Affliction & Piety

“Had we been sold as male and female slaves, I would have held my tongue…” Esther 7:4

Esther is example of Old Testament faith and piety. Grace has made her an example for us to follow. In her life we see much that the New Testament saint can learn from. Esther is an example of courage, and of patience. She is an example of practical wisdom and deep devotion. Esther also, especially in the text above, shows us what Godliness under affliction looks like. Christian – would you learn how to manage your trial to the glory of God? Come, listen to good Esther and see what a close walk with the Lord does to those under any trial of their faith.

“Had we been sold as…slaves.” Here is an affliction for sure. Some trials have their timeline spelled out in advance. A difficult day at work must soon come to an end. A lost job or lost loved one will hurt for a time, but healing wings are not far beyond the moment. But to be sold as a slave is an affliction for life. Here was a vocation of vexation, a career of crying, a night with no hope of the morning, a loss with no chance of recovery. “Slaves.” Labor of the most mean and difficult character. Ill-treatment, sorrow and disrespect would surely follow such circumstances. Oh the pitiable life of a slave. They own nothing, not even themselves. Imagine the misery, and that to a very child of the living God.

But hear Godly Esther explain how she would have reacted upon such news as this. “I would have held my tongue.” She would not have rebelled against this painful Providence. She would not have resisted the heavy hand of the Lord upon her and her brethren in such a case. Her eye would have spied out the Sovereign Lord in framing such a trial for her people, and would have humbly submitted, “not my will by Thine be done.”

Oh Christian under affliction, is there not something here to learn from the example of this gracious daughter of Jehovah? Have we not, far too often, opened our mouth to complain about jobs, family, government, churches, leaders, health, finances, and any number of other things? But hear Esther, “I would have held my tongue.” She knew what Job had to learn, “Behold I am vile, What shall I answer You, I lay my hand over my mouth (Job 40:4).” Grace puts a bridle upon the tongue of the afflicted saint. It does not cry out about losses and injustices and rights. Grace quiets the believer in the midst of suffering and loss.

Jesus Himself took this one step further, and “as a lamb led to the slaughter, He opened not His mouth (Is. 53:7).” No greater injustice was ever committed upon earth, yet He held His tongue. And will you and I so quickly let our tongue loose? Oh to learn the grace of a held tongue in affliction! To submit to God’s will, even His chastisements and mighty hand, with a held tongue, is greatly pleasing to Him. Learn this from Esther dear Christian. Learn this from Christ.

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