Esther had not revealed her nationality and family background, because Mordecai had forbidden her to do so. Esther 2:10
I have far more regrets over things that I’ve said than over things that I haven’t said. Let me qualify that though. Being a typical male, I don’t always tell people how I feel about them. Feelings – they’re just plan scary. So, I am making an effort to let my family know how I feel about them and congratulate folks for excellent work. Those things shouldn’t go unsaid.
But, overall, I find myself talking less these days. Less talk equals less trouble. It’s not that I’m holding back a vast reserve of sarcasm and critical barbs. I’ve just decided that everyone doesn’t need to hear everything that I have to say about every subject. And, things are going much better.
Esther, under the direction of her cousin, Mordecai, didn’t reveal her nationality or family background. While Jews were regarded more favorably under the Persians than under their original captors the Babylonians, it might have been dangerous for Esther to reveal her true identity. Now, we don’t know if anyone had actually asked her about her background. If she had lied about who she was, then that would have been a problem and a sin. But, not telling, well, that’s another matter. As scholar Matthew Henry puts it, “All truths are not to be spoken at all times, though an untruth is not to be spoken at any time.”
We don’t know if being a Jew would have disqualified Esther from the queen competition. If that was a possibility, then why wouldn’t Esther just shout her ethnicity from the roof tops? She could have avoided the whole thing. But, then again, her people would have been wiped out.
Mordecai, by wisdom or intuition, directed Esther in the right way. Esther’s silence, then courageous appeals later, saved her people from annihilation.
How’s your mouth these days? What kinds of things should you stop saying? What kinds of things should you start saying? If you’re not sure, then choose to look very intelligent by keeping it closed.
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