The story of Esther is one of the most well known in the Bible. But so often we spend our time talking about the end of the story. Today, let’s dig into some of the beginnings of it. In Esther 4, the Bible tells us that Haman had plotted to bring destruction, to slaughter and annihilate the Jews. Mordecai (Esther’s uncle) sent word and encouraged Queen Ester to go before King Ahasuerus (also called Xerxes) and plead for the lives of the Jewish people. In Esther 4:15, after Queen Esther heard Mordecai’s report of Haman’s plan, the Bible says, “Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer, Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.
The Bible bears out in Esther 5 that on the third day (something good always happens on the third day), she put on her royal apparel and positioned herself in the king’s courtyard where the king sat facing the entrance of the room on his royal throne in the royal hall. Esther 5:2-3 says, “And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the scepter. Then the king asked, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request, what do you want? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given you.”
The end of the story bears out that Esther was able to save her people and the enemy of the Jews was destroyed. Fasting will give you an audience with the King. Fasting prepares you to stand before the king. It doesn’t just prepare you to be in the King’s presence, it will give you the courage and strength to make a request that is dear to your heart…the things that are important to you, those close to you and your community. Corporate fasting is essential for the overall health and growth of your community and in your community. You see, fasting not only gives you an audience with King, but it also puts you in the place where God will ask “what do you want from me?”Let’s challenge ourselves during this season! During these twenty days of fasting, don’t forget to spend time today reading the Bible, worshipping God in your private time, serving in our church and your community. And set aside that dollar for every member of your family so when we break the fast together on Sunday, January 26th each member of your family will be able to sow in that offering. We will close our 20:20 fast with a worship night for family and friends that Sunday evening. We are anticipating what God is going to do in us and through us during these twenty days.