And Esther spoke yet again before the king, and fell down at his feet…
A second time Esther entered into the king's presence unbidden. A second time the king's sceptre was extended to her. Her own safety and queenly state had been secured, but her people were still exposed to the murderous decree which Haman had beguiled the king to seal and promulgate. She now appeared as an advocate for Israel. Learn here -
I. THAT ADVOCACY SHOULD BE CLEAR AS TO ITS GROUNDS. The grounds on which Esther pleaded were such as the following: -
1. That the edict of extermination was the device of the enemy Haman. The wicked man himself having been exposed and punished, his evil design should be countermanded.
2. That all her people throughout the empire were as innocent, and therefore as unworthy of death, as herself. Justice and mercy combined in calling for a reversal of the cruel edict.
3. That the destruction of a numerous people scattered through the empire would create universal alarm and confusion, and inflict irreparable loss on the king's estate. Esther's grounds of appeal were clear and strong. She had a good case.
II. THAT ADVOCACY SHOULD BE DISINTERESTED. The queen had gained much by the death of Haman and the restored affection of the king, but she was willing to sacrifice all on the altar of her people's deliverance. Personal honour and wealth were as nothing to her so long as Israel was trembling under the uplifted sword. She presents us with a type of Christ, who "emptied himself of his glory" and offered up his life on the cross for the salvation of a condemned world. Advocacy, to be effective, must have no back-look on self.
III. THAT ADVOCACY SHOULD BE EARNEST AND PERSUASIVE. The body in all its expressions is responsive to the soul that animates it. Cold feeling will be content with cold words and impassive features; but when the heart is swayed by strong emotion the whole outward frame will yield itself to the power of the inward force. Words, looks, movements, gesticulations, tears will all unite in expressing a desire that commands the spirit. Thus Esther, when, against the law, she again entered uninvited into the king's presence, "fell at his feet and besought him with tears." Earnestness makes short work with restrictive formalities. A full heart when once unlocked cannot but be persuasive. The whole attitude of Esther was eloquent. Such advocacy could not fail to move even an Ahasuerus. We are reminded by it of Christ's sweet, yearning, solemn prayer in behalf of his disciples as given in John 17.
IV. THAT ADVOCACY SHOULD BE IN FULL SYMPATHY WITH THE CAUSE IN WHICH IT IS EMPLOYED. No advocate can be perfectly effective unless he can put himself in the place of those for whom he is pleading, and can plead for them as if he were pleading for himself. Listen to Esther: - "How can I endure to see the evil that shall come unto my people? or how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred?" She thus identified herself with her people and kindred. If they suffered, she would suffer; if they were destroyed, how could she live? The queen took on herself the burden of her nation. Again we think of Christ, the Divine Advocate. He became "bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh," "took on himself our likeness," that he might enter into our experiences, and bear our burden before God, and become an effective and prevailing Advocate. Hence his sympathy, his "fellow-feeling," his oneness, and his all-powerful intercession (Hebrews 2:17, 18; Hebrews 4:15, 16).
V. THAT ADVOCACY FOR THE SUFFERING AND PERISHING IS THE DUTY AND PRIVILEGE OF THE GODLY. History affords many examples of noble advocacy in behalf of the justly doomed and the unjustly oppressed. Such Bible instances as Abraham's pleading for the cities of the plain, Moses' intercession for rebellious Israel, and Paul's willingness to lose himself for the sake of his unbelieving kindred, readily occur. In modern times the long and arduous advocacy of the emancipation of the slave has become memorable. To the Christian, as to his Master, Christ, "the field is the world." Men are "perishing for lack of knowledge." Multitudes everywhere are in bondage to sin and death. It should be our part to do what we can to bring "deliverance to the captives," and to "save them who are appointed to die;" and with our labours we should unite the earnest prayer of the advocate. "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16-20). - D.
Parallel VersesKJV: And Esther spake yet again before the king, and fell down at his feet, and besought him with tears to put away the mischief of Haman the Agagite, and his device that he had devised against the Jews.