The Book of Esther is an exciting account which gives us insight into God’s remarkable and purposeful plan for our lives. The story gives us some powerful lessons about courage, divine timing and God’s love. As The Old Testament reveals, Esther is a Jewish woman living in Persia and brought up by her cousin, Mordecai. She was taken to the King of the Persian Empire to be his concubine—but because he believed there was unique about Esther, he made her queen. However, Mordecai didn’t tell the king about a primary concern —Esther was of Jewish heritage.
In the Bible story, ‘Esther’ means ‘hidden’ (her Jewish identity was hidden from the King.)
These adjectives probably don’t conjure up images of a heroine. They don’t seem to describe the type of person who would put her life on the line for people, be a public figure, a political individual, and a person of supremacy and dominion, But they are.
These are the very words that describe Queen Esther, a woman whose body, mind, soul and actions affected reality and help restore the world.
I can imagine Esther (whilst currently reading the story in the bible) as a VERY attractive, and alluring woman with flawless olive skin and a beautiful personality. She charmed King Xerxes so much that after getting rid of his previous queen, he could have chosen any woman that he wanted—but, here, he chose Esther.
In the story, there is a good for nothing man, Haman, who is a hostile and pompous councillor to the king. He hated Mordecai for shunning him, so he plotted to destroy the Jewish people. Haman told the king, “There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom whose customs are different from those of all other people and who do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them” (Esther 3:8 NIV). The king gave him authorisation to handle the destiny of the Jewish people. In return, Haman announced a government-issued decree of genocide.
What could the queen do for her people? The king had not petitioned her company in a month. Did his affection for her fade? Of out of all the Jews, only Esther had a connection to the king. Mordecai persuaded Esther to speak to the king on behalf of the Jewish people reminding her of her unique place in history and that silence is not an option.
In one of the most eloquent Biblical passages, Mordecai speaks of God’s purposeful timing: “Who knows but that you have come to a royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14 NIV).
Esther knew that going to the king without being invited by him could be her death sentence. Anyone who went to the king without being requested could be killed!
So what does she do? She calls for the Jewish people to join her on a 3-day fast. During the fast she put on her best royal robes, met with the king, and advised him of Haman’s conspiracy against her people. By doing this, the Jewish people were saved, Haman was hung on the same gallows that had been prepared for Mordecai, and Esther received Haman’s estate. This powerful flowering of events moves like a novel and played like a great chess game with so many life lessons.
Here is a few lessons from the book of Esther that we can apply to our living.
We are given divine moments to change circumstances
God’s timing is providential. As believers, there are no such things as coincidences. Esther’s divine moment of providence came by accepting her responsibility to go to the king. However, Mordecai was clear when he said to Esther that she could be the one who saved the people, or not. God will use you only if you’re ready—or he will find someone else.
God has a plan for our lives
Mordecai said, “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 the royal palace for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14 NIV). God loved the Jewish people, and, he didn’t create Esther’s beauty and sophistication for JUST her. Esther was placed in a “royal” position to assist in the delivery of God’s divine plan.
We must stand with courage
“I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16 NIV). Esther was willing to die to save her people. Sometimes we must stand in courage, even when it is not popular to do so, and risk it all.
God requires obedience
Esther’s obedience saved God’s people from genocide. The reality is that Esther had no idea what would happen if and when she would approach the king. She acted in acquiescence and by doing so she saved a nation and received par excellence.
Fasting and prayer brings clarity and hope for deliverance
Can you believe this? God is not mentioned in the Book of Esther even once but Esther was clear that in this particular situation, a supernal response was needed for an earthly situation. Esther needed direction. When we need God’s grace, fasting and prayer opens the gateway for spiritual maturation, removes disturbances and places us on a path to humility.
God uses everything and everybody for his divine purpose
No part of our lives is untouched. God is in control of every aspect, whether we want him to be or not, and there is nothing that is not subject to him (Hebrews 2:8 NIV). And, the best thing we can do for our lives is to search for and surrender to his will.
“For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
I love the story of Esther because it just reminds me of a fairy tale, except it is ALL true.
She was an exquisite Judaistic girl who became the “Queen of the kingdom”.
Then you have this wicked man, Haman, who devised a scam to have all of the Jews put to death. It was Esther’s uncle, Mordecai, who came to her and described the plight of her fellow Jews, saying, “For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish.
Esther was the queen who saved a nation.
She used her power with the king, the plot was turned the other way, and the people were saved. She was there working behind the scenes. Esther could have just said, “I don’t want to jeopardize my position. No one will ever find out that I am a Jew. I am going to be cautious and play it safe.” But instead, she put everything on the line.
Will you use your influence where you can, when you can?
Who knows that God has not put you where you are right now for such a time as this?
Like Esther, will you stand up for such a time as this?
Wikipedia Fact: Esther is compared to the “morning star“, and is considered the subject of Psalm 22, because its introduction is a “song for the morning star