The story of Esther teaches us that God purposely guides His people’s steps even when we are not aware of it, even when things don’t make sense. But God has a purpose in what He does in the lives of those He loves. Every thread woven into the fabric of the Christian life is part of the ultimate tapestry that someday they will view in glory.”Dr. david jeremiah
The book of Esther tells an amazing story of political intrigue along with the faith and courage of a young, Jewish woman named Esther. We can learn many things from reading it, but I want to focus on this: While deliverance from the enemy looked impossible, God already had a plan in action.
King Xerxes was searching for a new queen. He appointed commissioners to search his vast empire for the most beautiful women and bring them to his harem. Esther was one of those chosen. I seriously doubt that Esther was happy about being forcefully taken to the king’s harem!
The beautiful Esther dazzled King Xerxes more than any of the others. Enthralled with her loveliness, he made her his queen.
This story gets even more interesting when you know a little about King Xerxes and the Persian Empire. Although not in the Bible, history reveals the kind of man he was.
Xerxes was a king of war. He assembled the largest and most well equipped fighting force ever put into the field up to that time in history. He amassed an army of over two million men and four thousand ships. Known to be merciless, Xerxes was not a man to be trifled with.
One day, Mordecai overheard some men plotting to kill the King. Unknown to anyone, including the King, evil was about to encroach the palace and all 127 provinces of the Persian Empire.
This evil sprang from an egomaniacal man named Haman who was a high ranking official in the King’s court. Haman hated Mordecai because Mordecai would not bow down to him. The anti-Semitic Haman devised a sinister plan to annihilate all of the Jews in the Persian Empire.
Haman tricked the king into issuing a decree to all 127 provinces with the order to destroy and kill all the Jews – young and old, women and children.
When Mordecai uncovered Haman’s conspiracy, he urged Esther to approach the king and beg for mercy. He said,
“Who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)
Esther knew the law commanded that if anyone approached the king without being summoned, they would be put to death. The only exception was if the king extended his scepter.
Esther understood this and knew she would be putting her life in imminent danger. She sent word to Mordecai and requested that all the Jews of the city fast and pray for three days and nights. She said,
“When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” (Esther 4: 16)
On the third day, Esther adorned herself in her royal robes and approached the king in his inner court. When he saw her, he was pleased and held out his golden scepter. He asked her, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given you.”
Esther replied, “If it pleases the king, let the king and Haman come to the banquet I have prepared.”
While they were at the banquet, the king asked her again, “What is your request?” Esther asked the king and Haman to come back for another banquet the next day.
On his way home Haman passed Mordecai, and again Mordecai would not bow down to him. Enraged, Haman went home and boasted to his friends about his vast wealth and all that he had. “And that’s not all,” bragged Haman. “I am the only one Queen Esther invited to attend the banquet tomorrow for the king. But this brings me no pleasure as long as I see that Jew Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate.”
At his friends’ urging, Haman built a gallows and conspired to hang Mordecai there. Haman didn’t know it, but his evil pride would soon bring him down.
That night, the King was reminded that nothing had ever been done to honor Mordecai for saving him from a murderous plot.
Haman had entered the King’s palace to speak to the King about hanging Mordecai, but before Haman could speak, the king asked Haman, “What should be done for the man the king delights to honor?”
Haman thought to himself, “Who would the king possibly want to honor more than me?” So he answered the king, “For the man the king delights to honor, have them bring a royal robe the king has worn and a horse the king has ridden, one with a royal crest placed on its head. Let the princes robe the man and lead him on the horse through the city streets, proclaiming ‘This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!’ “
“Go at once,”the king commanded Haman. “Do just as you suggested for Mordecai the Jew!”
I wish I could have seen his face! Talk about shock! Things are looking bad for Haman, but they are going to get even worse!
At the second banquet for the king and Haman, the king asked Esther again what she desired.
She said, “Grant me my life and spare my people. For I and my people have been sold for destruction, slaughter, and annihilation.”
King Xerxes asked Queen Esther, “Who is he? Where is the man who has dared to do such a thing?”
Esther said, “The adversary and enemy is this vile Haman.”
The king stormed out in a rage. Haman was terrified. He threw himself upon the Queen’s couch and begged for his life. Then, the king walked back in and found Haman falling on the couch where Esther was reclining.
“The king cried, “Will he even molest the queen while she is with me in the house?” Haman was immediately taken away and hanged on the Gallows he had built for Mordecai.
King Xerxes gave Esther Haman’s estate. He also gave Mordecai his signet ring and told him to write a decree on behalf of all the Jews and seal it with his ring. The Jews got relief from their enemies and celebrated with joy and feasting. They called it the Feast of Purim and it is still celebrated today.
Perhaps, like Esther, you have also been brought to your position
for such a time as this!
This Is My Journey Unscripted.
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Photo by Alice Alinari on Unsplash
¹Cartwright, Mark. “Persian Wars.” Ancient History Encyclopedia. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 06 Apr 2016. Web. 27 Oct 2018.