ESTHER 4:15-16: “Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”
OBSERVATION: Am I willing to lay down my life for the greater good? This was the question before Esther as she contemplated the request of Mordecai to make an appeal to the King for the safety of the Jews – without a formal invitation! As we take time to reflect on this Veteran’s Day this is an appropriate question. It is the question that so many who gave their lives in service and the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom had to face. It is the same question that many are facing today as they travel to dessert regions to battle an almost invisible enemy who delights in bringing terror and death to innocents around the world. Am I willing to lay down my life for the greater good?
I grew up right between the end of the draft and the winding down of the Vietnam War. I was scheduled to be drafted, but the draft was ended just months before my 18th birthday. I never served in the military, and to be completely honest, I was relieved that I did not have to go to Vietnam. Yet, I always stood in awe and respect of all those brave men and women who did. And today I stand in awe and respect for every man and woman who has served our country by putting their lives between tyranny and freedom. Their willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice for the greater good leaves me beyond words.
I don’t think anyone is ready to simply lay down their lives. Esther surely wasn’t. Here first response to Mordecai was – “If I do that I will be put to death.” Yet, Mordecai reminded her that her personal safety was not to be cherished over the greater good – the saving of God’s people. Something happened to Esther. I think the same thing happens to those who accept this call. They see the overwhelming importance of the greater good, and seeing this they are willing to place themselves individually in harms way. We are all human, but this willingness to lay down one’s life for another is divine.
To all our Veterans – THANK YOU! To all who paid the ultimate sacrifice for the greater good – WE HONOR YOU! To all the families who lost a loved one, and to all the families who are standing with those who have been impacted or injured through their loved one’s sacrifice – WE ARE PRAYING FOR YOU! For their Christ-like sacrifice – WE STAND IN HUMILITY AND GRATITUDE! You are not forgotten. You are our heroes! In Jesus Name!