Esther

<<a Jewish woman who saved her race from annihilation>>

As a beautiful young Jewish woman, she was appointed Queen about 480 BC by the Persian King, whose nation, under Nebuchadnezzar, had deported the Jews some 100 years earlier.  She was instrumental in saving the Jews from the extermination plan of arrogant and hate-filled Haman.  Although God is not specifically mentioned in the original text His presence and over ruling is evident in His sovereignty and loving care for the Jewish people when an edict is issued condemning the Jews to death (Est 3:5,6,13). This deliverance is still celebrated today by the Jews in the feast of Purim.

Her story is told in the OT book bearing her name.

Lessons from her life: * She was open to and humbly followed sound advice even though she was in a much higher position than her adviser. This lead to careful planning which was then implemented (Est 2:10,20, 7:3-6, 8:3-6). There is a time to be silent and a time to speak. She earned the right to speak. God’s purposes are outworked through the situations we are connected with. Do I listen and consider the advice of others, working as a team in the bigger picture?

* She associated and identified with her own downtrodden race.  She could have said or done nothing although her position would not make her exempt from the vile plan (Est 4:13,14). What would my attitude and action have been, if I had been fast-tracked to notoriety? Would I choose to ‘forget’ my past, hoping no one knew, or would I endeavour to use my position to help those who are disadvantaged and at the mercy of a ruthless system?

* It was said to her, “Maybe you have come to the kingdom for such time as this” – to implement a rescue plan for her fellow Jews. She gave it her best shot, replying with daring and determination, “If I perish, I perish” (Est 4:15,16). She was willing to try, rather than living with the ‘what if…’ regret of inaction. She seized her moment and courageously acted, saving the nation from annihilation. Her life made a difference. We too can fill a vital and specific role in God’s kingdom if we make ourselves totally available to Him, without regard for our personal wellbeing. The Christian life is a faith walk, lived in dependency and obedience to our heavenly Master.

* She gave the credit to her adviser Mordecai, who was rewarded some time later (Est 2:22, 6:1-11, 8:2,15). Do we acknowledge those who have had valuable input into our lives, giving special mention to God for His grace and mercy shown? We are where we are today because of the help and input of others; we haven’t got there on our own.

See also: Esther (Est), Mordecai, providence.


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