasting and praying this for you.
Sometimes we need to quiet our souls before the greatest movements of God commence on the earth. This does not require us knowing everything. It requires us bending a knee to the God Who does. Our lives are His anyhow.
Mordecai said something amazing to Esther, “If you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance shall arise…from elsewhere, but you…will perish.” Think about that carefully. Go silent for a time, in order to get ready to speak.
Who knows but that you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
GOD ONLY KNOWS.
YOU be brave, and HE will do it!
May God bless you.
Unless otherwise noted, all biblical passages referenced are in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (La Habra, CA: The Zondervan Corporation and the Lockman Foundation, 1987). Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified® Bible (AMPC), Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.Lockman.org.
Scripture quotations taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.TM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
 Old Dominion University, “Bible Plants: Myrtle,” accessed January 4, 2021, https://ww2.odu.edu/~lmusselm/plant/bible/myrtle.php.  Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon, Biblehub.com (accessed January 4, 2021), https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H6684&t=KJV.
 Matthew Henry, Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible, Biblehub.com (accessed January 4, 2021), https://biblehub.com/commentaries/esther/4-8.htm.