I’m back with a new WCW and this week I want to talk about Queen Esther. Queen Esther just like Ruth is one of the only women in the bible to have a whole book dedicated to her. Before Queen Esther became “Queen Esther” she was a Jewish Orphan. Esther was a young Jewish woman living in exile in the Persian diaspora, who through her youth and beauty becomes queen of the Persian Empire, and then by her wits and courage saves the Jewish people from destruction.
Before we get into Queen Esther’s sorrow and joys I want to give you a brief summary of her story. The Book of Esther begins with the Queen Vashti, snubbing the king’s request to meet with her. Naturally, being a rather unstable fellow, the King fires/divorces her. Now he needs to pick a new queen and eventually manages to select Esther, a comely, young (secretly Jewish) woman who is a part of his harem.
As for her backstory, Esther’s an orphan who was raised by her righteous cousin, Mordecai. When the king came looking for young virgins to possibly fill the role of his new queen, Esther made sure to jump into line. She wins favor with the people in the harem and eventually with the king himself, becoming queen. Moreover, Mordecai helps uncover a plot to kill the king, allowing Esther to warn him in time. This earns him some Brownie points as well.
But all is not well in the king’s courts. When Mordecai refuses to bow down to the evil counselor Haman in the street, the evil, (probably) mustache-twisting counselor decides to engineer a plot to murder all the Jews in the Persian Empire. The plot basically involves Haman going to the king and saying, “I think we should kill all the Jews in the Persian Empire.” And the king says (to paraphrase him), “Alright.”
Haman walks away, twisting his mustache some more (probably), glad that the king has cottoned to his genocidal plans. The king doesn’t know that his own queen is Jewish, because Esther’s been keeping it secret. Mordecai goes and wails outside the palace gates while wearing sackcloth, and Esther fasts for three days before visiting the king.
Esther is worried the king will execute her for visiting him unannounced, but to the contrary he is mellow and pleased. He offers to give her whatever she wants. She asks him to have a banquet for her and Haman the next day. Meanwhile, Haman is excited about the massacre that’s about to happen. He builds a huge gallows to hang Mordecai.
But his hopes are dashed the following morning, when the king remembers how Mordecai saved his life. At the second banquet, Esther asks the king to punish Haman for trying to kill her and her people and the king does. Haman is hanged to death on the same gallows he had built for Mordecai (ironic, indeed). The Jews of Persia massacre all of Haman’s agents and supporters (roughly 75,000 people in all), Mordecai is made into the king’s new counselor, and Purim becomes an official Jewish holiday to celebrate.
Queen Esther’s sorrow was to learn that her husband, the king, had unwittingly placed her life and the life of her people in jeopardy. Her joy was to watch morning turn to celebration once the Jews enjoyed relief from their enemies. Because Esther decided not to stay quiet and trusted God during this crisis she ended up saving her people. Her life can teach us a few lessons.
God works in His own time and season. Esther got her timing right. It was no accident that God placed her to be Queen and have favor with the King in a time like this. Maybe God has put it on your heart to do something for Him. Don’t just jump into it but wait for his time. Joseph was in jail until it was God’s time for him to be released. God will move in His time when we remain faithful and alert to His leading.
Your background does not hinder your future with God. Esther was an orphan. God still exalted her and used her. Some of Jesus’ disciples were fishermen, tax collectors and one was a doctor. Your background does not determine what God can do with you. Your faith does.