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7 Powerful Truths from Esther (And Helpful Wisdom for Today)

  • Debbie McDaniel iBelieve Contributing Writer
  • 2018 25 Apr
7 Powerful Truths from Esther (And Helpful Wisdom for Today)

Through the years, many of us have probably heard of the story of Queen Esther. The girl who is taken to the palace of King Xerxes and rises up to become queen. The one who bravely works to save her own people from the cruel plots of the enemy. Yet there’s so much more as we dig into this amazing story. It reveals some very powerful truths in its 10 chapters, great wisdom for today, and the realization that God still works in mighty ways on behalf of His people. (Esther 1-10)

Facts to Know:

-The book of Esther is one of only two in the Bible named for women (the other is Ruth).

-It’s also one of two books of the entire Bible that doesn’t actually mention God’s name (the other is Song of Songs). And though we don’t read God’s name in the story, His sovereignty and loving care are woven throughout the words and chapters.

-It’s set during a time when the Jews suffered much racial hatred. They had been a minority in Persia for years.

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4 Main Characters through the story:

4 Main Characters through the story:

King Xerxes reigned in power at his palace in Susa, Persia. He had banished Queen Vashti from his presence when she had refused to come at his order. So the search for another queen went out through the region.

Esther was taken from her home and came to live in the palace along with many other girls of the harem. She was Jewish but never revealed her nationality or family background as Mordecai had advised her. God gave her great favor among all there and she soon became queen.

Mordecai was a Jew and Esther’s older cousin. He had adopted and raised her after she lost her parents. He continued to advise Esther and check on her safety, even after she had been taken to live in the king’s palace. As a government official, he reported an assassination plot against the King and saved his life, which later caused the king to become aware of his loyalty and devotion.

Haman was a descendant of King Agag, an enemy of the Jews. He was given a seat of honor by the King, but pride and lust for power drove him to hate any who would not bow down to him. When Mordecai refused, he sought revenge on all of God’s people by devising a plot to kill the Jews.

7 Powerful Truths and Wisdom from the Story of Esther:

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1. God is the only One who has the power to turn trials into blessings.

1. God is the only One who has the power to turn trials into blessings.

Don’t ever doubt that He is able. Nothing is impossible with Him. This story has his miraculous work and power all over it, through every chapter, every word. There is a constant thread of redemption through Esther’s story that speaks to our lives still today.

Things in life hadn’t gone Esther’s way. Often, we may read this story and just think of Esther being beautiful and given the royal position of Queen. Yet we forget where she came from. She was orphaned. She had suffered great loss, even at a young age. She was then whisked away from her home, her family, her people, and all she knew; and she was taken to the King’s palace, given the load of expectation to succeed. Yet even when gifted with such a royal position, there was still incredible hardship. Her people faced great tragedy and destruction. She surely felt very alone. She faced trial after trial through her life, yet we see in every part of the story, there is a hope woven through. And it’s truly the most powerful pieces of the entire book.

God is always at work even when we can’t see the whole story. Even when things look uncertain. And that sets the stage for great things to happen, “…And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14.

God’s blessings is greater than our troubles. Always. His goodness will shine through. It’s just the way He works.

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2. Our prayers matter. Our voice matters. Our actions matter. And God is our Deliverer.

2. Our prayers matter. Our voice matters. Our actions matter. And God is our Deliverer.

We can choose to live with grace and kindness. We can choose to stay involved, to have a voice, to be engaged, and to make a difference in our nation and the world.

Mordecai knew his voice mattered. Esther knew her actions mattered. And through the wisdom and obedience of these two, God saved his people. Mordecai believed that even if Esther didn’t help them, God would send help from a different way, that’s how much he trusted in the power of the Lord. He understood that our positions in life were not at all about us, but only about what God could do through those powerful places.

“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish…” Esther 4:14.

May God help us to be willing to pray, fast, wait for His direction, then act on the wisdom He provides. May we be ever faithful to pray for all those in authority, for those who need someone to speak up on their behalf, for those who are being pressed down or persecuted. May we be brave to speak with wisdom and discernment, and to live these days with hearts of compassion and love. May we be strong to follow God’s voice, even when it’s not the most popular choice in our culture. Because sometimes He works through that and surprises everyone.

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3. God will give us the courage to do all that He asks us to do.

3. God will give us the courage to do all that He asks us to do.

Obedience to His call is vital. It may even have the power to affect an entire generation of people. We may never be fully aware of how our actions and faithfulness to His voice are working so powerfully in those around us. We don’t have to stay stuck in fear. We don’t need to run from his leading, even when we feel incredibly unprepared or inadequate for the job. He will equip us for every task and will pave the way for us to walk through with His power, providing grace for every step and covering us from behind.

Queen Esther had a choice. When Mordecai sent word to her about the great danger their people were facing, she could have simply tried to save herself. She could have kept quiet, just hoped for the best, or turned the other way. But she and Mordecai both knew that God had given her great purpose in her position. She was wise; she made a plan and didn’t stay stuck in fear or worry. She prayed and fasted, and she asked for their people to do the same. She was willing to act, to follow God’s lead, and to save the lives of her people, even if it meant she might lose hers.

“Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: ‘Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish,’” Esther 4:15-16.

Though our current situations may look different than what Esther faced, we might still be struggling with great fear or uncertainty. The future may look dark. A hard diagnosis or recent loss may have sent us spiraling. Yet often God places us in positions of influence, or in strategic locations, with great purpose in mind. Many times, the places where we find ourselves is not really all about us. It’s about Him. It’s about His bigger plan.

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4. God is able to bring great favor and blessing on our lives, even in hard places.

4. God is able to bring great favor and blessing on our lives, even in hard places.

And often when He does, we will be certain to feel animosity from others. If we’re living like salt and light in a dark world, we can be assured there will be attacks against us. We will face struggles and battles that sometimes we didn’t see coming. But in it all, there’s this amazing protection and covering of God’s favor and blessing over our lives. So strong that the darkness can’t penetrate.

From the moment Esther was in the King’s palace, she was given protection and favor. The Bible even says that she won the favor of all those she was around, and God blessed her greatly, allowing her to be made queen. That’s important because without great favor from the King, Esther could have been put to death simply for asking to come into his presence without being asked.

“On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the palace, in front of the king’s hall…When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter. Then the king asked, “What is it Queen Esther? What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given you,” Esther 5:1-3.

Because of great favor, Esther was allowed to carry out the plan that would save her people. The King was willing to come to the banquet prepared for Haman and himself, not once, but twice. The purposes of God were being set; Haman would soon meet his demise, and the Jews would be saved. When we belong to God through Christ, we have a protection the world around us may never understand. It doesn’t mean we won’t face trials. We surely will, but when we do, His strength and blessing still come out even stronger.

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5. God will always be faithful to lead us and to fight on our behalf.

5. God will always be faithful to lead us and to fight on our behalf.

He is forever faithful, and this story is a great testimony of that. Sometimes He tells us to wait. Other times He will say to move quickly. We must be so in tune with His leadership and His Spirit within us, that we can recognize what He’s saying. His timing is perfect, always. Even when it’s not our timing. Even when things seem “off,” or we start to feel forgotten. God is at work, often in ways we can’t fully see. His timing is laying out every crucial plan at just the right minute. It’s never haphazard or thrown together. It’s intricately woven into the stories and purposes of our entire lives.

As Queen Esther and Mordecai moved through these critical days and worked on behalf of their people, every plan was carefully timed, and each purpose was carried out to the glory of the Lord. In the end, the tables were turned. Those who were plotting against the Jews were destroyed.

“No one could stand against them, because the people of all other nationalities were afraid of them,” Esther 9:2.

The plan to kill the Jews had been stopped. There was great fear of God all around, His reputation became known throughout the land, even to the point that “many people of other nationalities even became Jews because fear of the Jews had seized them,” Esther 8:17. With God, even our enemies will flee. His power can never be thwarted or destroyed. He is with us, guiding us, carrying us, and covering us from behind at every moment.

May God help us to follow His lead, believing that His timing is perfect and remembering that He’s always faithful to fight for us, still today. May He help us to know when to keep quiet and wait, and when to speak out on behalf of others, and in sharing His truth. He won’t leave us on our own to fend for ourselves in difficult places. His power can’t help but to come to our rescue. His faithfulness and mercies are new every morning.

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6. Pride is a trap. Humility is key.

6. Pride is a trap. Humility is key.

This is a huge lesson in the story of Esther: pride is a trap and will lead to our demise. Every character through this book had to decide whether they would choose to live with pride or humility. Those who chose pride faced final defeat. Those who walked with humility and integrity before God rose above every hard circumstance with His grace and power.

By the time Mordecai told Esther about the evil plot against the Jews, Esther was in high places. She could have turned her back on her people, proud of where she was in life and happy about her own success and power. Yet she did just the opposite. That is true humility. Being willing to look at the needs of others before yourself, not thinking too highly of yourself, even if the world would say you have much to be proud of.

Haman chose just the opposite. He devised a plan to ultimately make himself look better and destroy a people who wouldn’t bend a knee to him. He was proud and full of selfishness and hate. Ultimately, it destroyed him. The whole story plays out like a great movie plot. It’s amazing how God used every bit of Haman’s evil plan to turn it back on his own life. The Jews were saved, and Mordecai was given honor.

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We must decide.

We must decide.

The last verse of the book reads, “Mordecai the Jew was second in rank to King Xerxes, preeminent among the Jews, and held in high esteem by his many fellow Jews, because he worked for the good of his people and spoke up for the welfare of all the Jews,” Esther 10:3.

Whatever places of leadership or positions of authority God has given us in life, one thing is true: It was never meant to be all about us. Every part of our lives should point ultimately to God and His truth. We must decide throughout our lives: Will I take pride in my life, my accomplishments, and what God has blessed me with; or will I walk in humility and allow Him to shine through it all? Mordecai and Esther both knew the key: “Less of me, more of Him.” Their willingness to live humbly before God allowed Him to work powerfully in saving His people from destruction.

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7. God is Sovereign over all, and He lovingly cares for His people.

7. God is Sovereign over all, and He lovingly cares for His people.

If you find yourself facing times of trouble or testing right now, be assured that God is at work in your situation. He’s working within you, and on your behalf in all the events that surround you, no matter how difficult. In whatever we face, God is still on the throne. He is powerful, and nothing is too difficult for Him. He cares for you. He loves you. He knows everything you’re facing even now, though you may have believed that no one could understand your situation or your pain – He does.

This life-changing truth is a major theme of the book of Esther: God is Sovereign. He reigns over all, and nothing takes him by surprise. We never read about God not knowing what to do. He’s not up in heaven, wringing his hands together, trying to figure out a plan. Evil came against His people. And He raised up those who would be faithful to act. Spiritual darkness will try hard to blot out the existence of Truth and the power of a believer’s life through Christ. But in the end, it won’t win. God holds the final victory.

Light is greater than Darkness. Every time. It is the only way to wade through every deep river of difficulty. Walk in the power of His Sovereignty and His light.

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God is at work.

God is at work.

Keep your eyes fixed on the Lord. He will not fail you or leave you to struggle on your own. Not ever. And He is faithful to turn our pain into greater purpose, for us in our own lives and for those around us. Know that He is for you. He will never fail. Believe that He’s at work, setting the stage for great things to happen.

God reigns, and He is with us, today and always.

Debbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor's wife, mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead's Facebook page, for daily encouragement in living strong, free, hope-filled lives. Find her also on Twitter and at her blog www.debbiemcdaniel.com

For further study of the Book of Esther, check out this free downloadable resource from iBeleive: Finding Your Purpose: A 10-Day Bible Study on the Book of Esther. Here's a bite-size sample:

The Book of Esther is unique. It reads much like a novelette, and its story is as gripping as any novel one would read today. Unfortunately, some have wrongly concluded that Esther was just a piece of historical fiction. Yet archaeological and historical evidence demonstrates that this book is historical and accurate, and despite its literary form, it follows the same pattern as other Old Testament Books. 

Day One: A Providential Divorce

Our story opens in Shushan, or Susa, one of the four capitol cities of the Median-Persian Empire (the others were Babylon, Ecbatana, and Persepolis), where Ahasuerus (Xerxes) had come for the winter months. Susa is unbearably hot in the summer time, but was enjoyable that time of year. The timing of the events was also strategically planned by Ahasuerus...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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