Esther and Finishing

Chapter 7 ends with Haman being impaled on the pole he set up for Mordecai (Esth 7:10). If this was a movie, we might expect the credits to start rolling – the arch-villain has been defeated and now things are surely going to be OK. But there is still work to do. Haman’s edict of destruction is still in force, and the laws of the Persians cannot be revoked (Esth 8:8).

Now at this point in the story, Esther and Mordecai were probably personally safe. As queen and prime minister, they were unlikely to be slaughtered. But their people were still in danger and the job remained unfinished. Esther required great courage to make a second daring request to the king. That she recognised that she could not presume on his favour is clear from the very careful and respectful way she makes her second approach (Esth 8:5).

In the Belbin model of teams, one of the roles identified is called the “completer-finisher”. The completer finisher has an eye for detail and for seeing things right through to their completion. Clearly this type of person is a great asset to any team.

However, we cannot assume that completing and finishing things is the domain of a few specialists. God himself is a “completer-finisher” – when he starts a good work, he sees it through to the end (Phil 1:6). Paul considered his life worth nothing if he didn’t “finish the race” and “complete the task” he had been given. And of course the ultimate example is Jesus, whose food was to “finish the work” the Father had given him (John 4:34), and kept going right until he could say “it is finished” (John 19:30).

Admittedly, not everything we start is worth finishing. There is no point stubbornly persisting down a dead-end. But if God has given us a task to do, we need to stick at it until it is finished. This calls for faith, patience, courage, and endurance. Esther didn’t sit back on her initial success, she pressed on until the job was completed. She even went so far as to make a third request to the king (Esth 9:13) to ensure that the threat of annihilation was completely extinguished. She was a “completer-finisher”.

2 thoughts on “Esther and Finishing

  1. We’re learning much about perseverance at the moment in Porto!

    Hebrews 10:35-36, “Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.”

    1 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labour is not in vain.”

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