The most important choice we can make is to identify ourselves with God’s people by accepting Jesus as our Savior
Now the rest of the Jews who were in the king’s provinces also gathered to defend their lives, and got relief from their enemies and killed 75,000 of those who hated them, but they laid no hands on the plunder. This was on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar, and on the fourteenth day they rested and made that a day of feasting and gladness. But the Jews who were in Susa gathered on the thirteenth day and on the fourteenth, and rested on the fifteenth day, making that a day of feasting and gladness. Therefore the Jews of the villages, who live in the rural towns, hold the fourteenth day of the month of Adar as a day for gladness and feasting, as a holiday, and as a day on which they send gifts of food to one another. (Esther 9:16–19)
“Brenda, you are part of our institutional history,” were the unforgettable words spoken to me about my involvement in a military organization. At forty years old, I was just told I was historical. Now, I could have interpreted the words to mean I was a relic whose time had passed, but I choose to accept the affirmation for my earlier decision to participate wholeheartedly in an organization I valued. I was part of a leadership team whose contributions over the years had been institutionalized to the extent that they would continue to make a positive difference for those who would follow.
Esther was still a young woman when she made the choice to put her life at risk, identify with her people, and confront her enemy. Her action resulted in the Jewish people celebrating a victory over potential destruction, which they then institutionalized.1 Jews still commemorate Esther’s choice in the festival of Purim. Esther 9:27–29 makes the celebration of this event a holy obligation, not just an optional observance, from that time forward. Jews worldwide maintain their obligation to celebrate Purim as days when God gave them relief from their enemies, turned their sorrow into gladness, and their mourning into joy.2
What would have happened if Esther’s choice had been different? Her circumstances forced a choice between saving her people and protecting herself. God might have raised up someone else to bring deliverance and we would not remember her. But she made a hard and wise choice in an uncertain season.
Each season of life brings opportunities to make contributions that benefit others. I must weigh my decisions today in light of the consequences of tomorrow, both for others and for myself. Only God knows if the seasons to follow will validate my choices of today.
We celebrate Esther’s choice to identify with God’s people. The most important choice we can make is to identify ourselves with God’s people by accepting Jesus as our Savior. That choice will make a difference in every season of life. Now, that is something to celebrate!
How have you seen choices someone made as a young woman affect them in a negative or positive way in later years? What can you learn from such examples? What has God done for you in this season of your life that you can celebrate?
Prayer for the Journey
Lord, help me make wise choices today that will have a positive impact on the future. Make me brave in every season of life. Amen.
1 Karen H. Jobes, NIV Application Commentary: Esther (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1999), 102.
2 Frederic Bush, Word Biblical Commentary, Vol. 9: Ruth-Esther (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1996), 491.