If I: The Do or Die Statement

Today I have selected two passages that have a do or die feel to them. Both of these passages have similar wording and I think they have something that we can all learn.

The first passage is found in Genesis 43:14b. It reads like this:

“And as for me, if I am bereaved of children, then I am bereaved.”

As for the second, it is found in Esther 4:16b. It says:

“And if I perish, I perish.”

These might not seem like much but just wait until I give you the background.

In the first passage it is Jacob speaking. Yes, the same Jacob who stole his brothers birthright and blessing, married Leah and Rachel (Labans daughters) and had a son named Joseph who was sold into slavery by his brothers. Now Jacob is old, he still thinks Joseph, his favorite son, was killed by wild animals and so he clings even more closely to Joseph’s brother, Benjamin. There is a severe famine in the land, the same one that Joseph, a prisoner in Egypt, had foretold through Pharohs dream.

Jacob sent his sons to Egypt to buy food and they come back with a story. Joseph (although they didn’t know it was him) had been testing them and told them that he would not see them again until they brought Benjamin with them.

This posed a problem. Jacob would not let them take Benjamin. But this turned into a life or death situation. The famine was severe and they had no food. So finally, Jacob said this line: And as for me, I f I am bereaved of children, then I am bereaved. Jacob had lost Joseph, Simeon was a captive in Egypt and he did not want to lose Benjamin. But he knew that this was a do or die moment and he decided to follow God and trust God with his children. And if they died, they died.

The second is spoken by Queen Esther. Esther, a Jew, was chosen as the Queen of Persia. Hamaan hated Jews and came up with a plot to kill all of them. This would be a total wipe out of Jews. Esther was the only one who could stop this plot. But she had to go into the King, without an invitation. If you went into the King without an invitation, he could raise his scepter and you would be killed. Or he could find favor with you and let you enter. It was a risky thing and no doubt Esther was a bit scared. Her words? If I perish, I perish.

Both of these phrases show a choice. This is do or die. These are do-what-must-be-done words. These are complete laying it in God’s hands words. These are words of trust. Jacob didn’t want to give up his childeren but he put them in God’s hands and if God chose to take them away, then He took them away. Esther didn’t want to give up her life, but she laid it in God’s hands and if she died, then she died. So be it. God gives and God takes away. So. Be. It.

What happened to Jacob and Esther? Let’s look at the Bible to find out.

Jacob found out the amazing truth that Joseph was alive. In one fell swoop he had all his children with him. Here are God’s words to Jacob in Genesis 46:4:

“I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again and Joseph’s hands shall close your eyes.”

Esther went in to the King and was successful. The King didn’t kill all the Jews and God used Esther to save His people. Listen to what Esther 8:16 says:

“The Jews had light and gladness and joy and honor.”

God blessed both Jacob and Esther and He used thier trust to accomplish great things and save His special nation.

So whatever God wants to do with your life, so be it.

Priscilla Joy


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