Esther was faced with the question that many of us have had to face: Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such time as this (Esth. 4:13-14)? She could have avoided getting involved. But, because she was a devout Jew, Esther was led of God to reveal Haman's intentions to the king (5:1-12; 6:14 — 7:10). In spite of Haman's evil plan and hatred of Mordecai (5:9,13-14), God protected His own people in a miraculous way (6:1-13; 7:10).
About five years after Esther became queen, Haman was promoted above all the princes that were with him (Esth. 3:1-7). When Haman's decree was proclaimed that all Jews would be destroyed, Mordecai urged Esther that she should go in unto the king, to make supplication unto him, and to make request before him for her people (4:8). No one knew that Esther was a Jew because Mordecai had forbidden her to reveal her nationality. Esther was fearful and reminded him that Persian law stated that anyone who approached the king uninvited could be put to death. The risk was real, for she had not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days (4:11). Esther could easily have reasoned: "If the king has lost interest in me or even discovered that I am a Jew, how could I favorably influence him?" But she believed that the risk of losing her prestigious position as queen Vashti had done, or even her own life, was not as important as doing what she could to save her people.
After three days of fasting, queen Esther stood in the inner court of the king's house (5:1) and waited to see if she would face life or death. The king welcomed her and offered to grant her request. If it seem good unto the king, let the king and Haman come this day unto the banquet that I have prepared for him (5:4). The king accepted and then, at a second banquet, he again asked Esther what her request might be. He was shocked to hear her pleading for her own life: O king . . . let my life be given me. . . . For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed. . . . The adversary (foe) and enemy is this wicked Haman (7:3-6). Angrily, the king said, Hang him. . . . So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai (7:9-10).
Esther is an encouragement to all of us to use whatever talents, position, popularity, or wealth we have been blessed with to tell a lost world that our King gave His life to save them from the eternal torment of hell. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for My (the Lord Jesus Christ's) sake and the Gospel's, the same shall save it (Mark 8:35).
Thought for Today:
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds (II Cor. 10:4).
In the honor shown to Mordecai as he was led through the streets (Esth. 6:10-11). Jesus was greatly honored in His triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Matt. 21:8-9).
4:1 rent =tore, as an act of grief and mourning; 6:13 be of the seed of the Jews =is of Jewish origin; 7:4 countervail =justify, compensate, or make up for; 7:5 that durst =who dares to.
Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Jerrold Nadler (NY) and Rep. Eleanor Norton (DC) • Country: Morocco (28.2 million) on the northwestern coast of Africa • Major languages: Arabic and French • Government very hostile to Christians and missions • 99.75% Muslim (mostly Sunni); .25% Christian (including foreigners); small numbers of Jews and Baha'i • Prayer Suggestion: Rejoice that Jesus' blood has cleansed you from sin (I John 1:7,9).
Optional Reading: Galatians 2
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 1:9