Hey all! Just so happens that my first blog post I am writing is around the time of Women’s Day here in South Africa.
Many of you may not know that I live in South Africa as a missionary with my family. So, this is our ninth year in South Africa and I am sad to admit I had to research the reasoning behind Women’s Day.
Then I began to think of women in the Bible who stood out to me as brave and mighty. Esther was the first one I thought of. She is amazing. I want to be like her when I grow up.
Women’s Day in South Africa was established to honor the almost 20,000 women who stood up in protest against the “Pass Laws”. This happened in 1956 and they marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
This was HUGE!
Let me explain Pass Laws. Each black citizen was required to carry an internal passport. If caught without it or without the right stamp, you could and would be sent to jail.
This was during the Apartheid era of South Africa in which segregation and racism was horrific. These black ladies stood up for justice and for change in their land. The men always joke saying, “We don’t get a men’s day.”
You know why?
Because they didn’t stand up for what was wrong in the country or at least that day they didn’t.
Now we get to Esther. Esther is a book in the Old Testament with a whole book devoted to her story. I am going to relay a little bit of her story as a background then in conclusion connect the two seemingly unrelated true stories that happened thousands of years apart.
So, Esther was an orphan before her Uncle Mordecai took her in as his own. She was a beautiful young lady and soon there was a call from the King for all the young virgins to come to the palace to be prepared and compared until one would be chosen to become the new queen.
There was a year of beauty treatments and six months of oil and myrrh and perfumes and cosmetics. Doesn’t sound like a bad gig, does it? Well, Esther had a secret that could destroy her chances. She was a Jew, but she found favor with everyone who came into her presence including the King. Esther was made queen! She found herself in a place of royalty.
Sometime after becoming queen, Esther’s uncle Mordecai learned of a plot by the king’s most trusted advisor to have all the Jews in their lands killed. Mordecai told Esther she would have to go before the king and tell him of the plot. Well, this presented a problem. One could not just go to the king anytime he/she felt like it. They must be called. So, Esther had a decision to make. Risk her life and go before the King or say nothing and allow all of her people to be killed.
In Esther 4:14 at the end of the verse, Mordecai encouraged Esther by saying, “You, Esther, were put here for such a time as this.”
No one else was there to do the job. No one was stepping up. So, at the end of Esther 4:16, she says, And if I perish, I perish.” The decision was made. She would go. Long story short, she saw the king and saved the day.
Women’s Day and Esther…can you see the connection?
A group of ladies who stood up in a time when the color of their skin and gender were not looked upon as worthy. When standing up could lead to perishing. We have choices daily in our lives. Maybe not as drastic as standing up and saving a whole people group, but we have choices.
What circumstances are we put in everyday to share the love of Christ?
At your daughter’s ballet class? Standing in line at Target?
At your high school lunch table?
When are we going to decide that the time for us is now?