By guest writer, Ellen Ceely
“So the king and Haman went in to feast with Queen Esther. And on the second day, as they were drinking wine after the feast, the king again said to Esther, ‘What is your wish, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.’ Then Queen Esther answered, ‘If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be granted me for my wish, and my people for my request. 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.’ Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther, ‘Who is he, and where is he, who has dared to do this?’ And Esther said, ‘A foe and enemy! This wicked Haman!’ Then Haman was terrified before the king and the queen.” - Esther 7:1-6
Esther’s story will never fail to fascinate me. It has such a great mix of drama and intensity as you watch a young woman become queen and save her people from destruction.
What strikes me now is that she could have chosen a different path more than once. When she was taken away to be primped and prepped for introduction to King Ahasuerus (Esther 2:8), her cousin Mordecai, who had raised her, told her not to reveal that she was a Jew (2:10). Esther obeyed him, but what if she hadn’t? I would venture to guess that if the king’s men had known of her ancestry, they never would have brought her before the king. She would have either remained a part of his harem or she would have been sent back to Mordecai. But Esther chose to obey.
Here again, Esther could have chosen to keep hidden the fact that she was a Jew. Having kept it hidden this long already, Haman’s evil plan to destroy the Jews probably wouldn’t have ever affected her. She could arguably have lived a long and happy life safe in the palace as queen. But again, at Mordecai’s request, Esther chose to obey. What’s more, she trusted that what he’d said was true: she had been placed in a position of power “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:13-14).
Esther has gone boldly before the king at great risk to her own safety. According to Esther, she could have died for going to him without his permission (4:11). But what did her own safety matter if everyone in her family was about to be slaughtered?
Perhaps the most fascinating part of Esther’s story is that God’s name is never mentioned, and yet we see his hand everywhere we look. It was not luck that put Esther in her position, it was the almighty God who saw and cared for his people. This story is the perfect balance of God’s supremacy and human obedience to save the people of God.
What passions and convictions has God put on your heart? In a world that tells us to care about everything, what is something that God has called you to care about? How can you continue in obedience to him? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
In our six-week small group Bible study on the book of 1 John, you are invited to live and celebrate true life in Christ. Throughout his first letter, John wrestles with the assurance of salvation. How do we know that we are genuine Christians, and how can we recognize authentic faith in others? The Apostle John taught that you can enjoy full assurance through believing in the incarnate Son of God, walking in the light of obedience, and loving God and his children. Embark on this study with us today!
Comments will be approved before showing up.