“he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 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 4:13-14 NIV
The Nazi rise to power in Germany was greeted by most Christians in Germany with optimism. They welcomed the new regime and particularly embraced its nationalism, and both the Catholic and Protestant churches there pursued a course of compromise and accommodation with the regime, particularly when conflicts arose over Nazi state interference with church programs. Among European ecumenical leaders, there were worries about the possible anti-Christian repercussions of a fascist ideology and fears of renewed German militarism under Nazism. In 1933 most European and US Christian leaders, however, took a “wait and see” attitude.
President Obama recently sent out a warning against Americans becoming complacent and allowing nationalism to lead our country into nazism. We just can’t sit back and “wait and see” where all this hatred and racism lead us to. There has been an edict of hate issued against black lives, brown people and poor people. God expects us to use our position of power to say something and not remain silent.
The Jews were about to be exterminated during the time of Queen Esther. Her Uncle Mordecai pulled a Colin Kaepernick. He refused to take a knee and bow down to Hamaan, the king’s official. He got mad and got permission from the king to exterminate all of the Jews in the province. He told the king that this minority group of people didn’t have the same culture and values of their great nation and they should be exterminated for their lack of nationalism. The king gave him permission to kill them.
Mordecai got word to Queen Esther who had been successful in hiding her ethnicity. She had assimilated into the Persian culture. When she heard about the plight of her people her first thought was about her own life. She said that everybody knows that if you go to talk to the king without him summoning you that you would be killed.
Mordecai reminded her that maybe God had put her in this position as queen for such a time as this! But if she remained silent she would not escape the plight of her people. She suffered from having symptoms that Jay-Z spoke of in the story of O.J. ”I’m not black. I’m OJ.” OK! You can’t lay down your connection to your people simply because you’ve made it to another income bracket.
Mordecai reminded Queen Esther that this is not the time to remain silent; her people needed her. Neither is this the time for us to remain silent. Our people and our nation need our Godly voices.
- This not the time to remain silent on genocide. Unarmed black people are being targeted and being murdered by police officers all over urban America. It’s a shame that we have to scream that “black lives matter” but it seems like nobody thinks that they do. We keep dying while successful whites and blacks are silent. If you are in a position of power and privilege you’ve got to say something.
- We can’t be silent about sexual abuse of women by men in power. It’s no coincidence that the same king who wanted to sexually exploit Queen Vashti would consider signing an unjust edict to execute all of the Jews just because they had a different culture. If you will forcibly grab a woman’s vagina you will also create a culture of genocide! Queen Esther broke her silence and said #MeToo! She could no longer keep her ethnicity a secret. She got her position because of her beauty but her conscious caused her to speak up for her people. Wrong is wrong!
- You can’t remain silent when unjust laws are passed. This law that was passed to destroy all Jews just because Hanna’s ego was bruised due to the fact that Mordecai would not take a knee was insane. How do we allow leaders to pass legislation out of their own ego-driven xenophobic insecurities? We can’t ban people just because they are brown or practice a different religion. We can’t support tax laws that only benefit the rich and devour the poor. We cannot remain silent!
Esther said to Mordecai: Do me a favor! Get all the Jews to fast and pray for me the next three days. Me and my people will fast and pray for the next three days. Then after that I will go talk to the king and if I perish then let me perish but I have to break my silence!
Esther spoke to the king and had the law reversed. Haman was hung on the gallows he built to execute Mordecai. Her people were saved and her uncle promoted; all because she decided to break her silence.
What could you accomplish for your people if you stopped being scared and selfish and break your silence to speak out against injustice?
Help us to speak up for those who have no voices. You haven’t given us success just to assimilate into the dominant culture and hide out in suburban churches while our people die in inner cities riddled with poverty and ruled by racism. You have not put us in successful jobs just so we can brag about our positions. But for such a time as this you have put us in place to break the silence. Give us the courage to speak up for the least, the last, and the lost.
In Jesus’ Name,