You’ve seen this scene in a movie or a TV show at one time or another. The detectives are grilling the suspect. They know he isn’t the main guy, but he knows the plans that the main villain has to create havoc and destruction. The suspect continues to give evasive answers. Finally, one of the interrogators looks at the suspect and says something like, “Johnny, we’re going to get to the bottom of this and prevent this [horrendous action.] We can do it with your help or without your help. Which way do you think is going to look better to the judge?”
The plan of Haman, approved by the King, caused great anguish in the Jewish community. On that day, hunting season was open, Jews were the target and there was no limit. Genocide was planned on a mass scale across the kingdom. Mordecai demonstrated his sorrow with sackcloth. Esther hadn’t heard what was going on and she tried to get Mordecai to clean up. Then, Mordecai hit her with the request: you talk to the King. He’ll listen to you. The problem was that approaching the King without being summoned could result in death. Esther voiced her objections. When she did, Mordecai issued a challenge that was an amazing declaration of faith. “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)
How often do we avoid speaking the truth on controversial subjects for fear of losing our position? We have seen many who seek to follow Christ who have lost jobs or careers that they have worked hard to be successful in because they have spoken out when society has turned against them. We have seen people who are not followers of Christ who have suffered the same fate. In a world that has become increasingly hostile to the idea of good and evil, let alone following the God who is good, speaking the truth has become an act of rebellion – with apologies to George Orwell. As a follower of Christ I must always have faith that God will provide deliverance. When I don’t like the person who gets elected, I remember that God used Cyrus as His anointed. When I don’t like the way society is headed, I need to have faith that God will provide deliverance. When I have the chance to make a positive change but might suffer for my stand, I need to realize that God may have put me into my position for this time.
The gospel message is not popular. In fact, one of the worst things for the Christian Church is popularity within and then integration with the culture. When that happens, soon the acts of the culture are considered acts of Christianity. It becomes hard for the Church to separate from the culture. As the culture strays farther and farther from God’s word there is a struggle because of that attachment. Any comments against the cultural decay are seen as attacks on the Church first, and then on individual people who are straying. It has taken a long time for us to realize that we, as the Church, need to be focused on following God instead of aligning ourselves with any nation or becoming integrated with our culture or any political party. When we realize that, but then are tentative about speaking out, we should ask ourselves this simple question: who knows but that God has put me where I am for such a time as this?
Lord God, as I look at a society that continues to stray from Your desires I need Your help. Give me the boldness to speak out. Give me Your grace to speak out in love. Give me Your strength to deal with negative reactions with Your love and grace.