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Full Identity Revealed Full Identity Revealed

Full Identity Revealed


American comic heroes often have a “secret identity.” The true nature of the superhero is known by the reader, but it is carefully concealed from the antagonist and other characters in the story. Only on a rare and significant occasion is their full identity revealed—such as Tony Stark’s shocking public announcement that he was, in fact, Iron Man.

The climactic moment in Esther 7 offers a similarly stunning revelation. When Esther’s second banquet was in full swing, Xerxes asked Esther for a third time to reveal her request. He again assured her of his generous disposition toward her, and he addressed her as “Queen Esther” (v. 2). As far as the king was concerned, this role was Esther’s primary identity.

Esther began her skillful response by first asking him to spare her own life—and then the lives of her people (v. 3). For the first time, she publicly identified with the Jews—not specifically with their name, but with their fate: “destroyed, killed and annihilated” (v. 4). Notice how she wisely used the passive voice verb—“I and my people have been sold . . . ” (v. 4). She avoided naming Haman, until the King himself wanted to know it.

We must be careful not to use “exemplary exegesis.” In other words, we are not to imitate the actions or character of all characters in the Bible. However, in this passage Esther’s courage to identify with God’s people is clearly an example we can admire and follow. Esther stood up for what she believed, even when risk was involved. In the New Testament we see an opposite example when Simon Peter denied being one of Jesus’ disciples, not just once but three times (John 18:15–18).

>>American Christians may not fear death, but we can face consequences for proclaiming our faith. A teacher was suspended for giving a Bible to a student. A coach was placed on leave for praying on the field. Have you ever been afraid to be identified as Christ Follower?

Pray with Us

In our reading today, Esther demonstrates courage to stand up to her beliefs. Let’s use this opportunity to pray for the persecuted church around the world. Uphold in prayer the courageous believers in countries that are closed to the gospel.

BY Kelli Worrall

Kelli Worrall is Professor of Communications and Chair of the Division of Music and Media Arts at Moody Bible Institute. She is the author of several books, including Pierced and Embraced: 7 Life-Changing Encounters with the Love of Christ. Kelli studied at Cedarville University (BA), Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (MRE), and Roosevelt University (MFA).  She enjoys speaking both individually and with Peter at events and retreats. They live in northwest Illinois with their two children.

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