TODAY’S READING: Esther 6–10
A submitted and beautiful bride is irresistible to the king (Esther 8:3) and the golden scepter of answered prayer is inevitably extended. Queen Esther asked for her life and for the life of her people, a people who were sold, that they be destroyed, killed, and annihilated. When the bride of Christ, beautiful when adorned with submission, approaches the throne of grace and prays for the rescue of unreached peoples, the Lord always extends the glorious scepter of His merciful power. And He does so in wrath, for the Husband King takes any assault on the life of His bride very seriously (7:7, 8).
In the Arab world, there is a brave Esther committed to interceding for his people. This man has shielded others who came to faith in Jesus and for his pains has received an unprecedented 900 lashes. Released after his punishment, he refuses to flee the country for he loves his people too much and his greatest prayer to the King of kings is for his people to be redeemed from bondage, rescued from destruction, saved from eternal death, and plucked from the fires of hell. Will not the Judge of heaven and earth move heaven and earth to grant this request? Will not the glorious scepter of God’s power be extended? Will not the King rise in holy wrath to act on behalf of His beloved? He surely will, if we will surely pray.
As a result of Esther’s intercession and the king rising up in wrath on behalf of his bride and her people, “the Jews had light and gladness, joy, and honor… Then many people of the land became Jews, because fear of the Jews fell upon them” (8:16–17). When God’s people pray, God arises and His enemies scatter (Psalm 68:1). When God arises, the righteous are glad, exult before God, rejoice with gladness, and sing praises (v. 3). Let us lift up a song for Him who rides through deserts, whose name is the Lord and exalt before Him (v. 4). Responding to the timely intercession of His bride, King Jesus will indeed ride to the spiritually barren peoples of Kazakhstan and all unreached peoples of the world. When the beautifully submitted bride prays, the King arises to save.
The Jewish feast of Purim, still celebrated today, was birthed in prayer for the salvation of a people group. That prayer was prayed by a beautiful and submitted bride. The result was sorrow turned into joy, mourning into dancing, a day of feasting, and gifted delights to one another (Est. 9:22). The story of Esther is about missionary courage and missionary prayer. If unreached peoples will be snatched from the grave of eternal death, someone will have to take their life in their hands, bear the pain of 900 lashes, and in beautiful submission to the will of the King boldly ask Him to arise in His wrath and scatter His enemies. The ideologies, false religions, and selfish systems that hold all people groups in a death grip are the enemies of the God of all peoples. When the beautiful and submitted bride prays, at cost to herself, the King arises to save. Are we a beautiful and submitted bride? Do we care that our people perish? Are we willing to risk our own life to petition for the lives of our people? A brave Esther in the Arab world bore 900 lashes for his people; will we not find time to pray for ours?