“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 NIV
Translation: If you choose to be silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise from other quarters, and you would have missed your opportunity to be part of the voice for hope and change. Who knows? Whether all of this has been set up so that your unique access gives your voice, a platform it would not otherwise have had. And your remaining silent may deprive others of their relief and deliverance. Now, get this, God won’t leave His people without. Relief and deliverance will come from other places, but your chance to be used in that coming relief- and- deliverance package will be severely impacted! May that not be your portion!
Mordecai when asked, having sent messages, to inform Queen Esther about Haman’s diabolical plot to rid the kingdom of Persia of all Jewish people, implored Esther to speak to King Xerxes and plead for her people. Esther knew, it was death for any man or woman to approach the king unsummoned, except the King holds out the golden sceptre to the person, to spare them . Everyone knew this Persian law.
Approach the King ?? Nooo! She had this relayed back to Mordecai. Her guardian wasted no time in uttering the words recorded in the book of Esther to be carried back to her. And I suspect he delivered the powerful admonition with a pointed glare to match!
“ For if you remain silent at this time …”
And that is where we land in today’s text to access the treasures the Holy Spirit has for us.
Dear Friend, silence does not serve you, especially if, it is in response to something you should be doing. You have a choice in the way you use your voice. How will you use your voice? What will you lend your voice to? Will it be for the relief and deliverance of another. Invest in relationships and stay in rooms where you will be encouraged, even challenged to use your voice, the way Mordecai did for Esther.
You need to protect your voice from things and people that will cause you to be silent. How can you protect your voice? Remember, your voice is you. So, how do you ensure that you are not responding in fear and panic to what is going on or about to go on around you? A few pointers.
- By recognising that your voice matters.
- You have a group or nation that you have been assigned to.
- Playing small doesn’t serve you or anyone else.
- Create the space and be intentional about receiving what you need to function effectively. Esther, set time aside to pray and fast so that when she eventually used her voice, it would count for something. Only you know what environment enables you. As a Believer, the first and foremost enabling environment is the presence of God. Then, there are the ones which fill your bucket. These are as individualistic as our fingerprints. Mine include proper sleep and rest periods, time alone, journaling, unhurried devotional time, a clean house and connecting with loved ones etc. That is not to say I always tick all those boxes! Whatever self- care (or soul care) looks to you, set aside time for that too.
- Have a support system or network. Esther asked Mordecai to assemble the Jews to fast for three days. Her maidens, the ladies who waited on her did the same, ahead of her speaking with the king.
- The ultimate way to protect your voice is to use it. Not to use “it” is to lose it. Mordecai told Esther …if you remain silent …then you and your father’s family will perish. Not only you but the people connected to your voice will perish if you don’t use it. Harsh words, you say – but the stakes are high, too high! This is not just about you, it’s about the people connected to you. You snooze, you lose doesn’t get any more dire than this! The only way to ensure the longevity of your voice, your sound, your calling, is to deploy it.
- Where you have been silent instead of speaking up – repent and receive God’s abundant forgiveness, then ask for the boldness to recognise opportunities and step out when that time comes.
- It may be, however when the time comes, you still don’t feel ready or able to speak – use your voice anyway. He has promised that when we open our mouths, He will fill it. (Psalm 81:10)
I am sure you know that using your voice is not limited to those with speaking roles or in recognised positions of authority. We use our voice in the way we show up in our relationships, the way our products or services offers value to people, the way we use our past experiences, good and bad, to impart value to people- the occasions are endless, really. It’s my prayer today, that when challenges conspire to muffle or silence your voice – that you will arise and not be silent.
For it was for such a time as this, that you were made and shaped!
Thanks for reading.