Friday, September 20, 2019

Who Will Speak for the Unborn?

"When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish" (Esther 4:16b).

Mordecai the Jew offended one of the chief counselors of the king of Persia, a man named Haman. Full of vengeance, Haman determined not simply to punish Mordecai, but also his entire race. He went to the king and convinced him to issue a decree to exterminate the Jews.

What Haman did not know was that the wife of the king was a Jewess; in fact, she was Mordecai’s niece, Esther. Mordecai sent word to Esther about Haman’s plot and urged her to go to the king and plead for her people. Esther was reluctant to do this. She reminded Mordecai that by the king’s decree no one was allowed to approach him without being asked to do so, on pain of death. She told Mordecai that even though she was the king’s wife, it had been 30 days since he had summoned her, and possibly she was out of favor.

One of the striking things about this story is its realism. There is nothing superficially pietistic about it. Esther feels the full weight of moral anguish and fear. She does not want to risk her life. She does not want to be the one who has to speak up. She does not want to get involved. She wants someone else to do it.

Mordecai rebuked her reluctance. He informed her that God was certain to save His people, whether through her or someone else. He asked her to consider the possibility that the reason God had made her queen was just so that she might bear witness in this situation. She could not evade her responsibility, he told her. She must speak out.

Esther bowed before God’s will. She asked Mordecai to lead all the people in prayer for her and then, she said, she would go to the king. She would do it even though it was against the law because there is a higher law than the law of the human king. She would do it at the risk of her own life.

Who is willing to take risks for the silent ones, for the unborn children in the United States who are being systematically slaughtered? More than one million unborn children are killed every year in part because the vast majority of Christians are silent when they should be screaming. We need to hear the rebuke of Mordecai and become a race of Esthers.

Abortion is an issue on which we cannot be silent. Not to speak out is to endorse death. Whether we should “speak” against it through breaking the law is a complex question. Evaluate your motives for your action or inaction. Are you acting out of fear, frustration, anger? Seek to insure your conscience is bound by God’s Word.