Esther: For Such a Time as This
What girl doesn’t love the story of Esther? Full of adventure, romance, and heroic acts, the story would make a perfect dime novel. The plot is perfect! After the king kicked the queen out of palace for not displaying her beauty to his guest at a party, the king needed a new wife. Therefore, he had all the single girls of marrying age brought to him to inspect. Of all the girls he could have chosen he picked Esther. Why? Esther was beautiful both inside and out. What he didn’t know was that Esther was Jewish. Raised by her cousin Mordecai since birth, Esther didn’t think twice about obeying when he told her to hide her heritage. When Mordecai overhears a plot to kill the king, he tells Esther, who warns the king. When the king discovered later that it was Mordecai who saved his life he planned a parade in honor of Mordecai. But Haman, the king’s jealous and evil right hand man, had other plans for Mordecai. Haman hated Mordecai because he had refused to bow down before him, saying that he was a Jew and worshiped one God. Burning with jealousy and vengeance, Haman built gallows which he planned to hang Mordecai on. However, it wasn’t enough for Mordecai to just kill Mordecai, he wanted to destroy all of the Jews in the country. Haman tricked the king into writing a decree stating that all the Jews would be destroyed. Mordecai heard about the decree, and he knew that the only person who could save them was Esther. So he went to Esther and begged her to go to the king for him. In Esther 4:13b-14 he says to Esther, “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. 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?” In those days no one was allowed in the king’s presence without permission, not even the queen. If they did enter his presence without asking, he would either extend his scepter to them, signifying he was pleased, or they would die. Esther was very afraid of going before the king without permission, because Esther knew she was risking her life. The queen asked Mordecai to gather the Jews together, and have them fast and pray for her. When she entered the king’s court, he favored her, and lowered his scepter towards her. Esther 5:3-4, “ And the king said to her, “What do you wish, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given to you—up to half the kingdom!” So Esther answered, “If it pleases the king, let the king and Haman come today to the banquet that I have prepared for him.” The king accepted her invitation, and at the banquet asked her again what she wanted. She invited him for another banquet the next day. She was buttering up the king! The next day the king and Haman went to Esther’s banquet. The king asked Esther once again what she desired, but this time she said, ““If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request.” (Esther 7:3) The king was livid, and demanded to know who would do so such a thing! Esther responded, “ “The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman!” (Esther 7:6) You can imagine Haman’s horror! The king stormed off in his anger towards Haman, and Haman pleaded with Esther for mercy, but she would give none. When the king returned he ordered Haman be hanged on the gallows he had built for Mordecai. Then they all lived happily ever after! Well, except for Haman, he died. Isn’t that a pretty story? What can we learn from Esther? Esther was a woman of great courage. Like Rahab, she risked her life to save other people, like Ruth she was devoted to her family. She was scared to go before the king, and she was frightened to accuse Haman, the king’s right-hand man. Yet, she did it anyway. Courage isn’t the lack of fear, it’s doing what you know is right even when you are afraid. “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.” ~John Wayne. While Esther didn’t really “saddle up”, she did what she knew was right despite her fear. She went into the king’s court, even though it would most likely cost Esther her life. She accused Haman, even though the king respected and trusted him. She was terrified, but she saved her people anyway. Why? Because she knew that she was never alone. She had a God who cared about her, and loved her, and he would protect her. Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” This was a verse Esther lived out in her life, and it’s a verse we should try to live out every single day.