September 23: Esther 1-5
Now Esther was winning favor in the eyes of all who saw her. 16 And when Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus, into his royal palace, in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign, 17 the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she won grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.
8 Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom. Their laws are different from those of every other people, and they do not keep the king's laws, so that it is not to the king's profit to tolerate them.
13 Letters were sent by couriers to all the king's provinces with instruction to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all Jews, young and old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods.
Esther 3:8 & 13
. . . Mordecai told him all that had happened to him, and the exact sum of money that Haman had promised to pay into the king's treasuries for the destruction of the Jews. 8 Mordecai also gave him a copy of the written decree issued in Susa for their destruction, that he might show it to Esther and explain it to her and command her to go to the king to beg his favor and plead with him on behalf of her people. 9 And Hathach went and told Esther what Mordecai had said.
10 Then Esther spoke to Hathach and commanded him to go to Mordecai and say, 11 “All the king's servants and the people of the king's provinces know that if any man or woman goes to the king inside the inner court without being called, there is but one law—to be put to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter so that he may live.
15 Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, 16 “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”
Esther 4:7b-11 & 15-16
Queen of Queens
Everyone loves the story of Esther; all of the elements of a good story are here. We have a king, a beautiful woman who becomes queen, an adversary, and a plot to rid the world of the queen's people. The difference, however, is that this story is true!
When Queen Vashti displeased the king because of her disobedience, it was decreed that she would be replaced. God raised up beautiful Esther who gained the favor of those around her, including the king. She was chosen to be queen, but little did she know that God had a specific duty for her to perform.
Haman, an important person in the king's court, commanded that everyone bow to him as he went by. When Mordecai, a faithful servant of God, refused to bow to Haman, he became enraged and sought a way to destroy, not only Mordecai, but all of the Jewish people living in the entire Medo-Persian kingdom. Convincing the king that the Jewish people did not obey the king's laws and should be put to death, he was able to draft a law signed with the king's own signet ring. Such a law could never be revoked.
Mordecai went to Esther, requesting she go to the king with this matter. When she explained that she could be put to death for going to the king without being summoned, Mordecai stated in Esther 4:13b-14,
“Do not think to yourself that in the king's palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
How did Esther reply? In Esther 4:16 she stated,
“Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”
As we finish this book tomorrow we will learn how everything comes together and how God uses Queen Esther to overcome wicked Haman's plans.
Everyone has a purpose! We may never be the queen of queens as was Esther, but God has put each and every one of us in the exact place we are now, to do our part in advancing the kingdom of Christ. Go to Christ; pray for grace to live faithfully before Him every day.
We may never know the ways in which he used us here on this earth until we reach the gates of heaven, but we can be assured that we are right where we are today for a reason!
God Bless You,
All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.