Esther 7:4 For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. If we had been sold merely as slaves, men and women, I would have been silent, for our affliction is not to be compared with the loss to the king.”
Even before pointing at Haman, Esther referred to the price he had been willing to pay (cf. 3:9-11; 4:7) for the extermination of the Jewish people [i.e. “…we have been sold….”]. She also wisely included herself with her people in the coming destruction which insinuated that this attack was not just on some foreigners but upon the king himself. And to describe this coming genocide, Esther used three synonymous terms which grew progressively worse in illustrating her point: destroy, kill, and annihilate. These are the exact words that Haman had included in his edict that he sent to every province throughout the empire (3:13).
The queen then went on to say that if it had been anything other than a life and death situation, even forced slavery, then she would have remained silent. Why? Because Esther sought to show the king honor in all things by seeking that which would be to his advantage. Wow! This is a godly woman – one who honors her husband and submits to the government. What is seen here is the fact that Esther knew how to appropriately major on the majors and minor on the minors. Here is the truth: Why you live is more sacred than how you live.
Now, this does not mean that we should remain silent in every situation that does not involve a life and death scenario. But it does mean that, no matter what hardships come our way from government leaders, we are still called to honor them as God’s public servants.
Queen Esther then ended her initial statement by declaring that the king would incur much loss if he were to allow Esther and her people to be afflicted in this way. Not only would this edict’s judgment sweep into the king’s household and steal his wife but, from a monetary standpoint, he would lose out on all of Israel’s taxes and revenue throughout the years ahead. It may have been to the king’s profit in the short-term, but the long-term effects would end up costing him and his empire much more.