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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Byers

Authority: The Command of Esther

Updated: Oct 13, 2021

Authority is defined as power, influence, right, authorization or command. Reading the book of Esther recently my attention was drawn to her authority. We are very familiar with this often-quoted verse: “Who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” (4:14b) Sometimes I have heard this Scripture used to encourage people in their ministry and calling, even promoting an inflated sense of grandiosity. However, we musn’t overlook the preceding statement from Esther’s uncle Mordecai: “Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish.”

Esther did attain royalty “at such a time” as the new queen, but there was in it an inherent call to face danger, a responsibility to use her position well to protect others. She realized what her uncle was asking of her: to go into the presence of the king who had not recently summoned her and implore his favor for herself and the Jewish people. Approaching this powerful king without invitation held the immediate penalty of death unless he held out his golden scepter to grant mercy.

This call and commission to Esther held the possibility of death. And this is the call to us as well. Yes, we are promised the kingdom and our place in it, but we are first invited to die, to lose our lives that we might find our lives in Him. No small invitation! And this requires real wrestling. In fact, Esther and those with her spent three days fasting in preparation.

We see the beautiful outcome in Esther 9:29 where both she and her uncle gained “full authority,” even called the “command of Esther” (9:32). True spiritual authority does not come from knowledge or giftings but from a willingness to lay down our own lives before the will of our Father. Esther suffered with her people by identification, laying down her life, and gained great authority. Enemies of the Jews were destroyed and the dread of the Jews was so strong that many in the land converted to Judaism (8:17).

God had set her in as queen to bring about deliverance for her people, and her humility and obedience was the precursor to victory and greater authority. Her positioning as queen gave her access and influence with the king, but authority came after she humbled herself and courageously stepped forward out of safety. She experienced the truth and the authority of Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified or dismayed (intimidated), for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” True spiritual authority begins with humility and surrender, and as we persevere and overcome, we are given more authority (Rev. 2:22). As we hold fast, we increase in spiritual authority and we also recognize all the power and glory is really His.

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