For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
Silence is a double-edged sword meaning it works both ways. Silence can be wisdom. Silence is highly recommended. If a fool is silent he/she may be thought to be wise. Silence is golden. However, silence is also said to be evil. “In the end, we will not remember the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends”- Martin Luther King Jr. “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to say nothing, be silent, do nothing” – Edmund Burke.
In relationships, silence can be good or destructive. When offended it is good to remain silent than reply in an offensive way. However, silence instead of resolving issues affecting a relationship will strain the relationship and even end it.
Our passage today tells us of an incidence in which silence is regrettable. Esther a Jew had been appointed Queen in the Persian kingdom. Mordechai was Esther’s cousin but also a guardian parent. Mordechai heard that Haman of Persia had convinced the King to allow him to destroy all Jews. Mordechai quickly sought Esther’s help since she was Queen. Esther was reluctant to help since she was still a new Queen and also it was dangerous to approach the King for help before he invites you. This reluctance of Esther caused Mordechai to respond in the words of our text today. Mordechai warned Esther against Silence. If you remain silent you will regret it!
Mordechai tells Esther that her silence will contribute to the destruction of the Jewish people. Silence is a collaboration with enemies. Silence is never neutral. Silence supports the prevailing opinion. If punishment comes you will be counted among the evil because of your silence. If you remain silent you will regret it!
First, they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. – Martin Niemoller
Mordechai tells Esther that if you remain silent, God will still save the Jews using other means, but you will be punished for your silence. Your silence will not stop God from saving those you should have helped by your voice and involvement. Your silence will deny you the blessings you would have received for helping others. If you remain silent you will regret it!
Are people planning evil against someone and you are privileged to hear it? If you remain silent and you do not warn that person, help for him/her will come from elsewhere, from God, but you and your family will perish for remaining silent. Are you in a meeting whose agenda has taken a wrong turn? You know the agenda is wrong. But for fear of someone or some people you remain silent? Help for those who will be affected will come from somewhere, from God, but you and your family will perish, you will perish for remaining silent. Your silence supported the agenda. Is there a protest against evil and you choose to be silent? By your silence, you are against the protest. If you remain silent you will regret it!
Has your partner or child or colleague or junior or senior done something wrong to you? The wrong would be stopped if you spoke firmly and decisively. If you remain silent, the habit will continue and grow and it will outgrow your ability to stop it. If you remain silent you will regret it! Silence is understood to be approving bad behavior. If you remain silent you will regret it!
May God grant me wisdom to know the difference between when to be silent and when silence is actually a collaboration with evil. May God grant me the courage to never be silent when I should speak out, in Jesus’ name, Amen!
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