Read Esther 1 – 3

And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti (Est. 2:17).

King Ahasuerus had put away Queen Vashti for disobedience to his royal orders. She had refused to appear upon his request to present herself before all that had attended a royal feast. He put her away under the advice of his counsellors. They were concerned that the women of the kingdom would hear of this and become disobedient themselves.

As time passed, the king longed for a wife to replace Vashti. The king's servants suggested they bring up beautiful virgins from which he could choose a new wife. The word went throughout the land that a new queen was being sought, and the virgins should be brought to the palace for the process of purification.

Mordecai was a Jew who had been taken captive when Jerusalem was captured by Nebuchadnezzar. He had a cousin whom he had raised as his own daughter named Haddasah, or Esther. It was decided to bring Esther as one of the candidates to be the new queen. Esther came to the palace with the other young women. They were presented before Hegai who oversaw this process

Esther found favor with Hegai. It is clear here that God was already working on behalf of His people. From Esther 2:9, it would seem that Hegai advanced Esther ahead in the selection process. God's chosen will often find themselves with human assistance when needed. And delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house (Acts 7:10).

All during this time Esther had kept secret that she was a Jew. This was done on the advice of Mordecai. It is not known for sure the reasoning behind this. Later, it is obvious that God's plan for the protection of His people was at work. It is often God's plan to place certain people in certain places. For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church (I Cor. 4:17).

And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul (Acts 16:14).

Thought for Today:

Every believer has God-given ability that God wants to use for His glory.

Word Studies:

1:10 chamberlains, officials; 2:16 Tebeth, compares with our December/January; 3:8 to suffer them, to let them remain; 3:13 Adar, compares with our February/March; 3:15 posts, special messengers.

Christ Revealed:

By Mordecai, who adopted Esther (Esth. 2:15). We are adopted into the family of God by Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:5; I John 3:1). Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:26).

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Staff: Clarence Rathbone • Internet Radio: sponsored by Mrs. Helen McDaniel • Government Officials: Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA) and Rep. Mark Amodei (NV) Country: Laos (5 million) in Southeast Asia • Major languages: Lao and French • Great suppression of all Christian activities • 58% Buddhist; 33% belief in spirits and ancestor worship; 2% Christian; 1% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Bow before the Lord in a godly reverence as you pray and worship (Ex. 34:8).

Optional Reading: Galatians 1

Memory Verse for the Week: Ecclesiastes 5:4