This past week I focused on the book of Esther. I find the book of Esther to be very interesting and thought provoking.
The first thing I noticed is that the name of our Lord is no where to be found in the book of Esther. Although His name is not in the book the works of His hands are so evident!
The king was giving a large banquet that lasted seven days…. can you imagine serving food and drink to many, many people for seven days? I get tired after one afternoon of entertaining! Anyway, on the seventh day, after the king had become ‘merry with wine’ requested that his Queen come before him so that he could show off her beauty. Queen Vashti refused and the king became very angry and removed her as Queen. Seems a little harsh but God is working!
The king starts his search for a new queen and this is where Esther joins the story. Esther found favor with the king and all of his servants and she eventually becomes his queen. All this time never did she reveal to the king her kindred or her people just as Mordecai commanded her. Mordecai became aware of a plot to kill the king. Mordecai told Esther the plan and she told the king in Mordecai’s name.
There is another plot that Haman has devised and convinced the king to sign off on and that was to kill all the Jews. Through Mordecai, Esther learns of this plot to kill her people. Mordecai tells her she must go to the king but Esther knows that to do so would be very dangerous. I love Esther chapter 4, verse 14 (NASB) “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” That is the Lord at work!
Esther musters up the courage to approach the king and tell of the evil plan of Haman and in the end Haman is hung on the very gallows he had prepared to have Mordecai hung on. The Jews were saved, Mordecai was promoted and the Jews destroyed their enemies.
Where else is God’s hand shown in Esther? Chapter 4, verses 16 and 17 “Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa, and fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens also will fast in the same way. And thus I will go in to the king, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish.” So Mordecai went away and did just as Esther had commanded him. The people PRAYED! God listened!
Esther mustered up the courage to approach the king… she said “if I perish, I perish.” Wow! God lifted Esther up ‘for such a time as this’ and because of her bravery her people were saved.
As I read Esther a verse came to mind… Philippians 2:15 “That you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.”
Now, none of us are perfect and yes God does forgive our sins. However, that does not mean it is ok to blatantly sin and then say to God ‘Well I know this is wrong but… I’m gonna do it anyway.’ Hmmm… that’s kind of off the topic of Ester isn’t it???
Anyway, when it came to saving her people Esther stood alone before the king and did what was right.
Am I able to stand alone and do what’s right? I mean, let’s be honest, sometimes being a Christian is standing alone. Especially in such a fallen world and being surrounded by so many who are convinced that there is no God or if there is that His love is all that matters, not sin.
I pray that I can be bold like Esther and stand alone, if I must, to go against the ‘norm’ or politically correct in this world.
Thank you, Lord, for standing with Esther and for standing with all of us.