Written and preached by David P. Nolte

ESTHER 4:1-16

There are many noble characteristics of a mother. A mother takes risks for the good of her family. A mother gives up personal concerns for the good of her family. A mother sets aside what is convenient for what is expedient. A mother sacrifices whatever is necessary to provide what is needed for her brood. Now, I doubt if Esther was a mother; perhaps she was. But be that as it may, she surely demonstrated a mother's attitude, a mother's heart, a mother's love to her people, the Jews. There is another mother I want to think about today. We'll just call her Abigail. She and her son, 6 year old Johnny, were out for a walk in the woods near their home. A blizzard hit with sudden fury and there was a total white-out in just a matter of minutes. They were not far from home, but they lost their way. Abigail knew that she had to find shelter; so they huddled under a downed tree. Though they were dressed for cold weather, their garments were not adequate against the blizzard conditions. She opened her own coat and snuggled her son close to her to keep him as warm as possible. Johnny was frightened and began to cry. Abigail, too, was beginning to have apprehension, but she focused on the need to care for her son. She sought to soothe his fears, and sang soft songs to him while the storm raged. Her heart was in touch with Johnny's fear. She was moved by the boy's shivering cries. As her heart was tender toward her frightened son, so Esther's heart was tender toward her frightened people. Wicked Haman had concocted a plot to exterminate the Jews and had tricked the King into making a law to bring that to pass. Abigail and Johnny were in dire straits. The Jews were in dire straits and Esther cared for them. She is a model of motherhood because

    1. You see, what happened to her fellow Jews mattered to her. When she said, "I feel your pain!" she meant it!
      1. Being Queen had not distanced her from her lowly heritage.
      2. Her pampered position had not made her indifferent to those in a worse position.
      3. She entered sympathetically into the woes of her people.
    2. She lived by the principle that ought to motivate us all:
      1. He who meditates on the woes of others loses sight of his own.
      2. Romans 12:15 (NASB) "Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep."
      3. Philippians 2:3-4 (NASB) "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others."
      4. "I am my brother's keeper!"
    3. She manifested an attitude that ought to be our attitude. It was an attitude like that of Jesus: Hebrews 4:15 (NASB) "For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin." He knows, he feels, he cares!
    4. May we like Esther strip away the shield of self-consumed indifference and self-seeking motives that keep our hearts from being touched by the plight of others.
Esther was sympathetic. So was Abigail. As the storm raged, she held shivering Johnny closer. She told him Bible stories, she sang songs, she prayed with him. And she sought to keep Johnny warm. She rubbed his hands and feet to keep the circulation going. Her only concern was taking care of her beloved son. She existed in that moment for his good, and his alone. Esther, too, was committed to doing what was for the good of the Jews. She did what she needed to do. She is a model of motherhood because
    1. Her cousin, Mordecai, pointed out that she had likely attained royalty for just that time. He wanted her to view her royal position not as a personal privilege, but as an obligation, a responsibility, a call to duty. She was lifted up so she could serve. She was willing to bring relief and deliverance to the Jews.
    2. Esther was in a unique position of influence and she needed to use that influence in the service of her people. She was a link between Ahasuerus on the high end and the Jews on the low end. She would bring the benefit of the one to the other.
    3. As a result, she was moved to do something to help, something to serve.
      1. She made no excuses, though she endangered her own life by going to the King.
      2. What was good for others was more important than what was good for her.
    4. Think about it:
      1. Sometimes we say: "Nobody ever does anything for me! Nobody cares! Nobody helps me!" When we say that our focus is wrong! We are here not to be served but to serve.
      2. Sometimes we say: "I wish I lived back in some other century when there was less violence and crime and perversion! But it is significant that you were not born 100 years ago or 100 years in the future! You were born for this time! You were born for this time with your gifts, your abilities, your opportunities, your obligations to serve.
Esther decided to serve others. So Abigail determined to serve her son Johnny by making sure he was warm enough in that blizzard. Finally the storm broke and those who were searching for Abigail and Johnny found them. Abigail's nearly frozen body was clothed only in her underwear. She had removed her clothing to wrap Johnny for protection. The little boy was safely bundled in her clothing and covered by her lifeless body. She did what she could though it meant putting her life in danger. Esther was like that, too. She was willing to lay her life on the line for the Jews. She is a model of motherhood because
    1. "I will go to the King, and if I perish, I perish!" What happened to her was of little consequence in light of the larger picture. It was of no small consequence to go into the inner court not having been summoned by the King, even for the Queen. But, Esther was willing to endanger herself sacrificially for her people.
    2. There are some lessons here for us all; let us be diligent to learn them:
      1. The right way might not be the easiest or "safest" way for us.
      2. Inordinate, self-consumed, self-preservation is not a virtue nor is it a high priority when the good of others hangs in the balance!
      3. As Miss Marple, an Agatha Christie character, said, "We are not put into this world to avoid danger when an innocent fellow creature's life is at stake." (The Moving Finger, page 187).
    3. We will likely not be called upon to sacrifice our lives; Abigail was, Esther was not. But we will be called upon to sacrifice other self-oriented interests:
      1. Perhaps our possessions.
      2. Perhaps our time.
      3. Perhaps our personal plans.
      4. Perhaps our creature comforts and convenience.
    4. Esther is a pattern and example of what John wrote: 1 John 3:16 (NASB) " We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." Lay down your life; probably not in a literal sense, but surely in terms of self-sacrifice for the good of others.
Abigail was a mother in the highest sense of the word. So Esther models motherhood. She did that by showing sympathy to others in need; by serving others, and by willingness to sacrifice for others. Does that ring a bell? Does that sound like Someone Else you know? Does it call Jesus Christ to mind? He Who sympathized with those lost in sin came to serve and give His life as a sacrifice. He calls us to follow in His steps: To care as He cared; to serve as He served, and to give as He gave. But remember that the will of God will never take you where the grace of God won't keep you. Remember that He will never ask you to walk a path He has not walked before you. He calls you to live your life caring for others sympathetically, serving, giving, sacrificing - but He promises recompense beyond what you can imagine. The appeal today is: Be like Esther and more to the point: Be like Jesus. Give your life in service to God and man. Give what you have and are to the benefit of the King and His Kingdom. He freely gave to you, and asks that you freely give to others. Abigail did. Esther did. Jesus did. So should I and so should you! Commit to that as we stand to sing: (Freely, Freely.)

Original Story

Return To Sermons On Esther

Return To Archive

Return To Home Page