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Daily Devotional | Unlikely Leaders - a stack of sharp 31 pencils with one blue lead sticking above the rest on a blue background. Daily Devotional | Unlikely Leaders - a stack of sharp 31 pencils with one blue lead sticking above the rest on a blue background.

Daily Devotional | Leaders Show Courage

The Righteous Among the Nations was established to honor non-Jews who took great risks to save Jewish families during the Holocaust. Over half of these are women, known as “The Women of Valor.” Some hid people in their homes. Others helped them flee to safety. In the face of pure evil, they found the strength to lead. But World War II was certainly not the first time evil threatened the Jewish people. Around 479 B.C., King Xerxes decreed “to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews—young and old, women and children —on a single day” (Esther 3:13). Who would step in to save God’s people?

Esther was a young Jewish woman who had found favor with King Xerxes. Selected for her beauty, she joined the ranks as one of the king’s many wives (2:7–9). Esther’s uncle, Mordecai, found out that a decree had been sent to extinguish the Jews (3:13) and pleaded for his niece to do something (vv. 1–8). The young woman insisted it was out of her hand; she had very little power and very little opportunity to help (v. 11). Even more, a failed attempt on her part would risk the death penalty. 

But Mordecai’s words of wisdom tugged at Esther’s heart. He insisted that her position in the royal palace was not a mistake. “Who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (v. 14). Esther’s position gave her a key opportunity to influence the king (vv. 12–14). Despite great personal risk, Esther found courage to act: “If I perish, I perish” (v. 16). God used her brave obedience to rescue His people.

>> If situations don’t directly affect us, it can be easy to be indifferent or passive. Getting involved can seem too risky. But when we see brothers and sisters in Christ who are being mistreated, we cannot be silent. Like Esther, we should consider how God can use our position and our voice to help those in need.

Pray with Us

Lord, there are so many causes lobbying for our support that it’s tempting to turn them all away. We ask for the mind of Christ to see clearly what and whom to fight for. Give us the courage to speak out when needed and to follow through.

BY Dr. Chris Rappazini

Dr. Chris Rappazini believes “the Bible is still relevant, leadership is essential, and the church’s best days are still ahead.” Chris is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, the University of Edinburgh, and Gonzaga University. He served as Associate Professor of Pastoral Studies at Moody Bible Institute. Chris and his wife, Ashley, and their children now reside in North Carolina.

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